Lee University Presidential Concert Series Returns
Lee University is pleased to announce the triumphant return of its decades-old gift to the community, the Presidential Concert Series. The long-awaited 29th season anticipates a world-class slate of performers, including various pianists, string combinations, a choral ensemble, and the legendary Glenn Miller Orchestra.
“Of the many things we have missed during the past 16 months of the pandemic, live in-person performances and the Presidential Concerts are near the top of our list,” said Darlia Conn, series director. “We are excited to present this year’s lineup and hope that our spirits will once again be refreshed and renewed as we hear wonderful music together.”
The concert series will begin on Sept. 2 with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the most popular and sought-after “big band” in the world. During the years of World War II and throughout the 1940’s, the original group popularized “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Moonlight Serenade,” and dozens of other swing and jazz favorites. The current edition of the Glenn Miller Orchestra travels with a full complement of 18 musicians, playing to sold-out crowds around the world each year.
Italian pianist Fabio Bidini captured his audience in a solo performance in the Presidential Concert Series as a young artist 20 years ago. Bidini returns on Oct. 5 with the Los Angeles Piano Trio, which includes two highly acclaimed performers, violinist Margaret Batjer and cellist Andrew Shulman. Reviewers describe their music as “dazzling,” “electrifying,” and “impassioned.” One of the most popular pianists ever to play in Cleveland, Bidini “brings Italian bravissimo to every performance,” according to a recent review.
Returning to campus on Nov. 1, Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev, with many awards and honors to his credit, continues to astound and mesmerize audiences at major venues on three continents. American Record Guide wrote “Yakushev is one of the very best young pianists before the public today, and it doesn’t seem to matter what repertoire he plays, it is all of the highest caliber.”
The Escher String Quartet, an American quartet based in New York City, makes its debut Presidential Concert Series performance on Feb. 3, 2022. This dynamic ensemble has been praised f or its “eloquent, full-blooded playing” by the BBC Music Magazine. They have played in the most prestigious concert halls around the world and recently became one of the very few chamber artists to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
The Vienna Boys Choir, one of the best-known children’s choirs in the world, will perform on Feb. 17. Founded in Austria almost 100 years ago, these young sopranos and altos tour the world, singing popular standards, as well as classical repertoire. The choir gained fame as the subject of a Walt Disney film “Almost Angels” in 1961. The current choir, all ages 9 to 14, tour internationally 10 weeks each year.
Regarded as one of Canada’s most highly-esteemed concert pianists, Louis Lortie will appear at Lee for the first time on April 26. A native of Quebec, he made his debut with the Montreal Symphony at the age of 13, and as a mature performer is a frequent solo guest with some of the world’s top orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic. The London Times says Lortie displays “a combination of total spontaneity and ripeness that only great pianists have.”
All concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for all performances are $15 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available for purchase at the Lee University Box Office in the Dixon Center or by contacting (423) 614-8343, one week prior to each concert, between 3-6 p.m.
Lee University remains dedicated to the health and safety of both the campus community and guests. COVID-19 protocols will be observed based on CDC recommendations at the time of each performance.
For more information about the Presidential Concert Series, visit leeuniversity.edu/pcs/ or call the School of Music at (423) 614-8240.