The second season of Abendmusik Alexandria starts this Thursday, September 3 with Meeting of the Minds. This spectacular concert will feature violinist Lin He, cellist Paul Christopher, and pianist Elena Bogaczová – all veterans of our first season – for two great piano trios by the classical masters Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonín Dvorák, plus a piece by contemporary Louisiana composer Al Benner. Hosted by the Arts Council of Central Louisiana, Abendmusik Alexandria presents classical chamber music live in a comfortable jazz club setting complete with food and drinks. Meeting of the Minds is set to begin at 6 PM in Downtown Alexandria’s Hearn Stage; doors open at 5:30.
Thursday’s concert starts with Mozart’s Divertimento for piano trio – a nice early work by the composer who set the standard for the piano trio genre. Dvorák’s tragic Second Piano Trio concludes the concert, and in between Mozart and Dvorák we have a piece by Natchitoches composer Al Benner. An award-winning composer with over 120 works to his credit, Benner teaches at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. His Grace Variations are to be heard on Thursday’s program, and are based on the beloved hymn tune “Amazing Grace.” Dr. Benner plans to be with us at Thursday evening’s concert. He is the first of four Louisiana composers whose music will be heard this season at Abendmusik.
Lin He and Paul Christopher are known locally as two of the core players with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra –Dr. He is concertmaster while Mr. Christopher serves as assistant principal cello. Dr. He is also a professor at LSU while both Mr. Christopher and Ms. Bogaczová are on the music faculty at Northwestern State University. All three have given highly-praised concerts around the world, so we are privileged to have them here with us in Alexandria this Thursday evening.
Last week I had the chance to hear a sneak preview of what these musicians have planned for us when I sat in with them for their rehearsal. Dr. He drove in from Baton Rouge; Mr. Christopher and Ms. Bogaczová headed down from Natchitoches; and our friends at Emmanuel Baptist Church were kind enough to host us for the afternoon – we were all good to go. Let me say, the Dvorák Second Trio was a real treat, and the pieces by Mozart and Benner were nothing shabby either. I think everyone who attends is going to just love this concert! What a great way to start the season!
Our first season of Abendmusik Alexandria was extraordinary – we filled the house at nearly every concert, and everyone there enjoyed the great music. I expect the second season of Abendmusik Alexandria to be even more outstanding! Join us from the very start this Thursday at Meeting of the Minds!
P. S. Look for Paul Christopher and me on tomorrow morning’s news programs. We’ll be on Jambalaya and Good Day Cenla tomorrow discussing Thursday’s concert, and Paul might even play a short piece for us!
About Jackson. Jackson Harmeyer is a music scholar and composer. He is a graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College – Louisiana’s designated honors college – where he completed an undergraduate thesis entitled “Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.” He has followed classical music around the world, attending the BachFest Leipzig in Germany, Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival, and many concerts across Louisiana and Texas. Resident in Alexandria, Jackson works with the Arts Council of Central Louisiana as Series Director of the Abendmusik Alexandria chamber music series. He also writes the program notes for the Rapides Symphony Orchestra. As his day job, Jackson serves as Operations Manager of TicketCentral.