This Thursday, April 2, is your last chance this spring to catch Abendmusik Alexandria – a brand new chamber music series presented by the Arts Council of Central Louisiana. Thursday’s concert is called "Jacques Offenbach, the Cellist," and will be the final concert of the 2014-15 Abendmusik season.
April’s Abendmusik features cellists Paul Christopher and Milovan Paz who will play six cello duets by Jacques Offenbach. Offenbach is of course best-known these days as the composer of the Can-Can, a raucous dance from his scandalous comic opera Orpheus in the Underworld. Yet, Offenbach was also a talented cellist and wrote much for cello. Offenbach’s unfamiliar cello works are only gradually being rediscovered despite their merit and several similarities to Frédéric Chopin’s beloved piano works from the same era.
Paul Christopher has been a major advocate for Offenbach’s cello music, and has already recorded five CDs devoted to this large body of works. Mr. Christopher has devoted particular attention to Offenbach’s cello duets, and plans to record this entire collection of approximately fifty works – when completed, this will be the first commercial recording of the full cello duets. Mr. Christopher has also done much work to prepare and publish these Offenbach scores and has given lectures and published articles about these compositions as well.
Both Paul Christopher and Milovan Paz are talented cellists who regularly play with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra. They also have ties with Northwestern State University in nearby Natchitoches. Christopher is Associate Professor of Low Strings and Music Theory at NSU. Paz is a graduate student of Mr. Christopher, and recently performed as a soloist in the NSU Concerto Competition – this was his third victory in this competition, having already won in both 2011 and 2013.
Abendmusik Alexandria’s novel musical selections and intimate cabaret-style atmosphere have been a huge hit with past audiences, and will again delight all who attend this, the final concert of the season. "Jacques Offenbach, the Cellist" begins at 6 PM this Thursday, April 2 at the Hearn Stage in Downtown Alexandria. Join us at 5:30 for appetizers by Southern Creations Catering, featuring their signature pasta jambalaya. Also read my program notes here to learn more about this exciting repertoire.
Hope to see you Thursday!
About Jackson. Jackson Harmeyer is a music historian 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.