Alumna returns to play piano with quartet

Alumna returns to play piano with quartet

An internationally acclaimed pianist and university alumna will accompany the Cavani String Quartet’s performance tonight as part of the Mitchelmore Master Series, the School of Music’s special funding program named in the pianist’s honor.

Laurana Rice Mitchelmore wrote in an e-mail that she always had a love for the piano and studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and the Vienna Academy of Music in Austria after graduating. She wrote that she was delighted to return to the university to perform.

“I am very happy that the Cavani Quartet musicians, whom I have known for many years, have asked me to join them,” she wrote.

According the Cavani String Quartet Web site, the quartet started in 1984. It was named after two 19th century violin makers Giovanni and Vincenzo Cavani.

Additionally, the site said the quartet is nationally recognized for arts and education as well as bringing communities together through music.

Richard Gipson, professor and director of the university’s School of Music, said the Cavani String Quartet is one of the finest quartets in the world, adding that “Mitchelmore is renowned as a collaborative chamber music performer.”

Chandler Smith, director of development for the College of Fine Arts, said a special funding program began when Mitchelmore attended the university. The Mitchelmore Master Series allows a variety of artists to perform in concerts on campus, he said. Smith said he helped start the fund, which began with donations from family and friends of Mitchelmore.

“I worked with her family and friends who wanted to establish a fund…to honor her life’s work,” Smith said.

The purpose of the fund is to bring musicians like the Cavani String Quartet and have concerts at the university to educate students, he said.

In addition to this fund, Gipson wrote that he was pleased Mitchelmore will continue to grow not only through her fund, but through her performances.

“Sharing her knowledge and insights about music and music-making with our students is indeed very special,” Gipson wrote.

Mitchelmore Master Series featuring the Cavani String Quartet and Laurana Rice Mitchelmore

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: PepsiCo Recital Hall

Tickets are $10 and available online at Discount tickets are available for university faculty, staff and students.