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Piano and bass duo to perform on the UMFK campus

August 29, 2008


Piano and bass duo Allan Von Schenkel and Kristen Williams of "Basso Moderno" will perform at the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Fox Auditorium on Friday, September 12.

Admission for the general public is $5 and UMFK students are free. Tickets will only be available at the door.

Schenkel, a creative bass soloist, composed over three hundred musical works in his youth, and now dedicates his energies to giving virtuosic bass performances. He has premiered new works by composers as diverse as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Alan Hovhaness. Schenkel studied theory with Dr. Richard Fiske, the gifted student of the incomparable Nadia Boulanger. His mentors on the bass have been the world renowned Gary Karr, as well as Stefano Sciascia in Italy.

Williams, a talented pianist and soprano soloist, is a versatile artist who is comfortable performing in a variety of genres. Kristen’s playing has been described as "having a great sense of rhythm and syncopation with a light but firm touch.”

Williams is the executive director of the Great Noise Ensemble, Washington, DC's premiere contemporary classical chamber music group, which she has premiered many new works. She has been a soprano soloist with St. Patrick's Catholic Church Choir in Washington, DC. Her piano playing is a perfect complement to the intense voice of the solo bass. Williams is a focused musician who is able to share her devotion to the piano with the listener.

Basso Moderno duo promotes the works of living composers from all over the world by educating nontraditional audiences about contemporary music. By creating a new repertoire for bass and piano from celebrated composers all over the world, they bring these works to diverse audiences, communicating beautiful, lyrical music from composers from vastly different backgrounds and experiences.

The performers have commissioned over 100 lyrical works for solo bass and piano by some of the worlds most prominent and exciting living composers. Composers from 40 countries and all seven continents have written specifically for Schenkel's virtuosic and highly individualized manner of playing.

For more information on the performance, contact Ray Phinney, UMFK associate director for student activities and diversity at 207-834-7850.