Wake Forest University’s Secrest Artists Series will include everything from chamber music to ragtime to West African song and dance in its five-concert 1999-2000 season.
The Vienna Chamber Orchestra with conductor and piano soloist Phillipe Entremont will open the series on Oct. 13 as Wake Forest celebrates the opening of its new residential study center in Vienna. The Vienna Chamber Orchestra, recognized as one of the premier interpreters of the chamber ensemble repertoire, recently completed its 50th season. The concert will feature Brahms String Quintet No. 2 in G Major arranged for string orchestra by Entremont.
The Charlie Chaplin Film Festival with Rick Benjamin’s Paragon Ragtime Orchestra will be the second featured event in the series on Nov. 20. While three Chaplin classics are shown on the screen, the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra will perform original ragtime scores. The multi-media show was recently performed at Lincoln Center. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “The music is incomparably sweet and stirring and Rick Benjamin, who founded and conducts the PRO, is a musician of wit and sensibility.”
Christopher Parkening and special guest artist Jubilant Sykes will present “Braziliana!” an evening of music from South America on Jan. 27. The guitarist and baritone will explore traditional and classical music from the region. Among other works, they will perform the second movement of “Rodrigo concierto de Aranjuez,” perhaps the most well known work for guitar. The concert will mark Parkening’s third performance at Wake Forest.
“The Mandinka Epic,” a spectacle of music, song and dance from the heart of West Africa, will come to Wake Forest Feb. 18. The Ballet d’Africque Noire, a company of 30 dancers, singers and musicians, bring to the stage the legend of the Mandinka tribe, which has been passed down through the centuries. The group is under the direction of Jean Pierre Leurs. The Mandinka people have preserved the artwork, rituals, legends and folk songs of the ancient Mali civilization in West Africa.
The Secrest Artists Series season will conclude with the renowned early music vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 on March 30. The four women of Anonymous 4-Jacqueline Horner, Marsha Genensky, Johanna Maria Rose and Susan Hellauer-formed the group in 1986 to experiment with the sound of medieval chant and polyphony. The program, focusing on music from the year 1000 and titled “1000,” will interweave music with poetry and narrative. The group has appeared on NPR’s “Performance Today,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Season tickets for the Secrest Artists Series are $85 and are available through the Secrest office by calling 336-758-5757. Individual tickets and group discounts are also available. Pre-concert lectures are scheduled in conjunction with each event and begin 45 minutes before each concert.