Hope College will host “East Meets West on a Tango” on Friday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.
As the title suggests, the music performed will showcase a range of influences, from jazz to tango to other music styles from around the world.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The concert helps Hope College celebrate its 150th anniversary by highlighting the international reach the college has long held as essential to educating students. The performers, the music, and even the instruments come from around the world. The event will feature works by contemporary Dutch composer Theo Loevendie, as well as works by composers Vittorio Monti and Jacob Gade. The concert features musicians Mihai Craioveanu, violin; Betti Xiang, erhu; Julien Labro, bandoneon; and 17 others.
A recipient of many international music awards, Loevendie writes in a modern style influenced by American jazz, Argentinian tango, Chinese music, African polyrhythms, southeast European dances and other global music. Originally a jazz clarinetist in the 1960s, Loevendie switched to focusing on composition. Loevendie’s new opera, “The Rise of Spinoza,” was premiered to critical acclaim in 2014, at the Het Concertgebouw Theatre in Amsterdam.
Following several works by Loevendie, the concert will conclude with Vittorio Monti’s “Czardas,” an original duet for violin and erhu, and Jacob Gade’s “Tango Jalousie,” a traditional Argentinian setting for violin and bandoneon.
Mihai Craioveanu, who is a member of the faculty and the event’s organizer, will perform several pieces. Strad Magazine described his Carnegie Hall debut as “fresh and distinguished with a keen appreciation of proper style.” Craioveanu has performed solo concerts around the world.
Betti Xiang performs with YoYo Ma as a member of the Silk Road Ensemble. In 2006, she performed "Butterfly Lovers Concerto" with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She was also a soloist with the Shanghai National Orchestra during its tour of Canada, France, Japan, Malaysia, Portugal, Singapore and Taiwan.
French-born Julien Labro has performed on accordion and bandoneon in classical and jazz genres, across the United States, Europe and South America. His recordings include Astor Piazzolla’s work with a classical guitarist and orchestra, Grammy award-winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson’s “Another Country,” and with the critically acclaimed Hot Club of Detroit. Recently, Labro opened the new music series “92Y Concerts at Subculture” in New York City.
Also performing in the concert will be guest artists and Hope College music faculty members including Sarah Bast, piano; Genevieve Beaulieu, bassoon; Adam Briggs, saxophone; Woody Chenoweth, saxophone; Deborah Craioveanu, viola; Christopher Fashun, percussion; Jonathan Hostottle, saxophone; Tom Knific, string bass; Pablo Mahave-Veglia, cello; David Martin, guitar; Daniel Puccio, saxophone; Nate Roberts, mandolin; Jonathan Ruffer, trumpet; Joel Schekman, clarinet and bass clarinet; Gabe Southard, flute; Martha Waldvogel-Warren, harp; and Jennifer Wolfe, piano.
The project has received funding through a grant from the Netherland-America Foundation.
The audience is invited to a reception following the performance. The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts is located at 221 Columbia Ave., between Ninth and 10th streets.