Acclaimed composer joins Pacific as part of Conservatory’s fall schedule

Viet Cuong

Composer-in-residence Viet Cuong

University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music has released an expansive schedule of diverse performances for the fall semester, which includes a Grammy-winning ensemble and exceptional guest artists and composers from around the world. The full schedule is available online.

“From (Duke) Ellington’s “Three Black Kings” to a residency with rising compositional star Viet Cuong, from Pacific’s Opera Follies extravaganza to Pacific’s own Trio 180, the Conservatory’s fall calendar overflows with wonderful music,” said Conservatory of Music Dean Peter Witte.

Cuong, Pacific’s composer-in-residence, was named one of 21 “composers and performers who sound like tomorrow” by the Washington Post. His works have been commissioned and performed on six continents by renowned ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic and Atlanta Symphony, among many others.

Conservatory students and faculty will perform Cuong’s original chamber music Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

A Pacific Wind Bands concert Saturday, Oct. 28 in Faye Spanos Concert Hall also will feature two of Cuong’s compositions, including the world premiere of “Autumn Triptych.” It will be performed in collaboration with Vietnamese-American vocalist Bích-Vân, who will perform it in Vietnamese.

“For the students to bring a piece of music to life for the first time, it’s an exciting process,” said Conductor Vu Nguyen. “There’s a lot for all of us to learn and figure out. It’s especially powerful for them to get to interact with the person who wrote the music. They’ll be able to ask questions and get feedback directly from him.”

Students also will record two of his pieces. Hear a previous recording of his concerto “Re(new)al” performed by the University of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

Numerous other guest artists are joining Pacific, including Yuuka Nakamura, a classical saxophonist from Tokyo, Japan. She leads the fall lineup with a performance in the Recital Hall Saturday, Sept. 9 with resident artist Pat Grimm on piano. Nakamura is a member of the Urban Saxophone Quartet in London.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, guest artist and guitar player Jose Lezcano will perform a repertoire of Cuban, Latin-American and Spanish music Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Third Coast Percussion, a Grammy Award-winning ensemble based in Chicago, joins Pacific Wednesday, Nov. 1. The group specializes in new music and contemporary classical music.

Pacific’s talented students and faculty will perform alongside many of the conservatory’s guest artists throughout the semester.

Other signature events include:

  • University Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Jazz Ensemble, Sept. 30
  • Opera Follies presented by Pacific Opera Theatre, Oct. 20-22
  • Pacific Jazz Ensembles with guest artist Michael Dease, a Grammy-award winning trombonist, Nov. 15
  • Holiday Choral Concert with Pacific Choirs, Dec. 1

Most Conservatory events are free for students, staff and faculty with a Pacific ID, $5 for seniors and $10 for all others. Opera Theatre productions are $25. Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.