Colorado State University’s State-Of-The-Art Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall Opens with Inaugural Concert Sept. 23

Colorado State University will host one of the year’s most anticipated musical events on campus at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23 as the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance presents an inaugural concert in the state-of-the-art Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall, the area’s newest performing arts venue. The introductory event will feature two original works and internationally acclaimed Russian pianist Yakov Kasman.

The recently completed 567-seat concert hall is located on the northwest side of the former Fort Collins High School at 1400 Remington St, one block east of the main Colorado State campus. Tickets for the performance can be purchased by calling the Campus Box Office at (970) 491-4TIX (491-4849).

With Wes Kenney conducting, the university’s Symphony Orchestra will open the concert with "New Era Dance" by Aaron Jay Kernis, followed by the Chamber Orchestra playing excerpts from Respighi’s "Ancient Airs of Dances, Suite 3." The orchestras will be followed by "Orpheus Invoked," an original chamber work composed specifically for the inaugural event by Colorado State music faculty and pianist David King. Scored for three voices and five instruments, King’s piece will be performed by members of the Colorado State vocal and instrumental faculty.

A special guest appearance by internationally-known Kasman will also highlight the evening’s events. Kasman will perform Stravinsky’s "Three Movements from Petrouchka," a tour de fource of virtuosity and poetry arranged for piano by the composer.

Since his American debut as the laureate of the Van Cliburn Competition in 1997, Kasman has performed concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Russia and Asia and has appeared as soloist with more than 40 of the world’s greatest orchestras.

Kasman’s recordings of the complete piano sonatas of Scriabin, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov have won prizes including the Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Academie du Disque Francal (Prokofiev sonatas) and the CHOC du Monde de la Musique (Shostakovitch Concerto No. 1).

The grand finale of the evening concert will feature a second original work especially commissioned for this event by world-renowned composer Robert W. Smith. Smith’s tribute composition, "Monument," features four distinct movements to be performed under the direction of J. Steven Moore, director of bands at Colorado State, by the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Strings, Wind Ensemble and the University Singers.

Through the years, Smith’s compositions have ranged from the welcoming ceremonies in Japan honoring President Ronald Reagan to Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, the Olympic Games and many major television network broadcasts. His first two symphonies, "The Divine Comedy" and "The Odyssey," have captured the imaginations of musicians and audiences in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

"Like our state parks, which are often named monuments, Smith’s piece is a tribute to our local monument of the old Fort Collins High School and the new Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall," said Moore.

Designed by some of the nation’s top architects, the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall is the first building specifically dedicated to high-quality music performance in the history of Colorado State University. The theater includes some of the region’s most advanced acoustical design features, including articulated walls, ceiling clouds and raked seating designed to provide the highest quality sound.

The facility was named in honor of Edna Rizley Griffin, a longtime advocate and benefactor of the performing arts including the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra and the Lincoln Center Concert Hall.

For more information, call Alana Minor, director of Marketing and Publicity, at (970) 491-4042.