Under the artistic direction of pianists Miri Yampolsky and Xak Bjerken, the Department of Music in the College of Arts and Sciences presents Mayfest, its annual springtime festival of world-class chamber music. Held May 20-24, Mayfest will feature performances by exceptional guest artists from around the world.
Invited artists this year include five-time Grammy-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw; saxophonist Steven Banks, a recent Avery Fisher Career Grant winner; Guy Braunstein, former concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic; Vesselin Gellev, the third concertmaster of the London Philharmonic Orchestra; violist Nikki Divall, a former member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the principal viola of Apollo’s Fire; clarinetist Chen Halevi, a frequent chamber music collaborator with festivals including Marlboro and Santa Fe; and flutist Gili Schwarzman, who has regularly toured with a chamber music group of the Berlin Philharmonic and performs with numerous European orchestras.
Familiar favorites include cellist Zvi Plesser, who has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic, among others; violinist Xiao-Dong Wang of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; and Cornell Senior Lecturer and Artist in Residence, cellist John Haines-Eitzen.
The five days of Mayfest concerts offer a range of music from familiar masterworks to less-explored compositions that will highlight the unique mix of instruments and performers. Tickets are available online or at the door: Complete festival passes are available for $100 for adults and $10 for students, or individual tickets are $25 for adults, $5 for students, and free for listeners below the age of 18 with an accompanying adult.