PLATTSBURGH - The State University of New York at Plattsburgh will host a special performance by adjunct lecturer Ann Ellsworth on a very rare instrument.
Ellsworth will perform on a soprano horn - one of only eight such instruments made by German horn maker Alexander Mainz - during a faculty recital at the Krinovitz Recital Hall in Hawkins Hall on Beekman Street Friday, Feb. 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
What makes the horn even more unique is that it was designed specifically for playing the extremely high register found in certain Bach cantatas.
"I feel this horn will best match the pure and expressive quality of soprano Katharine Dain's voice," explained Ellsworth, who will be joined by Dain, Ranate Rolfing and Alicia Choi during the event, performing works by Mozart, Wagenseil, Emperor Franz Joseph, Eberlin and others.
"Dain brings not only her scholarship but years of experience to her studied interpretation," added Ellsworth.
The New York Times has called Ann Ellsworth's playing "outrageous" and "splendidly projected." She is the solo horn player for the Grammy-nominated Absolute Ensemble and has been a member of the Esbjerg Ensemble, Manhattan Brass, Baltimore Opera, Phoenix Symphony and Philharmonica del Bajio. An active soloist and chamber musician, Ellsworth has performed on several continents and can be heard in numerous recordings, film and television scores, and radio broadcasts. As artist-in-residence at the Lang College of the New School, she led many ground-breaking interdisciplinary events involving improvisation, dance, videography and landscape architecture.
Ellsworth attended the Eastman and Juilliard Schools, with further study in Oslo, Norway and St. Petersburg, Russia. She has held faculty positions at numerous schools in the New York City area and currently teaches at SUNY Plattsburgh, Stonybrook and New York University.
Rohlfing, a long time collaborator and friend of Ellsworth, will play SUNY Plattsburgh's Steinway D piano. Choi is joining the group as a special guest violinist.
The program came about when Rolfing, Dain and Ellsworth began exploring the limited but compelling repertoire that flourished under the Hapsburgs during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. All three are experts in performing music from the Renaissance era to the present day.
"The music from this particular period crosses the Baroque and Classical eras and is uniquely known for its clarity, beauty and transcendent melodic lines," said Ellsworth.
Following the concert, the performers will invite the audience to stay for a brief question and answer session. Admission is free and open to the public.