Southeast Missouri State University student publication

International performers will premiere for the Sundays at Three concert series

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Dr. Michael Tsalka, pictured, will perform with Ulrika Edstrom at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. at Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Recital Hall. Submitted photo

This month marks the start of the 10th annual Chamber Music Sundays at Three series at the River Campus. This annual series was created by associate professor Dr. Brandon Christensen when he first arrived at Southeast Missouri State University. The series is now hosted by the music department.

Chamber music is purely instrumental and is performed by a small ensemble with one player to a part. The "chamber" reference is common because the performances are meant to be played in smaller concert halls.

"Sundays at Three is a chamber music concert series," Christensen said. "We present five to six concerts each year that feature small professional ensembles like quartets, trios and duos. This is our 10th anniversary season, which is entitled 'World Travelers.'"

The first concert will feature the Lilla Akademien Duo, which is composed of Ulrika Edström on cello and Dr. Michael Tsalka on the piano. They are both world-class musicians from one of Sweden's finest conservatories, according to the river campus informational website. They will perform at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 at Shuck Recital Hall.

"As international performers and musicians who travel all over the world each year, I thought the duo was a perfect fit for my theme for the 10th anniversary season," Christensen said.

Lilla Akademien Duo was able to perform at Southeast through a social connection Christensen made after meeting Tsalk at a concert in St. Louis. Christensen suggested he come play at the chamber series the next time he was in the states. Originally the duo was set to be a trio including Hugo Ticatti, but he had to return to Europe earlier than expected to record a concerto with a major orchestra.

The Duo will perform "a mix of music from nearly every period of western classical music history," Christensen said.

These will include the works of Rameau, Schubert, Shostakovich and Schnelzer.

Christensen explained via email that part of the appeal of chamber music is that the setting is more intimate than a big concert hall or a rock concert. Concert goers are close to the performers and enjoy being entertained in a somewhat informal way, he said. The concert often has a smaller, regular audience but has been known to reach a crowd of over 100 people.

"I've also found that students new to classical music tend to really enjoy the chamber concerts because they are less intimidating than a big program in the larger hall," Christensen said. "My audience is mostly community members, then a core of our more dedicated music students, a spattering of music appreciation students and a few members of the university community at large."

While in Missouri both Tsalk and Edström will work with a select number of Southeast students. They will be coach student chamber ensembles and give "master classes" where they work with various students while other students observe.

Edström is a Swedish cellist who has performed in the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, often performs as a soloist and chamber musician and also teaches cello and ensemble at the Lilla Akademien music school in Stockholm.

Tsalka is a keyboard performer who has won prizes and awards in more than 10 different cities all over the world. He has performed throughout Europe, the U.S., Canada, Israel, Asia and Latin America. Tsalka recently has been involved with different institutions in cities ranging from the Chicago radio to the Saint-Denis Festival in Paris.

For more information on the Sundays at Three Chamber Concert Series call (573) 651-2265.