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Clarinetist Charles Neidich to visit APSU Sept. 14-19 as Acuff Chair

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – On a cold, gray Sunday afternoon in 1984, clarinetist Charles Neidich performed a recital in Manhattan’s Merkin Concert Hall. The weather that afternoon didn’t hurt the attendance; hundreds of music lovers packed into the small venue to hear his interpretations of works by Robert Schumann and Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda.

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – On a cold, gray Sunday afternoon in 1984, clarinetist Charles Neidich performed a recital in Manhattan’s Merkin Concert Hall. The weather that afternoon didn’t hurt the attendance; hundreds of music lovers packed into the small venue to hear his interpretations of works by Robert Schumann and Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda.

          The noted music critic Andrew Porter was in the audience that day, and a week later, he published a review in the New Yorker magazine, calling Neidich “an artist of uncommon merit—a master of his instrument and, beyond that, an interpreter who keeps listeners hanging on each phrase he utters.”

          Neidich, professor of clarinet at The Julliard School, is brining his formidable talent and reputation to Austin Peay State University the week of Sept. 14-Sept. 19, as recipient of the University’s Acuff Chair of Excellence.

            “Charles Neidich is probably one of only a handful of world famous clarinet soloists out there,” Mingzhe Wang, clarinetist and APSU associate professor of music, said. “It’s definitely very great for our community. We’ve had great musicians visiting before, but this is for such an extended period of time. It’s really wonderful for everybody to get to know him.”

            The community will get to witness Neidich’s artistry at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, when he joins Clarksville’s Gateway Chamber Orchestra for a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in the Mabry Concert Hall. An encore performance of that concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15, in the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

            At 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 16, Neidich will present a public lecture in the Mabry Concert Hall. At 2 p.m. that afternoon, he will host a master class in that same venue.

            Neidich will visit the second floor of APSU’s Woodward Library at 3 p.m. on Sept. 17, to deliver an informal talk about his musical life. He is a graduate of Yale University and the famed Moscow Conservatory, and he has performed throughout the world as a soloist and accompanist with prominent musical ensembles.

            At 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, he will host another master class in the Mabry Concert Hall. That evening, at 7:30 p.m., he will perform a solo recital with pianist Nathan Carterette in the concert hall.

            Neidich will give a final master class at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, in room 130 of the Music/Mass Communication Building. At 7:30 p.m. that evening, he will join the famed Parker Quartet for a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, as part of the APSU Honor Orchestra Festival in the Mabry Concert Hall.

            The Friday night concert will conclude his visit to APSU, but other renowned musicians will visit the University throughout the year as Acuff Chair recipients. Opera conductor Willie Anthony Waters will serve as the next chair when he visits campus Oct. 19-Nov. 4.

           For more information about the Acuff Chair Excellence or upcoming performances and lectures, contact the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at 221-7876 or the APSU Department of Music at 221-7818.

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Photo cutline: Clarinetist Charles Neidich is the first Acuff Chair visiting APSU this year. (photo by Kevin Hatt).