MSU holds concerts to celebrate Mozart
From left, associate professor of violin Dmitri Berlinsky, and professor of viola Yuri Gandelsman perform at Cook recital hall at the Music Building on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Jan. 27 was the 257th birthday anniversary of Mozart, and the concert was part of the Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series. Justin Wan/The State News
It’s been more than 200 years since famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Austria in 1756, yet the MSU College of Music had cause for celebration.
The college hosted two performances Sunday night — his actual birthday — and Monday night in the Music Building called “Happy Birthday Mozart” as a part of the annual Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series.
The concerts included performances from several faculty members within the College of Music, including former Detroit Symphony Orchestra member Corbin Wagner.
Kathleen Adams, the College of Music’s communications manager, said tickets sold out quickly.
“We had a full house (Sunday),” Adams said. “We do attract so many people to the West Circle Series that we have two performances each time.”
Generations after the end of the Classical period, dean of the College of Music Jim Forger said it’s still important for students to recognize Mozart’s historical relevance to modern-day music.
“Mozart is a timeless composer and brilliant individual who wrote outrageous things at the age of six,” Forger said. “He’s a treasure to the modern world, and he wrote some of the most recognizable tunes you’ll ever whistle.”
Forger also said he hoped attendees left feeling a sense of worthwhile experience.
“Music touches the soul, and there isn’t better music than this,” he said.
When it comes to contemporary music, graduate student Sarah Manasreh said much of it has roots in classical styles of music.
“Classical music is a historical part of where we’re going,” Manasreh said. “It impacts the music we listen to today, whether we recognize it or not.”
Each concert began with the crowd singing happy birthday to Mozart — and of course, cupcakes.
“You can’t have a birthday without cupcakes,” Forger joked.