By PHILIP E. REHARD
Published November 22, 2022
The Meridian Arts Ensemble, a brass quintet known for an eclectic concert repertoire that ranges from the music of J.S. Bach to Frank Zappa, will perform on Dec. 4 at UB as part of the Slee Visiting Artist Series.
The concert will take place at 3 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campus. The program features unique commissions and arrangements by David Sanford, Daniel Grabois, Igor Stravinsky, Arvo Pärt, Samuel Barber and Franz Josef Haydn. The ensemble also will collaborate with students from the UB Brass Area in antiphonal music by Giovanni Gabrieli and Orlando de Lasso. Jon Nelson, professor of music and a founding member of the Meridian Arts Ensemble, coordinates the Brass Area.
Tickets for the concert are $20; UB students are admitted free with valid ID. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster, at the Center for the Arts box office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or at the Slee Hall box office an hour before concert time.
The Meridian Arts Ensemble — featuring Nelson and Sycil Mathai on trumpet, Daniel Grabois on horn, Faustino Díaz Mendez on trombone, and Tom Curry on tuba — is one of America’s leading brass groups exploring the music of today. The ensemble, which is celebrating its 35th season, has amassed nine commercial CD releases and over 50 premieres, and has performed on four continents and in 49 states. Its exciting and ambitious musical approach has changed the face of classical music.
The ensemble began its career looking away from academic music and toward the American vernacular. Its arrangements of the music of Frank Zappa brought critical and popular acclaim, interviews on NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” and performances in concert halls and rock clubs.