Chamber concert series awarded grant by the National Endowment for the Arts

Publication Date

The Union College Concert Series has received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a series of events highlighting the music of Austrian composer Franz Schubert.

It is the first NEA grant for the concert series, which is celebrating its 45th season of bringing the world’s finest chamber music to Memorial Chapel.

The series regularly features such luminaries as Emanual Ax, Jeremy Denk, the Emerson String Quartet and a number of rising artists. Under the directorship of Derek Delaney (with director emeritus Dr. Dan Berkenblit), the 16-date series is a popular draw for music fans across the region.

The grant will support a number of recitals — two of them free — along with lectures and outreach to retirement homes.

This includes “Idyll and Abyss: The Late Works of Schubert,” five concerts showcasing five works, two of them song cycles. Artists include pianists Jonathan Biss and Mitsuko Uchida, tenor Evan LeRoy Johnson, the Doric String Quartet and emerging performers from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

The upcoming lineup supported by the NEA grant:

Jan. 14: Outreach at Glen Eddy retirement community in Schenectady

Jan. 15: Free concert
Evan LeRoy Johnson, tenor (Curtis)
Mikael Eliasen, piano
Pre-concert lecture with Josef Schmee
Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795

Feb. 11: Outreach at the Beverwyck retirement community in Slingerlands

Feb. 12: Free concert
Eric Lu, piano (Curtis)
Schubert: 4 Impromptus, D. 899

March 10
Doric String Quartet
Schubert: Quartet in G Major, D. 887

March 12
Mark Padmore, tenor; Jonathan Biss, piano
Pre-concert lecture with Jan Swafford
Schubert: Schwanengesang, D. 957
Schubert: Sonata in A Major, D. 959

April 1
Mitsuko Uchida, piano (with Jörg Widmann)
Schubert: Impromptu No. 1 in C Minor, D. 899
Jörg Widmann: Idyll and Abyss – Six Schubert

The grant is among more than $30 million recently awarded by the NEA to nonprofit organizations and individuals across the country in the areas of Art Works, Art Works: Creativity Connects, Challenge America and Creative Writing Fellowships. These grants cross all artistic disciplines, reach 48 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and also support partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors.

“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting these projects, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chair Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”