KSU School of Music welcomes Jessica Rivera, Kelley O’Connor and Robert Spano

The trio’s performance is a part of the 2013 Guest Artist Series

For media inquiries: Kathie Beckett, Director of Marketing and Communications
770-499-3417 or kbeckett@kennesaw.edu


From top:

Robert Spano, photo by Angela Morriss; Kelley O'Connor, photo by Dario Acosta;

and Jessica Rivera, photo by Ken Howard

KENNESAW, Ga. (October 14, 2013)Kennesaw State University’s School of Music welcomes Jessica Rivera, Kelley O’Connor and Robert Spano for a unique performance at Morgan Hall in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center on October 17 at 8 p.m. These three well-known classical artists, who are vibrant in the Atlanta music scene, will each bring their unique talent for the delight of KSU’s art community.


Robert Spano, an Atlanta resident, is currently the Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School. In this latest role, he is responsible for over 300 events and educational programs for over 630 students, while leading the Aspen’s American Academy of Conducting. A native of Conneaut, Ohio, Spano got his start at the Oberlin College & Conservatory, where he learned the art of conducting with Robert Baustian, and later at the Curtis Institute of Music with the late Max Rudolf.


Spano recently completed a three-year residency at Emory University, and was inducted in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2012. He was also named Musical America’s 2008 “Conductor of the Year.”


Kelley O’Connor is no stranger to high profile opera stages, as she has performed in the United States and in several European countries with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel. Originally from California, O’Connor earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and a Master of Music degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. The mezzo-soprano received acclaimed reviews from the New York Times with “her smoky tone and riveting stage presence." The Denver Post described her voice as “seductive and haunting." This upcoming performance will reunite this Grammy Award-winning singer with Spano, with whom she performed for her debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the opera “Ainadamar.”


Jessica Rivera rounds out the trio with her soprano talent, for which she is well-known around the globe. With a Master of Music degree from the Univeristy of Southern California, she has performed with several contemporary composers such as John Adams and Osvaldo Golijov. She, too, is reuniting with Spano, with whom she has done several collaborations in the past, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Vaughaun Williams’ "Dona Nobis Pacem."


Part of the School of Music’s Guest Artist Series, this concert will be unique. David Daly, director of programming and facilities for the School of Music, explains, “the program will feature two new songs written specifically for both Rivera and O’Connor for this occasion, respectively singing Jonathan Leshnoff’s “Monica Songs,” and David Bruce’s 'That Time With You.'


So what can KSU music lovers expect from this concert? “This concert is special in many ways. While Mr. Spano works frequently with these vocalists as a conductor, he will be performing alongside them as a pianist for this concert,” Daly says. “This particular collaboration is a rare and limited engagement, with KSU being the second of only five stops on their short tour, which culminates in a performance at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York City.”


The concert will be held on Thursday, October 17 at 8 p.m. in Morgan Hall of the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center. Tickets range in price from $8-40. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the box office online or call 770-423-6650.


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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.




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