Northern Arizona University’s 2010-2011 Horizons Concert Series kicks off tomorrow with the first of five fall performances that spotlight international musicians.

All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ashurst Hall, unless otherwise noted.

“We present events that people might not otherwise be able to experience,” said Todd Sullivan, director for the School of Music. “We’re bringing the world of music and performance to Flagstaff.”

The series opens on Sept. 22 with “Fireworks: American Music for Violin” featuring Fritz Gearhart on the violin and School of Music accompanist Chen-Ju Janice Chiang on the piano. The program will include diverse violin compositions by Lukas Foss, Quincy Porter, Livingston Gearhart, Fritz Gearhart and William Grant Still.

“This Shining Night: Songs by Samuel Barber,” a cornucopia of songs by American composer Samuel Barber, will take place on Sept. 27. The performance will feature tenor Steven Paul Spears with faculty pianist Rita Borden.

Steven Paul Spears

Steven Paul Spears

On Oct.18, pianist Jeffery Swann will perform “Romantic Fantasy II.” Swann will be joined by several NAU music faculty including Borden (piano), Judith Cloud (mezzo-soprano), John Masserini (clarinet), Ricardo Pereira (tenor), Mary Ann Ramos (cello), Deborah Raymond (soprano), Robert Allen Saunders (bass), Frank Scott (piano), Louise Scott (violin) and Jacquelyn Schwandt (viola).On Oct. 11, Ivano Ascari will perform the program “Italia Moderna” with School of Music faculty Stephen Dunn on trumpet, percussionist Steve Hemphill and pianist Brian Lockard. “Italia Moderna” features contemporary music by Italian and American composers. The performance will take place in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium.

On Nov. 15, the Mana Saxophone Quartet, all former students in the NAU School of Music, will return to campus for the first time since their triumph as Grand Prize winners at the 2009 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. The quartet’s repertoire ranges from American modernist composer Charles Wuorinen to Argentinean tango master Astor Piazzolla.

Individual tickets are $20 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and NAU faculty and staff, $5 for children and free for NAU students with an ID. For tickets, call (928) 523-5661. For information on the series, visit nau.edu/music/horizons.