The Northern Arizona University School of Music launches its 2012-13 Horizons concert series with four fall events featuring music from Iraq, contemporary compositions inspired by Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations,’ a centennial celebration of modernist music in Vienna, and a trio of piano trios.

Iraqi virtuoso oud (lute) player and composer Rahim AlHaj opens the fall series with a performance on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. AlHaj, a former protégé of the celebrated oud player and teacher Salim Abdul Kareem, will serve as the first-ever Global Artist in Residence at NAU.

Innovative pianist Lara Downes will present a baker’s dozen contemporary re-imaginings of J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” on Monday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The stylistically varied “13 WAYS of Looking at the Goldberg” features music by Lerdahl, Higdon, Bright Sheng, Foss, Bermel, Hersch, Curtis-Smith, Walden, Brown, Zupko, Del Tredici, Bolcom, and Gothóni.

Internationally acclaimed keyboard artist Jeffrey Swann, the Adel Artist in Residence in the NAU School of Music, presents the first of two programs entitled “The Birth of Musical Modernism” on Monday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. The fall program commemorates the centenary of the premiere of Arnold Schoenberg’s landmark composition, “Pierrot lunaire,” which Swann will perform with NAU music faculty colleagues Deborah Raymond (soprano), Emily McKay (flute), John Masserini (clarinets), Louise Scott (violin/viola), and Mary Ann Ramos (cello). NAU faculty pianist Rita Borden also will perform on the recital. The festivities begins at 6 p.m. with four lectures on the topic “InContext: Vienna 1912” by Cynthia Kosso, Pamela Stephens, Michael Vincent, and Jeffrey Swann.

The fall Horizons Concert Series concludes with a performance by the Merling Trio (violinist Renata Artman Knific, cellist Bruce Uchimura, and pianist Susan Wiersma Uchimura) on Monday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. This diverse program includes piano trios by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla.

All four concerts take place in Ashurst Hall.

Individual tickets for the Horizons Concert Series are $20 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and NAU faculty and staff, and free for children (17 yrs. & under) and NAU students with an ID. For tickets to all events, call (928) 523-5661 or purchase online at nau.edu/cto. For more information, visit nau.edu/music/horizons or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Evening or day parking permits can be obtained at kiosks on the Riordan Ranch Rd. or San Francisco St. entrance to campus, or online at nau.edu/parking.