NAU School of Music opens the 2018-19 Horizons Concert Series with Jeffrey Swann’s “American Dream”

Jeffrey Swann brings the American dream to life using the piano in the Northern Arizona University School of Music Horizons Concert Series. Inspired by America’s many musical voices, this program spotlights music by Debussy, Stravinsky, Busoni, Joplin and Barber, concluding with Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

A distinctive American musical idiom emerged around the turn of the 20th century, one organized along classical principles but infused with the rhythmic energy and melodic contours of popular music. This program views “American” music through the lens of European classical composers as well as American popular, classical and hybrid musicians.

Swann will use these elements when performing the “American Dream” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Ardrey Memorial Auditorium.

Swann’s international performing career has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. He won first prize in the Dino Ciani Competition sponsored by La Scala in Milan, a gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and top honors at the Warsaw Chopin, Van Cliburn, Vianna da Motta and Montreal Competitions, as well as the Young Artists auditions in New York City.

Swann will not be the only one performing in the “American Dream” Horizons Concert Series. On Nov. 14, the NAU Faculty Chamber Players will perform “Bernstein Birthday Bash.” This performance celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday by performing his greatest hits, from “Candide” to “West Side Story.”

To complete the series, Megan Ihnen and Alan Theisen will perform on Nov. 15. Their performance, “This World of Yes,” explores the dualities of life through voice and saxophone by contemporary American composers.

Tickets for these events are $25 for general admission, $17.50 for seniors, faculty and staff and free for students and children. To purchase tickets, go to the Central Ticketing Office in the University Union or visit the CTO website.

Tallie Valverde