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Music Department Presents Karen Becker and Friends

PLATTSBURGH, NY (April 10, 2008) - On Saturday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., the SUNY Plattsburgh department of music will present "Old Friends and New Friends" as part of the ongoing guest artist recital series, Karen Becker and Friends. The concert will take place in E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, Hawkins Hall, on the corner of Broad and Cornelia streets. Admission is free and open to the public.

Daisy Jopling, Ann Ellsworth, Karen Becker The series includes visiting guest performers as well as serves as a showcase for local and regional artists. In this performance, pianist Karen Becker will perform with her friends, visiting guest artists Daisy Jopling (violin) and Ann Ellsworth (French horn).

Included in the program will be the "Quantz Horn Concerto" in E flat for soprano horn, and Debussy's "L'Isle Joyeuse."

Becker and Ellsworth have known each other for 20 years since they attended the Eastman School of Music together. It was Ellsworth who recently introduced Becker to Jopling which led to a performance of the "Brahms Horn Trio" at a private residence, Tapawingo, in Lake Placid last fall. From that experience came the idea to produce a concert at SUNY Plattsburgh.

In her third year as assistant professor of piano at SUNY Plattsburgh, Becker continues to shine as one of the region's most popular performing artists. Highlights of recent, local performances include appearing as a guest artist on the Hill and Hollow concert series, collaborating with artists and students from the Meadowmount Conservatory and performing as soloist with the Champlain Valley Oratorio Society. In 2008 she served as music director for Lyric Scenes Workshop and for the SUNY Plattsburgh music and theater departments' production of "Guys and Dolls." She currently serves as music director for the Champlain Valley Oratorio Society.

In addition, Becker recently played recitals in New York City, Denver, and Salt Lake City. In November, she traveled to Cairo, Egypt where she was a featured artist on the Ewart Hall Concert series and conducted two days of master classes with students at American University.

Becker holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School as well as a Doctor of Music Arts from the University of Wisconsin where she was a student of Van Cliburn medal winner, Christopher Taylor.

She has served as pianist with the Madison Symphony, Madison Opera and the UW Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. She has also served as pianist for the American Opera Project at New York City Opera, piano soloist for the Summergarden series at the Museum of Modern Art and keyboard player in the Philip Glass Ensemble. She was featured on the "Music from Japan" series at Columbia and was a champion of contemporary music, playing premieres by John Cage and rarely heard music by Charles Koechlin and Erik Satie.

Violinist Daisy Jopling was born in London and now lives in New York City. She spent the last 12 years living in Vienna and touring the world with the creative string trio, Triology. Her solo work has included playing a concerto in the Royal Albert Hall in London at the age of 14 and playing before 30,000 people at the opening of the Vienna Festival in May 2005. She has participated in writing the music for many films, including two in Hollywood. Jopling is currently recording an album with her new band, Foreign Xchange.

Ann Ellsworth is the solo horn player with Kristjan Jarve's Absolute Ensemble, Manhattan Brass, Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble and the alternative horn group Confluence. She performs with such pop artists as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Shakira and Chaka Khan and records for film and television. An active soloist and chamber musician, she tours regularly in Europe and the United States with broadcasts on NPR and PRI. Ellsworth is a former member of the Phoenix Symphony and Danish Esbjerg Ensemble. She studied at the Eastman and Juilliard Schools and is now on faculty at Purchase College, Juilliard Pre-College and New York University.

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