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Faculty group performs music from Bach

| Friday, January 30, 2015

EnsembleND, a musical group which consists of four professors from Notre Dame’s Department of Music, performed the music of Johann Sebastian Bach on Jan. 25 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

EnsembleND’s members are associate professor of piano John Blacklow, assistant professional specialist of piano Daniel Schlosberg, associate professor of cello Karen Buranskas and assistant professional specialist of violin Tricia Park. Each member also specializes in performance in his or her role as a professor at Notre Dame.

Blacklow said ensembleND chooses pieces which are written for groups but which also provide room for solos, reflecting the ensemble’s members’ individual talents.

“In the professional music world, many musicians are exclusively soloists or exclusively ensemble players, but it so happens all four of us have strong interests in both solo playing and ensemble playing and have had careers that have embraced these two areas,” Blacklow said.

Blacklow said the ensemble plays once or twice a year at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, and the individual faculty members in the group have their own performances throughout the school year. He said Schlosberg will appear in a duo-piano concert and a voice-piano concert, Buranskas will appear as a soloist with the South Bend Symphony Chamber Orchestra and Park with the Gesualdo Quartet, which is the quartet-in-residence at Notre Dame.

He said the nature of the pieces the ensemble plays allows faculty members to balance their work in ensembleND with their work as professors.

“We rehearse any time that we have a performance coming up,” Blacklow said. “It helps that we include the solo portions because then we can practice on our own, without the difficulty of coordinating schedules.”

Blacklow said performance is one of the most important aspects of being a music professor, akin to researching and writing books for scholars in other disciplines.

“Performing and recording music is our mode of research into the amazing and vast body of music in the world,” Blacklow said. “From our own experiences as performers across the world, we are able to share our experiences in the guidance of the talented ND music majors in our studios.”

Blacklow said ensembleND will not perform together again until the fall of this year.

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