LEWISBURG, Pa. — The spring semester of Bucknell University's Weis Center series opens Friday, Jan. 29, with a concert by the Soweto Gospel Choir at 8 p.m.
"Returning after a sold-out concert four years ago, the Soweto Gospel Choir will perform, in eight different languages no less, an inspirational program of tribal, traditional and popular African and Western gospel," said Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center.
Piano soloist Jon Nakamatsu joins Philharmonia of the Nations on Friday, Feb. 5, in a program of music by Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler.
Founded in the mid-'90s by conductor Justus Frantz, this symphony orchestra is a unique, multicultural gathering of extremely talented young musicians from more than 40 countries and five continents. Chinese play next to Americans, Irish perform with English, and Syrians with Israelis.
"This is the first time since the opening of the Weis Center 20 years ago that one of the landmark symphonies of Gustav Mahler will be heard in the hall," said Boswell, "and I am pleased that this group, which demonstrates the healing and connective power of music, is the orchestra that will do it."
Collage dance ensemble and musicians will perform on Friday, Feb. 12. "The mission of this internationally acclaimed company is to promote harmony between people from different cultural and social backgrounds.
"Collage integrates Eastern European, Turkish, Israeli and other traditional performance practices with modern Western techniques to make folk dance and music more accessible," Boswell said.
Béla Fleck returns to the Weis Center for "The Africa Project" on Saturday, Feb. 27, in a performance with some of Africa's most talented musicians.
The Aquila Theatre Company, long a favorite with Weis Center audiences, will return on Friday, March 5, with a performance of Shakespeare's "As You Like It."
The Jupiter String Quartet with pianist Ben Kim will close the season on Friday, March 26, in a concert of music by Beethoven, Bartok and Schumann.
Tickets for reserved seating for series evening performances range from $20 to $35 depending on the event; all evening performances begin at 8 p.m. Discounts for senior citizens and students are available.
Tickets are generally available at box office locations in the Weis Center lobby, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Bucknell Bookstore, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be charged at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice; by calling 570-577-1000; or at the door one hour prior to each performance.
Contact: Division of Communications