WMU News

Famed violist Michael Kugel gives benefit concert

Feb. 5, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Famed violist Michael Kugel will give a free charity concert to aid relief efforts for the Sept. 11 tragedy in New York. Sponsored by the WMU School of Music, the concert begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, in Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Donations collected during the concert will be given to the Twin Towers Fund, a relief organization established by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to coordinate support for the families of New York City firefighters, police and other emergency personnel, who lost their lives or were injured as a result of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Kugel will be accompanied by accomplished pianist Mireille Gleizes, who studied at the Royal Conservatory of Gent, in Belgium, and continued her studies at the Royal Conservatories of Brussels and Mons, and finally at the State Conservatory of Minsk.

In addition to his concert, Kugel also will teach two master classes on Tuesday, Feb. 12, beginning at noon, and on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 2 p.m. Both master classes will be held in Dalton Lecture Hall.

Michael Kugel was born in what was then the Soviet Union. He studied viola and violin at the Beethoven School of Music, the Music College (Conservatory) in Kharkov, and with Juri Kramarov at the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Conservatory. He has studied conducting with Nikolai Rabinovich and Konstantin Simeonor, and he also has produced several impressive compositions.

Some of Kugel's viola works include a Sonata, a Suite in memory of Shostakovich, a solo Poeme, and a piece in memory of Kramarov.

Kugel is known internationally as one of the great viola players of this era. In 1975 he won First Prize at the International Viola Competition. He has performed as a soloist with many orchestras including the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others.

He has played as a member of the Beethoven Quartet and served as a professor at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He has given several distinguished solo concerts, including performances at International Viola Congresses, at Carnegie Hall, New York; and in Vienna, Austria; Osaka, Japan; and London, England.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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