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Favorites David Finckel and Wu Han back for 19th Chamber Series concert

Posted on Oct 29, 2010

David Finckel, cello, and Wu Han, piano, return for their 16th Concert Series performance Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008 with special guest Da-Hong Seetoo, violin. (Photo courtesy of David Rowe Artists)

Dubbed “rock stars” of the chamber music world in a recent New York Times article, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han are among the most lauded and influential classical musicians performing today. On Friday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m., this husband-and-wife duo will give their 19th Chamber Concert Series performance at Memorial Chapel.

They will present J.S. Bach’s sonata for Viola da Gamba in G, BWV 1027; Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70; Pierre Jalbert’s (b. 1967) sonata for cello and piano; and Franck’s sonata for piano and cello in A.

Regarded as one of the top 10, if not top five, cellists in the world today, Finckel premiered with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 15 as winner of the orchestra’s junior competition. Also the inaugural winner of the New England Conservatory Piatigorsky Artist Award, he now performs in recital with Han and as cellist of the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet.

Han won all of Taiwan’s major piano competitions soon after she began studying music at age nine. She participated in the Marlboro Music Festival for several summers. She and Finckel continue to charm chamber music audiences year after year in venues around the world.

Performance highlights include their debut at Finland’s Kuhmo Festival, their show in Tokyo of the complete Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano, and their all-Russian program at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Artistic directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004, Finckel and Han have recently agreed to continue in that role for an additional five years. They also founded and serve as artistic directors of Music@Menlo, an internationally renowned Silicon Valley chamber music festival and institute.

Concert tickets are free to the Union College community. For tickets and information, call 388-6080 or visit http://www.union.edu/ConcertSeries.

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Ainlay honored for diversity leadership

Posted on Oct 28, 2010

President Stephen Ainlay, uploaded 2010

President Stephen C. Ainlay is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award from the regional Leadership Council on Inclusion.

The award, presented at the group’s annual reception Wednesday, Oct. 27 at Skidmore College, is given to individuals that have exhibited exceptional leadership and commitment to diversity and multiculturalism by creating and designing programs or services to improve initiatives targeting multiculturalism and inclusion.

“On behalf of the members of the Leadership Council on Inclusion, I am delighted to recognize President Stephen Ainlay as this year’s recipient of the President Award,” said Betty Shadrick, the council’s co-chair. “His longstanding contributions to diversity and multiculturalism more than meet and exceed the selection criteria for this award.”

Since becoming president in 2006, Ainlay has created two new staff positions dedicated to diversity and multiculturalism, a senior-level strategic position and a student-oriented multicultural affairs position. He has supported multi-faith life on campus by expanding the Interfaith Chaplaincy and providing space and resources for a multi-faith mediation and worship room. Also, the percentage of students of color and international students at Union has risen under his leadership, including an all-time high of 25 percent for last year’s class.

During the College’s celebration of Founders Day earlier this year, Ainlay urged the campus community to embrace greater diversity on campus. “Diversity of all sorts – racial, ethnic, geographic, religious, economic, sexual orientation, among many others – enriches our individual lives and our collective experience,” he told an audience gathered in Memorial Chapel to commemorate the 215th anniversary of the granting of the College’s charter by the state.

The Leadership Council on Inclusion was formed in 2007 under the sponsorship of Excelsior College to promote a positive transformation of organizations through the advocacy of diversity and multiculturalism as a mainstream aspect of society. Initially comprised of the chief diversity officers at higher education institutions in the Albany region, it also includes representatives from business, government and the legal profession.

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Jazz/pop vocalist slated for Emerson Friday

Posted on Oct 28, 2010

Georgia Jones

Jazz/pop vocalist Georgia Jones will present “Motown and Beyond” on Friday, Oct. 29, 1:50-2:55 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium in the Taylor Music Center. It is the second of two fall concerts scheduled in conjunction with associate professor Tim Olsen’s “Music of Black America” course.

Jones is a versatile singer whose repertoire spans everything from jazz and rhythm and blues to contemporary dance club sounds. She appears on albums by such diverse musicians as John Mellencamp, L.L. Cool J, Cyndi Lauper and Cissy Houston. She currently works with the Albany-based band City Rhythm.

Jones will be accompanied on piano by Olsen. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Olsen at ext. 6563; olsent@union.edu.

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Author Rebecca Walker speaks this evening

Posted on Oct 28, 2010

Rebecca Walker

Noted author, journalist and feminist Rebecca Walker – named one of the 50 most influential leaders of her generation by Time magazine – speaks this evening at the Nott Memorial at 6 p.m. She will discuss “The End of Feminism: Why Feminism as We Know it Must Transform.”

The talk, part of the Presidential Forum on Diversity series, is one of several programs focusing on women and their unique contributions to society during the College’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of co-education at Union.

Walker is the author of the best-selling memoir “Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self,” and she has written extensively on race, gender politics and the changing face of contemporary American feminism. Her mother, Alice, is the acclaimed African-American author who won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for “The Color Purple.” The two became estranged following the publication of the younger Walker’s memoir and their differing views of feminism, among other issues.

Rebecca Walker’s second memoir, “Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood after a Lifetime of Ambivalence,” chronicles the arrival of her son, Tenzin, in December 2004. Her anthology, “To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism,” has become a staple of women’s studies programs.

Walker’s talk is free and open to the public.

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People in the news

Posted on Oct 28, 2010

Robert Hislope, associate professor of political science, presented a paper at an invitation-only conference on Macedonia held at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. The title of the conference was “Macedonia Matters: Conflict, Coexistence and Euro-Atlantic Integration in the Southern Balkans.” Macedonian leaders who attended included Ljubomir Frckovski, former minister of Interior and coauthor of Macedonia's constitution, and former Foreign Minister Denko Maleski. Hislope's paper was titled “Neighborhood Bully: Greek Obstructionism and Macedonian Self-Identity.”

Megan Ferry, associate professor of Chinese and Asian studies, presented a paper at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University earlier this month. The conference, “Subway Culture and Advertising Culture,” was sponsored by the Institute's Transnational China Project. Ferry’s talk was titled "Media and Market: China-Latin American Relations from a Communications Perspective." The conference webcast can be found here.

Angela McLelland ’11 was awarded a competitive NASA New York Space Grant scholarship to intern at Kennedy Space Center. Here she is in the cockpit of Atlantis.

Angela McLelland ’11 recently was awarded a competitive NASA New York Space Grant scholarship to intern at Kennedy Space Center. A mechanical engineering major and member of the CT Scholars program, she worked with Boeing on two ground support equipment projects: physical walk-downs of ammonia processing systems and drafting work and 3D modeling for NASA’s Constellation program. Constellation seeks to create a new generation of spacecraft for human spaceflight, capable of performing a variety of missions from International Space Station resupply to lunar landings. McLelland is currently working on her senior thesis with the Society of Automotive Engineering aero group, designing a plane with a 10-foot wingspan for entry in the SAE heavy lift competition. The space grant internships are awarded to students at New York Space Grant affiliated schools. This is the second year a Union student has been funded by the program. Last year, electrical engineering major David Brown ’10 interned with Lockheed Martin in Owego, N.Y.

Courtney Steiner ’12, an accomplished horseback rider who co-founded Union’s first equestrian club last spring, is profiled in the October issue of Plaid Horse Magazine, a national magazine that targets the hunter/jumper industry. The two-page spread features information about Steiner’s background, riding routine and College involvement, as well as reasons why she chose Union. To read the article, click here. 

Bradley Hays, assistant professor of political science, will be featured in an upcoming segment of the “Academic Minute” on WAMC, Northeast Public Radio. Hays is scheduled to read on Tuesday, Nov. 2 (Election Day). His topic will address why we vote on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in congressional elections. “Academic Minute” is a new program airing weekdays at 7:37 a.m. and 3:56 p.m. on 90.3 FM. The program “features professors from top institutions around the country, delving into topics from the serious to the light-hearted, keeping listeners abreast of what’s new and exciting in the academy,” according to WAMC’s website. WAMC serves New York and parts of six other northeastern states.

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