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Utah Symphony Orchestra keyboardist Hardink to perform in Jensen Hall March 29

Posted March 20, 2007

The Idaho State University Music Department will present a performance by Jason Hardink, principle keyboardist of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, of the complete set of “Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus” by Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29.

The concert will be held in the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall in the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center.

The “Contemplations” are a full concert-length tour-de-force of piano pieces that represent meditations on the infant Jesus from different viewpoints, such as God, the star, the Virgin Mary, heaven, and time, said Dr. Kori Bond, ISU associate professor of piano.

“The complete cycle is very rarely heard in concert because of the extreme difficulty and complexity of the pieces,” Bond said.

Tickets are $5 for the general public, $3 for ISU faculty and staff, $2 for pre-college students, and free for ISU students with a current Bengal Card.  Tickets may be purchased at the Stephens Center Box Office before the concert.

According to Bond, this is going to be one of the hit concerts of the season.

“Hardink is a remarkable artist who has an established reputation not only as a performer, but as a scholar of Olivier Messiaen's music,” Bond said. “He recently completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree as a student of Brian Connelly at the prestigious Rice University School of Music. His thesis, ‘Messiaen and Plainchant,’ explores the varying levels of influence that Gregorian chant exerted on the music of Olivier Messiaen.”

This season he is performing the complete “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus” (Contemplations on the Infant Jesus), by Olivier Messiaen, in cities throughout the United States. In addition to a full-time schedule performing with the Utah Symphony, Hardink performs regularly as a concerto soloist and chamber musician. Some of the prestigious venues where he performs are the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and the Cascade Head Chamber Music Festival.

For more information, contact the ISU Music Department, (208) 282-3636.