Gustavus Artist Series Season Opens Friday Posted on September 11th, 2018 by

Charles Lazarus and the Lazarus Band kick off the 2018-2019 Gustavus Artist Series Friday

The Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Music kicks off the 2018-2019 Gustavus Artist Series Friday welcoming Charles Lazarus and the Lazarus Band to the stage for an evening of jazz. The Artist Series features top professional performers from around the world in concert at Björling Recital Hall and Christ Chapel. The mission of the series is to broaden Gustavus student exposure to significant artistic scholarship and world-class performers and artists. All concerts are open to the public, and tickets can be purchased at All tickets are general admission and cost $12 for adults, $9 for seniors/Gustavus faculty and staff/non-Gustavus students, and all Gustavus students receive one free ticket with ID.

The Lazarus Band
September 14, 7:30 p.m., Jussi Björling Recital Hall

Trumpeter Charles Lazarus and his jazz band perform in Björling Recital Hall as part of the Gustavus Artist Series. Lazarus, a highly sought-after soloist and trumpet player in the Minnesota Orchestra, will present a program featuring fresh takes on classic loves songs from his latest album, Lovejoy.

Lazarus is a multi-faceted performer, composer, producer and band leader whose career has included tenures in Dallas Brass, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Canadian Brass, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras around the US and Canada, performed with the Empire Brass, New York Philharmonic Principal Brass, London Brass, Barry White, and opened for Tony Bennett. Charles has performed and taught master classes in every US state, Canada, and throughout Asia and Europe. He has created and produced several crossover orchestral shows featuring his various ensembles with which he has released four CDs and a children’s animated short film.

An Evening with the Minnesota Opera
October 12, 7:30 p.m., Jussi Björling Recital Hall

Celebrating 55 years of music making, the Minnesota Opera is a leading American company, admired as an innovative creator of compelling opera productions, programs, and new works.
Join us for an evening with a quartet of singers performing favorites from the operatic repertoire.


Sarah Leuwerke, Mezzo-soprano
November 17, 7:30 p.m., Jussi Björling Recital Hall

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Leuwerke has performed with symphony orchestras and operas around the country and brings her critically acclaimed “fresh-voiced and broadly comic” performance style to Gustavus Artist Series this fall. She will be joined by pianist Yana Avedyan and violinist Laura Burns, presenting works by Gerald Finzi, Benjamin Britten, and the Gustavus premiere of a new song cycle by Veronika Krausas, “Hopscotch Tarot”.



David Briggs, Organ
April 9, 7:30 p.m., Christ Chapel

David Briggs is an internationally renowned organist whose performances are acclaimed for their musicality, virtuosity, and ability to excite and engage audiences of all ages. With an extensive repertoire spanning five centuries, he is known across the globe for his brilliant organ transcriptions of symphonic music by composers such as Mahler, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Bruckner, Ravel, and Bach. Fascinated by the art of improvisation since a child, David also frequently performs improvisations to silent films such as Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Nosferatu, Jeanne d’Arc, Metropolis, as well as a variety of Charlie Chaplin films.

Briggs is currently working to transcribe and perform all of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies on organ. His performance will include one of these transcriptions as well as some improvisation and a pre-concert lecture.


William Chapman Nyaho, Piano
April 10, 7:30 p.m., Jussi Björling Recital Hall

William Chapman Nyaho is an active concert pianist performing as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. Appearances include soloing with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, as well as featured segments on NPR’s Performance Today.

Chapman Nyaho’s solo CD SENKU: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent, a ground-breaking compilation of music of the African Diaspora, was recently choreographed by the Tony Award winning Garth Fagan. Senku was named one of the “Best of the Year” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which called it “altogether enthralling . . . this music deserves a regular place on concert programs.” Gramophone Magazine said, “Nyaho’s gripping performances kept my ears glued to this disc . . . Let’s hope the pianist continues to explore and record more such commanding repertoire.” Dr. Maya Angelou wrote that it holds “moments of discovery so delicious that the listeners will be made to laugh out loud and to compliment not just Dr. Chapman Nyaho, but themselves at their good fortune in finding these composers and this pianist.”


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