Monday, July 19, 2021

Ella Ensemble Performs for Flowers Farewell

A special chamber recital celebrating the tenure of Dean Patricia J. Flowers was held on June 11 in Opperman Music Hall. The eagerly-awaited celebratory event was a year overdue, postponed from the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ella Ensemble, winners of the 2020 Carnegie Hall Competition who were unable to travel to and perform in Carnegie Hall in May of 2020 or in May of 2021 due to the pandemic, performed the special music honoring Dean Flowers. 

The all-FSU cast of composers and performers for the program featured Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Pas de Trois for Violin, Cello and Piano, Canonic Offerings by Clifton CallenderErnst von Dohnányi's Piano Quintet in C Minor, and the world premieres of Mosaicism by Eunseon Yu and Spread. Flowers. by Liliya Ugay. The Ella Ensemble, comprised of College of Music students from around the globe, includes violinist Nina Kim-Mulla (Kamchatka, Russia); violinist Pedro Maia (Brazil); violist Albert Magcalas (the Philippines); cellist Vincent Leung (Hong Kong, China); and pianist Christina Lai (Plantation, FL). 

Video of the performance is available here.

Professor and Director of Opera Activities Douglas Fisher welcomed the audience, University Musical Associates Chairperson Donna Callaway made a special gift presentation, and current Dean Todd Queen gave closing remarks. 

The gift presented to Dean Flowers was a piece of art with an inscribed image based on the striking stained-glass window representing the College of Music in the FSU Heritage Museum. Dean Flowers was instrumental in the design of that project. The window image itself is based on a stone relief that was embedded in the north-facing gable end of the Kuersteiner Music Building in 1948. Today the stone relief can be seen above the breezeway connecting the two music buildings. The material used to craft the presentation piece is oak flooring that was salvaged from the stage of Opperman Music Hall in 2016. Some of the flooring dates back to a stage extension that was added in 1989, but most of the flooring was original to the stage when the building opened in 1948. 

The combination of an image from the Kuersteiner Music Building and material from Opperman Music Hall makes this beautiful creation by the FSU Master Craftsman Studio a fitting gift for a dean who has done so much for the College of Music. The evening concluded with a dessert reception and champagne toast outside of Opperman Music Hall in the Callaway Courtyard.