Internationally known violinist James Ehnes will perform in concert with pianist Andrew Armstrong for the American Suzuki Institute’s Jubilee concert, available online Saturday, July 24. The institute will also offer free, live public concerts July 26-30. (Contributed)

American Suzuki Institute celebrates 50 years with virtual, live performances

Metro Wire Staff

The American Suzuki Institute will celebrate its 50th anniversary this month with live and virtual performances as part of its Jubilee Celebration.

Sponsored by the Aber Suzuki Center at UW-Stevens Point, the two-week institute will be held online July 18-23 and in-person July 25-31.

A virtual Jubilee Celebration concert will be held at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, July 24, featuring internationally known guest artists, violinist James Ehnes and pianist Andrew Armstrong. Join this virtual performance and a Q and A session by registering at https://forms.gle/XTUhVxUEneXobJaR6.

Ehnes has performed with orchestras in major American cities and across the world. Recently he performed with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the San Francisco Symphony, and the London Symphony. He is an artist in residence with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He and Armstrong, an internationally known pianist, are touring together to perform Beethoven’s violin sonatas.

Live performances will be held during the second week at Michelsen Hall in the Noel Fine Arts Center, 1800 Portage St., Stevens Point. The following concerts are free and open to the public:

  • Monday, July 26, 7 p.m., Guest Artist Concert, Discipulus String Quartet
  • Tuesday, July 27, 4 p.m., ASI Honors Recital; 7 p.m., ASI Faculty Recital
  • Thursday, July 29, 4 p.m., ASI Honors Recital; 7 p.m., Chamber Music Ensemble Concert
  • Friday, July 30, 7 p.m., Chamber Orchestra Concert

Debuting in 1971, the American Suzuki Institute was the first of its kind outside of Japan. When Margery Aber brought together faculty to teach children from all over the U.S., she set the precedent. This is the first Suzuki institute to mark 50 years, said ASC Director Ann Marie Novak.

“The fact that we are here celebrating 50 years of joy in educating children from all over the world, and the fact that at least 50 other institutes have sprung up over the decades, speaks volumes about Miss Aber’s vision and the quality of her work,” said Novak.

To mark this milestone, an art piece, the “ASI Tree of Life,” has been commissioned as an online creation this year and a permanent canvas for 2022 and future institutes. The tree will feature Aber and original faculty as the roots and trunk; ASI faculty as the branches; and families, supporters, and friends as the leaves. Donations to this project can be made at https://secure.payconex.net/paymentpage/enhanced/index.php?action=view&aid=120615467164&gid=000000137681&id=81244Donors will be featured on the leaves.

ASI annually draws more than 1,000 people to Stevens Point, with families and teachers from 35 states and 12 different countries.