Myra Presents: Sunday Concerts in the Galleries 2014 - 2015 Season

About the Series


“Not too long ago, audience members would storm out of the concerts if the musicians played anything new . . .”

On a lazy afternoon back in July, I put the needle down on Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. I’d never heard it from beginning to end. By the time I made it back to the couch, the first gentle, far-away notes were floating in the air. I relaxed, closed my eyes as the 1st movement gained steam. Gradually, the sunshine and warm breeze of the day disappeared, and by the middle of the 2nd movement, I was in a place I’d never been before, where musical notes were coming at me in every direction, grew shapes, moved about me like ghosts whispering little mysteries. I thought I was hallucinating until I opened my eyes to find I was back in that lazy, warm, sunny day. But everything about that day looked and felt just a little bit different. And when the needle scratched on and on after the 4th movement - the famous Ode to Joy - I knew I’d changed somehow, if only in some small way.

Music—or Art, in any form—takes us down paths we’ve never been, helps us to see worlds we’ve yet to see, and leads us to those worlds . . . if we are willing to take the trip.

Classical Music is generally defined as highly structured music entrenched in a written tradition developed in Europe between 1550 and 1900. By the way, I had to Google this definition, by no means am I a Classical Music aficionado. The fact is most people can’t explain the inner workings of Classical music. There are concertos, chamber pieces, gavottes, rococcos, movements and Klangfarbenmelodie . . . yes, even Klangfarbenmelodie. The list of terms goes on and on (I Googled classical music terms too). But everyone knows Beethoven, Ode to Joy is now a thread in humankind’s genetic fabric. Though at the time, many critics rejected the piece, calling it anywhere from vulgar, to juvenile, even insane. Who were these critics? I don’t know. They’re lost in the abyss beyond the Google search bar. Beethoven survived his critics, and today, Classical aficionados consider him one of the greatest musicians—to some he is the greatest. Beethoven was more than an innovator or a risk-taker. He created singular works that propelled music into The Future. Nobody was doing it like Beethoven before he came along, and nobody did it the same after him. He expanded the form of his medium. That’s what an Artist with a capital A does. They drag humankind from The Past, place us in The Present and point us to The Future. Why should we demand that today’s musicians do any different?

The North Dakota Museum of Art’s Concerts in the Galleries continues to expand its form, also, adding the Ragamala Dance Company and its quartet of Classical Indian Musicians, to a schedule including the fine musicians Pacifica Quartet, Narek Arutyunian, Nariaki Sugiura, Simona Barbu and Joel Fan. All of them are willing to take us somewhere we’ve never been . . . if we are willing, too.

Todd Pate, Program Development Officer
North Dakota Museum of Art

“. . . but as time went by, the audience began to appreciate the new stuff, until the new stuff became the highlight of each show.” —Laurel Reuter, Director, North Dakota Museum of Art




Tickets for the Concert Series are available by subscription, or available for single concerts at the door or in advance at the Museum.

Member tickets: $80 for the season,
$18 per concert at the door

Non-member tickets: $90 for the season,
$20 per concert at the door

Student and Military tickets: $40 for the season,
$10 per concert at the door

Children 12 and under: Free


Committed classical music lovers also contribute an additional $50 on top of their season ticket to become sponsors who share in the cost of bringing great music to the community.





Myra Foundation




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.



                                                                                                              This project is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.


General Mills Foundation


Richard and Luise Beringer
Margaret Bundlie
Madelyn Camrud
Kate Larson
Marie and Clifford Haugen, Classical Music Endowment
Jean Dean Holland Endowment
Kathy Sukalski and Tom Johnson
Leslie and Martha Klevay
Craig Miller
Laurel Reuter
Joan Smith
Kirk and Joan Smith
Devera Warcup
Bob and Barbara White
Lois Wilde
Karen Zimmer



Historical Concert Links

2012 - 2013 Season
2013 - 2014 Season




Marie Haugen and Clifford Haugen have established an endowment for classical music at the North Dakota Museum of Art with a first gift of $10,000. Devoted fans of music in its many guises, the Haugens understand that classical music is not disappearing as traditional audiences gray but going through an exciting period of great historic change. Through such a gift, they extend their own enjoyment of music to future generations.

Transformations in music are constant. For example, the pipe organ appeared in the third century BC. It was superseded in the 14th century by the clavichord and then the harpsichord, which reigned supreme in Western music until the 18th century, only to be replaced by the piano. In the latter years of the 20th century, keyboard-style synthesizers chased the piano into the shadows—everywhere except in China where a piano frenzy has swept the country. A Steinway grand piano is among the county’s highest status symbols. In 2012, 76.9 % of all pianos were made in China—and not because Made in China signifies “cheap.” Proof: an estimated 40 million Chinese children are taking piano lessons. Musical history continues to rewrite itself, a repeating cycle well understood by the Haugens who farm near Arvilla.

Museum Director Laurel Reuter thanked the Haugens profusely for beginning the drive to sustain classical music in Grand Forks County and the surrounding region. Importantly, the Museum is able to bring in top musicians from the Americas, Europe, and Asia through its series “Myra Presents” because of support from people like the Haugens and the Myra Foundation, and because Mayville State University collaborates with the Museum. Sunday winter afternoon concerts at the Museum are followed by Monday evening performances at Mayville.


Pacifica Quartet
October 5, 2014 | North Dakota Museum of Art
October 6, 2014 | Mayville State University


Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The Pacifica tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, performing regularly in the world’s major concert halls. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was also the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009 – 2012) – a position that has otherwise been held only by the Guarneri String Quartet – and received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.

Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002 the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award and the appointment to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two, and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, becoming only the second chamber ensemble so honored in the Grant’s long history. Also in 2006 the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about,” the only American quartet to make the list.

The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Bloomington, IN, where they serve as quartet-in-residence and full-time faculty members at the Jacobs School of Music.

For more information click here


Narek Arutyunian
November 16, 2014 | North Dakota Museum of Art
November 17, 2014 | Mayville State University


Clarinetist Narek Arutyunian is an artist who “reaches passionate depths with seemingly effortless technical prowess and beguiling sensitivity” (The Washington Post).  His 2014-2015 season includes engagements at the Marlboro Music Festival and Germany’s Usedomer Musikfestival; recitals at Merkin Concert Hall, the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, the Westport Arts Center, and the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts; and a chamber music concert with AGBU Performing Arts at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.  In 2015, he will appear at the Musica Viva Festival in Sydney, Australia.

In addition to performing Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet with The Boston Pops, he has appeared with the Meridian Symphony, the Albany Symphony, and the Longwood Symphony. Last season, he made his Alice Tully Hall debut, performing the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Carlos Miguel Prieto, and his Weill Recital Hall debut in a program entitled Musical Armenia. He has also performed recitals at the Morgan Library and Museum, the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, the Lied Center of Kansas, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Music for Youth and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Mr. Arutyunian’s growing career has also included numerous educational outreach programs in New York City public schools and around the country.

Mr. Arutyunian has performed extensively in Australia, Asia, and in Europe, where he appeared at the Louvre in Paris and the Palazzo del Principe in Genoa, among others.  

For more information click here


Ragamala Dance Company
January 25, 2015 | North Dakota Museum of Art
January 26, 2015 | Mayville State University


As dancemakers and performers, Ragamala Dance Company explores the dynamic tension between the ancestral and the contemporary, making dance landscapes that dwell in opposition—secular and spiritual life, inner and outer worlds, human and natural concerns, rhythm and stillness—to find the transcendence that lies in between. Each performer brings her generational experience to the work—the rich traditions, deep philosophical roots, and ancestral wisdom of India meeting and merging with the curiosity, openness, and creative freedom fostered in the United States. As protégés and senior disciples of legendary dancer and choreographer Alarmél Valli, known as one of India’s greatest living masters, Ranee and Aparna’s training in the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam is the bedrock of a creative aesthetic that prioritizes truthful emotion above all else.

Ragamala Dance Company’s work is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, MAP Fund, The McKnight Foundation, New Music/USA, USArtists International and the Japan Foundation, and has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Lincoln Center Out of Doors (New York), the Krannert Center (University of Illinois), the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Maryland), and the American Composers Forum. Ranee and Aparna were jointly named “2011 Artist of the Year” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Their upcoming work, Written in Water, has been selected for a development residency at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC).

For more information click here
Grand Forks Herald Press


Duo Cantabile
February 22, 2015 | North Dakota Museum of Art
February 23, 2015  | Mayville State University


International concert pianist Nariaki Sugiura continually gives recitals and concerto performances in U.S., Europe and Asia. His performances have been featured at the prestigious concert halls including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Daejeon Arts and Cultural Center Hall (South Korea), Manoel Theater (Malta), Kioi Hall (Tokyo), Museo de Arte (Puerto Rico) and Central Conservatory of Music Concert Hall (China). He has also performed with many other top-class musicians including Laszlo Varga (NY Philharmonic principal cellist), Csaba Onczay (Liszt Academy cello professor), Federico Agostini (I Musici principal violin), Anastasia Khitruk, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio (San Antonio Symphony concert mistress), Fabio Sampó (RAI National Symphony of Torino, Italy principal trombone), and Thomas Robertello (National Symphony Orchestra principal flute).

Simona Barbu began her musical studies at age seven, gaining public attention as a member of the leading string quartet from the Conservatory of Timisoara in her native Romania. She made her solo debut performing Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Conservatory's Symphonic Orchestra. Active throughout Europe and United States as a soloist and chamber musician, Barbu most recently appeared in Shanghai, China. Also active as an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, and served as principal cellist with both the Eroica Ensemble in Memphis, Tennessee as well as the Starkville Symphony Orchestra in Mississippi.

For more information on Nariaki Sugiura click here
For more information on Simona Barbu click here


Joel Fan
March 29, 2015 | North Dakota Museum of Art
March 30, 2015 | Mayville State University


Pianist Joel Fan is one of the most dynamic and accomplished musicians performing before the public today. He is consistently acclaimed for his recitals, recordings, and appearances with orchestras throughout the world. His concerts attract a wide range of audiences, as he has eagerly embraced traditional piano literature as well as an eclectic range of repertoire, including new music commissioned especially for him, world music, and his own transcriptions. Mr. Fan's engaging personality, technical assurance, lyricism, and sheer musicality win over audiences wherever he performs. As a recording artist, Mr. Fan scored two consecutive Billboard Top 10 Debuts with his solo CDs, World Keys and West of the Sun.

Highlights include a solo recital at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, performing Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony with Alan Gilbert performing at The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic with Yo-Yo Ma and David Zinman in Beethoven's Triple Concerto, the Bishop Lane Series at the University of Vermont, and Royal Albert Hall with London Sinfonietta, Yo-Yo Ma, David Robertson, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. He also performed in the premiere of The Forbidden by Leon Kirchner in recital and on CD (Albany Records). His World solo CD, World Keys debuted at #3 on Billboard Classical Chart.

Joel is a graduate of Harvard College and received a Masters degree from Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher.

For more information click here