Luther Philharmonia to perform concert April 14

 April 5, 2012

The Luther College Philharmonia will perform a spring concert on Saturday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall on the Luther campus.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Philharmonia, the ensemble will perform the "New World Symphony" by Antonin Dvorak, "Egmont Overture" by Beethoven, and "Ah, Perfido!, Op. 65" by Beethoven. 

Founded in the 2001-02 academic year, Philharmonia has grown in membership from an ensemble of 15 string players to a symphonic orchestra of approximately 70 members.

Formerly known as String Orchestra, the group has served the ensemble needs of Luther students and sometimes features the top Decorah High School string and wind players.

Philharmonia is conducted by Spencer Martin, Luther associate professor of music.  He has performed and taught at music festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, Israel and Europe as both violist and conductor. An active chamber and orchestral musician, he has appeared as guest violist with the Pro Arte String Quartet and the Amelia Piano Trio.

He has served as principal violist in the Tuscaloosa Symphony, and also frequently performed in the viola sections of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

Martin holds the bachelor of music degree, cum laude, from Butler University, the master of music degree from Wichita State University, and the doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Minnesota.

Karen Kanakis, Luther associate professor of music, will join the ensemble for "Ah, Perfido! Op. 65." Kanakis, a soprano who made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Weill Recital Hall, performs extensively overseas and in the United States. She has appeared with the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Utah Festival Opera Company and numerous symphony organizations. 

She holds degrees from Missouri State University, Stephen F. Austin State University and the University of North Texas. A Rotary International Graduate Scholar, she studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Westfalen-Lippe in Germany.