Faculty Artist Series: Igor Kalnin with Rochelle Sennet

Igor Kalnin, Luther College visiting professor of music, will be joined by guest pianist Rochelle Sennet to perform as Duo MemDi at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 5. Part of Luther's Faculty Artist Series, the recital will be held in the Noble Recital Hall of the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music and is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Kalnin and Sennet will perform Introduction and Rondo-Capriccioso in A minor, Opus 28 by Camille Saint-Saëns, Two Miniatures for Violin and Piano by Jeffrey Mumford, Caprice for Solo Violin in A minor, Opus 1, No. 24 by Niccolò Paganini and Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major by César Frank.

The duo performs all repertoire by memory, as they believe that it allows them to connect with composers' ideas in a more profound and insightful way. They understand it as internalization and re-composing of the structural, harmonic and melodic elements of a particular work.

Another focus of the duo is to increase diversity and inclusion in the world of classical music, and they have worked with living composers from various backgrounds. These two fundamental ideas created the name of the duo: Mem[ory] and Di[versity]- MemDi.

Violinist Igor Kalnin and pianist Rochelle Sennet founded Duo MemDi in the summer of 2010, when they served on the faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan.

The duo has performed in Europe, Asia and across the United States, including an appearance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York. Their most recent international trip was to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where they performed Mendelssohn's Double Concerto for Violin and Piano with Chamber Orchestra Turkistan, gave a recital with works of Maurice Ravel, Jeffrey Mumford, and Béla Bartók, and conducted master classes at Uzbekistan State Conservatory.

Kalnin has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestra leader.

A native of Russia, he started his professional music career as a faculty member at Glinka State Conservatory in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and later joined Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in Moscow.

After relocating to the United States in 2004, he served as violin instructor at Yale University and a leader for several orchestras on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

In addition to his duties as visting assistant professor of violin at Luther, he serves as Concertmaster of Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Illinois. During the summer season, he teaches at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan, where he also serves as Concertmaster of Blue Lake Festival and Opera Orchestras.

He is a prizewinner of a number of international and national competitions and performed as a soloist with orchestras in Europe, Asia and America.

As a recitalist and chamber musician, he appeared in prestigious venues around the world, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York and Rachmaninov Hall at Moscow Conservatory in Russia. Throughout his career, Kalnin has been passionate about teaching students of all ages. His college and pre-college students have won regional, state and international competitions, and have been accepted to prestigious music programs. As a clinician, he has given masterclasses at universitites, conservatories, music centers, and public schools throughout the United States and internationally.

Sennet has established herself as a well-known performer, teacher and scholar. Her recital programs showcase her versatility at the keyboard, with frequent performances of works by Bach, Beethoven and African American composers such as H. Leslie Adams, Jeffrey Mumford, James Lee III and Pulitzer-Prize winning composer George Walker.

She received the Bachelor of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Master of Music from University of Michigan, Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University and the Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Illinois.

She was co-winner for the Krannert Center Debut Artist Competition, national finalist at the MTNA Steinway & Sons Young Artist piano competition, San Antonio Tuesday Musical Club Piano Competition and the US Open Music Piano Concerto Competition.

She is currently associate professor of piano at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Her most recent solo CD, titled "Alkebulan's Son: The Solo Piano works of James Lee III," was released in May 2014 on Albany Records, which received rave reviews in American Record Guide.

As a scholar and educator, Sennet has present frequent guest lectures, is an advocate for outreach performances and is in demand as an adjudicator at piano competitions.

Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with six choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.