Activist John Dear To Speak on “The Road to Peace” March 14

February 27, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Fr. John Dear, a Jesuit priest and peace activist, will speak on “The Road to Peace: Walking the Way of Gospel Nonviolence” on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. Fr. Dear’s talk will be free and open to the public.

Fr. John Dear has written 17 books on peace and justice, most recently Living Peace (2001) and Jesus the Rebel (2000.) He has served as the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an interfaith antiwar organization, and worked with the homeless in New York City, where he lives, and in Richmond, Virginia. Fr. Dear, a graduate of Duke University, taught theology at Fordham University and has also edited books by or about Henri Nouwen, Daniel Berrigan and Nobel Laureate Mairead Corrigan.

His work in shelters, soup kitchens and community centers has taken Fr. Dear around the world, to Iraq, El Salvador, Guatemala and Northern Ireland. A disarmament protest earned Fr. Dear nearly a year in prison. After his arrest for attempting to beat a F15-E fighter-bomber into a plowshare at a North Carolina air base, the Raleigh News & Observer opined “The criminal justice system has plenty of genuinely bad guys to worry about. Let it concentrate on those who inflict real damage on the world, not on those who are trying to save it.” Fr. Dear has been arrested more than 75 times for acts of civil disobedience.

Fr. Dear’s talk is sponsored by the Amherst College Newman Club and Community Outreach Program, and Pax Christi of Amherst, Mass.

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Pianist Robert Levin Presents Music at Amherst March 13

February 23, 2001
Concert Manager
413/542-2195

AMHERST, Mass.—Pianist Robert Levin will present the next concert in the 2000-01 Music at Amherst Series on Tuesday, March 13, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. Levin’s program will include the Schubert piano sonata in D major, D. 850, Op. 53; 29 Fireflies, Book 4 of Thomas Oboe Lee; and Franck’s Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue.

Robert Levin has been heard throughout the world on piano and fortepiano, with the orchestras of Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal and Vienna with conductors including Bernard Haitink, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Simon Rattle and Joseph Silverstein, and with the Academy of Ancient Music, the London Classical Players and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, with Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan, Sir Roger Norrington and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. He has performed frequently at such festivals as Sarasota, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Bremen, Lockenhaus and the Mozartwoche in Salzburg. As a chamber musician, he has performed for many years with violist Kim Kashkashian and the New York Philomusica.

The New York Times wrote of a Levin performance, “It is hard to imagine a more satisfying evening... a recital of high intelligence and strong emotions—one of those rare occasions when knowing about music, and feeling it, become interchangeable processes... heart and mind functioned as a single unit.”

In addition to his playing, Levin is a theorist and scholar and has written a number of articles and essays on Mozart. Robert Levin studied piano with Louis Martin and composition with Stefan Wolpe in New York. He worked with Nadia Boulanger in Paris before attending Harvard. Since graduating, he has taught at the Curtis Institute of Music, the School of the Arts, SUNY Purchase, the Conservatoire americain in France, and the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik in Germany. He is now the Dwight P. Robinson, Jr. Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University.

Admission to the concert is $18, senior citizens $15, and students $5. Tickets may be reserved by calling 413/542-2195 on weekday mornings. The Amherst College Concert Office has a Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~concerts/.

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Poet Forrest Gander To Give Public Reading March 12

February 23, 2001
Concert Manager
413/542-2195

AMHERST, Mass—The Amherst College Creative Writing Center will present a reading by Forrest Gander on Monday, March 12, at 8 p.m. in Porter Lounge in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The event is free and open to the public.

Forrest Gander was born in Barstow, in the Mojave Desert, in 1956. The editor of Mouth to Mouth (Milkweed Editions) a bilingual anthology of contemporary Mexican poets, he is the author of four books, the most recent of which is Science & Steepleflower from New Directions. His other titles include Rush to the Lake (Alice James Books), Lynchburg (University of Pittsburgh Press) and Deeds of Utmost Kindness (Wesleyan University Press). He is the recipient of two Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative North American Writing and a Whiting Award for Writers. His critical essays appear in The Nation, The Boston Review and The Providence Journal, among other places. Together with C.D. Wright, he co-edits the literary book press Lost Roads Publishers and keeps a small orchard outside Providence. He teaches at Harvard University.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. Future events in the 2000-01 series include a reading by Agha Shahid Ali and a celebration of the work of James Merrill. See the Center’s Website, http://www.amherst.edu/~cwc, for more information.

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Hot New Band “Klezperanto” at Frontroom March 10

February 19, 2001
Concert Manager
413/542-2195

AMHERST, Mass.—Klezperanto, a hot new world beat dance band from Boston, will host a party at the Campus Center Frontroom at Amherst College at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. The event is free and the public is invited.

Klezperanto has solid roots in the klezmer tradition, a lively folk dance music that grew in the Yiddish communities of Eastern Europe, and combines technical virtuosity with a wry sense of humor. But as the Boston Globe has noted, Klezperanto is “not your zayde’s klezmer. Clarinetist Ilene Stahl heads up this whirlwind of a band, which turns Klezmer, zydeco, rockabilly and various other ethnic sounds into a dance mix so potent it should carry a warning label.”

Klezperanto joins Mediterranean melodies in original arrangements that dip into zydeco, rockabilly, funk, New Orleans second-line, cumbia, Balkan brass band surf music and whatever else the band is into on a given night. According to Stahl, a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, “the unifying idea is that of an irresistible dance groove. If music is a universal language, then dance music is even more so, because the urge to move to a beat is so primal.”

The name Klezperanto plays with this universal ideal. It evokes memories of Yiddish, which combined Hebrew, Slavic and German elements into a lingua franca for Jews in the Diaspora. Dr. Ludwig Zamenhoff, a Yiddish-speaking Jew from Bialystok, further expanded this idea with the invention of Esperanto, a pan-European language that he hoped would bring understanding between people spanning national boundaries and cultural distinctions. “Klezperanto is a new universal language,” Stahl says, ‘the one you speak with your feet.”

Klezperanto, featured on NPR’s “The Connection with Christopher Lydon” and “The World,” returns to Western Massachusetts after an electrifying performance at Mass MoCA last August. The band has a Website with audio clips at http://www.klezperanto.com.The Klezperanto party is sponsored by the Amherst College Program Board and Music Department and Hillel of Amherst and Smith Colleges.

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Piano and Violin Recital March 8

February 19, 2001
Concert Manager
413/542-2195

AMHERST, Mass.—Dana Gooley, the Valentine Professor of Music at Amherst College, and Meesun Hong, a student in violin performance at the Juilliard School, will perform a program of works for piano and violin by Prokofiev, Mozart, Ravel and Schumann, on Thursday, March 8, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College.

The program will include Schumann’s Sonata in a-minor for violin and piano, op.105, Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat, K.454, Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante defunte and Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano, op. 80.

Dana Gooley studied piano at New England Conservatory with Leonard Shure and Jacob Maxin, and earned a doctorate in musicology at Princeton University. He performs often in Berlin as a jazz pianist and vocal accompanist.

Meesun Hong is a second year master’s degree student in violin performance at the Juilliard School of Music, under the tutelage of Ronald Copes. She is a graduate of Princeton University and has performed extensively as a soloist all over Europe as well as the United States. Hong has worked with such renowned musicians as Robert Mann, Donald Weilerstein, Felix Galimir, Isadore Cohen, Steve Mackey and Dorothy Delay.

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Mead Art Museum Reopens with Exhibit by Noted Photographer Emmet Gowin

February 16, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-4817

AMHERST, Mass. The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, reopening March 3 following an 18-month facility renovation, will inaugurate its new gallery space with a retrospective of noted landscape photographer Emmet Gowin from March 2 through April 22. The artist will give a public talk on Friday, March 2, at 4:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium, with an artist's reception at 8:30 p.m. in the Mead Art Museum. Admission to both events is free.

Since the mid-1960s, Emmet Gowin has concentrated on two separate but related subjects: physical changes to the human form and human alteration to the earth's topography. His luminous black and white photographs, whether of intimate family encounters or infinite aerial vistas of the Earth -- celebrate the mysteries of the natural world, of human existence and of creation.

Inspired by such diverse photographers as Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Frederick Sommer and Walker Evans, Gowin approaches his subjects with a reverence for their actuality and a concern that the fixed set of relationships reflect both its parts and our own feelings. Edith Gowin has long served as the primary model and muse for her husband's work, and he considers his images of her among his most important work. The portraits of her, spanning some 30 years, resonate with joy, humor and love born of emotional and physical intimacy as well as collaboration. Imbued with playfulness, honesty and dignity, these portraits detail the nuances of the aging process and the deepening strength of their marital and intellectual relationship.

Gowin's landscape work is an outgrowth of his domestic concerns. To him, landscapes "are our setting, our world, and our experience of a future we will not live to see. They carry our sentiments towards a future that only our children's children will be able to verify." Gowin's aerial photographs of the American West, dating from the mid '80s through the '90s, convey the abstract beauty of natural land forms marked by the disquieting scars of human activity. A 1980 project documenting the eruption of Mount Saint Helens from the air, prompted Gowin to shift his attention from natural cataclysms to manmade changes. He first saw the nuclear landscape flying over the abandoned city of Old Hanford on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington, where the first reactors had been built to make plutonium for the atomic bomb. Since then, he has produced aerial photographs of the "Nuclear Heartland" in Arizona and Nevada.

Viewed from above, irrigation systems, nuclear test sites and waste dumps appear as elegant lines and textures in these subtly toned prints. The inherent duality in these images relates to Gowin's philosophy of photography and vision: "Photography is such an important instrument in the education of our feelings and perception because of its duality. Photography represents the world we know, and suggests a world beyond what we can see. Creativity is the gap between perception and knowledge."

As part of The Mead Art Museum's re-opening season, another new show, "The World Opened Wide: 20th-Century Russian Women Artists" will be on display from March 3 until May 31. This show is the first to draw on the Thomas P. Whitney '37 Collection of Russian Art, a recent donation to Amherst of works created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by artists in Russia and in exile.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission and parking are free. For information call: 413/542-2335 or consult the Website http://www.amherst.edu/~mead. The Gowin exhibition and his lecture are sponsored in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony With Amherst College Orchestra and Chorus March 4

February 15, 2001
Concert Manager
413/542-2195

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Choral Society, directed by Mallorie Chernin, and the Amherst College Orchestra, conducted by Lanfranco Marcelletti, will perform the Symphony No. 9 of Beethoven on Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public. No reservations can be accepted and early arrival is recommended.

The Amherst College Choral Society numbers approximately 130 singers, performing a variety of choral works ranging from medieval madrigals to modern music. Mallorie Chernin has directed the choir since 1986.

The Amherst College Orchestra is made up of about 50 Amherst students, as well as students from neighboring colleges and community members. In addition to his conducting duties at Amherst, Lanfranco Marcelletti is the principal conductor of the Franciscan Chamber Orchestra in Albany, New York.

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Goldsby Receives National Science Foundation Grant

February 15, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— The National Science Foundation recently announced a grant to Richard A. Goldsby, professor of biology and John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer at Amherst College. Goldsby will receive an estimated grant of $104,787 for continued work on a project called “Early Guest Ig Expression and Diversity in Cloned Transgenic Cattle.” This study should help determine if cows carrying human genes, specifically immonoglobulin (Ig) genes, can produce antibodies that will work in people.

Combined with an earlier NSF grant, Goldsby will receive a total of $204,102. This project will also contribute to the education and training of undergraduate students who will participate in this research at Amherst College.

The National Science Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest more than $3 billion a year in almost 20,000 research and education projects. Amherst College is currently using some $2 million in such grants.

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Mead Art Museum Reopens with Exhibit by Noted Photographer Emmet Gowin

February 15, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, reopening March 3 following an 18-month facility renovation, will inaugurate its new gallery space with a retrospective of noted landscape photographer Emmet Gowin from March 2 through April 22. The artist will give a public talk on Friday, March 2, at 4:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium, with an artist’s reception at 8:30 p.m. in the Mead Art Museum. Admission to both events is free.

Since the mid-1960s, Emmet Gowin has concentrated on two separate but related subjects: physical changes to the human form and human alteration to the earth’s topography. His luminous black and white photographs, whether of intimate family encounters or infinite aerial vistas of the Earth -- celebrate the mysteries of the natural world, of human existence and of creation.

Inspired by such diverse photographers as Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Frederick Sommer and Walker Evans, Gowin approaches his subjects with a reverence for their actuality and a concern that the fixed set of relationships reflect both its parts and our own feelings. Edith Gowin has long served as the primary model and muse for her husband’s work, and he considers his images of her among his most important work. The portraits of her, spanning some 30 years, resonate with joy, humor and love born of emotional and physical intimacy as well as collaboration. Imbued with playfulness, honesty and dignity, these portraits detail the nuances of the aging process and the deepening strength of their marital and intellectual relationship.

Gowin’s landscape work is an outgrowth of his domestic concerns. To him, landscapes “are our setting, our world, and our experience of a future we will not live to see. They carry our sentiments towards a future that only our children’s children will be able to verify.” Gowin's aerial photographs of the American West, dating from the mid ’80s through the ’90s, convey the abstract beauty of natural land forms marked by the disquieting scars of human activity. A 1980 project documenting the eruption of Mount Saint Helens from the air, prompted Gowin to shift his attention from natural cataclysms to manmade changes. He first saw the nuclear landscape flying over the abandoned city of Old Hanford on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington, where the first reactors had been built to make plutonium for the atomic bomb. Since then, he has produced aerial photographs of the “Nuclear Heartland” in Arizona and Nevada.

Viewed from above, irrigation systems, nuclear test sites and waste dumps appear as elegant lines and textures in these subtly toned prints. The inherent duality in these images relates to Gowin’s philosophy of photography and vision: “Photography is such an important instrument in the education of our feelings and perception because of its duality. Photography represents the world we know, and suggests a world beyond what we can see. Creativity is the gap between perception and knowledge.”

As part of The Mead Art Museum’s re-opening season, another new show, "The World Opened Wide: 20th-Century Russian Women Artists" will be on display from March 3 until May 31. This show is the first to draw on the Thomas P. Whitney ‘37 Collection of Russian Art, a recent donation to Amherst of works created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by artists in Russia and in exile.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission and parking are free. For information call: 413/542-2335 or consult the Website http://www.amherst.edu/~mead. The Gowin exhibition and his lecture are sponsored in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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Shobha Vasudevan To Perform Vocal Music of South India

February 15, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Shobha Vasudevan, a Copeland Fellow in the Music Department at Amherst College, will perform vocal music of south India, accompanied by K. V. S. Vinay playing violin and David Nelson on mrdangam, a double-headed Indian drum, on Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public.

Shobha Vasudevan began her study of Carnatic music at age five. The Carnatic style, one of the world’s oldest and richest musical traditions, was developed in southern India in the 13th century. The basic form is a monophonic song with improvised variations.

When Vasudevan was ten years old she began performing and won many awards, most notably at the Music Academy in Madras. She earned a master of arts in music at the University of Madras, and has also studied at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. She has performed in many prestigious Sabhas, or music organizations, in Madras.

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