Mathieu Dufour, principal flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, opens the 2013-14 Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts season on Sept. 8 with collaborative pianist Tracy Cowden in a 3 p.m. recital, followed at 7 p.m. by a flute masterclass.

Both will be held in the Squires Student Center Recital Salon at 290 College Ave. on the campus of Virginia Tech. The recital is presented in cooperation with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and its partner Safran U.S.A.

The program will include J.S. Bach's Partita for Solo Flute and Sonata in E Major; Suite by Widor; “La Flute de Pan” by Jules Mouquet; Sonatine by  Henri Dutilleux, Gabriel Faure’s Fantasy for Flute, and Oliver Messiaen’s “Le Merle Noir.”

Dufour frequently appears as soloist in recitals and concerts around the world. He made his Carnegie Hall and Lucerne Festival debuts as soloist with the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim in 2002, and has performed under conductors Pierre Boulez and Christoph Eschenbach, among others. 

He is in demand as a coach and teacher and has led master classes in Canada, Japan, Europe, and the United States. As a member of the Georges Cziffra and Juventus foundations, Dufour gave many recitals and concerts as part of their Young European Soloists Ensemble.

Cowden, a faculty member in the School of Performing Arts, has appeared as soloist with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Southwest Virginia, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, and the Virginia Tech Symphonic Wind Ensemble. As a collaborative pianist, she frequently performs with a diverse array of soloists and chamber ensembles. 

In addition to her work as a performer, Cowden was recently honored for teaching excellence in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and plays an active role with the Virginia Music Teachers Association.

The recital is the first in a series of nine visiting artist recitals which include the Kandinsky Trio (Sept. 22), Escape Ten percussion duo (Oct. 7), Jeff Nelsen, horn (Oct. 21), Javier Vinasco, clarinet (Nov. 4), Jennifer Aylmer, soprano (Nov 18), Emmanuelle Bertrand, cello and Pascal Amoyel, piano (Dec. 10), Nicholas Ross, piano (Jan. 27), and Dennis Mackrel with the Jazz Ensembles (April 29).

Tickets for the recital are $15 general, $10 senior, and $5 student; the masterclass is free of charge for the general public. Tickets may be purchased at the Student Centers and Activities Ticket Office on the first floor of Squires Student Center, online, or by calling 540-231-5615. Tickets will also be available at the box office beginning one hour prior to the performance. Discounted seats are available with the purchase of 5 or more tickets to any combination of performances in the School of Performing Arts 2013-14 season. The season includes the Visiting Artist Series, Ensemble Performance Series, and Mainstage Theatre productions.

Free parking is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Streets, in the Architecture Annex Lot on Otey Street, and the Perry Street/Prices Fork lots. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Alternative parking is available in the Kent Squire parking garage and the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information can be found online.

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