Ioana and Friends: Melding cultures, universities

Jan 7, 2013

Heidelberg University violin instructor Ioana Galu has performed individually with all of the musicians who will be on stage for her Ioana and Friends concert in January. But never has the group of past and present professors and students of hers been on the same concert program.

That’s why Ioana and Friends will be such a special celebration for her. Galu received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Bowling Green State University and is an adjunct violin instructor at both BGSU and Heidelberg. “Both universities are connected in my heart,” said the native of Romania. “[The artists and I] have played numerous recitals but not together. … For me, this is a blessing.”

Scheduled to perform with Galu are BGSU faculty members Julie Buzzelli (harp), Kevin Bylsma (piano) and Penny Kruse (violin) and Heidelberg faculty members Barb Specht (clarinet) and Steve Kruse (viola). Bylsma and Penny and Steve Kruse have accompanied Galu to her hometown of Bistrita, Romania, to perform with her as part of her annual chamber music festival there.

Also performing will be Iuliana Cotirlea, a former student of Ioana’s in Romania, and the Eastern String Quartet of Galu, Cotirlea, Kyla Witt and Jason Heidelberg. Rounding out the cast will be the Heidelberg Jazz Combo, comprised of students Kyle Sherepita, Collin Stump, Melissa Flowers, Kyle McDonald, Mike Lee, Lucas Walter and Mackenzie Honaker.

“This concert is so special in my heart I can’t stop thinking about it,” Galu said. “I think it’s going to be awesome.”

Among the works to be performed will be two by contemporary composers Atar Arad (Toccatina a la Turk for two violins) and Paolo Marques (Voice of Silence for solo violin).

Ioana and Friends will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, in Ohl Concert Hall. It will be dedicated to the Friends of Heidelberg Music. The concert is free and open to the public.