Festival Series

The 2013/2014 Festival Series

Established in 1980, the Festival Series at the College of Musical Arts has become one of the oldest running performance series at BGSU and has featured some of the top artists in dance, classical music, new music and jazz. Over the last 33 years, our guests have included: Yo Yo Ma, The Vienna Choir Boys, Emmanuel Ax, The King’s Singers, Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, Terence Blanchard, P.D.Q. Bach and Branford Marsalis, among others.

Festival Series is entirely supported by the community and our generous donors. Thank you for your continued support of this time-honored tradition celebrating the Arts at BGSU!

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Improvised Shakespeare Company

Saturday, April 5, 2014
8:00 p.m. | Kobacker Hall

Experience a totally improvised play in Elizabethan style. The Improvised Shakespeare Company (ISC) creates a play based on one audience suggestion. Any hour could be filled with power struggles, star-crossed lovers, kings, queens, princesses, work-play, rhyming couplets, asides, insults and persons in disguise. The night could reveal a tragedy, comedy or history. Nothing is planned-out, rehearsed or written. Each play is entirely new!

The ISC, founded in 2005, has been performing its critically acclaimed show at the world famous iO Theater in Chicago and continues to entertain audiences around the globe. Named Chicago’s best improv group by both the Chicago Reader and Chicago Examiner, they have received a New York Nightlife Award for ‘Best Comedic Performance by a Group’ and was recently honored by the Chicago Improv Foundation as its ‘Ensemble of the Year.’

Past Events


Jeremy Denk

Saturday, February 15, 2014
8 p.m. | Kobacker Hall

Join American musician Jeremy Denk, one of today’s top pianists! As an unusual and compelling artist with a broad, thought provoking repertoire, Denk has appeared with many major orchestras including the Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, and regularly performs recitals in venues such as Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall. A Nonesuch recording artist, his 2012 release pairs masterpieces old and new. BBC’s music review concluded:
“All in all, it’s a marvel.”

Denk frequently commissions works from living composers and is also known for his witty and personal music writing which has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Newsweek and on the website of NPR Music. Experience this innovative, highly talented musician and quickly learn why he is considered one of today’s best.

From the Top

Saturday, September 28, 2013
8:00 p.m. | Kobacker Hall

Single tickets for From the Top will be available beginning September 10th.

Right here in Kobacker Hall, experience From the Top’s show, taped before a live audience – you! The one-hour program presents five high-caliber performances along with interviews, sketches, and games, revealing the heart and soul behind these extraordinary young musicians. From the Top has featured prominent guest artists including Yo Yo Ma, Hilary Hahn, Béla Fleck, Sir James Galway, Jake Shimabukuro, Michael Feinstein, and more.

Alumni of From the Top are now winning seats in the country’s top orchestras and emerging with solo careers. From the Top also encourages its young performers to share their music with new audiences and give back to their communities.

What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio. Broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide to an audience of more than 700,000 listeners each week, From the Top hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley celebrates the amazing performances and captivating stories of America’s best pre-college classical musicians.

Holiday Xtravaganza

Friday, December 6, 2013
7:00 p.m. | Kobacker Hall

As part of Arts X, the BGSU College of Musical Arts, Department of Theatre and Film, Dance, Creative Writing and School of Art present a special holiday showcase! Join the top BGSU ensembles including The BG Philharmonia, Wind Symphony, University Choirs, small ensembles and a special musical guest as they celebrate the holiday season with holiday favorites, special readings and theatre performances. This is a holiday performance you won’t want to miss!