Alfred University News

MostArts magic begins with international orchestra

When Alfred University’s MostArts Festival began in 2014, an improbable gathering of world-class, international musicians assembled on the stage of Miller Theater to entertain audiences with selections from the classical music canon: Beethoven’s Appassionata sonata; James Hartway’s Basho; and Liszt’s Sonata in B minor.

The Festival continues to draw on a growing circle of international musicians as it celebrates a return to Alfred with its opening concert on Sunday, July 23, featuring Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutti overture; Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2 in G minor; and Bizet’s Symphony No. 1 in C major

MostArts founder and Artistic Director Lisa Lantz celebrates the international spirit of the Festival with the mantra “The Magic Returns.”

The magic, Lantz says, begins with the Festival’s thoroughly international ensemble, drawn from more than a dozen countries: Russia, Serbia, Armenia, Belarus, Spain, Demark, Korea, China, Japan, Panama, Brazil, Canada and the US. The musicians in turn are led from the podium by the Israeli born conductor Yuval Zaliouk, who has led the orchestra since its 2015 season.

“The superb MostArts Festival Orchestra is living proof that music is the best vehicle for international cooperation,” Maestro Zaliouk says, reflecting on his return to the Southern Tier of New York after a three-year hiatus. “Excellent musicians from all over the world use the common language of music for the sake of achieving one goal, one target and one purpose: the perfect rendition of magnificent music. This is a United Nations founded in heaven.”

Building on its international traditions, the seventh MostArts Festival will feature Russian pianist Asiya Korepanova, described as “a force of nature” in the modern world of classical music.  Korepanova will perform on the closing night of the Festival, Saturday, July 29, playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, and accompanying the rest of the orchestra under Zaliouk’s direction.

Korepanova’s rendering of Rachmaninoff is an example of a perfect union between composer and musician, as her interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s work displays “a singular affinity for Rachmaninoff’s Russian romantic idiom,” according to the Southern Florida Classical Review. Korepanova moreover “possesses the blazing technique to fully realize Rachmaninoff’s distinctive scores."

“I’m very excited and honored to have this phenomenal artist,” Lantz says. “Asiya Korepanova’ performances will be an extraordinary experience for MostArts audience members.”

Lantz notes 2023 is the 150th anniversary of Rachmaninoff’s birth and the composer is even buried not far from Alfred, in Kensico Cemetary in Valhalla, NY. “We are fortunate to be hosting performances that our audiences should never forget.”

Throughout the Festival, Lantz says, audiences will hear each gifted musician in solo performance, chamber ensembles, and full symphony orchestra. “These individuals have taken up the spirit of MostArts and are informing the world of its uniqueness. If you wonder what makes MostArts magic, that’s where we begin.”  

Tickets are on sale at and at the Box Office of Miller Theater prior to each concert.