March 18 2013 12:00 AM

'Bach Around the Clock' marathon starts today at MSU

Wednesday, March 21 — The Michigan State University College of Music is continuing its 12th annual Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival this week with a special day of concerts today. “Bach Around the Clock 12-Hour Marathon” starts at noon at the Music Building — it's the first of six concerts on Wednesday.

“'Bach Around the Clock’ is something that people are not going to see very often,” said Kathleen Adams, School of Music communications manager.

The festival started on Monday, with a concert featuring Russian chamber music. Chamber music is classical music performed in small groups. The festival features piano, strings and some woodwinds.

Suren Bagratuni, artistic director of the event and Professor of cello, said today’s event is probably the first of its kind in the Lansing area. The six concerts performed will all feature music by Johann Sebastian Bach, the celebrated 18th-century German composer.

“It’s going to be fun to hear those live performances of music which you can only hear on radio [or CD] these days,” Bagratuni said.

The Bach-themed concerts will be performed at noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., which will last until close to midnight. Each performance will have a brief period for discussion of the music prior to the performance. Tickets are free for students, but the 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. performances are free to the public as well.

The festival features almost 45 artists, including graduate students, guest artists and faculty artists.

“It’s kind of like this best kept secret we have in our own backyard, all this talent in one place,” Adams said.

Other faculty musicians to perform besides Bagratuni are Dmitri Berlinsky, Michael Callahan, Yuri Gandelsman, Sangmi Lim, Richard Sherman, Minsoo Sohn, Ralph Votapek and I-Fu Wang.

“Our students are always involved on a very high professional level with people who have been in the business a long time. They are learning what it is like to be out there after they graduate,” Bagratuni said.

Bagratuni said he’s known many of the guest artists that will perform from his career prior to MSU. Many of the artists are international or come from other universities, such as University of Michigan and the Music Conservatory of Westchester in New York.

“Those musicians are in high demand and they are here. It’s kind of a rare thing,” Bagratuni said.

The festival continues on Friday, March 23 with a concert of Brahms and Schumann Classics. Music of Haydn and Dvorak will end the festival on Sunday.

Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival

All performances at Music Building, West Circle Drive, MSU Campus

$10 adults, $8 seniors over 60, children and students with ID free

Noon, 2 p.m. (free performance), 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. (free performance), 7:30 p.m., 9:30

8 p.m. Friday, March 23

3 p.m. Sunday, March 25

(517) 353-5340