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October 16, 2015

SVSU Rhea Miller Concert Series features Baroque cellist and harpsichordist

Picture of Rene Schiffer, cellist

Saginaw Valley State University will showcase internationally acclaimed Baroque cellist Rene Schiffer, who will be joined by renowned harpsichordist Joseph Gascho during the next Rhea Miller Concert Series installment Saturday, Oct. 24. The performance, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in SVSU's Rhea Miller Recital Hall, is free and open to the public.

Schiffer has performed in three continents, including solo recitals in Amsterdam, Budapest, Tallinn, Utrecht, Versailles, the Flanders Festival and Grandchamp. He was also a permanent member of the Il Gardellino, with which he made trips to Israel, Guatemala, and many European countries.

Schiffer’s resume includes performances with the European Philharmonic Orchestra, the Brabants Orchestra in the Netherlands, the New Belgian Chamber Orchestra, the European Community Baroque Orchestra, the Les Musiciens du Louvre, and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra.

Gascho won his first prize in the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition in 2002. He has earned his master's and doctoral degrees in harpsichord from the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Maryland. His performing highlights include the National Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra.

Gascho has also conducted numerous operas from the Monteverdi to Mozart for Opera Vivente, and "Idomeneo" for the Maryland Opera Studio.

As active music educators, Schiffer and Gascho have helped inspire several young musicians around the world.  Schiffer taught at various schools, including in Seoul, Korea; and at Case Western Reserve University; University of Michigan; The Oberlin Conservatory; and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He has also given classes at The Cleveland Music School Settlement.

Gascho currently conducts the student orchestra at the Oberlin Conservatory's Baroque Performance Institute. Additionally, he coaches chamber music, teaches basso continuo, and has recently joined the University Of Michigan School Of Music, Theatre & Dance's Department of Organ as an assistant professor.

Schiffer's and Gascho's Rhea Miller Concert Series program will include selections from musicians such as 18th century's Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as Schiffer's original compositions.

The Rhea Miller Concert Series is made possible by a generous gift from Rhea E. Miller, a longtime friend of SVSU. Her gift, administered by the Miller Trust for Music Education, has provided the university with the opportunity to offer outstanding performances by nationally and internationally acclaimed musical artists at no cost to the audience since 1993. For more information, call (989) 964-4159 or email