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Founders Day concert to feature noted OHIO musicians

Ohio University will celebrate its 207th birthday with a musical flourish. 

The Founders Day celebration will feature a cello and piano concert on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in Baker University Center Theater featuring School of Music faculty members William Averill and Michael Carrera.

Founder’s Day celebrates the official founding of Ohio University on Feb. 18, 1804. Established 11 months after Ohio became a state, OHIO is the oldest university in the Northwest Territory and the state.

The concert will feature a myriad of classical musical styles, spanning two centuries and featuring Beethoven’s sonata and a spirited Latin-American piece evoking tempestuous mountain weather.

“It’s important that everything goes together but there is a variety,” said Averill.

Averill is an assistant professor of piano in the School of Music. The multi-talented musician is comfortable not only playing the piano, but also often overlooked instruments like the harpsichord, pianoforte and organ.

“I do perform a lot of music before 19th century because it is an area of interest,” Averill explained. “It is both interesting and educational to play on instruments of the time.”

Cellist and School of Music Professor Carrera has played all over the world in performance halls, festivals and on radio. Carrera is a founding member of the Arcata String Quartet, and has also participated in numerous collaborations with classical music’s brightest stars in concert and in recording. Along with Averill, Carrera has a passion for early music, his instrument of choice being an Italian cello from 1720.

“Nobody touches the cello except me,” joked Carrera. “I know where the cello is at all times.”

Averill and Carrera, who perform together annually, are using this year’s recital as a gift of thanks to OHIO for funding Carrera’s recent trip to China.

“It was a conglomeration of entities within the school that gave me money to go to China,” said Carrera. “This is a repayment of sorts for the generosity they gave me.”

Both Averill and Carrera hope that their recital will open young people up to classical music from the past.

“For the listener to understand classical music, it’s important to know how we got there. It’s important to have variety,” said Averill.

As his colleague Carrera added, “Classical and popular music certainly can live side by side.”