On Friday, January 11, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings held its first concert of the year with the Fabian String Series.
The concert, featuring the Cortona Trio, was located in Fickling Hall of the McCorkle Music Building. The concert was open to Mercer students and the public.
The Cortona Trio includes Amy Schwartz Moretti on violin, Julie Albers on cello, and Elizabeth Pridgen on piano.
All three performers are a part of Mercer’s faculty.
Amy Moretti is the Director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer’s Townsend School of Music and is also the Caroline Paul King Violin Chair.
She coordinates the Fabian String Series under which the Cortona Trio performs and distinguished artists come to Mercer.
Moretti has an extensive résumé including serving as Concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony and the Florida Orchestra.
Moretti primarily performs as a chamber musician and a soloist. She is also a member of the Ehnes String Quartet, the Georgian Chamber Players, and the Moretti Duo with her husband, Steve Moretti.
Julie Albers is a distinguished musician and the Charles and Mary Jean Yates Cello Chair. Born in Colorado, Albers is an accomplished international musician.
Albers has performed in and toured many countries including France, Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand.
She has also performed in many orchestras throughout the United States. She now resides in Atlanta and her debut album with Orion Weiss is available from Artek Recordings.
Elizabeth Pridgen is the G. Leslie Fabian Piano Chair in the McDuffie Center and is a successful soloist.
She received her bachelor’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School.
Pridgen has recently performed at Carnegie Hall and in many festivals such as the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Rome, Italy.
She is a chamber musician but has collaborated with many artists including Robert McDuffie, Elmar Oliveira, and the American String Quartet.
The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings is a very prestigious institute within the Townsend School of Music.
With its limited enrollment of 26 students (12 violinists, six violists, six cellists, and two double bassists), the Center allows students to interact with very distinguished musicians.
The instructors are renowned in their fields and teach their students not only musicianship, but also tools for entrepreneurial success.
The Fabian String Series allows other renowned musicians to come to Mercer’s campus for performances and classes.
During the spring semester, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings will host several more events and concerts.
These will include solo concerts by students, ensemble concerts, and a few Fabian Concert series with renowned artists and faculty.
The next event is “Robert McDuffie in Recital” on Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Fickling Hall.