Gardner-Webb Presents First Concert of Distinguished Artist Series

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The Bechtler Ensemble String Quartet Presents Latin American Music and Art

A photo of seven musicians in the Bechtler Ensemble walking down a sidewalk carrying their instrumentsBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Bechtler Ensemble String Quartet will be featured in the season opener of the Gardner-Webb University Distinguished Artist Series. The ensemble will give a free performance on Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. in Hamrick Hall’s Blanton Auditorium.

Presented by the GWU School of Performing and Visual Arts in Collaboration with the Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Fund, the program is titled, “An Afternoon of Latin American Music and Art.” The music will be accompanied by a slide show of Latin American artists from the Bechtler Museum Collection.

The Bechtler Ensemble features cellist Tanja Bechtler, and violinists Peter deVries and Lenora Cox Leggatt. DeVries is the son of American missionaries and grew up in the Philippines. He completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Indiana University in Violin Performance with Distinction under Josef Gingold and James Buswell. He has since had an extensive career as a concertmaster, soloist, recitalist, conductor and teacher in much of the United States, Europe and South America.

Bechtler serves on the GWU faculty and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She was honored with the prestigious Women of Achievement Award in 2015, from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina, an international volunteer service organization. The Women of Achievement Award recognizes outstanding women for their significant contributions to the state of North Carolina. She served as an orchestral player for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra for 12 years. She is the founder and director of the Bechtler Ensemble and in residency at Queens University. She also spearheaded the Charlotte Composers Forum with regional composers from the Carolinas.

Originally from Rochester, New York, Leggatt began studying at age 7 and made her solo debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at age 16. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music studying with Catherine Tait and Zvi Zeitlin, and Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music with Donald Weilerstein. She served as concertmaster for the Cleveland Opera Orchestra for eight years, and for the former Ohio Chamber Orchestra and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. She has appeared as concertmaster under conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Andre Previn, and as soloist under Peter Bay and Leslie Dunner.

Learn more about concerts presented by the Department of Music.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704-406-2155 or email disabilityservices@gardner-webb.edu with your request.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.