Tucson High stages
‘The Laramie Project’

“The Laramie Project” is a documentary-style play about the impact of the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man in Laramie, Wyo. 

It’s a powerful piece of theater. And a difficult one. But Tucson Magnet High School’s theater teacher Art Almquist has never been one to back away from difficulty.

And he’s decided that subjects as important as hate crimes and intolerance need to be discussed.

So he is putting together a roster of speakers to lead discussions after performances. Tucson’s Mayor Jonathan Rothschild is on the docket for Friday’s talk.

“The Laramie Project” is by Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of New York’s Tectonic Theater Project and is based on interviews with the people of Laramie. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays through May 2, with a 2 p.m. matinee May 3. Tickets are $8, with discounts available.  Call 225-5326.

Van Cliburn finalist here with Arizona Friends

Before the 2013 Van Cliburn Piano Competition got into full swing in Dallas last summer, Russian pianist Nikita Mndoyants. was presumed by many to be a shoo-in to win the gold medal.

His talent was certainly his calling card, but Mndoyants had legacy going for him, as well. His father, Alexander Mndoyants, was a Cliburn finalist in 1977.

In the end, Mndoyants followed his father to the finalist circle, which has opened doors for him to perform around the country, including a recital with the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music on Sunday.

Mndoyants will perform works by Beethoven including his Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-flat Major and Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8 in B-flat Major.

The recital begins at 3 p.m. at the Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $30, $10 for students online at arizonachambermusic.org or by calling 577-3769.

Dove of Peace ends season with Kingfisher Quartet

The Kingfisher String Quartet will close out the Dove of Peace Lutheran Church’s 10th season of winter classical music concerts today with Haydn’s Eastertime Opus 51: “Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze” (The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour On the Cross).

Haydn wrote the concert-length Easter piece initially for full orchestra, then reworked it with choir before later transcribing it for string quartet — the version you hear most often today. We haven’t heard it in Tucson from a professional ensemble since 2012, when the Emerson String Quartet played a recital for UApresents.

Today’s recital begins at 2 p.m. at Dove of Peace, 665 W. Roller Coaster Road. Admission is free, but donations will be taken to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Dove of Peace hosts its winter concert series to benefit Tucson-area nonprofit organizations. The series spotlights some of the area’s finest professional and classically trained musicians.

Early-music ensemble
to perform works by Bach

The University of Arizona’s early-music ensemble Collegium Musicum  will perform choral works by Bach in a program with the impossibly long title “Sacred and Secular: Venetian Polychoral Motets and Madrigals, and Bach’s Secular Cantata 214 ‘Tönet ihr Pauken.’” Brent Rogers, a second-year doctoral student, will conduct the singers in what will be his final performance with the ensemble. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at Holsclaw Hall, North Park Avenue and East Speedway. Admission is $5 at the door; 621-1162.

Kathleen Allen and Cathalena E. Burch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.