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Celebrating the Life

February 4, 2014 - 8:34am

Event: The David O. Nilsson Lecture in Contemporary Drama and Literature – “Yehudi Menuhin: Violinist and Visionary.” This event is free and open to the public.

When: 5:30 p.m., Friday, February 28, 2014.

Where: Fine Arts Library (DFA 3.200) at The University of Texas at Austin.

 Background: The 9th Annual Nilsson Lecture in Contemporary Drama and Literature will be held in conjunction with the international Menuhin Competition taking place at UT from February 21-March 2, 2014.

Founded in 1983, the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists — hosted this year by the Butler School of Music — attracts some of the world’s best violinists under the age of 22. The competition helps exceptionally talented young musicians from around the world to develop into artists of the highest caliber.

Learn about the competition’s founder from Jonathan Benthall, Yehudi Menuhin’s son-in-law, as he talks about the violin legend’s collaborations with talents such as Ravi Shankar as well as his unique approaches to music education.

Benthall, who is also an author and former head of the Royal Anthropological Institute in Great Britain, will provide the talk “Yehudi Menuhin: Violinist and Visionary,” in the Fine Arts Library at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, February 28, during the dinner break of the Junior Finals competition. The event is free and open to the public.

As an added attraction, an historic violin will be on display in the Fine Arts Library for the event. On loan from the Texas State Library, the Journeay Violin — so-named in honor of its creator Henry Journeay — was crafted from wood scraps left over from a chair made for Santa Anna. According to legend, Journeay played the fiddle to entertain Texans taken prisoner in the Mier Expedition.

The Nilsson Lecture was founded through the generosity of Dr. David O. Nilsson, a retired mathematics professor at The University of Texas at Austin, independent scholar and Henrik Ibsen aficionado.

Past lectures have featured the Swedish novelist Lars Gustaffson (speaking on paradox in Ibsen’s The Wild Duck),and director of Shakespeare at Winedale James Loehlin (on Stanislavski’s contrarian production of The Cherry Orchard), and an entertaining panel of local playwrights including internationally-renowned Kirk Lynn and Keene Prize winner George Brant (discussing the state and fate of theater), a master class on Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing featuring noted British and local thespians, and a lecture featuring Robert Faires reprising an excerpted version of his notable one-man take on Henry V

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