The Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra will close its 2018-2019 season with a concert titled “American Dreams” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Pablo Center at the Confluence's Jamf Theatre, 128 Graham Ave.
Conducted by Frank A. Watkins, it will feature acclaimed pianist John Jensen performing the jazz-based Gershwin piano Concerto in F. Other pieces are Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 5, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Petite Suite” and selections from Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid.”
Ryan Jones will give a pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m. This concert is made possible by a grant from the Eau Claire Community Foundation.
Jensen's musical activities include being part of the Mirecourt Piano Trio with violinist Ken Goldsmith and cellist Terry King. They were artists-in-residence at Grinnell College in Iowa, where they commissioned 20 composers to write piano trios. Many of those performances became compact disc recordings.
Jensen was part of the keyboard personeel for the Minnesota Orchestra as well as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He also formed a jazz quartet, Helios, which was active for several years and produced two compact discs.
He is now retired from positions he held as director of music at the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis and staff pianist at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.
He maintains a teaching studio out of his home as well as being adjunct piano faculty at the University of St. Thomas. Jensen continues to make music with chamber ensembles and as a solo keyboard artist.
Tickets to the concert are free for anyone under 21 and $29 for adults. They are available at pablocenter.org or by calling 715-492-0240.