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Honoring a Houston Legend

Fredell Lack Legacy Violin Series closes on June 24 with Eden MacAdam-Somer.

Established in honor of its namesake, the Fredell Lack Legacy Violin Series celebrates the legendary violinist and esteemed University of Houston professor with recitals by former students and mentees. Named C. W. Moores Professor of Violin, Lack served the Moores School of Music (MSM) for over five decades, inspiring countless students, musicians and colleagues along the way.

When Lack passed away in August of 2017, her resounding impact on the musical community could be felt far and wide.

“She was a very expressive musician,” said series artist Sharman Plesner in an interview with Houston Matters. “She always poured everything, all of her feelings and her heart, all of her imagination into her playing.”

The series opened last fall with Maurice Sklar, followed by recitals from Plesner, Joyce Hammann and Gloria Justen.

“It has given me such pleasure to prepare this recital in [her] honor…Although we barely had three years together, the impact [she] had on my life is profound,” wrote Hammann in her program notes.

The series will close with a performance by UH alumna Eden MacAdam-Somer on Sunday, June 24 in the Dudley Recital Hall. MacAdam-Somer, hailed by the New York Times as reflecting “astonishing virtuosity and raw expression,” began studying with Lack as a teenager and continued her training throughout her undergraduate studies.

“She placed a heavy emphasis on lyricism, imagination and expression. We often discussed the voices of different characters in the music, or the story that we would imagine unfolding,” recalls MacAdam-Somer.

To this day, MacAdam-Somer channels Lack when she steps onto a stage or to the front of a classroom. “I feel her influence reverberating in my own life in all kinds of ways.”

The June 24 program features pieces with special nostalgic significance — such as Maurice Ravel’s “Tzigane”, which MacAdam-Somer worked on with Lack during high school and played at her graduation — and new works that she believes Lack would have loved.

“Ms. Lack was a big supporter of the modern music of her time,” she says.

In addition to contemporary works, MacAdam-Somer will perform Jewish and American folk songs, and pieces by Debussy, Ellington and Cogan. She will be joined by UH professor Timothy Hester on piano.