Kentucky Wesleyan to host Faculty Recital with Kirsten Ahnell

Kentucky Wesleyan College will host a faculty recital with clarinetist Kirsten Ahnell on Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m. in Tapscott Chapel in the Barnard-Jones Administration Building. A reception will follow. Pianist Garnet Ungar and violinist Michael Chu will take part in the program, which will consist of French music and works by Poulenc, Debussy, Saint-Saens and Milhaud.

Kirsten Ahnell is a native of Owensboro and a product of professional musician parents. Her musical studies began with piano at age 4, violin at age 6 and clarinet at age 10. She was principal clarinetist and featured soloist with the Owensboro Symphony for 30 years. Ms. Ahnell was a featured soloist at the 2022 International Clarinet Festival in Reno. She is a former member of the Savannah Symphony, Erie Philharmonic and Youngstown and Elgin symphonies. She has also performed with many orchestras including Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Orchestra Kentucky and the Evansville Philharmonic.

She has been visiting professor of clarinet at the University of Evansville, assistant professor of clarinet at SUNY, Fredonia and instructor of clarinet at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the Preparatory Division and currently teaches at Kentucky Wesleyan College. Ms. Ahnell holds bachelor’s degree and a master of music in clarinet performance from Northwestern University, where she was a student of Robert Marcellus, Larry Combs and Russell Dagon, and an artist diploma degree in clarinet performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Theodore Johnson and worked extensively with John Mack. She has been heard in recital in Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia and on radio station WFMT in Chicago. Ms. Ahnell is the founder and organizer of Brown Bag Lunch Concerts, a free chamber music series which brings classically oriented programs and musicians to the community.

Pianist Garnet Ungar has performed in many countries and has appeared on American Public Radio, the CBC and Hong Kong Radio. He is the author of “Inner Voices” which highlights the career of American pianist Abbey Simon. Dr. Ungar retired as a tenured professor after 26 years of teaching at the University of Evansville to concentrate on performing and private teaching.

Violinist Michael Chu is both an active performer and music educator. His diverse musical education includes violin, piano, trumpet and saxophone, and he enjoys drawing inspiration from many different influences and cultures. He has placed in numerous competitions. He plays with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and is a substitute violinist with the Nashville Symphony. He has placed in numerous competitions.