DePauw University School of Music’s 2017/18 Faculty Select series begins with Bartók, Bach and a bang this week. Opening the series on Wednesday, Sept. 6 will be a dynamic program for two pianos and percussion, followed on Friday by virtuosic works for solo violin. Both concerts will offered at 7:30 p.m. in DePauw University’s Green Center for the Performing Arts. 

Bartók’s uniquely challenging but rarely heard Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion on Wednesday’s program explores the piano as a percussive instrument. Why is this imaginative piece so seldom performed? Because of its difficulty. Two superb pianists and percussionists are required — who between them must play nine instruments. 

Taking up the challenge in Kresge Auditorium will be guest pianist Ann DuHamel from the University of Minnesota (pictured left), and DePauw faculty artists May Phang, piano, and percussionists Ming-Hui Kuo and Craig Paré on timpani, gran cassa, cymbals, triangle, snare drum, tam-tam and xylophone. 

In contrast to Wednesday’s concert, Friday’s program is comprised of contemplative works for solo violin performed by DePauw faculty member Tarn Travers. The centerpiece of his program of preludes and fugues will be the great Adagio and Fugue from J. S. Bach’s C Major Sonata for Solo Violin (the longest fugue that Bach wrote for any instrument).

Travers (at right), a member of the superb Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente, will also perform the turbulent Grave and Fugato from Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 1, inspired by Bach’s sonatas for solo violin, along with One, a 21st-century piece by American composer Philip Wharton, in which each movement offers homage to great past composers of solo violin works, including Bach and Ysaÿe, as well as Béla Bartók and Nicolò Paganini. 

General admission tickets to the Faculty Select series are $10; tickets for seniors, children and all students are free thanks to season sponsors Judson and Joyce Green. Sale of All-Season Passes continues through Sept. 10. For more information or to make online purchases, visit music.depauw.edu

The venue’s box office will also be open beginning one hour prior to each performance, which will be given in the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts, located at 605 S. College Avenue.