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Letters from UD First Family and MP Director

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Letter from the First Family of the University of Delaware

University of Delaware president Dennis Assanis and his wife, Eleni

Dennis N. Assanis and Eleni Assanis, President and First Lady

Welcome to another wonderful season of the University of Delaware’s Master Players Concert Series. Every year, we look forward to this innovative and exciting performance series, and the 2019-20 promises to be one of the best ever.

Now in its 16th season, the Master Players Concert Series is built around the theme of “Unusual, Unexpected and Unsurpassed” and once again features renowned artists whose music will surely surprise and inspire audiences. Founding Director Xiang Gao and his colleagues have assembled a line-up of outstanding performances and engaging events, including a world premiere chamber music play and a series of summer concerts that connect the musical and culinary cultures of the world. Truly, our community is fortunate to have such a treasure so close to home.

What’s more, the Master Players program actively promotes the arts in our community by offering musical education and instruments to students, so everyone can experience the power of music in their own lives. This is one of many ways that the University fulfills its fundamental educational mission, which is why we are so proud to continue our support of the Master Players program. 

Throughout this season of the Master Players Concert Series, we look forward to sharing the gift of music with you and our entire community. 

We look forward to seeing you soon.


Dennis and Eleni Assanis

President and First Lady

Letter from the Master Players Founding Artistic Director

​Xiang Gao, Master Players Director

Dear friends of UD and Master Players,

The title “Unusual, Unexpected, Unsurpassed” for our 16th season properly declares the artistic goals we set back in 2003 when founding our region’s flagship concert series. After presenting the unforgettable 6-WIRE concert celebrating 15 years of Master Players and UD excellence in front of a sold-out audience on the Carnegie Hall’s Zankel stage last season, the array of our concerts in store for you this season meets our new “Carnegie Hall standard” for your UD experience.

Many Master Players presentations are known to be truly Unusual. A perfect example is Shanghai Sonatas, a pioneering new musical, which will have its concert play version premiered on Master Players’ stage. Based on the memoirs of Jewish refugee musicians who escaped Nazi Germany and found refuge in Shanghai. This hybrid production of musical theatre, visual art, live classical, and traditional Jewish and Chinese music will tell the true stories of these musicians who taught the first generation of the 60 million classical musicians in China today. This forward-looking UD production is already gaining support internationally and will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory over the Axis powers in World War II. 

To help you discover human creativity Unexpected to many, I invite you to come enjoy the beauty of the bass, accordion, saxophone quartet, and much more. The world music gala during Alumni Weekend in June will unveil more delightful surprises with new compositions featuring the debut of many guest artists and 6-WIRE, the UD Ensemble-in-Residence since 2010.

The artistry of our highly established guest artists is certainly Unsurpassed. As the cultural ambassador of our beloved University of Delaware, Master Players is keen on engaging many of the world’s most accomplished artists who value education to inspire us and to cultivate and prepare Blue Hens to thrive in the 21st century.

As a passionate promoter of UD excellence, we are planning special musical activities for you to enjoy in the summer. During alumni weekend, 6-WIRE will perform world music with their collaborators from Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and beyond to welcome back many alumni to campus. The newly established Master Players Midsummer Night Soirees will bring chamber music celebrating Beethoven’s 250th anniversary as well as fiery flamenco dance and music to our picturesque and quiet campus in July of 2020.  

With continued support from our Advisory Council and many of you, our educational program, the Little Masters Project, will enter its third year. Please read more later in this brochure about the inspiring stories from this project that provides free weekly music lessons and free instruments to our region’s kids in need. 

Under the UD leadership of President and Mrs. Assanis, Provost Robin Morgan and College of Arts and Sciences Dean John Pelesko, we are grateful for the many ways you support us, from purchasing a season subscription to generously donating to Master Players, enabling us to offer the highest quality programs at an affordable price and make our educational offerings possible. While we are hoping to build even more classroom partnerships with UD faculty to benefit Blue Hens, we thank you for bringing Master Players to the lives of many in our local community.

I look forward to seeing all of you in the audience to experience the Unusual, Unexpected, and Unsurpassed music making. 

In music,

Xiang Gao

Founding Artistic Director

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Letters from UD First Family and MP Director
  • Master Players Concert Series
  • 100 Orchard Road
  • Department of Music
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3149
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