Longtime Mobile arts denizen John Hafner died Oct. 2 at age 81. A literature professor, he served as president of Mobile Opera and supported the Mobile Symphony, Mobile Chamber Music Society, the Mobile Museum of Art and various theatrical endeavors.
A native Mobilian and alum of McGill Institute and Spring Hill College, Hafner earned a Ph.D. in American and English literatures — with a concentration on William Faulkner, naturally — from the University of Wisconsin. He taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point for three years, then Indiana University before returning homeward.
Hafner’s 40 years at Spring Hill College featured three Fulbright awards that took him to Greece, Indonesia and the Philippines. He was awarded the Eugene Current-Garcia Award as Alabama’s Distinguished Literary Scholar at the 2009 Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Spring Hill College Library or scholarship fund, or to a favorite Mobile arts organization.
Bloody ambition afoot at JJP
“Toil and trouble” will rampage through 11 S. Carlen St. from Oct. 18 to Nov. 3. That’s when Joe Jefferson Players (JJP) stage Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” a bloody tale of ambition’s tragic toll.
Filled with castles, ghosts and witches, the “Scottish Play” suits Halloween season and its warnings about political power are as applicable now as they were to 11th century Scotland. Machinations and murder feed each other until the titular character’s myopic ascent is undercut by his arrogance.
Friday and Saturday curtain is 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinee is 2 p.m.
Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors/military and $10 for students.
For more information, call 251-471-1534 or go to joejeffersonplayers.com.
Chamber Music features Yakushev in Bay area
When Russian-born pianist Ilya Yakushev won the World Piano Competition at age 12, other accolades quickly followed. There were first prizes in 1997 and 1998 at a competition in Spain, national Russian awards and an eventual tutelage under Vladimir Feltsman in New York City. These days, he’s astounding listeners in critically lauded appearances with symphonies and philharmonics around the globe.
Mobile Chamber Music hosts a pair of Yakushev appearances this October. On Oct. 19, 6 p.m., he appears at the Eastern Shore Art Center (401 Oak St.) performing Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Those seats are free and possibly not available for long.
He then plays Oct. 20, 3 p.m., at Laidlaw Performing Arts Center (5751 USA S. Drive). The program includes Joseph Haydn’s Sonata in D Major, Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Appassionata,” Franz Liszt’s “Vallée d’Obermann” and George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
Tickets are $20, $10 for students. They are available at the door or at Carpe Diem coffee house.
For more information, call 251-633-8840, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to mobilechambermusic.org.
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