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A Little Lunch Music, 1/25/2018: Two AU Faculty Sopranos Leading Mixed Recital

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On Thursday, January 25, from noon to 1:00 pm in the Grand Gallery, the series will present a free concert by soprano Rosephanye Dunn Powell and mezzo-soprano Anne Duraski with pianist Joshua Pifer. The group will present solo and chamber music by composers including Joseph Canteloube, Johannes Brahms, Alexander Scriabin, Jacques Offenbach, and new arrangements by Dr. Powell. A gift from Bob Ekelund and Mark Thornton and an anonymous gift have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for more about the performers and a full schedule for the spring 2018 season of A Little Lunch Music.

Powell serves as Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Auburn University. A researcher, interpreter, and performer of the African-American spiritual, she has presented recitals and lecture-recitals around the country, in Europe, and in the Caribbean. Recognized worldwide as a composer of choral music, she is considered to be one of America’s premier women composers.

Powell says Cantaloube, born in France in 1859, was a musicologist as well as a composer. He collected folk songs, and on Thursday, she will perform a set of his arrangements. “These are folk songs that he has elevated to the level of art song,” she said.

Powell says the vocal lines Cantaloube arranged are beautiful, and he composed piano accompaniment to depict sounds of nature. “Nature in art song is a common theme, and parallel with love,” she said. “All of these are within nature, depicting love and experiences of love.”

Duraski is director of Auburn University’s Opera Workshop and teaches Voice and Opera Literature. She served as principal lyric mezzo-soprano for the Schleswig-Hosteinisches Landestheater in Flenburg, Germany, and has appeared in opera houses in Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. She recently performed in the role of Suzuki in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” with the Mobile Opera.

The singers will perform together two new arrangements by Powell of African-American spirituals. She approaches her arrangements in a similar way as Cantaloube to his folk songs. “To preserve the heritage, I typically try to make sure that I use the original melody,” she said. But she says she uses the piano part to create different colors to help depict the meaning of the words.

Powell says slaveowners would often keep slaves from assembling, so one reason spirituals were used was to express deep emotion to each other. Someone singing “There Is a Balm in Gilead,” which Powell will perform Thursday, would be at a low point, even despondent. She says she wrote a piano part that has a soothing, healing sound, flowing like a balm on the skin and also the soul.

Powell says slaveowners would hear another spiritual, “Every Time I feel the Spirit,” as a song about God. But slaves intended it as very specific to the condition they were in. She says the song gave tremendous hope to slaves for their bodily freedom. It even goes so far as to teach things about how to escape and about the mindset someone should have when seeking freedom.

Pifer is a senior lecturer at Auburn, recently returning from a two-week piano residency in Taiwan. He is an international performer, clinician, and adjudicator, and is a founding member of both Duo Echo with oboist Jennifer Pifer and Plains2 with trombonist Matthew Wood. He released his first solo CD, “Alexander Tcherepnin: My Favorite Piano Works,” in 2015.

Other music on Thursday’s program will be a solo piano work by Scriabin, art song by Brahms, and a comical piece often attributed to Gioachino Rossini.

A Little Lunch Music is coordinated by Patrick McCurry. It is an informal, weekly series that features national and international performers as well as the region’s professionals and students. The schedule can be found on the museum’s calendar at jcsm.auburn.edu.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, university Liaison and curator of Education, at bishogs@auburn.edu or 334-844-7014.

A Little Lunch Music, 1/18/2018: Montevallo Faculty Performing Music for Soprano and Guitar

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DUE TO THE WEATHER-RELATED DELAYED OPENING, THIS PERFORMANCE WILL START AT 12:15 P.M.

On Thursday, January 18, from noon to 1:00 pm in the Auditorium, the series will present a free concert by lyric soprano Melanie Williams with guitarist Alan Goldspiel. The duo will present music by Matyas Seiber, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, John W. Duarte, Mordechai Gebirtig, George Gershwin, and Mark Warshawsky, in addition to compositions and arrangements by Dr. Goldspiel. Gifts from anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for the event page on our calendar with more about the performers and the season’s full schedule.

Williams has received positive reviews for her stage and concert works and for her recordings with the LeBaron Trio. She has appeared in concerts throughout the southeast with symphonies and choral groups and in England with the International Cathedral Music Festival. She is Professor of Music at the University of Montevallo.

The award-winning Goldspiel has performed world premieres at New York’s Carnegie and CAMI Halls, has been featured on National Public Radio, and has performed in the critically acclaimed Goldspiel/Provost Duo. His own music has been performed around the world. He is Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at Montevallo.

Thursday’s program will feature original music by Matyas Seiber, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, John W. Duarte, Mordechai Gebirtig, George Gershwin, and Mark Warshawsky, in addition to compositions and arrangements by Goldspiel.

Though singing with a guitarist likely started when the guitar was invented, these days art song is more commonly sung with piano. “In a way it’s so different, in a way it’s the same,” Williams said. “When I do things with Alan, it’s softer and more intimate,” she said. As a result, she says she feels like she’s grown as a chamber musician.

Recently, Barbara Bonfield, a University of Montevallo supporter, commissioned Goldspiel to write a piece for her birthday celebration. The result was “With Solitude and Song.” It sets to music three poems by nineteenth-century poet Emma Lazarus. Lazarus was a New Yorker of Jewish lineage whose lines are engraved in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

Goldspiel says Lazarus did a lot to help refugees from Eastern Europe. He made the connection between Lazarus and Bonfield because of Bonfield’s Jewish faith and her personal history of helping others.

Goldspiel arranged another set of three songs that the duo performed at Bonfield’s birthday party. Two are Yiddish melodies for children, written by Mordechai Gebirtig and Mark Warshawsky who lived around the turn of the 20th century. Williams says the two lullabies were very popular in Eastern Europe. She remembers a holocaust survivor at the party who wept, not having heard the songs since childhood.

The third song in Goldspiel’s arrangement is George Gershwin’s “Summertime” from the 1935 opera, “Porgy and Bess.” Though Gershwin was born in the United States, his parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe. Williams says he would have heard the lullabies from family members. “These would’ve been passed down,” she said. “You can hear the influence.”

Goldspiel contributes one other of his works to Thursday’s program. The duo will perform “Twilight,” “Dark Clouds,” and “Windstorm,” three songs from his “Nature Sketches.” “The goal was to really just do a soundscape of those titled nature events,” he said.

“The Divan of Moses-Ibn Ezra” is a collection of medieval poems set to music by twentieth-century composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Williams says they are basically a history of the Jewish people, in and out of exile, being separated from loved ones.

“They’re so sad,” Williams said of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s collection, the full version of which contains nineteen songs. She says for Thursday’s program, they chose the two least sad from the collection’s “Part I, Songs of Wandering.”

Williams says French composer Matyas Seiber’s “Four French Folk Songs” evokes scenes from the lives of colorful people. A young man is coaxing a lover out at midnight. A grandmother is chastising the doctor for suggesting she give up wine. “It’s all kind of veiled references to gossip,” she said. “Something’s going on, but it’s not very overt.”

Williams and Goldspiel will close Thursday’s program with John W. Duarte’s “Hark, Hark, The Ark!” She says they are silly little verses about things like baboons trying to fly to the moon, written by Spike Milligan, a British-Irish comedian, among other things.

A Little Lunch Music is coordinated by Patrick McCurry. It is an informal, weekly series that features national and international performers as well as the region’s professionals and students. The schedule can be found on the museum’s calendar at jcsm.auburn.edu.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, Curator of Education and University Liaison, at bishogs@auburn.edu or 334-844-7014.

baritone Matthew Hoch

A Little Lunch Music, 1/11/2018: Auburn Faculty Performing Vocal Music by Women

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On Thursday, January 11, from noon to 1:00 pm in the Auditorium, the series will present a free concert in the Auditorium by baritone Matthew Hoch with pianist Jeremy Samolesky. The duo will present a program of music by women composers, including Clara Schumann, Nadia Boulanger, and Jocelyne Binet. Gifts from anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for more about the performers and the series’ full spring schedule.

Hoch is Associate Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Auburn University. He is the 2016 winner of the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship. His books include “A Dictionary for the Modern Singer,” “Welcome to Church Music & The Hymnal 1982,” and “Voice Secrets: 100 Performance Strategies for the Advanced Singer.”

For Thursday’s program, the duo will choose music from composers such as Clara Schumann, Francesca Caccini, Nadia Boulanger, and others. “These are some of the biggest names among women composers,” Hoch said.

Hoch’s decision to create a program featuring music by women is timely. The university’s alumni association recently announced its campaign celebrating 125 years of Auburn women. And Hoch says this past fall, he founded and taught the school’s first ever Women in Music course.

Also noteworthy is Hoch’s upcoming performance tour that will include a stop in the United Arab Emirates. Though Hoch says UAE is among the more liberal of the Arab nations, women there still face great challenges. He says programs like Thursday’s are uncommon there.

In researching women composers, Hoch says he read about famous French baritone Gérard Souzay’s premiere of Jocelyne Binet’s “Cycle de mélodies,” written in 1955. He discovered that the piece was never published, and that there are no professional recordings available.

Hoch says with the help of Liza Weisbrod at the university’s library, he found Binet’s manuscript in Quebec’s national library and archives. He is now working to have the set of six songs published. “I’m giving the first performances of it in sixty years,” Hoch said.

Samolesky is Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Piano Studies at Auburn. His debut solo CD was released by Centaur Records in 2015. He is a winner of The American Prize Competition in Piano Performance, Professional Division, and Auburn University’s Excellence in Teaching award.

A Little Lunch Music is coordinated by Patrick McCurry. It is an informal, weekly series that features national and international performers as well as the region’s professionals and students. McCurry says the series has been increasing in popularity, with weekly attendance numbers adding up to almost 1,000 in fall 2017.

Hoch and Samolesky’s performance will be one of the series’ five spring vocal recitals including one by New York Metropolitan Opera veteran Janet Hopkins on April 12. The season will also feature solo piano performances by Vadim Serebryany on February 15 and Lawrence Quinnett on March 22.

Marker, a Chicago-based improvised-music group led by MacArthur Foundation grant recipient Ken Vandermark, will perform on February 1. Other dates will feature instrumental chamber music, gospel jazz, and Irish music. The full schedule can be found on the museum’s calendar at jcsm.auburn.edu.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, university Liaison and curator of Education at bishogs@auburn.edu or 334-844-7014.

Isabel Bishop (American, 1902–1988) Noon Hour, 1935 Published 1946 in an edition of 250 Etching 1935 6 7/8 x 4 13/16 inches Courtesy of Pia Gallo

Exhibition Spotlight: Isabel Bishop

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Isabel Bishop
(American, 1902–1988)
Noon Hour, 1935
Published 1946 in an edition of 250
Etching
1935
Courtesy of Pia Gallo

Possessing a keen sense of observation and self-assured technique, Isabel Bishop was one of the foremost American women artists of the early to mid-twentieth century and stands among the very best of all artists that remained dedicated to realism in a period increasingly dominated by abstraction. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Bishop was reared in Detroit, Michigan, where she began her formal art training before moving to New York at sixteen to study illustration at the New York School of Applied Design for Women. Two years later she enrolled at the Art Students League to advance her fine art practice. There, working with Kenneth Hayes Miller, Robert Henri, and Guy Pène du Bois, she began to focus on scenes of New York City’s bustling street life. Occupying a studio in downtown’s Union Square at Broadway and Fourteenth Street, Bishop found ample subjects for her art in one of the busiest commercial and entertainment districts in all of Manhattan. Like Reginald Marsh, a friend and contemporary with whom she traveled to Europe to study the Old Masters, Bishop captured the character, mood, and movement of human interactions through spontaneous gestural strokes and seemingly effortless draftsmanship.

Noon Hour is among Bishop’s best known and most desirable prints. Created in 1935 with the unfulfilled intention of editioning it in forty impressions, it was finally published a decade later by Associated American Artists (AAA), an organization dedicated to providing original art to collectors of modest financial means, outside the traditional gallery system. Artists were paid a flat fee of $200 to prepare an image on copperplate or lithograph stone, which would be printed by AAA in an edition of 250, then marketed and sold at department stores across the country and through mail order for $5 each. Leading American artists of the day including Peggy Bacon, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Mabel Dwight, Doris Lee, Reginald Marsh, and Grant Wood produced outstanding prints for AAA. Bishop’s image, which she revisited in a 1939 oil painting, features a fashionably dressed pair of women in conversation, perhaps on a lunch break from work or during a respite from shopping. With arms linked and gazes fixed on one another, the couple appears sculpturesque and monumental in spite of their linear treatment and the sheet’s small scale. Other AAA copies of Noon Hour are held in many important collections including the Library of Congress, Philadelphia Museum, San Francisco Museums, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Yale University.

 

Isabel Bishop (American, 1902–1988) Noon Hour, 1935 Published 1946 in an edition of 250 Etching 1935 6 7/8 x 4 13/16 inches Courtesy of Pia Gallo
Elizabeth Murray (American, 1940–2007) Deep Blue C, 2001 Edition: 50, SP 9 14-color lithograph/screenprint, hand-cut  29 1/4 x 44 1/4 inches Courtesy of Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl

Exhibition Spotlight: Elizabeth Murray

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Much of Elizabeth Murray’s artwork references domestic still lives: coffee cups, utensils, furniture, eggs over easy. But as David Hickey noted in his 2005 essay about her printmaking at Gemini G.E.L., these still lives “are anything but still.” Her artwork is a “kind of graphic cubism” that expands beyond the traditional framework that had once contained the biomorphic inventions of Joan Miro, the riotous color of Henri Matisse and the fractured representations of Pablo Picasso.

Trained as a painter, first at the Art Institute of Chicago and then at Mills College in Oakland, California, Murray headed to New York after completing her MFA. She first gained acclaim as one of the featured artists in the annual exhibition Contemporary American Painting held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1972. Over the years, she has held sixty solo exhibitions including a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 2005. In 1999, she was awarded the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award.

Murray’s shaped canvases literally explode from the wall as passionate and enthusiastic translations of the everyday made extraordinary. Her pieces are not windows into an illusionistic two-dimensional space but rather they are the actual spaces where her invented objects exist. They suggest a conflation of cartoon-inspired surrealism (think Max and Dave Fleischer, the creators of Betty Boop and Popeye) and 1960s Pop Art but with much more attention to gesture and surface.

Similarly, her work on paper will not be constrained by the limitations of the rectangle, often resulting in her decision to cut and construct the image into shapes that further define the composition. In this print, The Deep Blue C, the artist might simply be referring to the blue cup that dominates the composition but she also might be drawing our attention to the tidal motion of rocking and reeling that results in what can best be described as whitecaps erupting from that cup. That palpable energy is barely contained within the print itself, which is circumscribed by a scalloped pink doily, plate, placemat, tablecloth or even table top, beneath the “C.” This domestic scene of morning coffee or afternoon tea is far from tranquil. Murray’s comical depiction of this tempest in a teacup seems to acknowledge the underlying tension and anxiety of modern domesticity and the inherent possibility of psychological crisis.

Elizabeth Murray (American, 1940–2007) Deep Blue C, 2001 Edition: 50, SP 9 14-color lithograph/screenprint, hand-cut  29 1/4 x 44 1/4 inches Courtesy of Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl

Elizabeth Murray

(American, 1940–2007)

Deep Blue C, 2001

Edition: 50, SP 9/10

14-color lithograph/screenprint, hand-cut

Courtesy of Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl

 

A Little Lunch Music, 12/14/2017: Auburn Music Club Singers Presenting Christmas Concert

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On Thursday, December 15 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Auditorium by the Auburn Music Club Singers. The group will present a choral program of traditional Christmas music and featuring composers including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Wesley D. Peters, Emmett Kennedy, Victor C. Johnson, Herbert Chappel, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Peter Gruber. Pianist Mary Slaton will take requests from the audience for Christmas carols. Gifts from Bill Wilson and anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

The group’s director, Phyllis Gauker, has degrees in music from Auburn and from William & Mary. She studied voice and conducting and taught high school choral music in Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands before moving back to Auburn. There she worked for the city until retiring.

In 2002, Gauker accepted the volunteer director position, promising every year to expose its members to serious choral repertoire. Each year, she and the Singers work up programs for a spring concert and a Christmas concert.

On Thursday, the singers will present traditional and new Christmas music, with solos by Jacquiruth Kemp Stover and flutist Janet H. Sanders. Pianist Elizabeth Rutledge will accompany the choir. Pianist Mary Slaton will close the program with carols requested by the audience.

“I don’t think that we’re preparing a program just for an audience,” Gauker said. “We’re doing it for ourselves as well.” The all-women group rehearses weekly on Tuesday mornings. Currently at twelve singers, they are open to accepting new members.

Slaton, who also has music degrees, says she has sung with the group off-and-on for about five years. “Some of it gets kind of tough,” Slaton said. “It’s hard music.” But she said most people in the group have experience or training in music. She said Gauker can be demanding, but that’s ok. “She is knowledgable,” Slaton said. “She knows what she’s talking about.”

Gauker says Thursday’s first two pieces will show the variety of music the group performs. She says Joseph M. Martin’s “Sing! Shout! Alleluia!” is a new piece with contemporary rhythms that is a lot of fun. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Alleluia Canon” follows, composed in the late 1700s. “In contrast it is so wonderful,” she said.

Gauker says her mission is to foster the experience of singing in an ensemble. She says a professional approach to rehearsing choral repertoire gives a real feeling of accomplishment, and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. “They get the satisfaction of the soloist who could do it alone without having to do it alone,” she said.

“Equally important is having fun,” said Gauker. “That’s why we don’t get as much done as we want, because we’re having such a good time.”

For information about joining the Auburn Music Club Singers, contact Gauker at 334-887-7261.

Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926) Kneeling in an Arm Chair, 1903 Edition: ca. 50, numbered 2 in pencil Drypoint engraving 11 7/8 x 9 9/16 inches Courtesy Pia Gallo

Collection Spotlight- Mary Cassatt

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Mary Cassatt
(American, 1844–1926)
Kneeling in an Arm Chair, 1903
Edition: ca. 50, numbered 2 in pencil
Drypoint engraving
Courtesy Pia Gallo

Mary Cassatt was born into a family of wealth and privilege who objected to her aspirations of becoming a professional artist. In spite of this lack of familial support, Cassatt today is recognized as one of America’s most significant masters of the late 19th and early 20th century. As an ex-patriate she is credited with influencing and shaping American art tastes as evidenced by the Havemeyer Collection of Impressionism now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

At the early age of fifteen, Cassatt began her formal studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia but she was disappointed in the limited instruction she received as a female student. In 1866, she persuaded her mother to move with her to Paris where she continued her studies under the private tutelage of Jean-Léon Gérôme and later Thomas Couture. By 1868, she had a painting selected to be in the Paris Salon, but it would be another decade before Cassatt would find her true artistic identity among the Impressionists, that infamous group of painters that defied academic tradition. Her introduction to the group came through Edgar Degas, who encouraged Cassatt to explore other media such as pastel and intaglio printmaking on copper plate (which she was first introduced to by Carlo Raimondi in Parma, Italy in 1872). Over the next few decades she would become extremely skillful and innovative at both mediums.

During her years in Paris, Cassatt’s extended family was a constant presence and were the subject of several of her paintings. Many of these images include her closely observed treatments of a mother and child, for which she became known. She did not over-romanticize these images, but focused instead on the individuality and temperament of her subjects.

“Kneeling in an Arm Chair is an exceptionally fine, early impression of this drypoint image from 1903, which features Margot, the daughter of Reine Lefebvre who lived near the artist’s summer home, Chateau de Beaufresne at Mesnil-Theribus in Oise,” said Marilyn Laufer, director, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. “Both mother and child often sat for Cassatt. There is undoubtedly an ease and familiarity with her young subject, which enabled Cassatt to capture that fleeting moment when the child paused to consider something outside the picture frame. Her gaze is wistful, but in an instant, we know that her impatience will return and she will resume her childlike perpetual motion.”

Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926) Kneeling in an Arm Chair, 1903 Edition: ca. 50, numbered 2 in pencil Drypoint engraving 11 7/8 x 9 9/16 inches Courtesy Pia Gallo

A Little Lunch Music: AU Faculty and Students Performing Music for Horn and Piano

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On Thursday, December 7 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Grand Gallery. Featured will be music for horn-piano duo and music for horn trio. The duo is hornist William Schaffer and pianist Joshua Pifer. Members of the Auburn University Horn Ensemble playing trio music are Andrew Kirk, Jonythan Tribble, Tripp Gulledge, and Sam Becker, all students of Dr. Schaffer. The program will include music by Anton Reicha, Eugène Bozza, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Peter Schickele. Gifts from anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for the calendar event page with more about the performers and the full schedule for fall 2017.

Schaffer is assistant professor of Horn and Music Theory at Auburn and serves as principal horn in Florida’s Sinfonia Gulf Coast. He has published original, arranged, and historical works for horn and brass ensembles.

Schaffer says Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Horn Concerto No. 4,” is the biggest work on Thursday’s program and was the second one composed by Mozart. “They numbered them after his death, and they got them out of order,” Schaffer said. He says it was probably written for Mozart’s good friend and horn virtuoso Joseph Leutgeb. Its third movement contains the hunting themes common in horn music.

“The horn made its way into Western music by its use in the hunt,” Schaffer said. “It was a signaling instrument, essentially.” He said the curved shape allowed it to be carried on a horseman’s shoulder, and it was designed so that the bell pointed behind the rider and away from the horse’s sensitive ears. He says it first showed up in concert music during hunting scenes in operas in the 1600s, possibly earlier.

Even after its transition from the hunting trail to the formal concert venue, the horn didn’t gain full acceptance into the world of art-music for centuries. “They didn’t hire a valve horn teacher until 1902 at Paris Conservatory,” Schaffer said.

Thursday’s program will also feature French composer Eugène Bozza’s “En Foret,” written in 1941 for horn and piano. “It was a [Paris] conservatory contest piece,” Schaffer said. “If you won, you actually got a cash prize and a job.”

Bozza designed “En Foret” to showcase what the instrument can do. “It uses every single timbre of the horn,” Schaffer said. Open horn is the normal unaltered sound, echo horn is when the player uses the hand to cover most of the bell’s opening, stopped horn refers to using the hand to completely cover the bell, and muted horn makes use of a mute inserted into the bell. Each technique produces a different tone color.

Schaffer says “En Foret” is episodic, presenting one melodic idea after another, returning at the end to the original theme. He said it uses harmonies common to Western musical tradition, but like the melodies, it exhibits sections with different tonal centers. “When I was in school, we used to refer to these [pieces] as quasi-tonal,” Schaffer said.

The student horn ensemble will perform three trios by Anton Reicha, a court musician who was a contemporary of Ludvig van Beethoven. “These trios are really well known to horn players, but I’m not sure anyone else knows about them,” Schaffer said.

Hornist Thomas Bacon once asked his young grandson a question. In 1992, the result inspired a piece that Bacon commissioned composer and parodist Peter Schickele to write entitled “What Did You Do Today at Jeffy’s House?” Schaffer says the work is really short and cute with movements titled after the child’s answers. Schaffer and Pifer will end the program with this piece.

Pifer is a senior lecturer at Auburn, recently returning from a two-week piano residency in Taiwan. He is an international performer, clinician, and adjudicator, and is a founding member of both Duo Echo with oboist Jennifer Pifer and Plains2 with trombonist Matthew Wood. He released his first solo CD, “Alexander Tcherepnin My Favorite Piano Works,” in 2015.

A Little Lunch Music, 11/30/2017: Award-Winning Classical Guitarist Performing

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On Thursday, December 30 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Grand Gallery by classical guitarist Kevin Manderville. The program will feature music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Gerardo Tamez, Phillip Houghton, John Doan, Pieter Van der Staak, and others. Gifts from Jack & Jane Brown and from anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for the event page on our calendar with the full fall schedule.

Manderville has won top prizes in competitions including first prize at the Montreal International Classical Guitar Festival. He has performed throughout North America and Europe and has premiered works including some written for him.

Thursday’s program will include Scottish lute pieces from the late Renaissance period, a transcription of cello music by Johann Sebastian Bach from the Baroque Period, and a series of pieces composed in the late twentieth-century.

Manderville will perform two pieces by Phillip Houghton, an Australian composer who died in October. Manderville says the composer had many influences and listed rock, jazz, new age, mythology, world music, and classical music among them. Furthermore, the piece “God of the Northern Forest” was inspired by Australia’s Northern Territory and a painting of the same name by Swiss artist Paul Klee.

Manderville says the wildness of “God of the Northern Forest” contrasts with Houghton’s “Kinkachoo, I Love You,” which is quiet, meditative, and ambient. “It’s flowing, with a sense of weightlessness,” Manderville said. Both pieces are featured on Manderville’s 2010 debut CD, “Through the Centuries” released on the Clear Note label. Click here to see and purchase the CD on Clear Note’s website.

Gerardo Tamez is a still-living composer born in 1948. Manderville says he is not well-known in the U.S., and found Tamez’s work, “Aires de Son,” doing internet searches for ideas. “I fell in love with this piece,” Manderville said. “It’s got a little bit of everything.”

Manderville says “Aires de Son” includes very beautiful lyricism, a dance written in an odd meter, and things that remind him of music Andres Segovia would play. Segovia was a twentieth-century guitarist, iconic to the classical guitar genre.

Thursday’s program will include Pieter Van der Staak’s “Three Moods from the Song of Solomon.” Manderville says it is a profound work, though under five minutes long. “There’s more music than the length,” he said, adding that it was inspired by the Biblical Song of Soloman and has Middle Eastern influences.

Manderville says he heard John Doan’s piece, “Farewell,” many years ago in graduate school, but it didn’t fit into any category of music expected of a graduate student. “It’s something a little different than what a classical musician would typically play,” Manderville said, citing its simplicity, beautiful melodies, and Celtic flavors. “As I’ve gotten older and have played more, it’s nice to play something that’s beautiful as opposed to academic or substantial…There’s a lot of just beautiful lyricism in this program.”

With degrees from Stetson University and Florida State University, Manderville has served on college faculties in Georgia, New York, Florida, and Alabama. Currently based in Montgomery, he directs the classical guitar program at Carver Elementary Arts Magnet School and is on the faculty at Huntingdon College.

photo credit: Susan Stripling

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Upcoming Events

Wed 24

Teen TBD Design Contest Deadline

January 24 @ 5:00 pm
Thu 25

A Little Lunch Music, Spring 2018

January 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Thu 25

Third Thursday Poetry Series

January 25 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm