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Voices of Change 2011/2012 Subscription Series: Season Finale with Claude Baker

Six members of Meadows music faculty will be part of May 6 concert in Caruth Auditorium

Free admission to SMU students, faculty and staff with an SMU ID.

Voices of Change presents the season finale featuring music of composer Claude Baker, professor of music at Indiana University, along with music by Baker’s former student Martin Kennedy, and Czech composer Bohuslav Martinû. The concert is at Caruth Auditorium at Southern Methodist University at 7:30 p.m. The pre-concert forum at 6:30 with Laurie Shulman will be held in the Choral Hall.

Claude Baker will make a personal appearance at this concert, after having worked in the afternoon with the winners of the Texas Young Composers Competition (at 4:00 p.m. in the Meadows Museum Smith Auditorium). Baker holds a doctorate from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He currently is Class of 1956 Chancellor’s Professor of Composition at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Baker’s appearance is funded in part by a grant from New Music USA’s MetLife Creative Connections program, formerly Meet the Composer.

The program begins with Baker’s mournful Elegy, played by Artistic Director Maria Schleuning. Elegy was commissioned by violinist Lewis Kaplan, and premiered in 1979 in New York. Mysterious and eerie in nature, Elegy is said to reflect upon both the memory of a dear friend but “can also be viewed as an homage to Béla Bartók, whose ghost haunts every page,” according to Baker.

The second featured work of Baker’s is Three Phantasy Pieces for viola and percussion, played by Barbara Sudweeks, Meadows viola faculty, and Drew Lang, Meadows percussion faculty. Each movement is inspired by a well-known work for viola from the Western Tradition, with that composer’s name bearing the movement’s title: “J.B.” for Johannes Brahms, “R.S.” for Robert Schumann and “H.B.” for Hector Berlioz. Baker references these composers’ formal and motivic esthetics to produce his own work of mastery and expressiveness.

Tableaux Funébres, a piano quintet, is the final featured work by Baker on the program. Tableaux Funébres’ four movements each provide musical commentary for a haiku text.

Baker states that “the music… seeks not only to reflect the moods suggested by the poetry, but to amplify the implied meanings present in each haiku… and even to create additional associations.” The movements are ordered in such a way as to establish an interrelationship among them that is paralleled musically. The haikus have been selected from Japanese poets Ranko, Shiki, and Basho. Arists are Maria Schleuning violin, Kaori Yoshida second violin, Barbara Sudweeks, viola, Kari Nostbakken, cello and Liudmila Georgievskaya, Meadows piano faculty.

Four Songs for Flute and Piano by British-American composer Martin Kennedy will be performed by flautist Helen Blackburn and Carol Leone, Meadows piano faculty. Martin Kennedy, a pianist himself, began and completed both his Bachelors and Masters of Music in composition at Indiana University. His subsequently attained his doctorate from the Julliard School, where he was a C. V. Starr Doctoral Fellow. Four Songs conveys a variety of emotions, and exhibits skillful technique at every turn.

Duo N° I by Bohuslav Martinû is the oldest work on the program. Completed in 1928, this piece reflects the Czech heritage of its composer, with many folk-like intervals and rhythms to tickle the ears. The work maintains a connection to Western tonality but the instruments remain dancing just outside of it. Maria Schleuning, violin, and Kari Nostbakken, cello, will perform.

The concert:

Claude Baker (b.1948):
Elegy 1979 (solo violin)
Three Phantasy Pieces 2003, rev. 2005 (viola, percussion)

Martin Kennedy (b.1978):
Four Songs 1999 (flute, piano)

Bohuslav Martinû (1890-1959):
Duo N° 1 1928 (violin, cello)

Claude Baker:
Tableaux Funébres 2003, (piano quintet)

VOC ensemble members performing in this concert: Maria Schleuning, violin; Helen Blackburn, flute ; Barbara Sudweeks, viola; Kari Nostbakken, cello.

Guest artists: Kaori Yoshida, violin, Carol Leone, piano; Liudmila Georgievskaya, piano, Drew Lang, percussion.

Pre-concert forum at 6:30 in Choral Hall.

Single Concerts $30 ($25 online); Students with ID FREE.
Order online at VOC website: voicesofchange.org or call 214-378-8670.

Voices of Change core ensemble:
Helen Blackburn, flute; Paul Garner, Meadows clarinet faculty; Maria Schleuning, violin; Barbara Sudweeks, viola; Kari Nostbakken, cello; Deborah Mashburn, percussion; Virginia Dupuy, Meadows mezzo-soprano voice faculty.

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