Joining in the two-year-long international celebration, Leonard Bernstein at 100, Pomona College faculty artists – each recognized for acclaimed musicianship in performances here and abroad – come together for this special celebratory performance. The program, coordinated by the Everett S. Olive Professor of Music and pianist Genevieve Feiwen Lee, also features soprano Melissa Givens, clarinetist Gary Bovyer, cellist Maggie Parkins and pianist Jennie Jung in Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. Fourth St., Claremont) at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. The recital is free and open to the public.
“This program,” says Lee “runs the gamut of Bernstein’s 47 years of composing including his first published work from 1942 – the Clarinet Sonata – to “Variations on an Octatonic Theme” which was published after his death in 1990.” In addition to the broad timeline reflected in the music chosen for this concert, the selections highlight his diverse range of his compositional styles and musical curiosity. “From Bernstein’s iconic ‘West Side Story’ and a trio of songs from ‘La Bonne Cuisine’ (Four Recipes) with fun titles such as Ox Tails and Plum Pudding to the stirring Third Meditation from the “Mass” arranged by Bernstein for solo cello and piano, this is an incredible opportunity to hear the range of Bernstein’s musical output in a single concert,” shares Lee.
Grammy®-nominated Lee has thrilled audiences on the piano, harpsichord, toy piano, keyboard and electronics. She has performed at Merkin Concert Hall in New York and the Salle Gaveau in Paris, and since her first engagement with the York Symphony at the age of 12, she has appeared with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra (Brazil), the Vratza State Philharmonic (Bulgaria) and The Orchestra of Northern New York, among others. Her concerts in Changsha, China, were broadcast by Hunan State Television, and her performance from the Spiegelzaal at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was broadcast on live radio (AVRO). A champion of new music, Lee has premiered and commissioned numerous pieces and has appeared with XTET, Southwest Chamber Music and Jacaranda. She is a founding member of the Mojave Trio, and as a member of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet she performed at Carnegie Hall. She can also be heard on recordings on the Innova and Albany labels.
Hailed as a singer whose music making is “consistently rewarding” and “a pleasure to hear” (Houston Chronicle), Givens is an extremely versatile artist, who regularly performs repertoire from the Baroque era through music of the 21st century. An Early Music America review of her performance at a Boston Early Music Festival Fringe concert praised her voice as “beautiful and rich.” Givens has toured Europe and Africa in “Pitié!” – an adaptation of Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” with the Belgian dance collective Les Ballets C de la B and can be heard on the subsequent recording on Cyprès Records. Recently she has presented concerts in Minnesota, Indiana, Calgary and Houston, and with Grammy® Award-winning chamber vocal ensemble Conspirare, including a recent national tour of Craig Hella Johnson’s Grammy®-nominated oratorio “Considering Matthew Shepard.” Her solo appearances with groups on major label releases have received enthusiastic reviews, and she can also be heard on her solo CD, “let the rain kiss you.”
Bovyer is principal clarinetist of the Long Beach Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale Sinfonia and Orchestra Santa Monica. Mark Swed wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “...the clarinet, exquisitely played by Gary Bovyer, reached such a degree of quiet tenderness that the ending felt more like a mystical breeze lightly touching the skin than sound waves striking the ear.” The Long Beach Gazette said of his solo performance with the Long Beach Symphony, “Quiet perfection marked the Mozart Clarinet Concerto as performed by Gary Bovyer…, his sound creamy and luscious…what came through was fabulous Mozart, in all its glory.” Bovyer has also been an active clarinetist in the Los Angeles recording studios for over 25 years.
Parkins is equally at home performing chamber music, orchestral music and the avant-garde, concertizing throughout the Americas and Europe. She is a founding member of the Eclipse Quartet and Mojave Trio. Outside the classical tradition, she has performed with Todd Sickafoose, the Jazz Passengers, Anthony Braxton and Alex Cline, and as a recording artist she can be heard on the Tzadik, Avan and Victo labels. Parkins has appeared at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Banff Centre, Festival Internacional de Musica de Cadaques (Spain), Spoleto (USA and Italy), the Taktlos Festival (Switzerland), and the Bach Aria Festival (New York).
Jung made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the age of 11 and has since performed in North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. She has performed with the Republic of Tatarstan Symphony, Korean Philharmonic, Taejon Symphony; and the Korean-Canadian, University of Toronto, Hart House and Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestras. As a collaborative pianist, she has been on staff at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, Aspen Summer Music Festival, Gregor Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists and the Banff Centre for the Arts. A member of the award-winning Jung Trio with her sisters, Ellen and Julie, she holds degrees from the University of Toronto, Yale University, and received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School.
Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
La bonne cuisine, A Julia de Burgos and Piccola Serenata, songs for soprano and piano
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story for two pianos
Meditation No. 3 from the Mass for cello and piano
Variations on an Octatonic Theme for clarinet and cello