Crumb at 90

The last days of March and the early days of April bring stellar musical guests and faculty artists together in two weekend performances. The first unites soprano Christine Brandes and pianist/composer Eric Moe in a recital of wide-ranging music composed from 1828 to 2017 at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 31. The following weekend, faculty and friends join forces to celebrate American composer George Crumb’s 90th birthday with a program of his music on Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m. Both recitals will be held in Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. Fourth St., Claremont), and are free and open to the public.

Brandes, noted for her radiant, crystalline voice and superb musicianship, brings her committed artistry to her programs featuring music from the 17th century to newly composed works. She enjoys an active career in North America and abroad, performing at many of the world’s most distinguished festivals and concert series in programs spanning from recitals to chamber music and oratorio to opera. Joining her is San Francisco-based Moe, who has received numerous grants and awards for his work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship; commissions from the Fromm Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation and Meet-the-Composer USA. His playing can be heard on the Koch, CRI, Mode, Albany, New World Records and Innova labels. The New York Times has called Moe’s compositions as “music of winning exuberance.” Their Pomona College program will include music by Debussy, Schoenberg, Schubert, Barbara White and Moe.

The following weekend, ten stellar performers will celebrate the music of 90-year-old George Crumb. Known as the “American composer [who] continues to explore sonic possibilities in works of surprising and enchanting content,” (Gramophone), has received both Grammy and Pulitzer prizes. The first of two works being performed is Celestial Mechanics (1970), (Makrokosmos IV) for piano four-hands with Genevieve Feiwen Lee and Brian Hsu. Faculty member Lee, a Grammy®-nominated pianist and Pomona College’s Everett S. Olive Professor of Music, is a versatile performer of music that spans five centuries. In addition to giving solo recitals, she is a member of the Mojave Trio, and has performed on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Series. Award-winning pianist Hsu has delighted audiences throughout Spain, Italy, Japan, South Africa and the U.S., appearing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Taiwan National Symphony, at numerous music festivals and can be heard on the Albany Records label with the Pro Arte quartet.

The second work is Ancient Voices of Children (1970), “A Cycle of Songs on Texts by Federico García Lorca,” which has been hailed by The New York Times as a “full-blown masterpiece...music that springs to life as a whole.” The performers for this celebratory Pomona College performance include Brandon Takahashi (boy soprano), Melissa Givens (soprano), Francisco Castillo (oboe), Joti Rockwell (mandolin), Alison Bjorkedal (harp), Lee (piano), Yuri Inoo, Derek Tywoniuk and Dustin Donahue (percussion).

Takahashi, who made his solo debut with the Los Angeles Opera in The Magic Flute, is a member of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and has sung with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Givens, especially noted for her expressiveness and elegance on the stage, is an assistant professor of music at Pomona College. In addition to her solo appearances she continues to perform with the Grammy®-nominated Ars Lyrica Houston and Grammy® winning Conspirare. Castillo, who teaches oboe at Pomona, is principal oboist with the California Philharmonic Orchestra, the Redlands Symphony and the Pasadena Pops Orchestra, and has performed with numerous Southern California orchestras including the San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and others. Rockwell, associate professor of music at Pomona College, plays roots music, bluegrass and contemporary concert music on the guitar, mandolin, banjo and pedal steel guitar. He also performs in and coordinates Giri Kusuma, Pomona College’s Balinese gamelan ensemble. Grammy® award-winning harpist Bjorkedal has been called by the Los Angeles Times an “excellent player” and “enterprising young harpist.” A member of Southwest Chamber Music, she has performed with the San Diego Symphony, Long Beach Symphony and Opera, Opera Santa Barbara and wildUP. Inoo has performed with Yo Yo Ma, John Williams, Evelyn Glennie and others. Tywoniuk has appeared with wildUP, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, The Cleveland Orchestra and at the Ojai Music Festival. Donahue has played with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and on the Ojai Music Festival, Jacaranda Music and San Diego New Music seasons.

Both concerts are funded by the Pomona College Department of Music which is grateful for continuing gifts from friends and alumni, which support the Music Department’s academic mission and concert series.

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Brandes and Moe
3 p.m. Sunday, March 31, 2019
Bridges Hall of Music
Free Admission

Debussy...................... Trios Chansons de Bilitis (1897)
Schoenberg................ Das Buch der hängenden Gärten (1908-09)
White......................... I hear a clear stream singing, beneath these frozen tears (2017)
Schubert..................... excerpts from Schwanengesang (1828)
Moe............................ selections from Sonnets to Orpheus (1997)
Moe............................ Tough Songs (2017)
 

Celebrating George Crumb at 90
3 p.m. Sunday, April 7, 2019
Bridges Hall of Music
Free Admission

Celestial Mechanics (1970), (Makrokosmos IV)
for piano four-hands with pianists Brian Hsu and Genevieve Feiwen Lee

Ancient Voices of Children (1970) “A Cycle of Songs on Texts by Federico García Lorca”
with Brandon Takahashi (boy soprano), Melissa Givens (soprano), Francisco Castillo (oboe), Joti Rockwell (mandolin), Alison Bjorkedal (harp), Genevieve Feiwen Lee (piano), Yuri Inoo, Derek Tywoniuk and Dustin Donahue (percussion)

All programs and artists subject to change.

More Concerts @ www.pomona.edu/music-calenda