Pomona College Music Department Faculty Present a Varied Program of Solo and Chamber Music

Pomona College’s Department of Music announces the performers and program for its upcoming concert Fête musicale, to be held at noon on Saturday, October 30. The concert features a series of short performances by members of the Department’s artistic faculty highlighting works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Fête musicale will run until 3:30 p.m. in Bridges Hall of Music, 150 E. Fourth St, Claremont.

The program is set up in four tableaux, each separated by a 15–20-minute intermission. The opening, Tableau 1, features performances with guest violinist Jin-Shan Dai, joined by pianist Jennie Jung in music by Lili Boulanger and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Dai is a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, recipient of numerous prizes and accolades, among them the top prize in the 2000 Emerson International Chamber Music Competition. Jung, a graduate of The Juilliard School, made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at age 11 and is a member of the award-winning Jung Trio. The duo of violist Cynthia Fogg and cellist Tom Flaherty takes the stage next in a selection by Evan Chambers. Fogg and Flaherty are familiar to Claremont audiences as the duo Celliola. Fogg has performed with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles, including the Kronos and Alexander quartets, extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. Flaherty, also an acclaimed composer, is the John P. and Magdalena R. Dexter Professor of Music at Pomona College and an active cellist in the Los Angeles area. Rounding out the first tableau, bassoonist Carolyn Beck performs works by Adrienne Albert, Daniel Rothman and Reena Esmail. Described by Gramophone as “a fearless player… as well as a musician with a keen sense of phrasing and color,” Beck is principal bassoonist of the Redlands and San Bernardino symphonies, as well as a champion of new music.

Tableau 2 sees pianist Jennie Jung return to the stage, this time joined by tubist Stephen Klein in a selection by Raymond Burkhart and another by Robert Spillman. Klein has performed with the Pacific Symphony, Opera Pacific, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and on many television and movie soundtracks. Flutist Rachel Rudich and Gayle Blankenburg follow in two movements from Pomona College’s emeritus faculty composer Karl Kohn’s Paronyms. A specialist in contemporary music Rudich is hailed for her performances internationally, and The New York Times has written, “Miss Rudich plays very beautifully, producing a smooth, silken tone, phrasing with spirited elegance, and operating with a crucial sense of linear continuity that characterizes a polished artist.” Joining her, Blankenburg was a roster artist with Southwest Chamber Music from 1996-2003. She has recorded over a dozen award-winning albums, and has performed from New York City to Christchurch, New Zealand and Vienna, Austria to Xiamen, China.

Cellist Maggie Parkins and pianist Aron Kallay kick-off Tableau 3 with a world premiere by local composer Bill Alves and music by Lou Harrison. Parkins is an enthusiastic chamber musician with a passion for new music, which she performs with the Eclipse Quartet, Brightwork newmusic, and the Mojave Trio in addition to having performed with numerous orchestras under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Bernstein, Simon Rattle, and others. Kallay has been described as a “modern renaissance man,” (Over the Mountain Journal) and this Grammy®-nominated pianist’s playing has been called “exquisite…every sound sounded considered, alive, worthy of our wonder” (Los Angeles Times). They are followed by harpist Alison Bjorkedal performing music by Bernard Andrés, Rima Snyder'79, Marcel Tournier and more. Bjorkedal has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as an “excellent player” and “a force field unto her own.” She has recorded albums with artists including Madonna and Kid Cudi, as well as for the motion picture industry. A proponent of new music, she has premiered works by William Kraft, Anne LeBaron, Wadada Leo Smith and others.

Rounding out the program Tableau 4 unites violinist Sarah Thornblade and cellist Parkins in works by Carlos Simon and Jessie Montgomery. Thornblade, associate principal second violin of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, has had her playing described by the Los Angeles Times as “rapturously winning,” and the Santa Barbara News writes that “she is a marvelously versatile musician.”  As a chamber musician she is a member of the Eclipse Quartet and has been a grand prize winner at the Fischoff and Coleman competitions. Closing the program, oboist Francisco Castillo performs a selection by Benjamin Britten and offers the world premiere of one of his own compositions. Castillo is principal oboe with the Redlands Symphony and the California Philharmonic and often performs in chamber music programs. As a composer, his output extends from solo music and chamber works, to chamber and full orchestra compositions.

The concert is free and open to the public, with mandatory COVID-19 protocols. Protocols include proof of vaccination, photo ID and completion of Pomona College’s Daily Health Checks. All indoor venues require masking at all times. For more information, please visit our Concert Safety Information webpage available from pomona.edu/music-calendar.

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Fête musicale schedule

Tableau No. 1
Jin-Shan Dai, violin & Jennie Jung, piano
     Zwilich:          Sonata in Three Movements

Cynthia Fogg, viola & Tom Flaherty, cello
    Chambers:      Fisherstreet Duo

Carolyn Beck, bassoon
    Albert:            Serenade
    Rotham:         May I have this dance? Happy Birthday Waltz
    Esmail:           Zinfandel

Tableau No. 2 [@ 1pm]
Stephen Klein, tuba & Gayle Blankenburg, piano
    Burkhart:       Elegy
    Spillman:       Concerto

Rachel Rudich,  flute & Gayle Blankenburg, piano
    Kohn:             Paronyms
                              mvt III for bass flute
                              mvt IV for flute

Tableau No. 3 [@ 2pm]
Maggie Parkins, cello & Aron Kallay, piano
    Alves:               Show Attachment (world premiere)
    Harrison:         Suite

Alison Bjorkedal, harp
    Traditional:       Selections from Shady Grove
    Andrés:             Two movements from Espices, no. 1
    Snyder' 79:       Vermillion, Crimson, Azure
    Tournier:            Jazz-Band (for solo harp)

Tableau No. 4  [@ 2:45pm]
Sarah Thornblade, violin & Maggie Parkins, cello
    Simon:             Where two or three are gathered
    Montgomery:   Duo

Francisco Castillo, oboe
    Britten:             Six Metamorphosis After Ovid
    Castillo:            Controversias No. II (world premiere)



Visit our online calendar, pomona.edu/music-calendar to learn about other upcoming concerts


Thatcher Music Building – 340 N. College Ave, Claremont, 91711
Bridges Hall of Music – 150 E. Fourth St., Claremont 91711