This Spring's Series Highlights International Guest Artists, Faculty and Students in Concert

The Pomona College Department of Music’s spring 2024 season blends guest, faculty and student performances in an array of free concerts that “reflect the many ways of creating, understanding and participating in music,” shares Joti Rockwell, chair of the Music Department. “As part of our curriculum, our concerts bring together students, faculty, staff, community members and guest artists offering our audiences experiences and opportunities to learn about music from across the globe and throughout history. We hope you enjoy!” he says.

The “exquisite” (Los Angeles Times) Ray-Kallay Duo, with pianists Vicki Ray and Aron Kallay, opens the series on Jan. 27 with their program Music of Californians, built on a rich tapestry of past and present composers who have called California home. With multi-media elements, the program includes music by João Pedro Oliveira, Rand Steiger, Nina Shekhar, Sean Friar, Veronika Krausas and Ray.

The Ussachevsky Memorial Festival of Electroacoustic Music, a festival of music for humans and electronics led by Tom Flaherty, the John P. and Magdalena R. Dexter Professor of Music, returns with two concerts on Feb. 2 and 3. Performing faculty include Carolyn Beck, Alison Bjorkedal, Francisco Castillo, Cindy Fogg, Jennie Jung, Ursula Kleinecke, Genevieve Feiwen Lee, Maggie Parkins and Rachel Rudich. They offer chamber and solo selections by Bill Alves, Eve Beglarian, Liam Carey, Castillo, Flaherty, Daniel Kessner, Nathan Schram, Roby Steinnmetzer, Karen Tanaka and Peter Van Zandt Lane.

As part of their US tour, Opera Prima and soprano Amanda Forsythe come to Pomona College to present Tormento Seicento: Love and torment in the music of Monteverdi, Rossi, Merula, Caccini, and others on Feb. 7. Founded by viola da gamba virtuoso Cristiano Contadin, the Italian ensemble was created to give life to historically informed performances of the Renaissance and Baroque periods with technical mastery and buoyant enthusiasm. Contadin, known for his “absolute mastery of the instrument,” (Musica Magazine), regularly collaborates with ensembles from Milan to Berlin and can be heard on recordings on the Sony, EMI Classical, Universal (Deutsche Grammophon), Hyperion, Stradivarius, Naxos and other labels. Soprano Amanda Forsythe, known for performances on both sides of the Atlantic, and is equally at home in concert and on the opera stage. She has appeared with Tafelmusik, Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Symphony, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano and others.

Genevieve Feiwen Lee presents the final concert in her series of Beethoven Piano-Violin Sonata programs on Feb. 10. Joining Lee is “lyrical” (Washington Post) violinist Lina Bahn, performing two Beethoven sonatas, Andy Akiho’s Hammers and Dobrinka Tabakova’s Spinning a Yarn. Known for her musicianship and interest in collaborative and innovative repertoire, Bahn is a founding member of MoVE (Modern Violin Ensemble) and is on faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music.

On March 2, guest ensemble Gamelan Merdu Kumala comes to Mabel Shaw Bridges Hall of Music with fresh interpretations of Balinese repertoire from Southern California’s premier gamelan performers.

Also that weekend, on March 3, Artifex Consort and PRISM Choral Ensemble present Voices and Viols, a program of English consort songs and anthems by Byrd, Gibbons, Tomkins, and Weelkes. The early music concert is led by artistic directors Malachai Komanoff Bandy of Artifex Consort, and Donna M. Di Grazia, the David J. Baldwin Professor of Music, and Pomona College graduate Adrien Redford of PRISM.

William Peterson returns to the Hill Memorial organ on March 22 to present a program of music from the WWI era by Louis Vierne, Camille Saint-Saëns, Joseph Jongen, Jacques Ibert and others.

Fête musicale returns on March 24 to offer a program of eclectic selections of solo and chamber performances by faculty and friends including Carolyn Beck, Francisco Castillo, Tom Flaherty, Cynthia Fogg, Stephen Klein, Kathryn Nevin, Rachel Rudich and Phillip Young, featuring music by Bartók, Castillo, Flaherty, Klein and Kohn.

A program of African-American Spirituals, performed by soprano Melissa Givens and pianist Shannon Hesse, will be presented on March 30. It brings together a program of familiar and lesser-known works by new and renowned composers.

In April, two chamber groups are slated to perform. The Mojave Trio with Genevieve Feiwen Lee, Sara Parkins and Maggie Parkins presents music of Rebecca Clarke, Bohuslav Martinů, Gao Ping, and James Diaz on April 7. The Manzanita Quartet, composed of Sakura Tsai, Kira Blumberg, Eric Lindholm and Genevieve Feiwen Lee, will perform piano quartets by Robert Schumann and others on April 20.

In addition to these performances, the department’s student ensembles--the Pomona College Orchestra, Pomona College Glee Club and Choir, Pomona College Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Balinese Gamelan and Afro-Cuban Music Ensemble--present concerts offering music by Beethoven, Brahms, Ticheli, Vaughan Williams, and lesser-known composers from across the globe throughout the semester. As a special highlight, the Orchestra will be joined by acclaimed soloists Julie Adams, Kelly Guerra, Rodell Rosel, Nmon Ford and the Pomona College Choir for a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Feb. 23 and 25.

The spring 2024 concert calendar is now available online and can also be picked up in the Thatcher Music Building on the Pomona College campus.

The department concerts are free and open to the public without tickets, except for the Feb. 23 and Feb. 25 Beethoven Ninth Symphony concerts, which require free tickets for entry. Tickets will be available beginning Feb. 14. Call (909) 607-1139.

See the full concert calendar