Soprano Melissa Givens is joined by Genevieve Feiwen Lee, piano in a program of songs chosen by Ms. Givens upon her 50th birthday. This is not just any old song recital, but one made up entirely of art songs written and/or published in the year the composer celebrated their own 50th, with texts that narrate the themes of fifty years of living.


The program includes selections by Beach, Brahms, Chaminade, Copland, Duke, Gounod, Hagen, Massenet, Price, Satie, Shostakovich and others.

American soprano Melissa Givens moves and excites audiences and critics alike. A champion of collaborative musical endeavors, Givens performs with various chamber music groups, including the Grammy®-nominated Ars Lyrica Houston and Conspirare: Craig Hella Johnson and Company of Voices, the 2015 Grammy®-winner for Best Choral Performance. A featured artist in Conspirare’s ongoing tours of Johnson’s groundbreaking oratorio “Considering Matthew Shepard,” she's been hailed as a singer whose music making is “consistently rewarding” and “a pleasure to hear,” (Houston Chronicle). Givens is a faculty member in the Pomona College Music Department.

Lee, a Grammy®-nominated pianist and member of the Pomona College faculty, has trilled audiences in New York, Paris and Amsterdam, and from China to Brazil with her “melting lyricism” and “singing melodies” (New Classic LA). She was recently featured with the Pomona College Orchestra performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with Eric Lindholm conducting.

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The Artist at Fifty
Melissa Givens, soprano with Genevieve Feiwen Lee, piano

8 p.m. Friday, February 15, 2019 | Mabel Shaw Bridges Hall fo Music


Anacrusis (2011) by Daron Aric Hagen b. 1961

On Youth
  Das Mädchen, Op. 95, No. 1 (1883) by Johannes Brahms 1833 – 1897
  Ne donne pas ton coeur (1892) by Jules Massenet 1842 – 1912
  Just-Spring (1949) by John Duke 1899 – 1984

On Dreams
  Ständchen (1841) by Giacomo Meyerbeer 1791 – 1864
  The Rose in the Wind, from The Rivals (1971) by Seymour Barab 1921 – 2014
  La statue de bronze, from Trois Mélodies (1916) by Erik Satie 1866 – 1925

On Love
  Donne-moi cette fleur (1868) by Charles Gounod 1818 – 1893
  Dream, from Spanish Songs, Op. 100 (1956) by Dmitri Shostakovich 1906 – 1975
  Arab Love Song, Op. 25, No. 4 (1927) by Roger Quilter 1877 – 1953


On Loss
  Auf dem Meer, Op. 11, No. 5 (1865) by Robert Franz 1815 – 1892
  Chanson naïve (1907) by Cécile Chaminade 1857 – 1944
  Heart, we will forget him, from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1950) by Aaron Copland 1900 – 1990

On Perseverance
  Im Wasser wogt die Lilie, Op. 40, No. 3 (1865) by Josephine Lang 1815 – 1880
  Mit vierzig Jahren, Op. 94, No. 1 (1883) by Brahms
  My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord (1937) Florence B. Price 1887 – 1953

On Time
  Let the Rain Kiss You (1998) by Ann Rivers Witherspoon b. 1948 
  In Blossom Time, Op. 78, No. 3 (1917) by Amy Cheney Beach 1867 – 1944
  Chanson à boire de vieux temps (1885) by Camille Saint-Saëns 1835 – 1921

On War and Peace
  There came a wind like a bugle, from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1950) by Copland
  So Pretty (1968) by Leonard Bernstein 1918 – 1990
  He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands (1963) by Margaret Bonds 1913 – 1972

This concert is generously supported by the Robert C. Mitchell ’26 Memorial Fund.
Pomona College is grateful to its alumni and friends whose continuing generosity makes this and other programs presented by the Department of Music possible.


šAmerican soprano Melissa Givens moves and excites audiences and critics alike with a rich, powerful tone, crystalline clarity, and intelligent musical interpretations. Especially noted for her expressiveness and elegance on the stage, she’s been hailed as a singer whose music making is “consistently rewarding” and “a pleasure to hear.” Givens is also an extremely versatile artist, regularly performing repertoire from the Baroque era through music of the 21st century.

Recent performances include the premiere of Daniel Gawthrop’s Advent cantata, Hope of Israel, the national tour of Craig Hella Johnson’s groundbreaking oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard, chamber music performances of Handel’s Deutsche Arien with the Cornucopia Baroque Ensemble, and art songs of Leonard Bernstein with Genevieve Feiwen Lee. Upcoming engagements include faculty recitals at Pomona and Scripps Colleges, and the release of her second solo recording, The Artist at Fifty, a recital of art songs from the composers’ fiftieth years.

A champion of collaborative musical endeavors, Givens performs with various chamber music groups, including Grammy®-nominated Ars Lyrica Houston and Conspirare, the 2015 Grammy® winner for Best Choral Performance. Her solo appearances on their major label releases have received enthusiastic reviews. She can also be heard on her debut solo CD, let the rain kiss you.

Givens is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Pomona College. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, a Master of Music from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Davidson College. She is a native of Buffalo, New York.


A versatile performer of music spanning five centuries, Grammy®-nominated Genevieve Feiwen Lee has thrilled audiences on the piano, harpsichord, toy piano, keyboard, and electronics.  She enjoys finding music that challenges her to go outside of her comfort zone to sing, speak, act, and play new instruments. She has given solo recitals at Merkin Concert Hall, NY, and the Salle Gaveau in Paris. Since her first concerto engagement at age twelve, she has appeared with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Brazil; the Vrazta State Philharmonic, Bulgaria, and The Orchestra of Northern New York. Her concerts in China appeared on Hunan State Television, and her performance from the Spiegelzaal at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was broadcast on live radio.

Ms. Lee has premiered and commissioned numerous works, and she can be heard on the Innova, Albany and Reference labels. She was nominated in the Best Chamber Music Performance category at the 58th Grammy® Awards for the recording of Tom Flaherty’s Airdancing. In the Los Angeles area, Ms. Lee has been a guest performer with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music series at Disney Hall, Southwest Chamber Music, Jacaranda, Piano Spheres and the Hear Now New Music Festival. She is a founding member of the Mojave Trio and was a member of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet when they performed in Carnegie Hall. Ms. Lee received her degrees from the Peabody Institute, École Normale de Musique de Paris, and the Yale School of Music. Having joined the Pomona College faculty in 1994, she is the first recipient of the Everett S. Olive Professorship, endowed by Yuk Mei Shim ’50.


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Friday, February 15, 2019 8:00 pm
  • Pomona College
  • Bridges Hall of Music
  • 150 E. Fourth Street
General Public
Pomona Alumni
Los Angeles
Pomona Faculty and Staff
Pomona Families
Pomona Students
Claremont Colleges Community

Free admission with open seating, no tickets.

Doors open approximately 30 minutes prior to performance.