Date of Submission

Spring 2014

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Music

Project Advisor 1

Erika Switzer

Project Advisor 2

James Bagwell

Abstract/Artist's Statement

I am graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bard College’s Music Department as a classical vocalist. For my senior project I have put together a set of two recitals. My goal was to create contrasting programs that were interesting, each with a specific theme.

The first recital took place on Sunday, December 15th at 7:00 p.m. in the László Z. Bitó Conservatory Performance Space. The concert was titled “Love, Lust and Loss: A Senior Recital” and it explored these themes while demonstrating a wide range of abilities in my voice. Throughout all musical eras, composers have written about the different facets of the human experience of love. My goal was to demonstrate the different ways in which composers express these complex emotions and show the innately human qualities of love, lust and loss. I began with a piece by Claudio Monteverdi that was written in the 1500’s and also performed works by living composers and identical emotions were expressed. My Senior Project Advisor, Erika Switzer, played the piano. There were also two featured conservatory instrumentalists: violinist, Reina Murooka and clarinetist, Noemi Sallai. Noemi, Erika and I performed a major chamber work for soprano, clarinet and piano by Franz Schubert, titled “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen.” The program also included opera arias by Mozart, Gounod, and Floyd as well as a set of folk songs by Samuel Barber, a modern piece by Lee Hoiby, a set of French Mélodies, and a baroque song by Claudio Monteverdi. Overall, I believe it was a successful concert that remained true to the theme in addition to accurately representing the work I have been doing at Bard.

The second concert will take place on Sunday, May 11th at 12:30 in Olin Hall. Titled “An Afternoon of Contemporary Works,” this program features works by prominent living composers, among these works are the world premieres of two works I personally commissioned. When thinking of a theme for my second recital, I immediately realized that I wanted to explore my love for contemporary music and I also wanted to create a program in which my friends could be involved in multiple ways. I have deeply enjoyed working with my talented peers in chamber ensembles and also working with my friends on their own compositions. I was drawn to thinking about how contemporary composers set religious and spiritual texts; in all of the works on this program, composers have set texts that mention God or spiritual ideas. The pieces themselves were not written to be performed in houses of worship and the majority of the composers on the program are not religious people. Throughout history, music has always been a part of the way we worship and many composers worked for churches. These are the roots of classical music but this is no longer the case. Contemporary composers are writing for many different venues this concert will explore these roots in a new way. The concert will open with a piece for string quartet, harp and voice titled “The Vision of Dame Julian of Norwich” by Byron Adams. I will be joined by harpist Anna Bikales, violinists Reina Murooka and Ma Zhi, violist Rosemary Nelis, and cellist Sarah Ghandour. The text of the piece comes from the writings of Dame Julian of Norwich (1343-?) in which she expresses feelings of gratitude and humility towards God. The next piece, “The Adultress” by Nico Muhly, also uses religious text but in a different way: it shows acceptance of sins by referencing texts in which Jesus is completely forgiving of those who have sinned. After the intermission, the two new works will be premiered. I will start with “Recitative,” by Bard alumnus Maxwell J. McKee. The last piece on the program is a 13-minute work for viola, soprano, and piano called “January Morning,” with a fifteen part text by William Carlos Williams. Mayumi Tsuchida will play piano and Rosemary Nelis will play viola. I find this concert extremely exciting because while the repertoire is incredibly challenging, and my audience will have the opportunity to hear something they have never heard before.

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Creative Commons License

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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