West Virginia University music faculty members will celebrate the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with a special recital Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Creative Arts Center.
Performers will include Catharine Thieme, mezzo-soprano; violinist Laura Kobayashi; cellist Susan Bestul; and pianist Christine Kefferstan. In addition, there will be remarks by Mary Ferer, associate professor of music history at WVU .
The program begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (Room 200A) and is free and open to the public.
The recital will include songs and chamber music written by Mozart, includingLieder, K. 519, 520 and 523,Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, K. 526andTrio No. 5 in G major, K. 564.
The recital is the first of a series planned to commemorate Mozarts 250 th birthday, which will be Jan. 27, 2006.
According to Ferer, the works on the program were composed in Vienna during an 18-month period between May 1787 and October 1788, at the close of a very productive period in Mozarts career. The first set of three were composed in May and June of 1787 and are among his approximately 30 Lieder for voice and piano that are relatively unknown.
Mozarts sonatas for violin and piano are among his earliest works, and theSonata for Violin and Piano in A major, K. 526,completed in August 1787, is considered to be Mozarts finest work in this genre. The virtuosic character of this sonata is unprecedented for its time and has been said to anticipate Beethovens treatment of the instruments in his famous Kreutzer sonata of some years later.
Trio No. 5 in G major, K. 564was completed Oct. 27, 1788. The circumstances surrounding its composition are unknown, but it followed the composition of Mozarts last three symphonies, completed in a brief span of six weeks during the previous summer.
Thieme has an active career in opera, oratorio, musical theatre and solo recital concerts. She has performed operatic roles and oratorio roles with the West Virginia Symphony and the Wheeling Symphony as well as with the Bach Choir in Pittsburgh. During the summer, she has been a regular performer with the West Virginia Public Theatre in Morgantown, performing such roles as The Mother Abbess inThe Sound of Music,Nettie inCarouseland most recently Madame Bouche inBeauty and the Beast.Her professional operatic appearances include the mother inHansel and Gretel,Giovanna inRigoletto,La Ciesca inGianni Schicciand Martha inFaust.
Kobayashi is an associate professor of violin at WVU . She holds degrees from The Juilliard School, Yale University and The University of Michigan. She performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and has also performed in South Africa, Norway, South America and the West Indies. Kobayashi has recorded a compact disc of music by women composers for the Albany Records label, which has been broadcast on National Public Radio in the United States and Europe and has received rave reviews. In addition, she has edited for publication a violin sonata by 19th century French composer Marie Grandval for Hildegard Publishing Co.
Bestul, cellist, received her bachelors degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and continued her studies with Aldo Pariost at Yale. She has served as principal cellist for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra. In 1998, she participated in the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and also played principal cello for Luciano Pavarotti. Other orchestral positions include the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Caracas Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of New England, Filarmonica de las Americas in Mexico City, Colorado Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra. She currently resides in Fairmont and is a faculty member in the WVU Community Music Program.
Kefferstan graduated from the College-Conservatory of Cincinnati, where she studied with David Bar-Illan. Recently, she co-presented a lecture/recital on RavelsLa Valsefor the MTNA National Convention in Utah and was piano soloist for the Steinway Series in Pittsburgh. As recitalist and adjudicator, Kefferstan has presented programs throughout the United States. Her articles have appeared in Keyboard Companion, Clavier and Piano Quarterly. An active member of Music Teachers National Association, Kefferstan has served as West Virginia president, Eastern Division president, and as a member of both the National Foundation Board and the board of directors.
Ferer received her doctorate in musicology from the University of Illinois, a masters degree in church music from the University of Colorado and a bachelors degree from Carleton College. She has taught classes for undergraduate music majors and the general student as well as graduate seminars. Her publications include five volumes of the modern edition of Collected Works, with critical commentary of the motets of the 16th century composer Thomas Crecquillon. Special interests include early music, sacred and choral repertories, world music, and liturgical and cultural contexts of music. Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the West Virginia Humanities Council.
For more information about the recital celebrating Mozarts 250th birthday, contact the College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4841 ext. 3108.