West Virginia University music professors Andrew Kohn and Robert Thieme are featured on composer Allan Blank’s new CD titled “Song Cycles with Double Bass and Piano,” released by Albany Records.

Kohn plays the double bass on the CD, which also features pianist Robert Thieme and Catharine Thieme, a mezzo soprano. Robert Thieme is coordinator of vocal studies and director of Opera Theatre at WVU.

Blank has written two song cycles for voice and piano with double bass, both of which are given world premiere recordings on this disc. One cycle uses poetry from the Holocaust and the second is based on poetry by Jane Kenyon. Blank is professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University and many of his more than 300 compositions have been recorded.

Kohn, who is associate professor of music, recently co-authored an article, “The Linkage Concept of Fingering,” with Eugene Levinson, his former teacher, who is retiring as principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic. The article was published in “Strad” magazine in April.

He will present a faculty recital on Sept. 25 at 8:15 p.m. in Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A) at the Creative Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Kohn holds a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and received the only Artist Diploma in double bass awarded by the Peabody Conservatory. The former principal bassist of the National Chamber Orchestra and Harrisburg Symphonies, he is also a member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestras and an active soloist.

He has also recorded and edited for Music Minus One, a music production and recording company in Westchester, N.Y., and his compositions have been broadcast nationally.

Robert Thieme has conducted and staged opera, operetta, and musical theatre productions and has worked as a collaborative artist with singers and instrumentalists throughout the United States and in Europe. He has been the principal keyboardist with the Wheeling Symphony and has worked on operatic productions with the West Virginia and Corpus Christi symphonies, and the Augusta, Chautauqua, Columbus and Orlando Opera companies.

For 21 years, Thieme was on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, a summer training program for vocalists, pianists and instrumentalists. He also served as dean and as co-artistic director of the institute.

Since 2008, he has worked as a musical director and vocal coach with the Richard Crittenden Opera Program in both Washington, D.C. and Boston.

Thieme holds a degree in piano performance and studied opera with Walter Ducloux and Leonard Treash.

His wife, Catharine Thieme, is a former long-time staff member of the College of Creative Arts and is currently developmental advising specialist in the WVU College of Business and Economics. She also teaches voice in the WVU Community Music Program. She holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois, and is a well-known singer in the greater Pittsburgh area.

To order “Allan Blank: Song Cycles with Double Bass and Piano,” please visit http://www.amazon.com/Allan-Blank-Cycles-Double-Piano.



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4359, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu

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