West Virginia University Music professor and Composer-in-Residence John Beall, who will retire from full-time teaching at the end of this academic year after 35 years of service to the School of Music, will present a retrospective recital Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Creative Arts Center.
The program begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A) and is free and open to the public.
The program will include music drawn from all parts of Dr. Beall’s career at WVU, including: “On Chestnut Ridge” (1982), the “New Testament Songs” (2001-2013), “Fantasy for Violoncello Alone” (2001), “Whitewater” (1994), and “Wondrous Love: Variations for Viola and Piano” (1999).
Performers will include Beall’s wife, pianist Carol Beall, and his son, violinist and violist Stephen Beall, as well as guests soprano Theresa Vincent Smith and pianist Steven Herbert Smith. Other performers will include clarinetist Jeanne Frieben, as well as cellist William Skidmore, also of the WVU music faculty.
Beall will also conduct a group of student musicians in his nonet, “Whitewater.”
Composer John Beall was born in Belton, Texas, in 1942, and grew up in the coastal city of Beaumont. He studied composition at Baylor University with Richard Willis and at the Eastman School of Music, where he was a student of Samuel Adler. While at Eastman he received the 1972 Louis Lane and 1973 Howard Hanson Prizes for his compositions. Beall has been professor of music and composer-in-residence at WVU since 1978. He spent the summers of 1992 through 2004 teaching at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.
The nature of Beall’s work is the composition of musical works in what is generally known as “classical” style, i.e. derived from the traditions of Western European and American art music. Much of his music utilizes Appalachian folk music, hymn tunes, or locations as source material. On the Nov. 14 program, the music of “On Chestnut Ridge,” “Whitewater,” and the “Wondrous Love Variations” contains such material.
Beall’s works have received much critical acclaim. In 1990 he was named Benedum Distinguished Scholar for the Arts and Humanities by WVU and has been an annual winner of Serious Music Awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). His music is published by Carl Fischer, Southern Music Co. and Theodore Front. Recordings can be found on Crystal, Cambria, E.R.M. Media, and Parma.
Other special event concerts associated with his retirement include premieres of two new compositions. His “String Quartet No. 3” will be premiered by the Montclaire String Quartet of the West Virginia Symphony on Feb. 23, and a new, as yet untitled, orchestral work will be featured on the April 17 concert of the WVU Symphony Orchestra.
For more information about the Nov. 14 recital, contact the College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4359.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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