Carnival of the animals & Peter anD the Wolf FrederiC Chiu & david Gonzalez
SUNdAy, MARCH 13 â€“ 2:30 p.m. Collective Brands is proud to support the Lied Center. We bring compelling lifestyle, performance and fashion brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. To learn more about our brands; Payless, Saucony, Sperry Top-Sider, stride rite, Keds and Airwalk; or to purchase product, visit collectivebrands.com today. This presentation is supported by Mid-America Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts, Kansas Arts Commission, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. This program is presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. This event is sponsored, in part, by the Lied Performance Fund. This performance was made possible by the generous support of the Jerry and Jacki Hannah Family Fund. Audio description services and recorded program notes are provided through a partnership between the Lied Center and Audio-Reader Network. Please turn off or silence cellular phones and other electronic devices during performances. Food and drink are not allowed inside the hall. Performing Arts Cameras and recordinglied.ku.edu devices are strictly prohibited in the auditorium.
Peter and the Wolf and The Carnival of the Animals Frederic Chiu, piano David Gonzalez, original poetry This performance includes one 20-minute intermission.
program notes The Carnival of the Animals Camille Saint-Saëns Born Oct. 9, 1835 in Paris, France Died Dec. 16, 1921 in Algiers, Algeria Saint-Saëns was one of the most remarkable musical prodigies in history. His output was one of the most prodigious, including major works for opera, ballet, the symphony and concerti. The long-lived composer became the focal point of French Romanticism early, infusing at least two generations of French composers with a seriousness of craft that equaled the dominant German school of the time. In the midst of his serious composing came The Carnival of the Animals, penned by a well-established and mature Saint-Saëns in 1886. He wrote it quickly while vacationing, destined for a group of students and a motley collection of instruments, including a flute, piccolo, clarinet, two pianos, glass harmonica, xylophone, string quartet and double bass. After a select few private performances—including a special command performance for an aging Franz Liszt—Saint-Saëns was concerned the piece was too frivolous and likely to harm his reputation as a serious composer, so he suppressed performances of it. Only one
movement, The Swan, was published in SaintSaëns’ lifetime. A provision in his will allowed the complete suite to be published after his death, and it has since become one of his most popular works. This version for solo piano was created by Lucien Garban, a colleague of the composer. While no text was included in the original work, recent versions have included a light set of punning verses by Ogden Nash. For this afternoon’s collaboration, Writer/Storyteller David Gonzalez created new poems for the pieces that update the work and at the same time add a philosophical dimension that infuses the music with new meaning. By Frederic Chiu The Carnival of the Animals is a zoofull of fun. The poems poured out in a giddy two-week rush immediately following hearing Frederic play through the piano score. The sheer clarity of the transcription was striking— I’d heard the orchestral version and loved it, but when I heard Frederic’s piano rendition it was as if the animal characters leapt into vivid, three dimensional life. His transcription helped me conjure a picture of Saint-Saëns sitting at
Peter and the Wolf and The Carnival of the Animals
his piano drawing the now famous menagerie out of his pure imagination, writing it down in perfect musical eloquence. I listened deeply to the music and asked Frederic to play the movements over and over again, and to repeat certain sections, and all the while I scribbled my dream images, intuitions and ideas. The poems in this suite cover a wide range of styles and attitudes; from the humorous Elephant, to the philosophic Turtle, to the impressionistic
Aquarium, and in each case I always refer back to the music and Frederic’s inspired playing for inspiration—I wanted my poems to be accountable to the music, to be connected to it. It is my hope that these 14 poems will guide listeners of all ages into the brilliance of Saint-Saëns’ composition with wide open ears, curious minds and a gentle smile on their lips. By David Gonzalez
ABOUT THE ARTISTS Frederic Chiu has performed in major venues on five continents including Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, The Chatelet in Paris and the Mozarteum in Buenos Aires. Chiu also tours extensively in smaller and unusual venues. His collaborations with his friends in classical music have included Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, as well as collaborations with non-classical friends like Jazz Pianist Bob James, Writer/Storyteller David Gonzalez, Shakespearean Actor Brian Bedford, and the clown Buffo. Chiu always tries to bring a vivid, live concert experience to as many people as possible. Chiu has released more than 20 albums, including the complete piano works of Prokofiev, as well as works of Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rossini and Grieg. His most recent recording is the Beethoven/Liszt Symphony V. Deeper Piano Studies, a program developed by Chiu, is a philosophic and holistic approach to piano playing. It draws concert pianists, promising students and piano teachers from around the world together to participate in innovative and original workshops. Chiu has taught at the Juilliard School, Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory and the Banff Centre, among others. fredericchiu.com David Gonzalez is a playwright, storyteller, musician, poet, radio personality and actor. He was nominated for a 2006 Drama Desk Award for his original production of The Frog Bride at Broadway’s New Victory Theater. He wrote Rise for Freedom!, an opera libretto commissioned and produced by the Cincinnati Opera in 2007, and Mariel, an Afro-Cuban musical
which won the Macy’s new play prize for young audiences. Gonzalez’ poetry has been featured at Lincoln Center’s Out-of-Doors Festival, Bill Moyers’ documentary Fooling with Words on PBS, and NPR’s All Things Considered. He was the host of New York Kids on NPR’s WNYC for eight seasons. His poem, Oh Hudson, accompanied by music from Mark O’Connor, Don Byron and Daniel Bernard Roumain, was commissioned by the Empire State Plaza Performing Arts Center to commemorate the quadricentennial of Hudson’s exploration. Gonzalez has created numerous theatrical productions including the critically acclaimed ¡Sofrito! with Larry Harlow and the Latin Legends Band. Gonzalez’ many works, Double Crossed: The Saga of the St. Louis commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution, As If The Past Were Listening, The Secret of the Ceiba Tree, MytholoJazz, Finding North and City of Dreams have been performed at many of the best performing arts centers, theatres and festivals in the United States and abroad, and he was a featured performer at the 2007 National Storytelling Festival. Gonzalez received his doctorate in music therapy from New York University’s school of education, where he also taught for 10 years. Currently, he is artist-in-residence at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland where he is working on Wounded Splendor, a multimedia theatre piece about our responsibility to the natural world. Gonzalez is also developing a new version of Sleeping Beauty, commissioned by The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the McCallum Theater. Gonzalez recently recorded and premiered his original version of The Carnival of the Animals with piano virtuoso Frederic Chiu. davidgonzalez.com
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Alpin Hong EXCITING YOUNG PIANIST FRIdAY, APRIL 8 — 7:30 p.m.
Alpin Hong PERFORmANCE FOR lOCAl PRESChOOl STUdENTS APRIL 6 & 7
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Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band mUSIC OF ThE CIVIl WAR ANd BEYONd
WEdNESdAY, APRIL 13 – 7:30 p.m.
American Legacies The Del McCoury Band & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band ThURSdAY, APRIL 14 – 7:30 p.m.
A fiddle ride back in time Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are combining folk classics from the Civil War era with original compositions to transport audiences back in time. This husband-and-wife duo is one of the most celebrated acts on the American acoustic scene, able to warm the heart, feed the soul and appeal to all ages. Observing the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011, Ungar and Mason perform music related to military conflict and civilian life, as well as songs from the late 19th and early 20th century. “During the civil war period, (American) music really took on its own character. So it has roots in Scottish and Irish music but also a lot of influences from African and other cultures that have mixed together here in America,” said Ungar. Times have certainly changed in the last 150 years, but some things remain the same, “Back in the 1860s there were no records, no films, no DVDs, no Facebook or any of these things,” Ungar said. “People entertained themselves by playing music, singing and spending time together.” Joining the statehood on Jan. 29, 1861, the state of Kansas is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and Executive Director Tim Van Leer saw this as an opportunity, “2011 is the 150th year of Kansas, but another important reason we scheduled this particular event in April was to recognize the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the
Civic War. The Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12, 1861,” Van Leer said. Ungar is perhaps best known for his deeply moving composition, Ashokan Farewell, which was chosen as the theme song for Ken Burns’ momentous 1990 PBS documentary series, The Civil War, earning him a Grammy Award and an Emmy Award nomination. Ungar’s inspiration for Ashokan Farewell came from a music camp in the Catskill Mountains. He wanted to express the loss and longing he felt about being away from Ashokan after a summer full of music and friends. When approached by Burns about using the song as a primary component of The Civil War, Ungar initially did not see a connection between the two. “At first I thought ‘I don’t get it’, I didn’t understand why it would fit. But, when we saw that tune together with some of the visual images, it was remarkable how well it fit and how it connected,” said Ungar.
Morgan Sheedy, senior journalism student at KU spends her time interviewing for jobs, cooking and singing in her car. Peter and the Wolf and The Carnival of the Animals
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Carnival of the Animals & Peter and the Wolf
THE ELDRIDGE & THE OREAD American Legacies: The Del McCoury Band & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Fiddler on the Roof
Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company
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Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys
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