The Catholic University of America

Oct. 28, 2011

CUA Musicians to Return to Carnegie Hall

  Performers at last year's concert at Carnegie Hall.

For the second year in a row, more than 30 faculty members, students, and alumni of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music will perform a three-day series of concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City from Monday, Oct. 31, through Wednesday, Nov. 2. The series affords undergraduate music majors an opportunity to fulfill “every musician’s dream,” says sophomore Nicholas Perry.

“Having studied the violin for less than 10 years, performing at Carnegie Hall at this point of my career is absolutely incredible,” says Perry, a violin performance major. “To me, this performance opportunity is an honor, a privilege, and something that will affect the rest of my life.”

As she did last year, Cecilia de Medici, international arts patron and president of the La Gesse Foundation, has invited CUA to participate in her annual series at Carnegie Hall. Last year, she invited the music school after attending a concert by The Catholic University of America Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Searle, assistant professor and director of orchestral activities.

“We are very grateful to Cecilia de Medici for her continuing generosity and confidence in our students,” says Grayson Wagstaff, dean of the music school. “The fact that the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music is regularly being featured in one of the world’s great, historic centers for classical music demonstrates the stature of our faculty and accomplishment of the students.”

The series will open on Monday, Oct. 31, with a concert featuring solo songs of Hugo Wolf performed by soprano Sharon Christman, associate professor and head of vocal performance, accompanied by pianist Jose Ramos Santana, instructor at the music school. Ramos Santana and guest artist Eric Himy will also perform solo piano works by Franz Liszt, Isaac Albeniz, Fryderyc Chopin, and Claude Debussy.

Ramos Santana is a well-known interpreter of the work of Isaac Albéniz — a late 19th-century Catalan pianist and composer — whose works will be featured in the recital. The event will also pay homage to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt, considered one of the most important pianists of all time.

The Nov. 1 performance will feature CUA doctoral candidate Shu-Ting Yao, violin; and alumna Hilary Van Wagenen Henry on piano. Henry earned a master’s degree in music and doctoral degree in musical arts from Catholic University in 2005 and 2010, respectively. As a duo, they will perform works by Debussy and Johannes Brahms. Henry will also play solo works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Alberto Ginastera.

On Nov. 2, Searle will conduct The Catholic University of America Symphony Orchestra. The concert will open with a world premier of “Ecstatic Sunrise” by Robert Sirota, president of the Manhattan School of Music and long-time collaborator of de Medici and her La Gesse Foundation. The composition was inspired by a 1916 mural by Edward Munch that serves as the backdrop for the stage in the concert hall of the University Aula in Oslo, Norway.

The orchestra will also perform works by Mozart, George Frideric Handel, Johann Baptist Vanhal, and Sergei Prokofiev. Faculty soloists that night will include Christman; Jody Gatwood, violin; and Ira Gold, double bass.
A reception for alumni and friends of the music school will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Citi Café of Carnegie Hall. University President John Garvey and Dean Wagstaff will give remarks.

Performances each night begin at 8 p.m. For more information, contact the music school at 202-319-5417.



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