University News

Anna Wagner Inspires September "Music from Vienna" Events at WIU

September 4, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - Austrian pianist, song coach and chamber musician Anna Wagner will present four musical events open free to the public as part of her September visit to the Western Illinois University School of Music, where she will collaborate with faculty and work with students.

Wagner, who began formal piano studies as a six-year old, performs chamber music regularly with members of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with many professional singers and has recorded with baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, who performs with leading European and American opera companies and orchestras. Their compact disc of Mendelssohn Lieder was released on the Preiser label. Wagner has performed, recorded and taught in Austria, Slovenia, The Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and Japan as a chamber musician, collaborative pianist and solo artist. For the last 25 years, Wagner has been on the faculty at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, where she teaches required courses in Lied interpretation.

The opening concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall, located in Simpkins Hall. Wagner will begin the program with German dances of Franz Schubert, joining Western Illinois vocal faculty tenor Terry Chasteen and Randall Faust on the horn in the haunting, "Auf dem Strom." Wagner will also team with faculty violinist Julieta Mihai and pianist Chung-Ha Kim in a movement from Beethoven's "Kreutzer" sonata; and faculty violist Istvan Szabo will present a movement of Brahms' "Sonata in F# Minor," accompanied by Kim. The program will conclude with Viennese waltzes for piano duo composed by Johan Strauss and Josef Lanner and performed by Wagner and Viennese-trained Austrian guest artist Leonora Suppan-Gehrich of Quincy University.

Concert-goers are invited to a reception with Wagner and Western's faculty performers at the WIU Art Gallery following the program. Viennese-inspired pastries will be served.

Wagner will present a second concert as a soloist and accompanist to Western's School of Music faculty at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 in the COFAC Recital Hall. This concert will feature vocal and instrumental music by composers who were active in Vienna at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The program will highlight Austrian Modernism composers, some of whom were forbidden to have their works performed and who immigrated to America and developed special ties with the United States, according to Western Illinois Vocal Professor Marietta Dean.

In addition to Brahms and other late Romantics, the program will include selections from Modernist composers Jeno Takac, Hanns Eisler and Ernst Krenek. School of Music faculty performers will include singers Matt Bean, Lynn Thompson, Charolette Megginson and Dean, accompanied by Wagner; and faculty members John Vana, saxophone, accompanied by pianist Jenny Perron. A reception, which will include Viennese delicacies, for the audience and performers will follow at the Art Gallery, compliments of the Performing Arts Society.

Student presentations also open free to the public include the 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16 Student Convocation Recital in the COFAC Recital Hall, featuring vocal and instrumental undergrad and graduate performers; and the 1:30-3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 "Masterclass with Anna Wagner" for School of Music students, also in the Recital Hall, in which Wagner interacts with the students and answers questions.

Wagner will conduct a "Masterclass in German Song" Saturday, Sept. 20 sponsored by the Central Illinois National Association of Teachers of Singing (CILNATS), which Western hosts. The masterclass is for recommended singers from regional universities; however, the public is invited to attend the 10 a.m.- noon and 2-4 p.m. sessions in the COFAC Recital Hall. A $15 admission fee will be charged at the door.

For more information about the "Music from Vienna" series, contact Dean at (309) 298-1598, or the COFAC Recital Hall office at (309) 298-1843.

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