Scripps Concert Gala Celebrating 250th Anniversary of Mozart’s Birth

The Scripps College Department of Music will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth with a gala concert by faculty and student performers on Friday, January 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Garrison Theater of the Scripps College Performing Arts Center. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the Scripps College Department of Music at (909) 621-8280.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) is among history’s greatest European classical music composers. A child prodigy, Mozart began playing keyboard instruments at age three and composing minuets at age five. He was educated by his father Leopold Mozart, who was concertmaster in the court orchestra of the archbishop of Salzburg, Austria, and a celebrated violinist, composer, and author. By the age of six, Mozart had become an accomplished performer on the clavier, violin, and organ and was highly skilled in sight reading and improvisation. Five piano pieces composed by Mozart when he was six years old are still frequently played. In 1762, Leopold took Mozart on the first of many successful concert tours through the courts of Europe, during this tour he played for King Louis XV of France in Versailles and King George III of Great Britain and Ireland in London.

A prolific musician, Mozart wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, the keyboard sonata, and choral repertoire. His more than 600 works epitomizes the classical style of the 18th and 19th centuries and makes him one of the defining figures of the music of Western Europe.

Professors Hao Huang, Preethi di Silva, Jennifer Goltz, Charles Kamm, Gayle Blankenburg, Marybeth Haag, Ursula Kleineke, Rachel Huang, and students vocalists and musicians will perform Mozart’s works for keyboard, chamber music, song repertoire, opera excerpts, and choral literature. The gala concert will conclude with a performance of one of Mozart’s last works, Ave Verum Corpus, featuring the Scripps College Chamber Choir and a student string quartet.

Winner of various prestigious international music awards including the Van Cliburn Piano Award at Interlochen, Dr. Hao Huang has gained acclaim in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Dr. Huang performed as a featured soloist at the George Enescu International Music Festival and the Barcelona Cultural Olympiad. He has also appeared with the Timisoara “Banatul” Philharmonic, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and more. A graduate of Harvard University, the Juilliard School, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he is the chair of the department of music and artist-in-residence at Scripps College and head of piano faculty at Claremont Graduate University.

Preethi de Silva, professor of music at Scripps College, is a recipient of numerous awards and international fellowships and has preformed extensively in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Sri Lanka. She earned her Master of Musical Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University. Her publications include several compact discs of music for harpsichord and fortepiano by CPE Bach and Mozart and a translation of a German manual on the fortepiano of Nannette Streicher (1769-1833), a professional piano maker. De Silva is founder and director of the critically acclaimed Con Gioia Early Music Ensemble, which performs compositions of the 17th and 18th centuries using period instruments.

Soprano Jennifer Goltz joined the music department at Scripps College in fall 2004. Ms. Goltz holds two master’s degrees in vocal performance and music theory from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Michigan. She specializes in the performance of new music, art song, and early cabaret. She has performed across the country with the music ensemble Brave New Works. In 1999, she performed Luciano Berio’s Circles with Klangforum Wien at the Salzburg Music Festival, at the invitation of the composer. As a student of Freda Herseth and Martin Katz, she has given celebrated performances of turn-of-the-century European art song and Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire.

Charles Kamm is the conductor of the Claremont Concert Choir of the Joint Music Program and assistant professor of music at Scripps College. Professor Kamm received his Bachelor of Music from Earlham College, Master of Music from Michigan State University, Master of Musical Arts from Yale University, and is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Yale University. In 2004-05 he held a Fulbright Fellowship, studying conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, and researching Finnish choral music. He is an active vocal soloist, singing recital and oratorio in the United States and Europe. Professor Kamm served as visiting professor of choral conducting at Vassar College and taught at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, concurrently holding a conducting fellowship at Harvard University. He has led both amateur and professional ensembles and prepared choirs for Finnish National Radio and for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria.

Pianist Gayle Blankenburg has performed extensively as a solo pianist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist. The critically acclaimed performer is a member of the Los Angeles based chamber music ensemble “inauthentica,” with whom she regularly performs and records. From 1996-2003, she was a roster artist with Southwest Chamber Music Society, and can be herd on the their Grammy winning CD, “Carlos Chaves, Volume 1.” Ms. Blankenburg received her degrees from Indiana University as a student of Menahem Pressler and Abbey Simon, where she was also awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. She has been a member of the Scripps College piano faculty since 1980, and also teaches at Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate University.

MaryBeth Haag, a graduate of Hope College and the University of Illinois, has sang with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Youngstown Symphony, and the Cleveland Opera Company. She has preformed in over sixteen operas and her repertoire encompasses early music, chamber music, and solo recitals. In Southern California, Ms. Haag has performed with the West End Opera, Euterpe Opera, the Los Angeles Pops Orchestra, Marina del Rey-Westchester Symphony Orchestra, Conejo Symphony, Claremont Chamber Orchestra, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival.

Soprano Ursula Maria Kleinecke holds a Bachelor of Music Theory and Composition from the University of the Pacific, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She is a member of Scripps College music faculty and teaches vocal technique at Claremont Community School of Music. Ms. Kleinecke has resided and performed in North and Central America, Europe, and Scandinavia and has received numerous awards at vocal competitions including regional National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions and the National Metropolitan Opera Auditions. Ms. Kleinecke also enjoys performing as a chamber musician, and has given over numerous performances while touring the U.S. and Mexico with the contemporary music ensemble Colloquy.

Rachel Vetter Huang holds the rare distinction of being honored by both the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has received NEA grants towards production of chamber music festivals in New York and Colorado, and has enjoyed the privilege of being chosen to participate in an NEH Summer Seminar, the 1989 “JAZZ: A Comparative View” at Yale University, directed by John Szwed. Huang has been invited to make presentations on the topic of violin-piano duo repertoire as the chamber music at state and national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association and the College Music Society. She has preformed extensively on both coasts and in Asia, from Washington D.C.’s Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress to Beijing
Central Conservatory Hall. Dr. Huang holds degrees from Harvard University and the State University of New York, Stony Brook.