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Performance offers different perspectives to Bach composition

November 12, 2010

Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” considered by many to be one of Bach’s crowning achievements, will be the featured piece in an afternoon performance by pianist Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., dean of Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts. Col. John R. Bourgeois, USMC (Ret.), will then conduct the Loyola Chamber Winds in an original arrangement of the piece.

The performance takes place Sunday, Nov. 14, with Boomgaarden at 2 p.m., and the Loyola Chamber Winds at 4 p.m., in Roussel Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Between the performances, there will be refreshments and an opportunity to speak with the afternoon’s performers in the area outside of Roussel Hall. This performance is made possible through a generous gift by Rita Huntsinger.

The “Goldberg Variations,” BWV 988, consist of an aria and 30 variations originally written for harpsichord. First published in 1741, the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form in music.

Boomgaarden joined Loyola in 2009 as dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts and as the David P. Swanzy Distinguished Professor of Music. He is a noted historian of 18th-century opera, music aesthetics and harmonic theory. His writings include the book “Musical Thought in Eighteenth-Century Britain and Germany,” and articles in numerous music publications.

Boomgaarden studied piano at Texas State University in San Marcos and furthered his education with graduate work at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Vienna and Harvard University.

For 17 years, Bourgeois served as the 25th director of “The President’s Own Marine Band” serving as music adviser to the White House, where he selected the musical program and directed the band at the U.S. Capitol for four presidential inaugurations. He regularly conducted the Marine Band and the Marine Chamber Orchestra at the White House, appearing there more frequently than any other musician in the nation. Since retiring, Bourgeois has been actively involved as a guest conductor, has published new editions of classic band compositions, and is a visiting professor in a chair endowed in his name at Loyola.

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