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Loyola University New Orleans College of Music and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Stage Gordon Getty’s Joan and the Bells

Loyola press release - April 3, 2001

(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans College of Music presents Saint and Scribe, a concert featuring Gordon Getty’s Joan and the Bells and Samuel Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard. Meg Hulley, assistant professor of music and coordinator of choral activities at Loyola, will direct the Loyola University Chorus and Chorale, members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Loyola Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, May 6, 2001 at 7:30 p.m. in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall on the second floor of the Communications/Music Complex located at the corner of Calhoun Street and St. Charles Avenue.

Joan and the Bells is Getty’s oratorio that dramatizes the sentencing and death of Joan of Arc. Joan and the Bells first premiered with the Russian National Orchestra in 1998. Joan met with tremendous response from audiences and critics alike. The San Francisco Bay area was thrilled with the American premiere of this exciting new work in February 1999. Joan reached the Basque region of Spain in September 1999.

Joan and the Bells features soprano Lisa Delan and baritone Philip Frohnmayer, music professor, as soloists with the combined choruses and orchestras.

Honored as an Outstanding American Composer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in 1986, Getty continues to win high praise for performances of his music in major concert halls across the United States and overseas.

His works have also been heard at major festivals around the world, including Tanglewood, Aspen, Newport, Miami, the Schubert Festival in Washington, the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, where his opera Plump Jack was performed in concert version to critical acclaim in 1989.

Getty was honored by Loyola in 1988-89 with the prestigious Distinguished Guest Artist Award.

Prayers of Kierkegaard was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation and is dedicated to the memory of Serge and Natalie Koussevitzky. Though the commission was given in 1942, Samuel Barber did not begin composition until 1953, and the work was completed in January of 1954. He chose four prayers by Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the influential Danish theologian and philosopher regarded as the founder of Existential philosophy. The prayers are taken from Kierkegaard's journals and two of his books, The Unchangeableness of God and Christian Discourses. They are most concerned with God's love and redemption, but they also reflect the basic credo of Kierkegaard's writings, individual responsibility in choosing among the various alternatives life offers. Barber's setting is a single-movement cantata, cast in the Romanitc musical language spiced with modern dissonance of which he was a master.

Based on the heritage of Catholic Jesuit higher education in Louisiana since 1849, Loyola University New Orleans was chartered in 1912. The College of Music gives students the opportunity to combine liberal studies with professional music courses. Loyola offers the only College of Music within the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Its reputation for excellence is founded on the work of a faculty whose distinction as scholars, performers, and most importantly, as educators, has been nationally acclaimed. Loyola’s music alumni have become successful in virtually every area of the professional music world.

For ticket information and to purchase tickets, call the Loyola Ticket Office at 865-3492. Tickets are $15 general admission, and $5 students and Loyola community with ID.


Gordon Getty - Composer

Born in Los Angeles in 1933, Gordon Getty has lived in San Francisco since 1945. He graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1956 with a B.S. degree in English Literature, having meanwhile studied piano with the late Robert Vetleson and voice with Easton Kent. Following six months of active duty in the army and four years in family businesses, he studied music theory at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Today, Getty is a frequent visiting composer at colleges and universities across the country and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland, Pepperdine University, the University of California San Francisco, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Mannes College of Music.

Honored as an Outstanding American Composer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in 1986, Gordon Getty continues to win high praise for performances of his music in major concert halls across the United States and overseas – in New York, San Francisco, Washington, Los Angeles, London, and Vienna. His works have also been heard at major festivals around the world, including Tanglewood, Aspen, Newport, Miami, the Schubert Festival in Washington, the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, and The Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, where his opera Plump Jack was performed in concert version to critical acclaim on July 4, 1989.

Plump Jack has a number of performances as a work in progress and in semi-staged concert versions, by such distinguished orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic in London, among others. A staged workshop production of Plump Jack directed by Richard Digby-Day of London at the Hopkins Center, Dartmouth, in late November of 1989 preceded a fully staged production by the Marin Opera in San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts Theater in March 1990. Scenes from the opera have since been performed with Russian National Orchestra in Moscow under the baton of Mikhail Pletnev, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Aquascalientes, Mexico, and have been presented by the California Shakespeare Festival, Santa Fe Symphony, and the Guggenheim Museum’s "Works and Process" at Lincoln Center. In October of 1995 audiences in Germany enjoyed excerpts of Plump Jack at La Redoute in Bonn and Schloss Albrechtsberg in Dresden. The entire opera was staged in the March 1996 performance of the University of Texas at Austin, and presented in July 1996 in Austria’s Altes Theater in Steyr. Scenes from Plump Jack were featured in 1997 at Indiana University School of Music and Ohio Northern University. The opera subsequently delighted audiences and critics in Italy in concerts with the Russian National Orchestra. In 1998, Plump Jack visited Hawaii as the first opera ever presented on the island of Maui. San Francisco celebrated a full performance of the opera in March of 1999 at the Florence Gould Theater. A commercial recording of the opera is currently in the planning stages.

Getty’s Emily Dickinson song cycle The White Election was released by Delos on CD in a performance by the late Kaaren Erickson to extraordinary international acclaim. The recording followed highly praised concert performances by Miss Erickson and others presented by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Morgan Library and Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Etherredge Center in Aiken, S.C., Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Harvard, Yale, the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara, the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana Opera Theater, and the Kennedy Center in Washington. Internationally, songs from The White Election have been performed in concert in Germany (at La Redoute in Bonn, Schloss Albrechtsberg in Dresden, and the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre in Hamburg), and by soprano Marianna Nicolesco at the historic Romanian Atheneum in Bucharest. Ms. Nicolesco repeated selections from the cycle to great acclaim at the Cuvilliès-Theatre in Munich in July 1996. The entire cycle was presented by the European Mozart Academy in Krakow, Poland, in March of 1994, and at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, in June 1995. Audiences in Capetown, South Africa, welcomed a performance of The White Election in September 1997.

Victorian Scenes, the composer’s choral settings of poems by Tennyson and Housman, and a setting for men’s voices of Poe’s Annabel Lee had their first performances by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Sinfonia in the Chandler Pavilion at the Los Angeles Music Center.Victorian Scenes has since been performed by the Winifred Baker Choral, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the Townsend Opera, and as part of the Tanglewood Music Festival. Annabel Lee was also heard at Tanglewood following a performance of the work in Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall conducted by Samuel Cristler. Both choral works were heard in Romania in November 1994 at the Romanian Athenaeum Theater in Bucharest. Audiences in St. Petersburg enjoyed a remarkable June 1996 performance of the choruses in the historic Hermitage Theater, with Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Orchestra and St. Petersburg Chamber Choir. In a greatly anticipated performance, Mikhail Pletnev took the podium in September 1996 to conduct the choruses in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Russian National Orchestra and the State Academic Russian Choir. Michael Tilson-Thomas conducted Annabel Lee in performance with the San Francisco Symphony and Symphony Chorus October 4-6, 1998.

Three Waltzes for Piano and Orchestra – Tiefer und Tiefer, Madeline, and Ehemals —were performed by André Prévin and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 1988. In 1991, orchestral arrangements of the Three Waltzes were performed both at Tanglewood under the baton of Zuohang Chen, and by the California Symphony conducted by Barry Jekowsky. In April of 1993 the work was featured in a memorable performance of the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall. Performances of Getty’s waltzes by the Russian National Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonic followed in the autumn of l993. Audiences at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and at the Bear Valley Music Festival in northern California were delighted by these pieces in 1994 performances. In 1995 the Reno Philharmonic, the Oakland Youth Orchestra, and the Conejo Symphony all featured Getty’s Three Waltzes in their concert seasons. A new version of the work premiered in New York’s Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in May 1996 with the New York Virtuosi Chamber Symphony conducted by Kenneth Klein. Subsequent performances have included concerts at Carnegie Hall, San Francisco’s Yuerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival, and concerts by the San Jose Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Auburn Symphony.

Joan and the Bells, a new cantata dramatizing the sentencing and death of Joan of Arc, premiered with the Russian National Orchestra in Russia in September of 1998. Joan met with tremendous response from audiences and critics alike. The San Francisco Bay area was thrilled with the American premiere of this exciting new work in February 1999. Joan reached the Basque region of Spain in September 1999 in sparkling performances in both Bilbao and San Sebastian. Performances with the Russian National Orchestra are planned in Spain in 2000. Joan and the Bells features soprano and baritone soloists with chorus and orchestra.

Mr. Getty’s chamber works include Ewig Du, The Fiddler of Ballykeel, and Ehemels (scored for both string quartet and string chamber orchestra). Five short piano pieces published by Belwin in 1954 are now available as Homework Suite. Three Diatonic Waltzes, Tiefer und Tiefer, Madeline, Ehemels, Waltz of the Ancestors, Gothic Waltz, Zwei Ländler, First Adventure and The Fiddler of Ballykeel round out his compositions for piano. The composer has also penned new settings of the traditional Welsh folk songs Welcome Robin, Kind Old Man, and All Through the Night.

Rork Music now publishes all works by Gordon Getty. Theodore Presser Company, Distributor.