Nobel Concert Will Feature Michael Jorgensen and Minnesota Composers

Posted on September 23rd, 2011 by

Michael Jorgensen

As a part of the 47th annual Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College, The Brain and Being Human, the Department of Music will present a special musical celebration featuring baritone Michael Jorgensen and pianist Bonnie Jorgensen, at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4 in Christ Chapel.

The performance, A State of Mind and Music: New Songs by Composers from Minnesota, combines the conference themes of being, creating, and self, as it celebrates the work of eight internationally renowned composers, all of whom call Minnesota home.

The concept for this recital began in Jorgensen’s vocal literature course and a discussion of the work of 13 living composers. Jorgensen realized that three on the list were Minnesotans. A search of the Minnesota Composers Forum listed many more. Developing a program which includes only living Minnesota composers is rare. Collaborating with these eight composers in preparing the music may well be a unique opportunity and Jorgensen knew he wanted to proceed.

In his introduction to the program, Jorgensen writes ” Minnesota is a pretty unique state, and music plays a unique role in the lives of the people who live here. People love music in Minnesota. My theory about this is that we are a people who feel things deeply, but don’t always have the words to express our emotions. Our music allows us a cathartic release; a way to communicate and build community through this miraculous art that allows us to share our deepest thoughts and feelings.”

This performance showcases work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento, Peabody Medal winner Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, Gustavus alumnus and composer of the Nobel Symphony Steve Heitzeg, Jocelyn Hagen, and Hiram Titus, and features the premiere performances of commissioned works by Minnesota composers Timothy Berry and Todd Harper. Several of these composers will be in attendance at the recital.

For the performance, Jorgensen will be joined by trombonist Scott Moore for the world premiere of Todd Harper’s State of the Art, a student vocal octet directed by Patricia Snapp in Boy Reading from Stephen Paulus’ 2005 composition To Be Certain of the Dawn, and child soloist Amari Lambert performing a new arrangement of Steve Heitzeg’s Economics: To Have and Have Not from his Nobel Symphony. The program for the recital also includes Argento’s Three Sonnets of Petrarch, two movements from Jocelyn Hagen’s love.songs, the second performance of Libby Larsen’s Turn, Turn, Harper’s Looking into the river, early spring and Tomorrow will be Today, and the premiere of three works by Timothy Berry’s Feed Me ’til I Want No More. Michael and Bonnie Jorgensen will conclude the 2011 Nobel Concert with the premiere of Hiram Titus’ Casey at the Bat.

This concert is made possible in part by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council with funds provided by the McKnight Foundation. This special Nobel Conference event is free and open to the public.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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