The Sunday Recital Series at Mary Baldwin College is set to continue at 3 p.m. on November 17 in Francis Auditorium, as clarinetist Mark Gallagher takes the stage with pianist Lise Keiter. They have planned a delightful and varied program, which explores works ranging from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
“Audiences will find the program both educational and extremely accessible, as it shows off the unique colors the clarinet and piano can create,” Gallagher said. “The pieces we have chosen highlight the classical music traditions of Germany and England, and this particular program contrasts the more standard clarinet repertoire of noted German composers with lighter, less well-known English works.”
The duo will present the serene Six Studies in English Folk-Song by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Originally written for cello and piano, these lovely pieces have been embraced by nearly every instrument. “They sound especially beautiful on the clarinet,” Keiter said. Another featured English work is the lively Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano by 20th-century composer Malcolm Arnold. Arnold was well-known as a composer of film and theatre music, and this appealing piece displays his charming, energetic style. The audience will also get to see and hear some extended techniques for both instruments in short works by Alban Berg (Four Pieces, op. 5) and Sutermeister (Capriccio for Unaccompanied Clarinet). And rounding out the program are the popular and Romantic Fantasiestucke of Robert Schumann, as well as an opera aria transcription by Mozart.
Gallagher describes Mozart as one of his favorite composers. “The aria from Don Giovanni is very special because it highlights the closeness of the clarinet sound to the human voice, Mozart’s love for the clarinet, and my past experiences playing so many operas in my career,” he said.
An extremely versatile musician, Gallagher has performed throughout the United States and Europe, including a recent concert tour of the Netherlands. Other performances include appearances in New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, as well as concert tours in France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Scotland, and China. He has also performed with such ensembles as the Washington Contemporary Music Forum, Musique Vivante de Paris, the United States Navy Band, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Opera, and the New York City Ballet Orchestra.
In addition to a busy performance schedule, Gallagher is an active teacher and clinician, frequently lecturing on occupational health issues for musicians and the Alexander Technique. He is presently associate professor of clarinet at Frostburg State University and has held faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Carroll College.
Keiter has performed throughout the United States and in Europe, maintaining a very active schedule as a soloist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestra. Her latest concert engagements have taken her to Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Idaho, West Virginia, Maryland, and throughout Virginia. In February 2014, she will be the featured concerto soloist with the Waynesboro Symphony, in a special concert featuring music of women composers. She is on the faculty at Mary Baldwin College, where she currently serves as music department chair. She is also in demand as a guest lecturer and masterclass clinician and maintains a studio of high school students, who have included many competition winners.
All Sunday Recitals are at 3 p.m. in Francis Auditorium, in the Pearce Science Center on the Mary Baldwin College campus. Tickets may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the general public and $4 for seniors and students. (MBC students attend free of charge.) For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit www.mbc.edu/arts/musicatmbc.