The Cal Poly Music Department will present a faculty lecture-recital on Robert Schumann’s “Myrthen,” Op. 25, at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in Room 218 of the Davidson Music Center (No. 45) on campus.
Emma Levine, who teaches music appreciation and music history at Cal Poly, will begin the presentation with a talk on the “Myrthen” (Myrtles). The cycle is a collection of 26 poems set to music, which Schumann composed in 1840 as a wedding gift for his wife, Clara, in the midst of an agonizing legal battle with her father.
Soprano Katherine Arthur, who teaches applied and class voice at Cal Poly, will sing 15 of the songs from the cycle in German. Included in the selections are some of the most famous songs Schumann wrote: “Widmung” (Dedication), “Der Nussbaum” (The Walnut Tree), “Die Lotosblume” (The Lotus-Flower) and “Du bist wie eine Blume” (You Are Like a Flower). Arthur said the songs were composed at the height of the Romantic era, and during the few years of Schumann's most prolific output. Paul Woodring will accompany on piano.
Levine earned a Master of Arts in musicology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor of Arts in music from Cal Poly. At UCSB, Levine taught music appreciation as well as music theory, and served as the lead graduate student teaching assistant for the music department. In 2016, Levine was awarded the university’s campuswide Excellence in Teaching Award. She is currently writing her dissertation as a Ph.D. candidate.
Arthur has appeared in music festivals across the U.S. and Europe. She has sung and recorded with the Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble, recorded a solo CD with Orfeo records, and has been a frequent guest soloist with the Santa Barbara Oratorio Society. Arthur has been featured as a soloist in several Cal Poly Choir and San Luis Obispo Master Chorale concerts. She served as director of the UCSB Opera Workshop program. Arthur earned Master of Arts degree from UCSB and is a certified Alexander Technique Teacher.
Woodring is an accompanist and music coach at Cal Poly, and also the university organist. He specialized in organ performance at Cal State Northridge, followed by organ and harpsichord studies in Vienna, Austria. As an accompanist, Woodring has worked with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Los Angeles Opera Company among other well-known ensembles. Locally, he has worked with Opera San Luis Obispo, Festival Mozaic, Central Coast Children’s Choir, San Luis Obispo Master Chorale, Tolosa Strings and several musical theater organizations. He is music director for Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church and the San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church.
The recital is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department and College of Liberal Arts.
For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit its calendar website.