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Music dept. press release   Date: 2/20/13 Bookmark and Share

A Pianist and Two Composers Come Together at Smith

Performer and composers will converge at Smith on Friday, March 1, when Genevieve Feiwen Lee, pianist and multiple keyboard instrumentalist, presents a concert and an afternoon workshop, including works by two composers visiting campus.

Kurt Rohde, a composer and violist, will join Lee for her performance workshop for music students. Smith composer-in-residence Ge Gan-ru will participate in a pre-concert conversation, at 7 p.m. in Earle Recital Hall, before Lee’s 8 p.m. performance in Sweeney Auditorium, Sage Hall. Joining Ge in the pre-concert conversation will be Sujane Wu, professor of East Asian languages and literatures, and Sara Loh ’13.

In addition to works by Rohde and Ge Gan-ru, Lee’s concert, which is free and open to the public, will include pieces by Claude Debussy and Francois Couperin.

A versatile performer of music spanning five centuries, Lee, the Everett S. Olive Professor of Music at Pomona College, has dazzled audiences on the piano, harpsichord, toy piano, keyboard and electronic instruments. In solo and ensemble work, she has performed throughout the United States, and in China, Europe and South America. She appears on a newly released recording of works by Kurt Rohde, released by Innova Records, and her solo piano CD, Elements (Albany Records), features the premiere recording of works by Tom Flaherty and Philippe Bodin.

More on the performer and composers

Genevieve Feiwen Lee has given solo piano recitals at Merkin Concert Hall in New York and the Salle Gaveau in Paris. Since her first engagement with the York Symphony at the age of 12, she has performed with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, the Vrazta State Philharmonic in Bulgaria, and The Orchestra of Northern New York. Beyond the concert hall, her performances in Changsha, China, were broadcast by Hunan State Television, and her concert from the Spiegelzaal at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was broadcast on live radio (AVRO). A champion of new music, Lee has premiered and commissioned numerous works, including a recent work by Kurt Rohde for speaking pianist, released in fall 2012. In the Los Angeles area, she has been a guest performer with XTET and Southwest Chamber Music, two of the area’s leading chamber music groups, and has appeared on the Jacaranda series in Santa Monica. She is a founding member of the Mojave Trio, playing regularly on the “Sundays Live” concerts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has also been a member of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and has appeared regularly in chamber music festivals at the Garth Newel Music Center, Virginia, and Incontri di Canna, Italy.

Lee received her degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, École Normale de Musique de Paris, and the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Boris Berman. Lee has taught at Yale, Bucknell Universities, and The Crane School of Music at SUNY-Potsdam. She joined the Pomona College faculty in 1994 and is the first recipient of the Everett S. Olive Professorship, endowed by Yuk Mei Shim.

Kurt Rohde is a composer and violist living in San Francisco. He has received the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, the Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Charles Ives Fellowship and the Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and commission awards from the Koussevitzky Foundation of the Library of Congress, the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Hanson Institute for American Music. He was a featured composer with Southwest Chamber Music as part of their “Ascending Dragon” project, was composer-in-residence at the Yellow Barn Music Festival, and was guest composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference. In 2011, he was a recipient of a Meet the Composer/Commissioning Music USA grant, and was selected as a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California, Davis. Rohde is the recipient of the 2012 Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize.

Ge Gan-ru, described in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as “China’s first avant-garde composer,” is regarded as one of the most original composers of his generation. His music is known for its immediately identifiable individualism and unique sound. Ge has composed music for concerts as well as theater, dance and documentary and feature films. The New York Philharmonic, BBC Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Lyon National Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Orchestra of Castilla y Leon, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Kronos Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, Miami Quartet and many other ensembles have commissioned and performed his works. Ge was chosen as one of the two “most inspiring” classical music composers in today’s world by New York’s Listen magazine in 2010.

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