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Romantic Composer Is Focus of Music Festival at Susquehanna

SELINSGROVE – Susquehanna University invites audiences to celebrate Robert Schumann Festival Week, with nightly concerts Feb. 8 through 12 at 8 p.m. in the university’s Stretansky Concert Hall. The series of musical performances will feature students, faculty and guest musicians dedicated to the work of the composer. The event is free and open to the public.

Robert Schumann was one of the most influential and important Romanic composers of the 19th century. His works include four symphonies, an opera and several other orchestral and choral works, with a primary focus on the piano. The Susquehanna Department of Music chose to focus on Schumann to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birthday and recognize his contribution to music.

Feb. 8 will feature a performance of two of Schumann’s song cycles by tenor David Steinau and pianist Naomi Niskala, followed by an evening of chamber music duos on Feb. 9. The concert on Feb. 10 will showcase a performance by Susquehanna alumnus Jason Steigerwalt ’05 accompanied by guest pianist Galen Deibler. Feb. 11 will feature some of Schumann’s solo piano works, with the conclusion on Feb. 12 highlighting vocal chamber music and the performance of a Spanish love song.

Steinau, professor of music at Susquehanna and featured musician at the festival, says he hopes the festival will immerse the Susquehanna community in Schumann’s compositions. “We want people to have the opportunity to hear a great deal of Schumann’s work in a short period of time,” he said.

Niskala, also a professor of music at Susquehanna and featured musician, agreed with Steinau. “Our week-long festival offers a wonderful glimpse into Schumann’s large, varied output of compositions. We hope these concerts will give audience members an in-depth look into Schumann’s music and his compositional style and language,” said Niskala.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 36 states and 13 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit www.susqu.edu.


Karen M. Jones

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