Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage


January 23, 2013


This spring, the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic will join forces with the Repertory Chorus and Concert Choir in a performance of Austrian and German classics:  Maestro Ronald Zollman will lead the ensembles in Anton Bruckner's setting of the Te Deum, an early Christian hymn of praise, and Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 4. Four School of Music alumni will be featured on the Bruckner: Katy Shackleford Williams, soprano; Chrystal Williams, mezzo-soprano; Theodore Chletsos, tenor; and Dimitrie Lazich, baritone.

Anton Bruckner is a composer whose artistic life was defined by paradoxes, foremost among them being the contrast between his voluminous compositional output and and the humble limitations of his daily life.  Bruckner was a prolific symphonist, yet was almost never paid for his compositions.  He was also a musical radical, whose adventurous use of traditional harmony sparked heated debate among the better-known composers of his day.  But being a devout Catholic, Bruckner set himself apart from his contemporaries and led a sequestered life of almost monastic piety.  The Te Deum is a revealing synthesis of the most important strains of Bruckner's life: first, his daring manipulations of large orchestral and choral forces, and second, his profound religious faith.  The work is scored for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra, and can be said to represent the summation both of Bruckner's artistic philosophy and his spirituality.

A similarly fervent mood prevails in Robert Schumann's Fourth Symphony, which was composed in the early 1840s, at a period of prosperity, happiness, and personal triumph.  He had finally been able to marry Clara Wieck, the woman of his dreams, against her father's severe injunction; and emboldened by this, Schumann finally began to compose symphonic works.  The Fourth Symphony was particularly close to Schumann's heart, as he intended it to be a musical portrayal of his wife and muse.  Furthermore, the work is in the key of D minor, which for Schumann was imbued with the solemnity and grandeur of his personal destiny. 

Friends and alumni of the School of Music will also have opportunities at both of these concerts to celebrate the illustrious career of Dr. Robert Page who is retiring at the end of the school year. A special invitation with more details on these events and how alumni can obtain complimentary tickets to these concerts will be sent out by the end of February 2013. 

The Philharmonic and Choirs will first perform this program on Wednesday, April 3rd at 8:00 pm in their regular venue, Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh.  They will then travel to Bethesda, Maryland, to repeat the performance at the Music Center at Strathmore, a venerated cultural institution presenting concerts and arts events to the greater Washington, D.C. area.  This concert will take place on Friday, April 5th at 8:00 pm.

Wednesday, April 3 at 8:00 pm 
Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland 
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Friday, April 5 at 8:00 pm 
Music Center at Strathmore, Bethesda, MD
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