Soprano Maria Jette Joins Gustavus’ Jorgensen and Wang for Music Season Premiere Posted on September 9th, 2005 by

Renowned Minneapolis soprano Maria Jette joins talents with Gustavus faculty members Michael Jorgensen, baritone and pianist Esther Wang to present the “Songs of Celius Dougherty,” on Saturday, September 17. This performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Jussi Björling Recital Hall on the Gustavus campus and is free and open to the public.

The Minnesota-born Dougherty was a sought-after pianist who performed with some of the best known musicians of the mid-Twentieth Century while pursuing a solo and two-piano career which included premieres of works by Hindemith, Stavinsky, Berg and Schönberg. His work as a composer includes a children’s opera, a piano concerto, string quartet and several sonatas. However, he was particularly well-known for his production of over two hundred works for voice. These works were permiered by the finest singers of his generation, including Marian Anderson, Bidu Sayao, Eileen Farrell, Eleanor Steber and William Warfield.

This program, the “Songs of Celius Dougherty,” was first performed as a collaboration by Jette, Jorgensen and Wang in June as part of the St. Paul Summer Song Festival at the Landmark Center. It includes a wonderful assortment of sea chanties, English and American folksongs, Irish reels, and compositions whose texts include the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Steven Vincent Benet, and Sir Ernest Gower. The program showcases solo performances by Maria Jette and Michael Jorgensen who take the stage together in the final set to present six American folk duets, accompanied by Esther Wang.

Maria Jette’s career includes performances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the New York Chamber Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. A regular performer with Philip Brunelle and VocalEssence, Ms. Jette’s resume includes performances around the globe which range from concerts with Conductor Helmuth Rilling to appearances on A Prairie Home Companion. She has appeared on stage several times with Gustavus baritone Michael Jorgensen, but this program is the first collaboration with Gustavus pianist Esther Wang.

The “Songs of Celius Dougherty” will be presented on the Gustavus campus in Björling Recital Hall on Saturday, September 17 and begins at 7:30 p.m. The performance is free to the public and will be followed by a reception for the performers in the recital hall lobby.


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