New Music at Willamette to celebrate 20th anniversary season

New Music at Willamette will present a gala concert Friday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Hudson Hall in celebration of the 20th year of the series.

The program also will honor the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustav Mahler, one of the seminal figures of the modernist movement in music, with a performance of Mahler's orchestral song cycle, "Das Lied von der Erde." The Mahler cycle will be heard in a special arrangement for chamber orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg, a composer whose own orchestral style was greatly influenced by Mahler.

The vocal soloists for "Das Lied" will be Willamette Professor Allison Swensen-Mitchell, mezzo-soprano and director of the Dramatic Vocal Arts Ensemble, along with Professor Leslie Green, tenor.

Also featured on the program will be "The Pythia," a monodrama for soprano and orchestra on a poem by Paul Valéry. This work by Willamette composer-in-residence John Peel will be heard in a new version for chamber orchestra and will be sung in English. The soprano soloist will be Willamette Professor Amy Hansen.

Accompanying the singers will be an ensemble of instrumental soloists, including Willamette faculty members along with principals from the Oregon Symphony and other orchestras in the region. Professor Hekun Wu will conduct.

Suggested donation is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Admission is free to the Willamette community with I.D. For more information, contact the Willamette music department at 503-370-6255.