Friends of Music Concert: Passion and Betrayal in the House of Strauss

Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams

Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams

On Sunday, November 2, at 2 p.m. in the Church, St. Philip’s Friends of Music presents renowned artists baritone Jeremy Huw Williams, and Paula Fan, piano in PASSION AND BETRAYAL IN THE HOUSE OF STRAUSS — A MUSIC AND LETTERS CONCERT.

Paula de Ahna was the formidable soprano who caught the eye of the young conductor, Richard Strauss, in 1887. After she threw a score at him in rehearsal, he announced their engagement. His ear was captivated as well. “No one sang my songs in such a touching way as she did,” he wrote, and it was she who helped him understand the female voice as he created operatic roles like Marschallin, Octavian and Sophie. However, Pauline’s jealousy was legendary, and while she is immortalized as a romantic presence in Strauss’ tone poems, the couple’s squabbles are depicted in his Sinfonia Domestica and in the opera Intermezzo.

In song and in the Strauss’ own words, the distinguished Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams tells the story of these two towering temperaments in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the composer’s birth. “It’s scripted and 90% of the material is from primary sources. I would say there’s enough titillation for the National Enquirer crowd, scholarship for the New Yorker folks, and enough absolutely gorgeous romantic material for the heart of any listener.”

Paula Fan

Pianist Paula Fan

The suggested concert admission is $20 per person. The mission of Friends of Music is to enrich the musical experience of the parish and community through events such as concerts, outreach, education, scholarships, commissions, and support of special musical events. For more information see www.friendsofmusictucson.org or call 520.222.7277

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot or under our solar parking structure on the east side. The Friends of Music phone number is (520) 222-7277.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

The Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams studied at St. John’s College, Cambridge, at the National Opera Studio, and made his debut with Welsh National Opera as Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte) and has since appeared in sixty operatic roles throughout major venues in North and South America, Australia, Hong Kong, and most European countries. Equally, he has given recitals at many major music festivals and has appeared in concert with concert orchestras in France and Spain. He is renowned as an exponent of contemporary music and has made many commercial recordings, including eight solo discs of songs. As a principal singer with Welsh National Opera he received the inaugural Sir Geraint Evans Award from the Welsh Music Guild, given annually to a person or persons who have made a significant contribution to Welsh music in any one year or recent years: “…there has been an unanimous decision that the first award should be made to baritone Jeremy Huw Williams in recognition of not only his performing ability but also for the tremendous support that he has given to Welsh composers and their music in recent years.” He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Glyndwr University in 2009 for services to music in Wales, and received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Aberdeen in 2011. Williams’s visit is sponsored in part by Wales Arts International.

Pianist Paula Fan has appeared as soloist and chamber musician on five continents. As the first accompanist-coach to be invited to an emerging China, she performed on the earliest concerts of Western chamber music and art song to be heard there for decades. She has recorded twenty albums and has broadcast for the BBC, National Public Radio, Radio Television China and international stations from Bosnia to Australia. As one of the first recipients of the doctorate in Collaborative Piano, she has lectured on the subject worldwide. A committed Earthwatch volunteer, Paula Fan is passionate about bridging the gap between the scientific and musical worlds. She is a founding member of the Solar Storytellers, a solar-powered piano trio that has performed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

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