The 2019–20 “Defining Dates” Viterbo University Out-of-Our-Minds Chamber Music Series will open with Tribute to Two Hundred at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, in the Fine Arts Center's Nola Starling Recital Hall.
Tribute to Two Hundred will celebrate the music and 200th birthday of Clara Schumann, renowned 19th century pianist, composer, mother, collaborator, and archivist. The concert will be the first performance of the new ensemble, 2 Sisters Trio. The group is comprised of pianist Mary Ellen Haupert, music, and sisters Kristina Nocker Gullion, violin, and Monika Nocker Sutherland, cello. The sisters grew up in Chicago and both received a master’s degree in music performance from Indiana University.
“The sisters are dynamic, personable, and talented musicians who rise to the challenges in the music,” said Haupert. “Meeting them has been one of the high points of my career.”
The 2 Sisters Trio will honor the remarkable Schumann with letters describing both her character and her endearing relationship with the younger Johannes Brahms.Tribute to Two Hundred will feature Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 17 and Johannes Brahms’ Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8.
The series will continue at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, with Back to Roots. Viterbo alumnus and internationally acclaimed singer and composer Matt Boehler will perform his original Foursquare Cathedral and other works with Mary Ellen Haupert on piano. Boehler is a much sought-after operatic bass and his music compositions continue to gain notoriety world-wide. Boehler studied with Professor Jerry Benser at Viterbo and his progress was so extraordinary he went on to earn a master’s degree in vocal performance from the Juilliard School of Music in New York City and has performed leading operatic roles all over the world. He is also an accomplished composer. While at Viterbo, Boehler will share his knowledge about performance and music composition.
On Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, at 3 p.m., Mary Ellen Haupert, piano, and Jonathan Borja, flute, will present Transcribing Memories. The concert will include Bela Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances for Flute and Piano, Max Bruch’s Romanze, Op. 85; and a transcription of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 24. Borja is professor of music at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
The series will conclude at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2020, with Celebrating Sister Cities. The concert will be a tribute to La Crosse’s sister city, Dubna, Russia. Michelle Lee Elliott, violin; Busya Lugovier, viola; Derek Clark, cello; and Mary Ellen Haupert, piano; will perform Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25 and Gabriel Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 15. Lugovier will discuss the 30-year relationship between the cities and her own journey to the U.S.
All Out-of-Our-Mind Chamber Music Series events will be held in the Viterbo Fine Arts Center Nola Starling Recital Hall. The concerts are free, but a freewill offering will be taken for the musicians. The entertaining and educational concerts of the Out-of-Our-Minds Chamber Music Series are designed to increase the accessibility, opportunity, and exposure to high quality classical music.
Pictured are Mary Ellen Haupert, Kristina Gullion, and Monika Sutherland.