This series, produced by piano professor Robin McCabe, features music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert, with historical context offered in commentary and narration. Each concert includes a pre-concert lecture by UW faculty and local music authorities.
Pre-concert Lecture 4pm
Pre-concert Lecture: George Bozarth
“Was ist der Biedermeier”
Christina Kowalksi-Holien, soprano; Hyun Su Seo, piano
Dances and Marches, for piano with four hands
Robin McCabe, Craig Sheppard, piano
Introduction and Variations, Opus 160, for flute and piano
Natalie Ham, flute; Laure Strube, piano
George Bozarth specializes in 19th-century studies, especially the music of Johannes Brahms and musical life in Boston. He is also interested in the early history of the piano.
He is the founding Executive Director of the American Brahms Society and co-author of the article on Johannes Brahms for the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Bozarth is the editor of Brahms Studies: Analytical and Historical Perspectives (Oxford University Press),The Brahms-Keller Correspondence (University of Nebraska Press), and On Brahms and His Circle: Essays and Documentary Studies by Karl Geiringer (Harmonie Park Press). His most recent book, Johannes Brahms and George Henschel: An Enduring Friendship, appeared with Harmonie Park Press in 2008.
Bozarth has published numerous articles on Brahms, focusing on compositional process, problems in chronology, documents, word-tone relationships in the songs and piano music, editorial issues, and questions of performance practice. He has edited the cantata Ach Gott, von Himmel sieh darein, BWV 2, for the Neue Bach-Ausgabe, and the complete organ works of Brahms for G. Henle Verlag and the Neue Brahms-Ausgabe. His current projects include books on the Irish fortepiano maker William Southwell, musical life in late 19th-century Boston, and Brahms's process of composing songs. He has held grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Royalty Research Fund at the University of Washington.
He offers courses on music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, including specialized courses on chorale-based music from Luther to Bach, the choral music, art songs, and chamber music of Brahms, cultural life in 19th-century Boston, and performance practices in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A fortepianist who specializes in accompanying German art song, Bozarth owns a large collection of early pianos (1790-1895) housed in the Seattle Early Keyboard Museum (SEKM!). He founded the ensemble The Classical Consort and is Artistic Director of the Seattle early music series Gallery Concerts.
Bozarth took his Ph.D. in historical musicology at Princeton University and was Ruth Sutton Waters Endowed Professor of Music at the University of Washington, 2008–11.
Celebrated American pianist Robin McCabe has established herself as one of America’s most communicative and persuasive artists. McCabe’s involvement and musical sensibilities have delighted audiences across the United States, Europe, Canada and in seven concert tours of the Far East. The United States Department of State sponsored her two South American tours, which were triumphs both artistically and diplomatically.
As noted by the New York Times, “What Ms. McCabe has that raises her playing to such a special level is a strong lyric instinct and confidence in its ability to reach and touch the listener.” The Tokyo Press declared her a “pianistic powerhouse,” and a reviewer in Prague declared, “Her musicianship is a magnet for the listener.” Richard Dyer, the eminent critic of the Boston Globe: ‘Her brilliant, natural piano playing shows as much independence of mind as of fingers.”
Her recordings have received universal acclaim. Her debut album for Vanguard Records featured the premiere recording of Guido Agosti transcription of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Critics praised it as “mightily impressive.” Stereo Review described her disc of Bartok as “all that we have come to expect from this artist, a first-rate performance!” She was commissioned to record four albums for the award-winning company Grammofon AB BIS in Stockholm, which remain distributed internationally, including the CD “Robin McCabe Plays Liszt,” (AB BIS No. 185).
McCabe, earned her bachelor of music degree summa cum laude at the University of Washington School of Music, where she studied with Béla Siki, and her master’s and doctorate degrees at the Juilliard School of Music, where she studied with Rudolf Firkusny. She joined the Juilliard faculty in 1978 then returned to the UW in 1987 to accept a position on the piano faculty. In 1994 McCabe was appointed Director of the School of Music, a position she held until 2009. She has held a Ruth Sutton Waters Professorship and a Donald Petersen Professorship in the School of Music. In addition, McCabe is a dedicated arts ambassador and advocate for arts audience development, frequently addressing arts organizations across the country. With colleague Craig Sheppard, she has launched the highly successful Seattle Piano Institute, an intense summer “immersion experience” for gifted and aspiring classical pianists that enjoyed its sixth session in 2015. Also In 2015, McCabe performed and recorded the complete cycle of Beethoven’s ten sonatas for violin and piano, with colleague Maria Larionoff.
The winner of numerous prizes and awards, including the International Concert Artists Guild Competition and a Rockefeller Foundation grant, McCabe was the subject of a lengthy New Yorker magazine profile, “Pianist’s Progress,” later expanded into a book of the same title.
In 1995 McCabe presented the annual faculty lecture — a concert with commentary — at the University of Washington. She is the first professor of music in the history of the University to be awarded this lectureship. Seattle magazine selected McCabe as one of 17 current and past University of Washington professors who have had an impact on life in the Pacific Northwest. In 2005, to celebrate its 100th year as an institution, The Juilliard School selected McCabe as one of 100 alumni from 20,000 currently living to be profiled in its centenary publication recognizing distinction and accomplishments in the international world of music, dance, and theater. Today she is a highly- sought teacher at the University of Washington, with students from around the world seeking admission to her studio.
McCabe performs regularly throughout the United States, and in September of 2011 she made her first visit to South Korea. In October of 2015 McCabe gave solo recitals in Beijing, and master classes at the International Beijing Piano Festival. She appears often as an invited jurist for international piano competitions, most recently in New Orleans, San Antonio, and Vancouver, Canada. In June of 2016 she is invited to serve on the jury of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition.