Hiram composer to appear at concerts

Staff report


Dawn Lenore Sonntag, professor of music at Hiram College, will be the guest composer at the New Music Society’s annual spring concerts.

The free performances will take place Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at the Butler Institute of American Art, and at 8 p.m. in Bliss Recital Hall, inside Bliss Hall, on Wick Avenue, on the Youngstown State University campus.

Sonntag is a composer, singer, pianist and conductor. Wednesday’s recitals will focus on her chamber music for voice and instruments, and will demonstrate her extensive experience in setting English texts and those translated from Swedish.

She also will perform a collection of her settings of the Romantic poet Christina Rossetti, and 20th-century poets Sarah Teasdale, Karin Boye and Marvin Bell. A version of Walt Whitman’s “Come Up From the Fields, Father” also will appear.

Sonntag’s works encompass vocal, choral, orchestral, dance and film music, and have been performed across the United States and Europe. Her first opera, “Verlorene Heimat,” will be premiered at Hiram College in April.

In 2010 Sonntag was selected as Ohio’s Distinguished Composer of the Year. Her interest in Norwegian art song led to a foreign language area studies fellowship to study advanced Norwegian in Oslo, Norway, and she was a composer in residence at the Visby International Center for Composers in Sweden in 2013, and has been invited to return in 2015.

In her Youngstown appearances, Sonntag will be accompanied by pianist Karen Murphy. Also performing will be flutist-oboist Paul Dreisbach, who teaches woodwinds at Hiram, and cellist Stephen Wagner, a pedagogical technique specialist.

Violinists Brendan and Karen Considine will perform “It’s My Turn to Have the Evening Off” by Youngstown composer Richard Zacharias. The title refers to the couple’s busy musical life, which vies for attention with their upbringing of three children. Zacharias is a member of the New Music Guild.

For information, call the Dana School of Music at 330-941-3636.

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