Pittsburgh Song Collaborative, Poets Join Final ‘Schubert on the Bluff’ Performance

The three-year Schubert on the Bluff series hosted by the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University will conclude with a performance featuring a co-presentation with the Pittsburgh Song Collaborative (PSC).

Winter Journey will be held on Sunday, April 15, at 3 p.m. in the PNC Recital Hall in the music school. It will be preceded by a 2:30 p.m. pre-concert featuring pianist David Allen Wehr, artistic director of Schubert on the Bluff, who will perform Claude Debussy's Suite Bergamasque and L'isle Joyeuse.

Winter Journey, which features themes of alienation, exile, obsession and lost love, is among the most famous of classic song cycles as well as a central work of the art song canon, according to Dr. Ben Binder, PSC artistic director and chair of musicianship at the Mary Pappert School of Music. "It's one of the forerunners of expressionism in the ways that it gets deep into the psyche of the main character's tortured soul. It's very contemporary in its themes," said Binder, who recruited Pittsburgh poets to each write four poems responding to four songs assigned to them from Winter Journey that they performed at two previous PSC performances.

At the final Schubert on the Bluff performance, local poets Jen Ashburn, Sheila Carter-Jones, Lori Jakiela, Adriana E. Ramirez, Sheila Squillante and Don Wentworth will each read one of the new pieces that they wrote in conjunction with Winter Journey. Binder and baritone Daniel Teadt will then perform the entire 24 song cycle of Winter Journey.

"In the case of Franz Schubert, I felt that we couldn't devote three seasons to such a great vocal composer without setting aside a program to focus on one of the great song cycles for which Schubert is famous," explained Wehr, who is also the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at Duquesne University. "Ben chose Winterreise/Winter Journey himself, with my enthusiastic approval. Schubert pioneered the concept of a song cycle, many songs which can be sung separately, but function best as an entire story."

Tickets to Winter Journey are $15 and can be bought online or by calling the A.J. Palumbo Center Box Office at 412.232.3853. All seating is reserved.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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