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‘Schubert on the Bluff’ Includes Rare Pieces, Guest Composer’s Works

The Mary Pappert School of Music's new concert series, Schubert on the Bluff, kicks off later this month and brings with it a few twists.

Schubert on the Bluff, a three-year series featuring the works of Austrian composer Franz Schubert, marks the first time that works by a different guest composer will also be highlighted each season. In addition, reserved seating and season ticket options for the series are now available.

"There is a lot of chamber music that Schubert wrote that is not performed that often, and I know from living here for many years that it hasn't been presented professionally here in Pittsburgh in quite a long time," explained David Allen Wehr, artistic director for Schubert on the Bluff at Duquesne University. "Schubert is wonderful-he is primarily known for his songs. One of the things that makes his chamber music so appealing is that he takes his melodic gift as a song writer and applies it to his instrumental music so that we all get to sing."

Because many of Schubert's famous chamber works are based on songs, during some of the series' concerts, members of Duquesne's School of Music voice faculty will sing the original song followed by the musician's performance of the chamber piece. "I think that is going to be really interesting and enjoyable for our audience," said Wehr, the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair, who also performs in each of the series.

David Stock, professor emeritus of musicianship at Duquesne University, will be the featured guest composer during the four concerts of season one of Schubert on the Bluff, which kicks off at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30. Season one will also feature the world premiere of Stock's Second Chamber Concerto-commissioned specifically for the Schubert on the Bluff series.

The late composers Aaron Copland and Claude Debussy will be the featured guest composers for seasons two and three of Schubert on the Bluff

Schubert on the Bluff is the ninth series directed by Wehr. Since the School of Music began hosting the composer-themed concert series in 2002, both the popularity and audience have grown to the point where the performances sell out. In the past, overflow of audience members were seated in the recital hall lobby-the reserved seating will eliminate that need.

"Our audience is finding something that we offer that they can't get elsewhere, and we offer the opportunity to hear chamber music in an appropriate-sized space," said Wehr. "In PNC Recital Hall-because of its intimate size-even if you're sitting in the last row, you aren't that far from the stage. Every seat is a good seat, visually and acoustically."

Schubert on the Bluff also marks the return of pre-concert discussions. "I thought we could have one of the artists from that day's program and I just sit on stage before the concert and talk," said Wehr. "We'll be chatting, not necessarily with a specific list of questions, but as a way to let the audience sort of 'eavesdrop' on what professional musicians talk about."

For more information on Schubert on the Bluff, visit www.duq.edu/Schubert or call 412.396.6083.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.