OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Program: Exploration of French Song Comes to OSU

04/04/2008

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Scholar and pianist James H. Johnson and baritone Dana Whiteside return to Oregon State University on Monday, April 14, to present a program called, “French Impressions – A Musical Voyage,” which begins at 7 p.m. in Benton Hall 303.

The OSU Horning Endowment in the Humanities and Department of Music are hosting the event.

The program is an exploration of French song in the 20th century and its legacy among American composers. At the center of the program are five of Francis Poulenc’s best-known songs and the “Mélodies Passagères” of Samuel Barber, a song-cycle set to poems in French by Rainer Maria Rilke. The American works on the program, which include songs by Virgil Thomson and Scott Wheeler, incorporate French styles into a distinctly American idiom.

Their lecture will trace musical and biographical connections, with the performance to follow.

Johnson and Whiteside last were in Corvallis in May 1999 when they performed a lecture-recital in Benton Hall titled "Music and the Crisis of Europe: Decadence and Redemption in an Age of World War."

Johnson is a historian and former dean at Boston University and an active lecturer and performer who received his university’s Metcalf Award for Teaching. His prize-winning book, “Listening in Paris: A Cultural History,” came out in 1995 and he is completing a multivolume work on the practice and rhetoric of masking in Venice, Paris, and Vienna.

Whiteside is a New England Conservatory of Music honors graduate, alumnus of the Tanglewood Vocal Program, and past winner of the National Association of Teacher of Singing Competition. He is affiliated with the Handel and Haydn Society and Emmanuel Music.

For more information, contact the History Department at 541-737-8560 or visit http://www.oregonstate.edu/cla/history/lectures