The University of South Dakota’s nationally-acclaimed Rawlins Piano Trio and friends will present a chamber music concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. The concert, open to the public and free of charge, will be in the National Music Museum Arne B. Larson Hall.
The concert will feature the museum’s 1876 Broadwood Semi-Grand piano with a program of 19th century works by Schubert and Brahms.
The trio will share the concert with mezzo-soprano Tracelyn Gesteland and baritone Brandon Hendrickson, who will sing selections from the German with pianist Susan Keith Gray. All artists are faculty members in the USD Department of Music.
Since its founding in 1987, the Rawlins Piano Trio has distinguished itself as a dynamic group of performers, teachers and scholars. The ensemble performs regularly throughout the United States and abroad, including recent concert and teaching tours throughout Taiwan and Panama.
Owing to its expertise as a preeminent interpreter of American music, the ensemble has recorded four CDs on the Albany Records label. The fourth disc, “American Discoveries” was released in July 2009. It presents the Trio’s first commissioned composition, “Volvic Maritim,” by New York based composer Daniel Bernard Roumain. Reviewer J. Scott Morrison stated that this disc is “another winner from the Rawlins Trio … they continue their work of bringing us American composers’ music that is worth hearing. … Their playing is artful, suave and pleasing.”
The Trio recorded a fifth CD on the Azica label in June of 2012. Commissioned works by Emma Lou Diemer, James Lentini, Timothy Hoekman, Miguel Roig-Francoli and Stephen Yarbrough are featured. The CD will be released in 2013.
Tracelyn Gesteland, mezzo-soprano and assistant professor of music in voice/opera, is an active performer on the opera, concert and recital stage. Referred to by reviewers as “remarkable” and “an engaging and versatile singing actress,” she has appeared in leading roles and concerts with the Houston Grand Opera, Atlantic Coast Opera, Stoughton Opera, Lone Star Lyric Theater, Sounds of South Dakota, South Dakota Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Nachitoches-Northwestern Symphony, Elgin Opera, Light Opera Works, Center Light Theatre, l’opera piccola, Ars Lyrica Houston, Moores Opera Center, Harrower Opera, Contemporary Opera Lab, National Opera Association, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the batons of Barenboim, Mehta, Boulez, Penderecki and Wolff.
Brandon Hendrickson, assistant professor of Voice and Opera at the University of South Dakota, holds the degrees of Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Louisiana State University. In 2011 Hendrickson was a Regional Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in St. Paul, Minnesota. Hendrickson’s recent credits include debuts with the Helena Symphony Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sounds of South Dakota, Louisiana Sinfonietta, Southeast Pennsylvania Symphony, Charleston Symphony, The South Dakota Symphony, Pensacola Opera, Opéra Louisiane, and The Dallas Opera in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s great American Opera, Moby Dick.
Last spring he made his debut with Opera Charleston singing along side Denyce Graves in Bizet’s Carmen, and recently performed along side Samuel Ramey in a production of Die Zauberflöte, as Papageno.
The trio is named for benefactors Marjorie Rawlins and the late Robert Rawlins. For more information see the trio’s Web site at www.rawlinstrio.com or call the USD College of Fine Arts at (605) 677-5481.