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Guest Artist Recital: Ericka Tyner Grodrian, Horn
September 16 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pmFree
Ericka Tyner Grodrian, horn
Christina Giuca, piano
Romanceby Elizabeth Raum (b. 1945)
Agesby Susan Mutter (b. 1962)
Concerto for Horn by Eric Ewazen (b. 1954)
Romance was commissioned in 2001 as a test piece for the Canadian Music Competition. Originally for horn and piano, it has been published for a variety of solo instruments including trombone, bassoon, cello, viola, alto saxophone, and tenor saxophone. The work has lovely, flowing lines, with just enough tension to hearken back to the miniature solo pieces of the late Romantics.
Ages was inspired by and dedicated to the composer’s father, Howard VanValzah. According to Ms. Mutter, “I was inspired to compose Ages when I contemplated how a man relates to the world around him so differently at various ages in his life. All six year old boys have something in common, as do all 92 year old men! It is what is in common, that I have tried to capture here.”
The piece explores those commonalities in chronological order, first with the aimless wanderings of a six-year-old, followed by the rebellious and energetic teenager. By “Thirty-four” monotony has set in through a relentless career, but then is relieved in the lovely “Sixty-six,” a contemplative and beautiful melody that celebrates the ease of retirement and satisfaction of family time with children and grandchildren. In “Ninety-two,” our character is on his deathbed with the piano representing a morphine drip that keeps pain at bay. As he drifts in and out of consciousness, his happy childhood memories return once more.
Concerto for Horn was commissioned by and dedicated to Gregory Hustis, former principal horn of the Dallas Symphony. “The first movement is lively and playful, often energetic with the harmonies reflecting my Eastern European roots, and rhythms that are full of life. The second movement focuses on a singing horn line – poignant, expressive to the point of being appassionato, but always lyrical, always beautiful. The final movement has a real edge to it – more chromatic than the previous movements, aggressive and bold, but culminating with a grand singing, soaring line in C major, bringing the piece to a resonant, heroic finale.” -Eric Ewazen
Dr. Ericka Tyner Grodrianis Associate Professor of Music at Valparaiso University where she teaches studio horn, chamber music, and aural skills courses. A graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, her dissertation project focused on the use of opera excerpts in American horn pedagogy. Her opera excerpt website Beyond the Short Call, an outgrowth of that research, can be viewed at www.hornoperaproject.org. Dr. Grodrian won her division of the 2010 Susan Slaughter Solo Brass Competition in Toronto, Ontario. An advocate of new music, she has premiered six new chamber and solo works for horn in the last seven years. Her studio album Landscapes: New American Music for Horn will be released in 2020.
Dr. Grodrian enjoys sharing her love of opera and interest in Music Performance Anxiety (MPA) reduction techniques with students across the country, and has presented masterclasses on these topics at universities throughout the Midwest and Southeast. Before joining the faculty at Valparaiso, she served as Lecturer in Horn and Music Theory at Converse College, and Associate Instructor of Horn at Indiana University. Her primary teachers include Jeff Nelsen, Richard Seraphinoff, Richard Deane, and Skip Snead. Away from teaching and music, she enjoys gardening, knitting, and watching football with her husband, John and their giant standard poodle, Dexter.
Hailed as a “sensitive partner” by the New York Times, pianist Christina Giuca enjoys a dynamic career as a performer, collaborator, vocal coach and educator. Heard on the stages of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, and Preston Bradley Hall, she has also appeared at festivals including the Music Academy of the West and Aspen Music Festival. Christina was the pianist winner of the 2017 Marilyn Horne Song Competition and played in Carnegie Hall’s 2018 “The Song Continues” series in master classes with Renée Fleming, Graham Johnson, and Marilyn Horne. Dedicated to showcasing the music of today, Christina is a founding member of contemporary piano duo 4×5 with her husband, composer Benjamin Krause. They recently performed at the MTNA National Conference in Washington and were featured guest artists at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium.
Christina holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. She was also a recipient of the Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship from the Bard College Conservatory. Currently living in Chicago, Christina works with Chicago Opera Theater, Northwestern University, North Park University, Music of the Baroque, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center. She also serves on music staff at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and is on faculty at Lutheran Summer Music Festival.