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Music Department to present Faculty
Recital on March 12 with guest violinist

Feb. 28, 2006 -- The Department of Music at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will present a Faculty Recital on Sunday, March 12, at 3 p.m. in Fowler Center, Riceland Hall.

The recital will include faculty member Dr. Lauren Schack Clark and guest violinist Dr. Stephen Sims.

The program for the afternoon will include “Tre Canti” by Ildebrando Pizzetti, “Sonata in G Minor” by Claude Debussy, and “Sonata in A Major” by CÚsar Franck.
Pizzetti was born in Parma, Italy, and taught harmony and counterpoint at the Florence Conservatory. He later became director of conservatory from 1917 to 1923. A highly-regarded yet conservative composer, he produced more than 20 operas, plus symphonies, film scores, two string quartets, and choral and vocal music.

The “Violin Sonata” was Debussy’s final work, written when he was suffering from cancer. The piece utilizes unique harmonies, rhythm, and imagery, with idiomatic violin writing that includes portamento slides. About the third movement, Debussy wrote: “Don’t trust any piece that appears to hover in flight from heaven — it could have been brooded in the dark depths of a sick man’s brain! For instance, the finale of my sonata: the simple play on a thought that twists itself like a snake biting its own tail…”

Franck’s “Violin Sonata” is one of his best known works, along with the “Symphony in D minor” and the “Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra.” All three of these works are from the last years of his life. Franck, who was born in Belgium and later moved to France, was a virtuoso pianist and organist. He was deeply religious, and his beliefs influenced much of his music, especially those pieces written for organ and choir. The music is extremely passionate and dramatic.

Dr. Clark is assistant professor of piano and serves as keyboard activities supervisor at ASU. She performs frequently as a soloist and collaborative artist. She has played with principle players of the Boston Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Scottish National Symphony, Slovenian Radio Symphony, Cincinnati Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony, and Memphis Symphony, and with faculty members of the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Cincinnati College Conservatory, Oberlin College, the University of Memphis, as well as ASU.

She concertized in Paris in 1997 in conjunction with the Institute for Advanced Vocal Study, and again at the 2001 French Piano Institute. She holds a doctorate from Boston University, a master’s from Northwestern University, a graduate diploma from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., and a bachelor’s degree from the Hartt School of Music.

Dr. Sims teaches violin at the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and at Denison University. His students have won concerto competitions, served as concertmasters for All-State and national youth orchestras, and continued on to successful careers in music. Sims is also a frequent clinician at numerous Suzuki Institutes around the country.

In 2000, the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts recognized Sims as one of Tennessee’s outstanding educators. An orchestral musician for many years, Sims served as assistant concertmaster of the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra while in high school. Sims has performed numerous times as soloist with orchestras, most recently in a performance of Beethoven's "Triple Concerto" with the Emporia State University Orchestra in Kansas. He has also performed recitals throughout the United States and in Ireland. Sims began his violin studies in Fayetteville with Dr. Barbara Garvey Jackson. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a doctorate from the University of Iowa. He has also attended Meadowmount and the ENCORE School for Strings, and played in the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.

This concert is free and open to the public. For more details, please call the Department of Music at (870) 972-2094.

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