An innovative performance dramatizing the life of musician Nadia Boulanger, once called "the most influential teacher since Socrates," will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in the Recital Hall of the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther College campus. Following Boulanger as she overcame family tragedy and the French music establishment, "Nadia" is a tour-de-force of storytelling intertwined with chamber music.
The performance is open to the public with no charge for admission.
It's been said that no one had a more powerful influence shaping the music of the 20th century. This performance asks what makes a teacher great? Why was Boulanger called "midwife to genius?" How was this career possible for a woman?
Born into a family of musicians, Boulanger found her passion not in the composition genius of her sister and father or the voice of her mother, but in the vocation of teaching. Throughout her life, she taught at the Paris Conservatoire and in America; served as a music editor, critic and organist; organized war relief with her sister Lili; and was the first female conductor of several American and British orchestras.
"Nadia" will be performed at Luther by The Bakken Trio and actress and opera singer Tammy Hensrud. Mina Fisher, professional musician turned writer, created the piece.
The performance will be followed by a question and answer session featuring Fisher, who has had her own career as a cellist with the Minnesota Orchestra and as a teacher. She joined The Bakken Trio in 2003 as a cellist and now serves as its Producing Artistic Director. Fisher undertook this project as a labor of love, doing archival research in Paris and learning the craft of script-writing.
The Twin Cities-based Bakken Trio is a chamber ensemble presenting a mix of traditional chamber music and virtuosic modern compositions. Actress and opera singer Tammy Hensrud stars, bringing to life memories of Boulanger's life triggered by her beloved sister Lili and the chamber music of Bach, Aaron Copland, Quincy Jones and Elliott Piazzola. The Bakken Trio, represented by Stephanie Arado, violin, Michael Kim, piano, and Philip Borter, cello, provide the music.
On Friday, Sept. 28, playwright Fisher will meet with Luther students for a career talk. As a cellist, teacher, writer, union activist, arts organization director and entrepreneur, she is excited to share her experience with students.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.