Faculty Artist Series

Carol Hester presents a program of flute music Oct. 9

Carol Hester, Luther College professor of music, will perform a recital titled "The Flute and Dietrich Bonhoeffer," inspired by the German theologian and pastor's connections to the flute. Luther faculty members Xiao Hu, piano, Philip Borter, cello, and Igor Kalnin, violin, join Hester in the recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, in the Noble Recital Hall of the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music on the Luther campus.

The performance is open to the public with no charge for admission.

In Hester's reading about Bonhoeffer, regarded as one of the most outspoken opponents of Hitler's regime, she found a quote from one of Bonhoeffer's students, Inge Karding, who remembered that Bonhoeffer "played the flute wonderfully." Bonhoeffer's close friend and biographer, Eberhard Bethge, was also an accomplished flutist. While Boehoeffer was in prison, the letters between the two men reference certain flute compositions.

Even though Hester discovered no other direct references to Bonhoeffer's flute playing, she began to "imagine a recital played in his honor, one that would tie together the flute connections" she found in researching his life. Music on the program includes pieces by Ernst von Dohnányi, Haydn, Bach, Ravel and Schubert and three Negro Spirituals, transcribed and arranged by Gwen Hester.

To illuminate the music's relation to Bonhoeffer, five students from the flute studio will present quotes from Bonhoeffer biographies and excerpts from prison letters, threading the musical selections into a coherent program. The narrators are Luther students Lauren Bennati, Erin Haefner, Rachel Schwabenbauer, Brenna Sherman and Olivia Steffl.

Luther is home to one of the largest undergraduate music programs in the nation with five choirs, three bands, three orchestras, two jazz bands and nearly 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.