Daniel Kessner, Suzanne Julian Performing for GNC

Composer Daniel Kessner

On Wednesday, April 3 at 12:10 p.m., the Free Admission Glendale Noon Concerts program will be performed live in the sanctuary of Glendale City Church, 610 E. California Ave. in Glendale.

The program includes “Madrigal for Flute and Piano” by Philippe Gaubert (1879-1941), “Imaginary Temple” for bass flute and bell sounds (pre-recorded) by Daniel Kessner (b. 1946), “Elegy, Andante sostenuto, Op. 85, No. 4” and “Allegro leggiero, Op. 67, No. 2” by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), and “Deuxième Impromptu pour la Flûte et Piano, Op. 54” by Joachim Andersen (1847-1909).

Born in Los Angeles in 1946, composer-conductor-flutist Daniel Kessner received his Ph.D. with Distinction at UCLA in 1971 studying with Henri Lazarof. His more than 180 compositions have received over one thousand performances and are published by Universal Edition in Vienna. Most important awards include the 1972 Queen Marie-José International Composition Prize in Geneva, a 2003 Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in Trossingen, Germany, a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant in Trondheim, Norway in 2007, a residency at the Universidade do Minho in Portugal in 2011 and, most recently, one at Paradise AIR (Artist-in-Residence) in Matsudo, Japan. He is professor emeritus at California State University, Northridge, retired in 2006 after a career of 36 years teaching composition, music theory and directing various ensembles.

Suzanne Julian was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Sherman Oaks, California where she began private piano study with Erma Bassett and Louise Meacham and later, as a student at CSUN, with Adrian Ruiz and Jakob Gimpel. She received both her B.A. in music and her M.A. in piano performance from CSUN, during which time she was the recipient of various awards in piano performance, chamber music, music composition and student teaching. She has taught applied and class piano, music theory and appreciation and served as an accompanist at CSUN, Moorpark College, East Los Angeles College, Pasadena City College, and Los Angeles Valley College. Julian maintained a private piano studio for many years and has performed chamber music, solo piano recitals and with orchestra at numerous colleges and privates homes in Southern California. She is currently retired and refocusing on piano performance.

Program Notes

Both Philippe Gaubert and Joachim Andersen were flutists as well as composers, writing largely for their own instrument. While their works are known mainly by flutists both were very accomplished musicians in general and commanded great respect during their lifetimes. Gaubert’s music most clearly resembles that of his contemporary, Ravel, while Andersen’s style bears some kinship to the music of Wagner. “Madrigal” is a brief “mood piece,” while the “Impromptu” has large, more dramatic form and materials.

Kessner’s “Imaginary Temple” was composed last September during his stay at Paradise AIR (Artist-in-Residence) in Matsudo, Japan. The accompanying electronic sounds, while completely digitally created, were inspired by the various bells and gongs in ancient Japanese temples.

Among the piano pieces composed by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) are his volume of 48 “Lieder ohne Worte” (“Songs Without Words”), written from 1830-1835. They are short, lovely gems, so named for possessing such lyricism that they appear as songs for the piano’s “voice.” Most begin with an introductory accompaniment that continues throughout the piece and concludes it. Of the two performed on April 3, the first, “Elegy,” is one of his most beloved, expressing an exquisite, heartfelt melody and a passionate middle section. The second, “Lost Illusions,” follows a similar form with a staccato accompaniment throughout and a lyrical, legato melody.  

Free Admission Glendale Noon Concerts is celebrating its 16th year of presenting free admission concerts every first and third Wednesday for Glendale and the Southland community.

Upcoming concerts will be updated at http://glendalenoonconcerts.blogspot.com.