USD Rawlins Piano Trio to present commissioned composition at premiere concert

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The internationally-acclaimed Rawlins Piano Trio of The University of South Dakota will present the fourth in its series of commissioned compositions at the opening concert of the 2010-2011 season at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24 at Farber Hall.

“Three Poems by William Butler Yeats” by pianist and composer Timothy Hoekman will receive its world premiere performance with soprano Carla Connors, a USD graduate, joining the trio for this work. The concert at Farber Hall, which is inside Old Main at USD, will also include works by Mozart and Ravel. The event is open to the public free of charge. A special preview performance of “Three Poems by William Butler Yeats,” with comments by the composer, is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. in Colton Recital Hall of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on the USD campus. The public is also invited to attend this performance free of charge.

Hoekman is Professor of Vocal Coaching and Accompanying at Florida State University.  He has performed as collaborative pianist throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Australia, Italy, France, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. He spends his summers in Cooperstown, N.Y., where he serves as a pianist, harpsichordist and coach for Glimmerglass Opera. In January 2003, Hoekman was selected as the 2002 MTNA-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year by the Music Teachers National Association. This honor came as the result of Hoekman winning the MTNA’s annual composition competition. 

Connors is currently a visiting voice professor at Florida State University and also maintains a large private voice studio. A native of Vermillion, Connors received a B.F.A. from USD and her M.M. and D.M.A. from the University of Michigan. She now lives in Tallahassee, Fla., with her husband, Hoekman and their two sons. Connors, acclaimed as “one of the best young sopranos of this decade” by the Detroit Free Press, and “a fresh, steady lyric soprano” by the New York Times, has made her mark in opera, with orchestra and in recital.  She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2001 singing the soprano solos in masses by Mozart and Schubert.  Additionally, she has toured for Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theater.

All three artists of the Rawlins Piano Trio – pianist Susan Keith Gray, violinist Eunho Kim and cellist Marie-Elaine Gagnon – are faculty members in The University of South Dakota Department of Music. Since its founding in 1987, the Rawlins Piano Trio has distinguished itself as a dynamic group of performers, teachers and scholars. The ensemble performs regularly throughout the United States and abroad, including recent concert and teaching tours throughout Taiwan and Panama. Owing to its expertise as a preeminent interpreter of American music, the ensemble has recorded four CDs on the Albany Records label. The fourth disc, “American Discoveries,” was released in July 2009. It presents the Trio’s first commissioned composition, “Volvic Maritim” by New York-based composer Daniel Bernard Roumain. The Trio continues its commissioning program with three premieres during the 2010-2011 season. The Trio is named for benefactors, the late Marjorie and Robert Rawlins.

For additional information see the Trio’s website at www.rawlinstrio.com or call the USD College of Fine Arts at (605) 677-5481. To download a high resolution photo, please visit www.rawlinstrio.com/press_kit.html.