Lecture-Presentation on Art Song

  • Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ 101 Walnut Lane Princeton, NJ, 08540 United States

Daron presents a lecture-presentation and analysis on his art songs to the American Song Seminar at Westminster Choir College as guest of Professor J.J. Penna, the distinguished collaborative pianist and Westminsterr faculty member. Mr. Penna and baritone Elem Eley have recorded Hagen's song cycles Larkin Songs on the Affetto label, and Letting Go for the Arsis label.

Accompanying Gilda Lyons.

Accompanying Gilda Lyons.

The composer of over 350 published art songs and vocal chamber works for a variety of voices in English, German, Italian, Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, and Russian, Hagen's songs have been championed (and recorded) by hundreds of singers the world over. His songs have been showcased by Lyric Fest, the New York Festival of Song, the Opera America Songbook, the Brooklyn Artsong Society, Mirror Visions, Joy in Singing, at the Kennedy Center, and concert series at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy), Songfest (Los Angeles), the Ullens Center (Beijing), the Louvre (Paris), Southbank Festival (London), and so forth. They are recorded on Naxos, Bridge, Albany, Affetto, Arsis, and Josara record labels. Theya re published by Carl Fischer, E.C. Schirmer, and Burnign Sled Music. Learn more about Hagen's art songs and cycles here.

Daron Hagen and Art Song

With collaborator Paul Muldoon.

With collaborator Paul Muldoon.

Hagen has performed professionally as a collaborative pianist since 1982, and has been coached by Vladimir Sokoloff, Ned Rorem, Todd Duncan, Leonard Bernstein, and Paul Sperry, among others. His piano teachers included Marion Zarcescna, Adam Klecewski, and Jeannette Ross. He appears regularly with Gilda Lyons in recitals that pair art songs with arias, musical theater numbers, cabaret songs, and popular songs.

Conducting a masterclass.

Conducting a masterclass.

He has given vocal masterclasses around the United States, including, Princeton, the Academy of Vocal Arts, the University of Houston, Butler Opera Center, Bard College, Miami University (Ohio), Chicago College of Performing Arts, Baylor University, UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Ohio State, the New England Conservatory of Music, UNLV, Arizona State University, and others.

A frequent collaborator with living writers, Hagen has set poetry by Nuar Alsadir, Ze'ev Dunei, Stephen DunnSarah GorhamSusan GriffinPeter Handke, Reine Hauser, Seamus Heaney, Robert Kelley, Richard McCannKim Roberts, Stephen Sandy, Mark Skinner, and Mark Strand, among others.

In 1990 Hagen began a creative collaboration with the Irish poet Paul Muldoon that resulted (along with several dozen art songs) in four major operas: Shining Brow (1992), Vera of Las Vegas (1996), Bandanna (1998), and The Antient Concert (2005). "[Writing libretti for Hagen's operas gave Muldoon], a writer who has had to weather accusations of cerebral detachment and heartlessness the opportunity to indulge in frank emotionalism," writes David Wheatley. Libretti for Hagen operas have also been written by Barbara Grecki (New York Stories, 2008), J.D. McClatchy (Little Nemo in Slumberland, 2010), and Gardner McFall (Amelia, 2010). He has written his own libretti (A Woman in Morocco, 2013, and New York Stories, 2008). Hagen is currently at work on the music and libretto for his tenth opera.

J.J. Penna

J.J. Penna

About J.J. Penna

Pianist J.J. Penna has performed in recital with such eminent singers as Kathleen Battle, Harolyn Blackwell, William Burden, Amy Burton, David Daniels, Denyce Graves, Kevin McMillan, Florence Quivar, Andreas Scholl, Sharon Sweet, Christopher Trakas, Indra Thomas and Ying Huang. He has been heard at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Weill Hall, Zankel Hall and Merkin Recital Hall in New York City, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Wigmore Hall in London, as well as on concert tours throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, the Far East, South America, and the former Soviet Union. Devoted to the performance and study of new music, he has premiered song cycles by William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Richard Hundley and Lowell Liebermann.

The 2005-06 season includes recitals with Measha Brueggergosman, Harolyn Blackwell, William Burden and Joshua Hopkins throughout the United States and Canada.

Mr. Penna has performed and held fellowships at prestigious festivals such as Tanglewood Music Center, Chautauqua Institution, Banff Center for the Arts, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, and San Francisco Opera Center’s Merola Program, where he received the Otto Guth Award.

Mr. Penna devotes much of his time to the teaching of art song literature, having taught at Westminster Choir College of Rider University since 1996. He was formerly on the faculties of the Yale University School of Music, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Bowdoin Chamber Music Festival, where he coordinated the Vocal Arts Program for three summers. He has been a staff member of the Steans Institute for Young Artists since 2000 and will join the coaching faculty of the Juilliard School in September of 2006.