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Celebrating the Life

Event: The David O. Nilsson Lecture in Contemporary Drama and Literature – “In Memoriam Dylan Thomas: Music Inspired by Dylan Thomas.” The event is free and open to the public.

When: 6 p.m., Wednesday, February 20, 2013.

Where: Fine Arts Library (DFA 3.200) at The University of Texas at Austin.

Background: The 8th Annual David O. Nilsson Lecture in Contemporary Drama and Literature presents a Dylan Thomas musical redux memorializing the 60th anniversary of the Welsh poet’s death.

The University of Texas New Music Ensemble, along with guest tenor Richard Fracker, will present both classical musical interpretations of Thomas’s poetry — such as Igor Stravinsky’s “In Memoriam Dylan Thomas,” David Diamond’s “I Have Longed to Move Away” and John Corigliano’s “Poem in October” — as well as original works by University of Texas composers Chris Prosser Brian Heim, inspired by the Welshman’s work.

The New Music Ensemble — under the direction of Professor Dan Welcher — is widely regarded as one of the best student ensembles of its kind nationwide. Featuring solo, chamber and large ensemble works by living composers and those of the recent past, the group consists of a sixteen-member core ensemble, and is made up of the most proficient student instrumentalists and singers in the Butler School of Music.

A ten-season alumnus of New York's Metropolitan Opera, Richard Fracker is currently associate professor of voice (tenor) and Area Chair of Vocal Arts at the Michigan State University College of Music.

The event is accompanied by an exhibit of Dylan Thomas materials generously provided by the Harry Ransom Center

The Nilsson Lecture was founded through the generosity of Dr. David O. Nilsson, a retired mathematics professor at The University of Texas at Austin, independent scholar and Henrik Ibsen aficionado.

Past lectures have featured the Swedish novelist Lars Gustaffson (speaking on paradox in Ibsen’s "The Wild Duck"),and director of Shakespeare at Winedale James Loehlin (on Stanislavski’s contrarian production of "The Cherry Orchard"), and an entertaining panel of local playwrights including internationally-renowned Kirk Lynn and Keene Prize winner George Brant (discussing the state and fate of theater), a master class on Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" featuring noted British and local thespians, and a lecture featuring Robert Faires reprising an excerpted version of his notable one-man take on "Henry V." Last year Suzi Stern was joined by renowned jazz instrumentalists Rich Harney, Alex Coke and Chris Maresh in a presentation of Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”

Please RSVP to (512)495-4363 or if you would like to attend.




Article published on February 5, 2013 - 2:42pm

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