Maryville Music at Maryville SLSO

About Peter Henderson

Peter Henderson, pianist
Peter Henderson, pianist

A versatile pianist, Peter Henderson is active as a performer in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Henderson is currently Associate Professor of Music and Artist-in-Residence at Maryville University, where he has served on the faculty since 2005. In 2015, Henderson was appointed Principal Keyboardist of the Sun Valley Music Festival Orchestra. Prior to the 2023-24 season, Henderson was appointed to the Principal Keyboard position in the Saint Louis Symphony (SLSO) by Music Director Stéphane Denève.

During January and February 2016, Henderson was the piano soloist in the SLSO’s California tour performances of Olivier Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles… (From the Canyons to the Stars…). Critics described him as a “powerhouse soloist” (San Francisco Chronicle) and praised his Messiaen playing for its “intense focus and thrilling vibrancy” (San Jose Mercury News). In addition to his regular ensemble performances with the SLSO, Henderson often delivers pre-concert lectures, introducing subscription concert programs from Powell Hall’s stage.

Henderson’s discography includes collaborations with violinist David Halen, flutist Mark Sparks, bass trombonist Gerry Pagano, violist Jonathan Vinocour, and soprano Marlissa Hudson. His most recent solo album is A Celebration of African Composers for Piano (AMP AGCD 2706, released 2017).

Henderson also occasionally composes music and works as a recording producer. His work for trombone and piano entitled Rückblick (Looking Back) appears on Gerry Pagano’s album Solitude, released December 2018. Printed and electronic editions of the score of Rückblick were issued by Ascenda Music Publishing in January 2024.

Henderson is an advocate of new music, having given several premieres of solo piano and chamber works. He enjoys performing solo recitals exploring focused repertoire: during the 2011-12 season, he performed the thirty-two piano sonatas of Beethoven; in November and December 2012, he presented the complete piano works of Debussy; and in November 2013, he played Chopin’s twenty-seven études in a single concert.

Henderson holds the degree Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, where his main piano instructor was Dr. Karen Shaw; he has also studied with Dr. Jay Mauchley at the University of Idaho. He and his wife Kristin Ahlstrom, the SLSO’s Associate Principal Second Violinist, live in Saint Louis with their lively, sweet beagle/terrier-mix, Zinni.


Relaxing classical music selections

Composers (listed chronologically by life dates)

Stephen of Liège (ca. 850-920)

Josquin Desprez (ca. 1450/1455-1521)

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (ca. 1525-1594)

  • Kyrie from the Pope Marcellus Mass

Gregorio Allegri (ca. 1582-1652)

Remo Giazotto (1910-1998) [after Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751)]

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

  • Adagio from Keyboard Suite No. 2 in F major, HWV 427
  • Largo from Serse (opera)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Fryderyk (Frédéric) Chopin (1810-1849)

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

  • The Swan from Carnival of the Animals for two pianos and orchestra

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Jules Massenet (1842-1912)

  • Meditation from Thaïs (opera, 1894/1898) for violin and piano

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)

  • Morning Mood from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, op. 46 for orchestra

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)

Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921)

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), arr. Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938)

Edward MacDowell (1860-1908)

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

Erik Satie (1866-1925)

Scott Joplin (1868-1917)

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)

  • Introit from Requiem, op. 9 for solo voices, mixed chorus, orchestra, and organ

Arvo Pärt (b. 1935)

Philip Glass (b. 1937)

Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)

Film music excerpts

John Barry (1933-2011)

Howard Shore (b. 1946)

  • “The Shire” from the soundtrack for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001 motion picture)


Guidelines for usage of the Bösendorfer grand piano in Huttig Chapel

When the Bösendorfer grand piano is stored, please:

  • Ensure that the piano is in its usual position close to the side of the altar platform, with its long (not curved) side nearest the platform.
  • Ensure that the piano’s keyboard lid is closed, and the keyboard lock on the left side is in place and locked (Maryville Public Safety—314-529-9500—has a copy of the keyboard-lock key).
  • Ensure that the piano’s undercarriage humidisitat is plugged into the nearest electrical outlet.
  • Ensure that the piano’s custom cover is on the instrument, and the sign asking people to refrain from placing things on the piano is in place on top of the custom cover. The piano’s dedicated bench can be placed under the keyboard in a way that will allow it to fit under the custom cover.
  • Please do not move this piano. Its usual position ensures that it will not be damaged by air blown upward from the registers along the chapel’s walls.

When using the Bösendorfer grand piano:

  • Remove the piano’s custom cover and keyboard lid-lock (Maryville Public Safety—314-529-9500—has a copy of the keyboard lid-lock’s key), then place them in a safe place.
  • When opening the piano’s lid, please first open the lid’s small section near the keyboard, then the main portion of the lid.
  • The lid will open partway, or fully. This is important!:
    • The hole in the lid nearest the edge is for the two shorter lid-support stick(s).
    • The hole in the lid farther in from the edge is for the full-length lid-support stick. 
    • Once the lid is supported in its desired inclination, please ensure that the stick is perpendicular to the lid. If the lid and its supporting stick are mismatched, there’s a chance that the lid (which is heavy) may collapse, endangering people nearby.
Maryville Music at Maryville SLSO

Music at Maryville and other 2022-23 professional music performances

Music at Maryville series
Music at Maryville series

Spring 2023

  • Sunday, April 16, 2023, 3:00 p.m.Music at Maryville Concert 4 of 5: Music by Maryville Faculty Composers — World premieres of the first Music at Maryville commissioned work by David NalesnikPeter Henderson‘s Five Poems of John Wickersham, and portions of Scott Lyle‘s Missa Pro Defunctis; also featuring performances of original songs by Maryville faculty members Gabriel Colbeck, Jonathan FahnestockJesse Kavadlo, and John MarinoMaryville University Auditorium • Free admission; donations gratefully accepted
Haydn Project 2022-23
Haydn Project 2022-23

Fall 2022

  • Sunday, November 13, 2022, 3:00 p.m.Music at Maryville Concert 2 of 5: Adam Maness Combo plays Jazz Standards and Originals Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission; donations gratefully accepted

2022-23 Maryville University Music Program Student Performances (not including Senior Recitals)

Ensembles Concerts

  • Fall Semester Choral and Instrumental Ensembles Concert — Sunday, December 4, 2022, 7:00-9:30 p.m. • Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission
  • Spring Semester Choral and Instrumental Ensembles Concert — Sunday, April 30, 2022, 7:00-9:30 p.m. • Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission

Student Recitals (each Music Therapy major must perform twice individually across Fall 2022 and Spring 2023) + new Performance Classes

  • Performance Class 1 — Monday, September 19, 2022, 12:30-2:00 p.m. • Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission
  • Student Recital 1 — Friday, October 21, 2022, 9:30-11:00 a.m. • Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission
  • Performance Class 2 — Monday, November 14, 2022, 12:30-2:00 p.m. • Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission
  • Student Recital 2 — Monday, November 28, 2022, 2:00-3:30 p.m.; Maryville University Auditorium
  • Student Recital 3 / Performance Class 3 (one combined event) — Friday, February 10, 2023 — 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. • Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission
  • Student Recital 4 — Friday, March 24, 2023, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. • Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission
  • Student Recital 5 — Friday, April 21, 2023, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. • Maryville University Auditorium • Free admission
Maryville Music at Maryville

Remembrances of Katja Georgieff (1926-2021)

Katja with her piano teacher Leo Sirota at the St. Louis Institute of Music (photograph shared by Nicole Gordon)

Message from Peter Henderson

We hope to see you at my Tribute Recital for Katja on Sunday, April 24, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. CST, in the Maryville University Auditorium. My own written appreciation of Katja was posted on Maryville University’s blog, MPress. Please feel free to read it there.

Remembering Katja Georgieff, by Cynthia Briggs

Any time I think of Katja I picture a ball of energy, smiling most of the time, but always full of ideas, plans, inquiries, thoughts, reflections and more. While we were co-faculty members for only a year, she continued to be part of life at Maryville, planning Music at Maryville and often stopping by to check in on the music therapy program or just to say hello. I quickly deduced that musicianship made up her core. I gained credibility with Katja when she learned that I had studied piano with Audrey Hammann, a St. Louis pianist whom she respected.

Just a few months before the pandemic began, I was invited to dine with Katja and Rosalie Duvall, the director of the music therapy program who preceded me. It was a dinner full of conversation, speculation, information, possible gossip, inquiries regarding shared friendships and more. A non-stop conversation that I am so grateful for, though I didn’t know at the time how fortunate I was to get to spend the evening with Katja and Rosalie. I feel so privileged to have had Katja as a colleague.

Cynthia Briggs
Professor Emeritus, Music Therapy
Maryville University

Katja, by Mariam Simonyan

I met Katja in 1998 shortly after I started working at Maryville. Jackie Plunkett, former HR director, introduced us and Katja was eager to meet me since I spoke Russian. We later found out that we share Armenian heritage and much more. Very soon Katja became a good friend and part of my family.

It is hard for me to talk about Katja in past sense, she is very much alive in the hearts and memories of everyone that had the privilege to know her. My life is so much better, fuller and brighter because of Katja. Her enthusiasm, endless curiosity about people, world history, music, art and positive outlook on life is what I miss every day. She was ageless and could relate to anyone from great-grandkids to people well in their nineties. Although, she referred to them as “old people” and preferred to hang out with younger folks. Katja was young at heart and for her, age only mattered because her body was showing signs of it, but her mind was sharp and she was full of life and ready for the next adventure.

I look forward to the concert on April 24 to listen to the music Katja loved so much and to feel her presence in the Auditorium she performed so many times.

Mariam Simonyan
Associate Director of Financial Aid, Operational Excellence
Maryville University

On not saying good-bye to Katja, by Nicole Gordon

Katja was my piano teacher.

She had been a student of my grandfather, Leo Sirota, at the St. Louis Institute of Music, for many years. So our family visited St. Louis from New York every summer when my brother and I were growing up. In that way I came to know the Georgieff family: Stoyan, Katja, Michael, and Nic, but the last time I saw Katja until recently would have been in about 1965, almost sixty years earlier. Still, I had warm recollections of her.

Fortuitously, about four years ago a musicologist doing research on my grandfather asked whether I knew of any of Sirota’s students whom he could interview. I was able to track Katja down and arranged a three-way interview, and when it was over, Katja invited my husband Roger and me to visit her in St. Louis, which we did.

In the meantime, after having studied piano to a reasonable degree through high school, I had abandoned playing for about fifty years. But around the time I became reconnected with Katja, I had started up again in a modest way.

When we met, it was a love-at-first-sight episode. We had so much to discuss about things Russian, things Austro-Hungarian, Vienna, marzipan, Italy, Yugoslavia, detective stories, Tolstoy’s views on Wagner, Pushkin’s poetry, my grandparents, Katja’s strong views on absolutely everything, including her amazing attachment to her white Lexus sports car (that actually had to be squeezed into the garage), and naturally music, music, music. It was for me like opening up an entirely new world that had to do with my family’s history and background, but was also in particular an education and re-education on the piano by a master teacher. It was serious, intense, and fun, dotted with Katja’s wicked wit.

My fateful reconnection with Katja as a grown up necessarily began with her question, would I play for her? I was to be sure intimidated, but told her I had been working on some Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, and Brahms. I asked what she would like to me to play. She said, “play what you are most comfortable with.”

So first I played a Bach prelude. When it ended there was a silence, and then she said, “You play the Bach as though you were living in the nineteenth century. It is not played that way now, and I would not play it that way, but it is beautiful and convincing and you should keep it as it is.”

I could not have been more astonished and pleased.

But then I played the fugue, and after a longer silence, she said, “you may think that sounds nice, but it is not ‘Bach.'” My balloon was burst, but she was encouraging, and not long after, we established a way for me to have lessons though we were a thousand miles apart.

I would come to St. Louis about once every eight weeks and live with her for three blissful days. We would sit at the piano and work together for hours and hours, measure by measure, phrase by phrase. What I learned, and the intensity of the time we spent together, live in my memory as among the very happiest experiences I have ever had.

My way of not saying any false goodbye has been to listen over and over again to Lensky’s Aria (from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin) sung by Sergei Lemeshev in 1937 (we agreed that it was the best performance of the best aria in the best opera of all time) and to countless versions of “Morgen!” by Richard Strauss, among her favorite pieces.

And my way of staying connected to her is to practice the piano and to recollect particularly my adventure with her working on a particular Brahms Intermezzo to a level that satisfied her (“Brava!”) and which she took on with me because I loved it so, and she had never taught it, so it felt very much like something special we did together.

I cannot say goodbye to Katja, who gave me so much, whom I loved so deeply, for whom I will always grieve so deeply, and to whom I dare hope I brought some measure of pleasure.

To close on music she loved, sad and hopeful,

Eugene Onegin: “Kyda, kyda, kyda vi ydalilise…”

And “Morgen!”: “Und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen…“

Nicole (“Nicky”) Gordon
Katja’s piano student and friend

Katja, by Ana Simonyan

It is still difficult to believe that the world lost an extraordinary human being in 2021; a timeless and beautiful woman who embodied humility, gratitude, joy, acceptance, light, intelligence, creativity, and generosity. I am overwhelmingly thankful for all the time I spent with Katja, and for the opportunity to have known her in this life.

Katja was truly exceptional and so special to all that knew her. I have never known anyone so capable of effortlessly and meaningfully connecting with others across generations, cultures, time, and distance. I sincerely admire how Katja believed in the beauty of the small things in life. She loved so big and made other people love themselves more deeply as a result. I hope one day I can be half the person, teacher, mother, and friend that she was. I feel extremely grateful that I was a special person for whom she shared her wisdom, smile, laughter, kindness, love of literature and music, talent, and memories. Katja’s life was full and she made mine even fuller. I will miss her always.

Ana Simonyan
Katja’s friend

Maryville Music at Maryville

Sangeetha — Classical Indian Music (Mar. 18 @ 7:30 p.m.)

“Shiva – Shakti” — “Power of the Almighty”

Friday, March 18, 2022 • 7:30 p.m.

Maryville University Auditorium

Free admission • Donations gratefully accepted

Campus guests must sign in on paper when entering the Maryville University Auditorium, providing your name, phone number, and email address

Mask-wearing is optional on campus

The realtime-only livestream of this concert has been canceled


Introductions of the Artists

  • Main Vocals: Vidya Anand, Vrisha Jagdish, Saiva Gadi
  • Violin: Ramesh Cherupalla
  • Mridangam: Subbaraman Kameswaran (Subbu)
  • Presenter: Bala Anantharama

Brief Introduction to Indian Classical Music

  • Nada Tanumanisham Shankaram — Ragam Chittaranjani — Talam Adi
  • Ekambaresha Nayika Shivey — Ragam Suddha Saveri — Adi Talam
  • Shiva Namama — Ragam Hamsandam — Talam — Adi Shankara Chandrasekhara — Ragam Madhyamavathu — Talam Mishra Chapu
  • Every Classical concert starts with a Varnam, followed by Prayer to Lord Ganesha for removing all obstacles


  • Sri Rajamathangi

Prayer to Lord Ganesha

  • Gajavadana maam paahi
  • Shiva Shiva yana Rada with Kalpana swaras
  • Sharanagatham Endru Nambi Vanden

Main Song

  • Bhuvaneshwariya with Alapana and Kalpana Swaras
  • Namah parvathi — Bho Shambho — Shiva Shambho

Concluding Song

  • Thillana 
Sangeetha – St. Louis

“The basis of existence is in vibration, which is sound. Indian Classical Music is divine and spiritual, helping a person evolve into higher dimensions of experience, and evolution from within.”

— from Sangeetha’s website

Maryville Music at Maryville

Katja Georgieff — Tribute Recital by Peter Henderson, pianist (Apr. 24 @ 3 p.m.)

Tribute to Dr. Katja Georgieff

Dr. Katja Georgieff (1926-2021)
Dr. Katja Georgieff (1926-2021)

Peter Henderson, solo piano

Sunday, April 24, 2022 • 3:00 p.m.

Maryville University Auditorium

Free admission • Donations gratefully accepted


Mask-wearing is optional on campus

Click here to register for the realtime-only livestream of this concert

Katja was a dear friend and mentor to many in our community, including me. I miss Katja, but I am tremendously grateful to have known her! In honor of her legacy, I offer this solo recital featuring Romantic-era piano music that Katja loved deeply. — Peter Henderson


FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828)

Four Impromptus, D 899 (op. 90)

  • No. 1 in C minor: Allegro molto moderato
  • No. 2 in E-flat major: Allegro
  • No. 3 in G-flat major: Andante
  • No. 4 in A-flat major: Allegretto — Trio


Two Nocturnes, op. 55

  • No. 1 in F minor: Andante
  • No. 2 in E-flat major: Lento sostenuto

INTERMISSION (ca. 10 minutes)

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833 – 1897)

Three Intermezzi, op. 117

  • No. 1 in E-flat major: Andante moderato
  • No. 2 in B-flat minor: Andante non troppo e con molta espressione
  • No. 3 in C-sharp minor: Andante con moto

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810 – 1856)

Fantasia in C major, op. 17

  1. Durchaus fantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen — Im Legenden-Ton — Tempo primo
  2. Mäßig. Durchaus energisch — Etwas langsamer — Viel bewegter
  3. Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten — Etwas bewegter
Maryville Music at Maryville

Christine Brewer, soprano (Feb. 9 @ 7:30 p.m.)

Christine Brewer, soprano

with Peter Henderson, piano

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 • 7:30 p.m.
Maryville University Auditorium
Free admission • Donations gratefully accepted
Campus guests must:
    • Complete Maryville’s online health screening on the day of your campus visit.
    • Wear a mask at all times, while indoors on campus.
    • Sign in on paper when entering the Maryville University Auditorium, providing your name, phone number, and email address.

Click here to register for the realtime-only livestream of this concert

Christine Brewer, soprano

Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer’s appearances in opera, concert, and recital are marked by her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Named one of the top 20 sopranos of all time (BBC Music), her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage and a highly sought-after recording artist, one who is “in her prime and sounding glorious” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times).

On the opera stage, Brewer is highly regarded for her striking portrayal of the title role in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, which she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Théatre du Châtelet, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Attracting glowing reviews with each role, she has performed Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at San Francisco Opera, Gluck’s Alceste with Santa Fe Opera, the Dyer’s Wife in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Paris Opera, and Lady Billows in Britten’s Albert Herring at Santa Fe Opera and the Los Angeles Opera. She created the role of Sister Aloysius in the world premiere of Doug Cuomo’s opera Doubt with the Minnesota Opera in 2013 and reprised the role in 2016 with the Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis.

Ms. Brewer began the 2017/2018 season with Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 conducted by Michael Sanderling to open the Dresden Philharmonic’s season. She sang the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Kentucky Opera before returning to the St. Louis Symphony for Berg’s Seven Early Songs led by David Robertson. She sang Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Symphony NH, Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, and scenes from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung with the Jacksonville Symphony led by Courtney Lewis. During the summer of 2017 she sang Lady Billows in Albert Herring for Union Avenue Opera and Act II from Die Walküre with baritone Alan Held for the Miami Music Festival.

Ms. Brewer continues her work with the Marissa, Illinois 6th graders in a program called Opera-tunities, which is now in its 14th year. She also works with the voice students at Webster University. On April 29, 2015, Christine Brewer joined 140 other notable celebrities receiving a bronze star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Brewer’s discography includes over 25 recordings. Her most recent recording, Divine Redeemer on Naxos, contains selections performed with concert organist Paul Jacobs.


English translations of the German texts

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864 – 1949)

      • Ich liebe dich (I Love You) (text: Detlev von Liliencron)
      • Breit’ über mein Haupt dein schwarzes Haar (Unbind Your Black Hair), op. 19 no. 2 (text: Adolf Friedrich, Graf von Schack)
      • Wiegenlied (Lullaby), op. 41 no. 1 (text: Richard Dehmel)
      • Allerseelen (All Souls’ Day), op. 10 no. 8 (text: Hermann von Gilm)
      • Zueignung (Dedication), op. 10 no. 1 (text: Hermann von Gilm)

JOSEPH MARX (1882 – 1964)

      • Selige Nacht (Blissful Night!) (text: Otto Erich Hartleben)
      • Marienlied (Song to Mary) (text: Novalis)
      • Hat dich die Liebe berührt (If Love Has Touched You) (text: Paul Heyse)

INTERMISSION (ca. 10 minutes)

HAROLD ARLEN (1905 – 1986)

      • Come Rain or Come Shine (from the musical production St. Louis Woman; lyrics: Johnny Mercer)
      • I Had Myself a True Love (from St. Louis Woman; lyrics: Johnny Mercer)
      • Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe (from the motion picture Cabin in the Sky; lyrics: Yip Harburg)
      • Somewhere Over the Rainbow (from the motion picture The Wizard of Oz; lyrics: Yip Harburg; arr. Randy Kerber)

CELIUS DOUGHERTY (1902 – 1986)

      • Review (The words of this song were excerpted, adapted, and paraphrased from published reviews of concert performances.)

FRANK BRIDGE (1879 – 1941)

      • Love went A-Riding (text: Mary E. Coleridge)

ERNEST CHARLES (1895 – 1984)

      • When I Have Sung My Songs (text: Ernest Charles)

Maryville Music at Maryville

Titus Underwood, Artina McCain, and the IMI Chamber Players (Feb. 20 @ 3 p.m.)

Titus Underwood, oboe

Artina McCain, piano

and the IMI Chamber Players

Sunday, February 20, 2022 • 3:00 p.m.

Maryville University Auditorium

Free admission • Donations gratefully accepted

Campus guests must:

  • Complete Maryville’s online health screening on the day of your campus visit.
  • Wear a mask at all times, while indoors on campus.
  • Sign in on paper when entering the Maryville University Auditorium, providing your name, phone number, and email address.

Click here to register for the realtime-only livestream of this concert

IMI — Music at Maryville, February 2022

The Intercultural Music Initiative (IMI) is collaborating with Maryville University to present a Black History Month concert of music by BIPOC composers. The concert will take place Sunday, February 20 at 3:00 p.m. in the Maryville University Auditorium, with a pre-concert Q&A at 2:30 p.m. featuring a showing of the short film, “A Tale of Two Tails.”

Guest artists include oboist Titus Underwood, pianist Artina McCain along with members of the IMI Chamber Players woodwind quintet.

Musical selections will include:

  • Passion Medley by Joseph Joubert
  • Tumbao by Tania Leon
  • I Wouldn’t Normally Say by Wallen
  • Pan Con Timba by Aldo Lopez Gavilan
  • Suite for Flute and Oboe by Ulysses Kay
  • Aires Tropicales by Paquito D’Rivera
  • Startin’ Sumthin’ by Jeff Scott
  • Six Sketches for Oboes and Piano by Fred Onovwerosuoke
  • Three Romances for Oboe and Piano by Clara Schumann

IMI has its roots in St. Louis since 1994, with a programming mission always rooted in promoting cultural diversity. The IMI Chamber Music Concert Series integrates new and unfamiliar musical works into the existing performance repertoire and partners with a growing community of interculturally minded artists and educators from around the globe. Our local ensemble, IMI Chamber Players has a mixed instrumentation for regular features on our St. Louis concert series and in performances across the U.S. and internationally. These artists are all top-notch musicians known for their passion for performing chamber music by lesser-known composers, particularly those of African descent and other racial minorities.

Titus Underwood, Principal Oboe of the Nashville Symphony, is the first Black tenured principal oboist with a major U.S. symphony, Nashville Symphony Orchestra. A renowned artist, Titus has been honored as one of three recipients of the 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence awards and most recently was awarded the 2021 Midsouth Regional Emmy® for ‘We Are Nashville’. The collective of his experiences enthuses him to create content that reimagines the aesthetics and presentations of classical music. A leader in the movement for inclusion in the field of classical music, Titus is often invited to perform, as well as teach, speak, and write about change and innovation in the field. Titus also produced the viral video, “Lift Every Voice” which reached over 1 million views in one week. His latest project was a short film he directed entitled “A Tale of Two Tails”. (The story of one man navigating his existence as both a Black man and classical musician. It is a call to action for all creatives, affirming there can be innovation from disruption.)

Described as a pianist with “power and finesse” (Dallas Arts Society), “beautiful and fiery” (KMFA Austin) and having a “sense of color, balance and texture” (Austin Chamber Music Center) pianist Artina McCain has a built a three-fold career as a performer, educator and speaker also dedicated to promoting the works of Black and other underrepresented composers. Recent performance highlights include guest appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Oregon East Symphony, and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist, her credits include performances at the Mahidol University in Bangkok, Hatch Recital Hall in Rochester, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, FL and the Desoto Arts Commission in Desoto, TX. In 2022 (February 5), she will have her debut at Wigmore Hall in London performing the works of Fred Onovwerosuoke.

The featured members of the IMI Chamber Players woodwind quintet are Wendy Hymes, flute; Carrie Smith, oboe; Mary Bryant, clarinet; Hank Skolnick, bassoon; and Tricia Jöstlein, french horn.

As Gary Scott of St. Louis Magazine remarked, “IMI [Intercultural Music Initiative] is a new series of concerts, which works to build bridges of true understanding and cooperation between cultures…” During the past two years when live concerts weren’t possible, IMI presented free virtual concerts including a 7-part concert series to celebrate the centennial of noted Ghanaian composer and musicologist J.H. Kwabena Nketia, reaching tens of thousands of audience members worldwide.

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