Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA voice recital to feature Hong Kong guest soprano Chen

September 22, 2014 - Robbie Goodrich
TiWei Chen
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present voice faculty member Scott LaGraff in a joint recital with guest soprano TiWei Chen at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

LaGraff, baritone and associate professor of voice at SFA, and Chen, an assistant professor at Hong Kong Institute of Education, will collaborate with mezzo soprano Kimberly LaGraff and SFA pianist Geneva Fung in a concert that will feature the music of noted composers ranging from Gabriel Fauré to Felix Mendelssohn to SFA Professor of Composition Stephen Lias.

According to LaGraff, one of the goals of SFA School of Music Director Dr. Manny Brand is for the school to be more active on the international music scene.

"This recital is part of that strategy," LaGraff said. "Dr. Chen is our guest of honor."

Chen will perform songs by Fauré, "one of history's greatest French song composers," LaGraff said, singing several of his best-known pieces. She will also perform some lesser-known songs by Mendelssohn. She and Kimberly LaGraff will sing the famous duet from the opera "Lakmé," "Sous le dome épais."

Scott LaGraff will sing a set of sacred songs, which are part of his current CD recording project.

"These songs have a beauty and simplicity to them that makes them very accessible and moving," he said.

He will also perform excerpts from Lias' "Songs of a Sourdough." Commissioned by LaGraff in 2007, "Sourdough" is a setting of texts by poet Robert Service celebrating the spirit of the adventurers who explored the Yukon.

Kimberly LaGraff will sing Lee Hoiby's "Two Songs of Innocence." Hoiby was an American composer commonly associated with neo-romanticism.

"These songs, though simple sounding, are deceptively complex - and beautiful - and are settings of William Blake's poetry," Scott LaGraff said.

Tickets for this Cole Performing Arts Series event are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.