LAWRENCE – Soprano Julia Broxholm, associate professor of voice at the University of Kansas, will perform the world premiere of the new song cycle The Soul Fox by esteemed American composer Lori Laitman at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, in Swarthout Recital Hall. Broxholm will be joined by visiting artist Russell Miller, piano.
The work will have its New York premiere Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Hatch Recital Hall at the Eastman School of Music.
Miller, a longtime friend and collaborator of Broxholm’s, is a distinguished faculty member at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester and a specialist in American song. Laitman’s distinguished career includes more than 200 songs, two operas, an oratorio and choral works.
The world-premiere performance of the five-song cycle (a group of songs performed together as a single composition) is the culmination of a year-long collaboration among four extraordinary artists – Broxholm, Miller, Laitman and current Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason. In January of 2013, Reach Out Kansas, Inc. commissioned Laitman to write a song cycle for Broxholm and Miller. Together Laitman, Broxholm and Miller explored an array of texts in search of the poems that would become the lyrical center of the cycle. They landed on a collection of works by a single poet, Laitman’s friend and frequent collaborator David Mason. “When I got the mail from Lori that included “The Soul Fox” I immediately called Russell and said, ‘I have to read you this poem,’” said Broxholm. “We both thought it was amazing.”
In March Broxholm was awarded a research grant from the University of Kansas General Research Fund to create a new collection of American song literature recordings. The Soul Fox has become the centerpiece and focal work of Broxholm’s forthcoming album to be released on the Equilibrium label in late 2014.
“This is sort of a culminating project for me,” said Broxholm. “And it’s particularly important that it be happening now, because I’m approaching a period creatively where I’m going to move into a greater focus on teaching, writing and research and not as much on performing. So it means a lot to me that it’s happening now.”
Broxholm received her D.M.A. in vocal performance from the University of Michigan, where she was lauded for setting a new standard of excellence for performing musicians in the areas of research and performance. American song literature is Broxholm’s primary area of research. Her interest began during her doctoral work and continues as a prominent theme in her work at KU, including teaching the English song literature class for the Voice & Opera division.
The Soul Fox uses the poetry of Laitman’s frequent collaborator and current Poet Laureate of Colorado, David Mason. Mason is also the librettist for Laitman's works The Scarlet Letter, Ludlow and Vedem.
For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit http://music.ku.edu.
For more on Lori Laitman: http://www.artsongs.com»
For more on Julia Broxholm: click here
For more on Russell Miller: http://www.esm.rochester.edu/faculty/miller_russell/»
For more on David Mason: http://www.coloradohumanities.org/content/colorado-poet-laureate-david-mason»