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Department of Fine Arts presenting chamber music virtuosos in concert
Posted 03/13/2017 04:17PM

The Department of Fine Arts at Misericordia University is presenting a chamber music concert featuring the artistry of piano soloist Simon Juny Jung, and composer and pianist Stephen Charles Mayer. The free concert is on Friday, April 28 at 2 p.m. in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall.

Ryan Weber, Ph.D., assistant professor of musicology in the Department of Fine Arts at Misericordia University, is coordinating the concert event.

The repertory includes Frederic Chopin's "Andante Spianato" and "Grand Polonaise"; Maurice Ravel's "Gaspard de la Nuit (Ondine, Le Gibet, Scarbo)"; Robert Schumann's "Carnaval," and Mayer's own composition, "Piano Sonata 1986."

Jung and Mayer together founded the Simons' Pond Music Festival, a chamber music series in Honesdale, which has presented more than 50 concerts since 1999 both in the rural countryside, at major concert venues in New York City such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and for WJFF National Public Radio and the Louis August Jonas Foundation. Two CD's of the chamber music have been produced by the Simons' Pond Music Festival.

Jung debuted at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center in 2004. He has also given recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Greenwich House Music School and the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City. He is Alumni Winner of the Artists International Competition in the U.S.A. and the top prizewinner of the Chunchoo Piano Music Magazine Competition, among others. He is currently a staff pianist for the Mannes College of Music, New York City, as well as the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont and the Summer Intensive Violin Camp of Hyo Kang in New Jersey.

A graduate of the Mannes College of Music in solo piano where he also earned the Professional Diploma, Jung received the Master of Music degree in collaborative piano at the Manhattan School of Music and the certificate in collaborative piano at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. He has premiered many pieces of his co-performer, Stephen Charles Mayer.

A distinguished American composer, Mayer received a bachelor's degree in Classical Studies and Masters in Music Composition from Brooklyn College CUNY, in Brooklyn, New York. He also studied at Brandeis University, at the University of Ghana, and at Brooklyn College, where he was inspired by three women – the late poet Vera Lachmann, American composer Tui St. George Tucker, who he worked for as an assistant for seven years, and the German-American pianist, Grete Sultan, who he studied under for 20 years.

He debuted as a pianist and composer at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1976, playing his own music, as well as that of Tucker, Ives and Schubert. He had subsequent recitals at The Town Hall and at Merkin Hall in New York. He presented a concert entirely of his own work at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1987, serving both as pianist and conductor. His "America's Symphony" was performed at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia in 1998.

He has worked principally as a liturgical musician serving as music director at Astoria Center of Israel from 1989 until 2014, and also as organist and choir director at several churches. Among works written for churches where he served are "Peter Claver," "Pax Christi Mass," and the "Sacred Symphony." Through his work, he attempts to reinstitute the ancient practice of providing contemporary music for churches and schools for use in everyday life.

For additional information about the concert, please contact Dr. Weber at rweber@misericordia.edu or at (570) 674-6182. For more information about the Department of Fine Arts at Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or visit www.misericordia.edu/finearts

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Michael and Tina MacDowell Hall
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