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Schoenberg and his Students

Date & Time: Friday March 20, 7:30  p.m.
Venue: Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students
Eventbrite Ticketing:  Buy tickets online

Schoenberg and His Students

Vocal and piano music by Arnold Schoenberg, Hans Eisler, Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Egon Wellesz, and Viktor Ullmann.

Featured works will be selections from Schoenberg’s Book of Hanging Gardens Op. 15, Berg’s Seven Early Songs, Webern’s Satz for Piano and Eisler’s Hölderlin Fragments.

About the Artists

John Smalley, baritone, is a native of San Francisco. He received his B.A. in Classics from Santa Clara University and holds an M.A. and M.Phil. in Historical Musicology from Columbia University in New York, where he taught for six years. He studied piano with Thomas Schultz, and William Corbett-Jones, and voice with Dorothy Barnhouse. He has lectured and performed as vocal soloist throughout the Bay Area and was awarded a prestigious Shenson Performing Arts Fellowship.

Janis Mercer is an American pianist/composer living in San Francisco.  As a solo pianist and accompanist, Janis Mercer’s interest in the music of the Second Viennese School has continued unabated since the early 1980’s.  With her ensemble, schwungvoll!, she received funding from the Zellerbach Family Fund for a concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Webern’s death in 1995.   In 2005 she commemorated the 60th anniversary of his death with the commissioning of student and professional composers to write music “completing” Webern’s unfinished children’s piano cycle. These pieces were performed as part of concerts commissioning Webern’s death, in San Francisco and Spokane, Washington.  She was invited to compose a chamber work and to attend the 2005 kofomi (KompositionForumMittersill) commemorative concerts staged throughout the town of Mittersill, Austria, where Webern was killed. 

Ms. Mercer also performs music by living composers.  She has performed music by Anthony Braxton, Brian Belét, Pablo Furman, Paul Rudy and Sever Tipei, and has commissioned works from Zack Browning, Erik Lund, and Donivan Johnson, among others. Ms. Mercer’s current discography as a pianist includes recordings on Capstone, Ravello, Centaur, and New Music Circle, of music by Belét, Mercer, and Rudy.  Her CD of Anton Webern’s music is due for a 2020 release on Centaur.

Ms. Mercer and John Smalley have worked and performed together for almost ten years, specializing in music by Russian, German, Armenian, and Czech composers, in the original languages: Featured composers are Komitas, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff. Eisler, and Haas. Together, they share an interest in music written between 1900 and 1950, but their interests are not restricted to the early 20th century. They have performed at Sunset Music and Arts in San Francisco, Tom’s Place in Berkeley, Presidio Chapel in San Francisco, Trinity Chamber Concerts in Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco.

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