Augsburg News

News Archives - 1998

Sea Flowers to premiere at Augsburg

Oct. 19 1998

Soprano Janet Gottschall and Pianist Lynn Baker, long-time music collaborators, will present Le Jardin Mouille, a recital of songs with focused images of flowers and water. Performances will take place in New York City, Oct. 30, and in Minneapolis, Nov. 8, 1998. The program that centers around Fried's Sea Flowers, will also include works of Charles Griffes, Reynaldo Hahn, Faure, Poulenc, and Monteverdi.

The inspiration for Fried's Sea Flowers was Eddy Flowers, a family friend living with HIV. Fried writes, "I wanted the piece to be about survival in difficult conditions, the fragility of life and hope. Finding H.D.'s 'Sea Garden' was fortuitous--a group of poems about delicate flowers surviving in the difficult terrain of the sea shore. These texts are a perfect match for the theme of the cycle and includes Eddy Flowers directly as a subject." Fried has frequently set text by expatriate women poets of the 1920s.

Gottschall and Baker have performed together in recital frequently since 1986. The major focus of their collaboration is threefold: to promote the performance of vocal music as chamber music and demonstrate the partnership of singer and pianist; to celebrate through performance the synergy of poetry and music; and, to express artistic commitment through imaginative programming and performances which include the audience as a collaborator. Sea Flowers is Fried's second work written for the duo.

Gottschall has performed in a variety of mediums including opera, recital, music theater, and performance art. She has appeared with The Opera Orchestra of New York, Minnesota Opera, and Mid-Michigan Opera Theater and recently created the role of Bernice in Nautilus Music-Theater's Lamentations by Kim Sherman and Paul Zelig. Gottschall lives in Minnesota and teaches at Augsburg College, MacPhail Center for the Arts, and The Center for Performing Arts.

Baker is a vocal coach and collaborative pianist in New York City. For several seasons she has been an assistant conductor at New York City Opera and previously was associate coach of The Juilliard Opera Center. Baker has coached and performed with Washington Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Pittsburgh Opera Center, Opera Delaware, and Des Moines Metro Opera. She has worked closely with composers on premieres of new works including Tonkin by Conrad Cummings, The Singing Child by GianCarlo Menotti and Songs of Love, Water, and Nature by Philip Fried.

In 1995 Fried received a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of Chicago where his primary teacher was Ralph Shapey. Fried has had performances and residencies at The Tanglewood Music Festival, The Festival at Sandpoint, June in Buffalo, Music of Our Time, and Centre Acanthes. Awards include a Fromm Foundation Commission Grant and the American Composers Forum's Composers Commissioning Grant. He continues to receive ASCAP Standard Awards. Fried resides in Minnesota, composing and teaching.

Le Jardin Mouille will be performed Sunday, November 8, at 4 p.m. in Sateren Auditorium on the Augsburg campus. No reservations are required, but there is a $10 suggested donation. For more information, call (612) 825-7542.