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Fine Artists at Five: Rachel Schutz, Catherine Weidner, Calvin Wiersma, Jack Wang, Jorge Grossman

Contributed by Gordon Rowland on 05/17/20 

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Please join us for short presentations and performances at 5PM each day. The Zoom link is available in the Fine Artists at Five forum of the Keep Teaching Sakai site. Or send an email to from an IC email address to be added to a list to which the link is sent.

This week’s artists include:

Rachel Schutz, Monday, May 18

Catherine Weidner, Tuesday, May 19

Calvin Wiersma, Wednesday, May 20

Jack Wang, Thursday, May 21

Jorge Grossman, Friday, May 22

Fine Artists at Five is hosted by the Center for Faculty Excellence.

Rachel Schutz, Monday, May 18

Welsh-American Rachel Schutz, is an active and passionate performer who has sung extensively around the United States, Asia and Europe. She has performed a range of roles from Mozart's Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), to Philip Glass's Lise (Les enfants terribles) and Sondheim's Johanna (Sweeney Todd) with companies such as Opera Ithaca, Opera Paralèlle, Hawai'i Opera Theatre, and Stockton Opera. Dr. Schutz has also been heard at Carnegie Hall's Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, the Ravinia Festival, the Ojai Festival, the Tanglewood Festival, the Yellow Barn Festival, with the Hawai'i and Riverside Symphony Orchestras, with DCINY, with the Boston Pops Orchestra, and at venues around China, Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand. As an avid supporter of new music, she can be heard on "Elements," an Albany Records album of contemporary American music, and has worked with many composers including Phillip Glass, George Crumb, Milton Babbitt, Jonathan Dove, William Bolcom, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Brett Dean, and Augusta Read-Thomas.

As a Welsh native, Rachel has a passion for bringing the lesser-known art songs of the country to wider attention and has recently published several articles on Welsh art song and diction in the Journal of Singing. In today’s session she will perform and discuss the rich, lyrical work of thee of Wales’s most famous 20th century composers: Dilys Elwyn-Edward, Morfydd Owen, and Meirion Williams.

Catherine Weidner, Tuesday, May 19

Catherine will be sharing a short excerpt from one of her current creative projects: an iambic pentameter adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s lesser-known 1887 novel, The Woodlanders.  Reading roles from the first two scenes of the play will be junior BFA Acting major, Rhea Yadav, and Theatre Arts faculty Marc Gomes, Kathleen Mulligan, and Dean Robinson. After the short 10-minute reading, Catherine will answer questions about the adaptation process.

Catherine Weidner is Chair & Professor of Theatre Arts. Her recent professional acting and directing credits include Little Women, adapted from the novel by Kate Hamill, Third by Wendy Wasserstein, and Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, at the Hangar Theatre;  directing Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, Two Gentlemen of Verona and As You Like It for Theater at Monmouth in Maine.  Other professional credits include: directing an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma for Nebraska Repertory Theatre; Henry V for Austin Shakespeare Festival, Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, and Merry Wives of Windsor for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival; and Or, at Caffeine Theatre in Chicago.  As an Equity actor, she has worked at The Kennedy Center in A Streetcar Named Desire; at Center Stage in Baltimore in Blithe Spirit, and Mary Stuart; and at Arena Stage in Washington, DC in The Heidi Chronicles. She has worked at The Guthrie Theater, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, the La Jolla Playhouse, and with Bread & Puppet. 

Calvin Wiersma, Wednesday, May 20

Calvin Wiersma appears throughout the world as a soloist and chamber musician. He is a member of the Manhattan String Quartet, was a founding member of the Meliora Quartet, winner of the Naumberg, Fischoff, Coleman, and Cleveland Quartet competitions, and the Quartet-in-Residence of the Spoleto Festivals of the U.S., Italy, and Australia, and was also a founding member of the Figaro Trio. He has performed numerous solo recitals, including appearances in Boston, New York, and Chicago, and has appeared with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, The Concerto Company of Boston, and the Lawrence Symphony, among others. Mr. Wiersma is also a frequent performer with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and performs regularly with chamber music ensembles around the country. He is a noted performer of contemporary music, in particular as a member of Cygnus and the Lochrian Chamber Ensemble, and has appeared with Speculum Musicae, Ensemble 21, Parnassus, Ensemble Sospeso, and the New York New Music Ensemble. He has commissioned countless works both with these ensembles and for solo violin, has toured extensively with Steve Reich and Ensemble 21, and has been featured in solo performances for the International League of Composers of Music. 

Jack Wang, Thursday, May 21

JACK WANG is the author of We Two Alone, a collection of stories and a novella, forthcoming from House of Anansi Press on September 1, 2020. His fiction has appeared in PRISM internationalThe Malahat ReviewThe New QuarterlyThe Humber Literary Review, and Joyland and has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and longlisted for the Journey Prize. In 2014–15, he held the David T. K. Wong Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and in 2020, he was awarded a residency at Historic Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver. He holds an MFA from the University of Arizona and a PhD from Florida State University, and he is an associate professor in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College. Originally from Vancouver, he lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife, novelist Angelina Mirabella, and their two daughters.

Jorge Grossman, Friday, May 22

Jorge Grossmann is a composer whose music has been performed throughout the world by ensembles such as the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, Peruvian National Symphony, and Orquesta Filamónica de Bogotá. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Fulbright Scholar Award and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Aspen Music Festival, Copland House and MacDowell Colony. He has received commissions from dozens of organizations including Harvard University’s Fromm Music Foundation. Grossman is currently director of the composition area of VIPA, Valencia International Performance Academy and founder director of AltaVoz, a Latin American composers collective. His music is available on Harmonia Mundi, Albany Records and New Focus Recordings. His first monographic album is scheduled for release on Austrian label KAIROS on the second quarter of 2020.

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