Eastman School, Public Musick Plan Celebration in Memory of Alfred Mann

October 19, 2007

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057, hsnihur@esm.rochester.edu)
For The Public: 585/586-0594

Concerts, lectures, and a tour of locally historic St. Michael’s Church highlight a four-day festival devoted to the life and work of Alfred Mann, the late Eastman School of Music professor and world-renowned scholar of Baroque choral music and the history of music theory.

A collaboration of the Eastman School of Music and Publick Musick, the Alfred Mann Music Festival will be held Thursday, Nov. 15, through Sunday, Nov. 18, and features performances of Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Mass in B Minor, two masterpieces closely associated with Mann and his work.

A prolific scholarly author, Mann was noted for his research on 17th century Austrian composer Johann Joseph Fux and published two translations of Fux’s works. Mann’s other books include Theory and Practice: The Great Composers as Teachers and Students and Bach and Handel: Choral Performance Practice. Mann edited a critical edition of Handel’s Messiah,among many other choral works. He was also a noted choral conductor; his recordings of Handel’s six Chandos Anthems in the 1960s were acclaimed by critics. In 1997, Mann became only the third American to be made an honorary member of the International Bach Society.

Born in Germany in 1917, Mann studied and taught in Milan and Berlin before emigrating to the United States in 1939. He received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University and taught at Rutgers University from 1948 until 1980, when he came to Eastman. He was appointed Professor Emeritus of Musicology in 1987 and remained active at Eastman until he moved to Indiana, where he died Sept. 21, 2006.

“Dr. Mann was tremendously respected as a scholar, but he was also beloved as a teacher by both colleagues and students,” said William Weinert, professor of conducting and ensembles and director of choral activities at Eastman. “He was brilliant, funny, and caring, and his integrity and enthusiasm had a huge impact on Eastman faculty and students.”

Festival events, all of which are open to the public and some of which are free, will take place at the Eastman School of Music and St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, a stunning 1888 Gothic Revival church that was designed by prominent Chicago architect Adolphus Druiding. The church is home for performances by Publick Musick, a Rochester-based, nationally recognized orchestra and choir devoted to presenting the masterworks of the baroque era.

“I had the great privilege of studying and collaborating with Dr. Mann, whom I met while I was director of the Finger Lakes Bach Festival. To have such an eminent scholar to work with and learn from inspired me to dedicate my musical career to the music that Dr. Mann loved most, the works of Handel and Bach,” said Thomas Folan, founder, artistic director, and conductor of Publick Musick. “As a doctoral student at the Eastman School I took courses with Dr. Mann and quickly realized that, not only was he unequaled in his knowledge and experience with the music of the Baroque era, but I also came to understand the prominent role he played in the performance of this music on period instruments.”

Highlights
Publick Musick will perform Messiah at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in St. Michael’s Church. The concert will be preceded by a tour of the church at 6 p.m. and a talk by Weinert at 6:45 p.m. Tickets to the event are $35, $20, and $10. Admission to the ensemble’s open rehearsal at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, is free, as is admission to Publick Musick’s performance of Messiah excerpts at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.

Weinert will conduct the Eastman Chorale and Chamber Orchestra for the performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, in Eastman School’s Kilbourn Hall. Folan will give a pre-concert talk at 2:15 p.m. Tickets to the event are $10 and are free to UR ID holders.

The Alfred Mann Music Festival schedule also includes a free symposium from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in the Eastman School’s Howard Hanson Hall. Presenters are Kerala J. Snyder, professor emerita at the Eastman School, and George B. Stauffer, dean of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Festival and ticket information is available online at www.publickmusick.org/Performances/ or www.esm.rochester.edu/mann or by calling (585) 586-0594.

The Alfred Mann Music Festival is made possible in part by funding from the New York State Council on the Arts and Eastman School of Music.

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Calendar listings of events:
Thursday, Nov. 15
3:30
Publick Musick open rehearsal of Handel’s Messiah for Alfred Mann Music Festival
St. Michael’s Church, 869 N. Clinton Ave.
Free
For more information: www.publickmusick.org/Performances/; www.esm.rochester.edu/mann; (585) 586-0594.

Friday, Nov. 16
Alfred Mann Music Festival; program includes:
6 p.m., tour of St. Michael’s Church, 869 N. Clinton Ave.
6:45 p.m., pre-concert talk by William Weinert
7:30 p.m., Handel: Messiah, performed by Publick Musick, Thomas Folan, conductor
Tickets: $35, $20, and $10 (students and seniors) available online at www.publickmusick.org/Performances/ or www.esm.rochester.edu/mann or by calling (585) 586-0594

Saturday, Nov. 17
3 to 6 p.m.
Alfred Mann Music Festival Symposium: “Alfred Mann as Translator,” Kerala J. Snyder, professor emerita, Eastman School of Music; “The Credo of the B-Minor Mass and Bach’s Choral Ideal,” George B. Stauffer, dean, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University
Howard Hanson Hall, Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St.
Free
For more information: www.publickmusick.org/Performances/; www.esm.rochester.edu/mann; (585) 586-0594

Sunday, Nov. 18
Alfred Mann Music Festival includes:
2:15 p.m., Pre-concert talk by Thomas Folan
3 p.m., Eastman Chorale and Chamber Orchestra present Bach’s Mass in B Minor, William Weinert, conductor
Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St.
Tickets: $10; free to UR ID holders, available online at www.publickmusick.org/Performances/ or www.esm.rochester.edu/mann or by calling (585) 586-0594

Sunday, Nov. 18
7 p.m.
Alfred Mann Music Festival: Excerpts from Messiah performed by Public Musick
St. Michael’s Church, 869 N. Clinton Ave.
Free
For more information: www.publickmusick.org/Performances/; www.esm.rochester.edu/mann; (585) 586-0594