(5/16/13) A special music drama, The Unforgettable One: Johannes Brahms, will be presented Sunday, June 9th at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church (UMC) located at 100 N. 4th Street in Black River Falls.
It will be open to the public at no cost, but a free-will offering will be taken during intermission to raise funds for the Wisconsin Center for Music Education, which serves as a catalyst for innovation and growth of music education throughout the state. The event is sponsored by the UMC Choir in honor of current and former Jackson County music teachers and has been made possible with financial assistance from the Lunda Charitable Fund.
Set in Germany shortly after Brahms' death in 1898, the play will feature the following performers: pianist and Black River Falls native Sue (Iliff) Haug, director of the School of Music at Penn State; actress Jane Cox, professor and stage director for Iowa State University Theatre; and violinist Jonathan Sturm, professor of music history at Iowa State University and concertmaster of the Des Moines Symphony. All three performers have received numerous awards and recognition and are highly respected nationally within their fields.
Haug will play Clara Schumann, the great concert pianist who championed Brahms' works; Cox will play the role of Marie Schumann, the eldest daughter of Robert and Clara Schumann; and Sturm will play Joseph Joachim, a famous violin virtuoso and close associate of Brahms. The script, written by Cox, is based on the letters and biographies of Johannes Brahms. She also designed the costumes for the two Schumann women.
The following Brahms' pieces will be performed: Romance in F Major, Op. 118, No. 5; Excerpt from Sonata No. 1 in C Major, Allegro; Scherzo, from the F.A.E. Sonata for violin and piano; Romance in C Major for violin and piano; Romance in G Minor, Allegretto; Adagio from Sonata in G Major for violin and piano; Intermezzo in Eb Minor, Op. 118, No. 6; Allegro from Sonata in A Major for violin and piano, Op. 100; and Intermezzo in Eb Minor, Op. 118, No. 6.
Born and raised in Black River Falls, Sue Haug joined the Penn State faculty in 2005, after serving 30 years on the faculty at Iowa State University, including 15 years as head of the Department of Music. She says that working with playwright and actress Jane Cox to create this music drama has been one of the great delights of her career. "This is the second of three we have done together, but it is probably my favorite because the music of Brahms is so glorious and so satisfying to perform," she says. "It is such fun to reconnect with my Iowa State colleagues to prepare for this event and to perform it in the town where I grew up is very special."