Honors Presents Lukas Graf, Angella Ahn, Ilse-Mari Lee and Ben Leubner: "The Wound-Dresser by Walt Whitman and John Adams"
- Thursday, March 5, 2020 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm
- Inspiration Hall (NAH 201)
Join us for a performance of John Adams' setting of the Wound-Dresser (1865), a poem by Walt Whitman, featuring professors Lukas Graf, baritone; Angella Ahn, violin and Ilse-Mari Lee, piano. Preparatory remarks will be presented by professor Ben Leubner.
Lukas Grafis a singer and conductor who specializes in teaching the voice through the use of vowel formation, body alignment, and musical interpretation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Montana State University, two Masters of Music degrees in Voice Performance and Choral Conducting from University of Colorado (CU), Boulder, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice Performance and Pedagogy, also from CU. Dr. Graf has performed and conducted opera, musical theater, in concert, and in ensembles in Europe and the United States. He is currently the chorus director for the Intermountain Opera, Bozeman, and maintains a private voice studio at St. James Episcopal Church where he is the Minister of Music. He previously taught voice, choir, and opera at Minot State University. Dr. Graf currently teaches as a Faculty Fellow through the Honors College, directs the University Chorus and holds a voice studio through the School of Music.
Professor Angella Ahn has had an extensive career, performing not only in every state in the U.S., but in over 30 countries. As a member of the Ahn Trio, she has played in venues as diverse as the White House, the Jazz Dock in Prague, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, Vienna’s Musikverein, New York's Lincoln Center, Leipzig's Gewandhaus, Beijing's Concert Hall, Istanbul's Aya Irini in Topkapi Palace, the iTunes Festival, and TEDWomen.
In addition to live performances, Angella has an impressive discography with her trio. The nine enthusiastically received albums include Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac, released by Sony (No. 8 in the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks); Dvorak, Suk and Shostakovich, released by EMI (winner of Germany’s prestigious ECHO Award); and their most recent, Blue, a musical diary. She has recently released two digital tracks with her trio, “Nuvole Bianche “and “Candybox.” Wide-ranging collaborations have allowed the trio to work with modern dance companies (including a B-boy group), film directors, rock bands, and DJ Spooky. Because of their eclectic interests and innovative exploration in music, New York Newsday has called the trio “Classical revolutionaries.”
Angella enjoys living in Bozeman, Montana, where she is currently Associate Professor of Violin and Viola at Montana State University. The depth of her experience and knowledge has made her perfectly suited to help the next generation of young musicians, and she is a devoted and sought-after teacher, being named by the university both a “Most Valuable Professor” and “Professor of the Month”. Beyond her teaching, she serves on the Montana Arts Council and is the artistic director of the Big Sky Classical Music Festival, where she is heard performing with many guest artists such as Matt Haimovitz and Rachel Barton Pine. She also serves on the board of the Bozeman Symphony. She has often taught at Mark O’Connor’s Fiddle camps and has been featured with musicians as diverse as Phil Aaberg, Darol Anger, Emmylous Harris, and John Prine. She can be seen in “Angella Ahn and Friends,” a program presented by Montana PBS’ Emmy award- winning 11th & Grant with Eric Funk, as well as in The Hive, a film produced by Tippet Rise Art Center in collaboration with the acclaimed sculptor Stephen Talasnik and director Matthew McKee.
Angella has given masterclasses throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, she shares the widely regarded pedagogy of her mentors Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang. She plays a 2013 violin made for her by renowned luthier Sam Zygmuntowicz of Brooklyn, New York.
Ilse-Mari Lee joined MSU in the fall of 1989 and currently serves as Dean of the Honors College. She holds a doctorate in Cello Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Arizona, as well as master’s degrees in Cello Performance, Music Theory and Composition from Northern Illinois University. Her principal teachers were Gordon Epperson and Raya Garbousova (cello) and Robert Muczynski, Jan Bach and Oscar Haughland (composition).
Dr. Lee is active as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, and performs regularly at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She was awarded the Montana Arts Council Individual Fellowship Award and was selected to perform at the American Cello Congress in Phoenix in1991. In 1992, she premiered the Cello Concerto, Opus 55, by Eric Funk. Collaborative performances include performances with the internationally renowned Moscow, Muir and Fry Street string quartets. CD releases include "The Duet Album" with classical guitarist Stuart Weber, "Song of the Cello" with pianist Michele Levin, and "In Performance at St. Timothy's with the Muir Quartet".
Dr. Lee founded the MSU Cello Ensemble in 1998. The ensemble was selected to perform at the 1999 All-Northwest MENC Conference in Portland Oregon. The ensemble has toured throughout the Northwest, as well as to Italy and Central Europe in May 2000 and to China in March 2006, performing in Beijing, Xian, and Tianjin.
Active as a composer and concert cellist, she premiered her cello concerto “Mandela”, with the Billings Symphony in 2002. Her original compositions include works for orchestra, choir, chamber music ensembles and award-winning film scores. She composed the MSU “Alma Mater” in 2013 and her most recent work, “Unearthed” for solo cello and digital sound, was premiered at Tippet Rise in October 2018.
A dedicated teacher, Ilse-Mari has received twelve "Excellence in Teaching" Awards, the President's Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as the Wiley Award for Meritorious Research. She was appointed as Director of the Honors Program in 2009 and led the transition from an Honors Program to College in 2013. She was instrumental in the reinstatement of the Directed Interdisciplinary Studies degree in the Honors College: a degree especially designed for highly motivated students to pursue studies at the intersection of diverse academic disciplines. As the recipient of a life-changing graduate fellowship in her senior year at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Ilse-Mari has actively encouraged generations of MSU students to apply for prestigious awards including the Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater, Udall, Gates-Cambridge, Fulbright and Marshall Scholarships.
Ben Leubner is a professor in the Department of English who received his B.A. from Southern Oregon University, M.A. from Montana State University and his Ph.D. from Northeastern University.
- Honors Presents Lecture Series