Free UMSL concert to include music by noted faculty composer

A UMSL concert on Sept. 18 will feature (from left) Marlissa Hudson, Alla Voskoboynikova and John McGrosso performing music by Barbara Harbach.

An upcoming concert at the University of Missouri–St. Louis will feature two members of the UMSL faculty and include music composed by a third member of the faculty.

The concert will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 18, in the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center. Free and open to the public, it will feature a performance of “Harriet’s Story,” a new song cycle by noted composer Barbara Harbach.

Harbach premiered her “Freedom Suite for String Quintet” in January at UMSL’s 2011 celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. It is a musical meditation on Harriet and Dred Scott and their family that makes liberal use of the African-American spiritual.  On April 7, at Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church she offered a world premiere of a song suite, “Harriet’s Story,” that covers the same historical material, but contains all original music.

Presented by the UMSL Department of Music, the concert will feature soprano Marlissa Hudson, pianist Alla Voskoboynikova and violinist John McGrosso. They also will perform music by Verdi, Rachmaninov, Charpentier and Barber.

Barbara Harbach, professor of music at UMSL, tours extensively as both concert organist and harpsichordist. As a composer, She has written symphonies, works for chamber ensemble, string orchestra, organ, harpsichord, musicals, choral anthems, film scores, modern ballets, and many arrangements for brass and organ of various Baroque works.

Alla Voskoboynikova has been coordinator of piano Studies at UMSL since 2004. She extensively performs and collaborates with local musicians and regularly accompanies and coaches for the Union Avenue Opera Company as well as Webster University in Webster Groves, Mo. Louis. Before moving to the United States in 1996, Voskoboynikova was a pianist and vocal coach at the Kiev Opera and Ballet Theater in Ukraine.

John McGrosso, associate professor of music at UMSL, has been the first violinist of the Arianna String Quartet since 1998. He has been featured as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra — of which he was a member from 1992 to 1999. He has performed in recital to critical acclaim throughout the United States.

At home both on the operatic and concert stage, Marlissa Hudson made her professional debut while a student, performing “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess with the Baltimore Symphony Pops Orchestra under the baton of Marvin Hamlisch. She later performed the entire role of Bess with Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis.

For more information, call 314-516-4198

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