Jeremy Huw Williams, baritone & Paula Fan, piano
Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.,
The Arizona Senior Academy Building
The year 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of pianist and composer Clara Wieck Schumann, wife of Robert Schumann. In an unusual ASA program, Jeremy Huw Williams, in the role of Robert, and Paula Fan, as Clara, use music, letters, and excerpts from the Schumanns’ joint diary to bring to life their remarkable relationship in the context of the societal pressures of 19th-century Europe.
Clara Wieck was a child prodigy, celebrated for her pianism and skill as a composer. After a courtship full of the obstacles of parental opposition, she married her father’s student, Robert Schumann. Although the breadwinner of the family and mother many times over, intellectually she came to believe what society decreed: “A woman must not desire to compose–not one has been able to do it, and why should I expect to? It would be arrogance.” Her husband did not agree: “Yes, it is most necessary that we find a means whereby we can both employ and develop our talents side by side.” The program by Williams and Fan celebrates the unique musical partnership of the two great artists.
Since his debut with the Welsh National Opera, Jeremy Huw Williams has appeared in sixty operatic roles, performing at major venues in North and South America, Australia, Hong Kong, and most of Europe. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Glyndwr University in 2009 for services to music in Wales, and received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Aberdeen in 2011.
Pianist Paula Fan has performed as soloist and chamber musician on five continents and has broadcast for the BBC, NPR, and Radio Television China. She is also Regents Professor Emerita of Music and Senior Fellow of the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry at the University of Arizona.
Written by Carol and Donald Gilzinger, Academy Village Volunteers