The Song Cycle Regained: Mezzo Mary Nessinger and Pianist Jeanne Golan bring Cycles and Sequels Project to Music on the Edge

Mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger and Pianist Jeanne Golan are both established international artists individually and a musical tour de force when they combine their talents, as they will on their upcoming concert for Pitt’s Music on the Edge series. Nessinger and Golan’s passion for the song cycle and commitment to fostering contemporary composition has motivated them to collaborate in commissioning new song cycles from American composers. On Monday, November 5, the two will bring their latest collaboration Innocence Lost: the Berg-Debussy Project to Pitt’s Bellefield Hall Auditorium. The concept of the project was to commission leading American composers to write songs inspired by Berg’s Seven Early Songs and Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis. The duo commissioned 10 composers for the project: Tom Cipullo, Sebastian Currier, David Del Tredici, Lee Hyla, Joe Kerr, Jorge Martin, Pitt’s own Eric Moe, Eleanor Sandresky, Anna Weesner and Daniel Rothman. The Nessinger-Golan duo will perform the Berg and Debussy song cycles along with the newly composed companion pieces on Monday, November 5 at 8 p.m. in Bellefield Hall Auditorium. Tickets purchased in advance through ProArts are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors, Call 412-394-3353 or visit Service fees apply. Tickets at the door are $15 and $10. Pitt students are admitted free. Mary Nessinger returns to Pittsburgh having given many memorable performances here. Most recently, she was a featured soloist in 2005 for Eric Moe’s Tri-Stan with (New York’s Sequitur Ensemble) and in 2006 with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Both of those concerts were ranked among the ten best classical concerts of the year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The New York Times has praised Nessinger for her “remarkable fluidity and beauty of tone,” and The New Yorker has heralded “her exacting musicianship and quiet dignity (which) have made her a fixture of the New York scene.” In recital, Nessinger has graced such venues as Carnegie, Alice Tully, and Avery Fisher Halls, the Freer Gallery in Washington D.C., Jordan Hall and the Gardner Museum in Boston, Wigmore Hall in London, and the Kammermusiksaal der Philharmonie in Berlin. Jeanne Golan has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe. The New York Times has described her playing as “technically polished and superbly expressive.” As a soloist, she has appeared with the American Symphony Chamber Orchestra under Leon Botstein, the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, and the Hunter Symphony. As a chamber musician, she has performed with the Lark and Cavani Quartets, and with members of the Boston Symphony and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras. Her extensive work with singers includes the CD, Songs of Henry Cowell, which was hailed by Michael Tilson Thomas in The New York Times. Golan has worked with the Philip Glass Ensemble on Einstein on the Beach, and with the contemporary music groups MATA, Theodore Wiprud/New Music Productions and the Friends & Enemies of New Music Jeanne Golan has made several solo and collaborative recordings under the Albany, Arsis, Capstone, and Newport Classic labels. Her solo CD, Time Tracks, was described by Stereo Review as “an imaginative collection (that is) one of the nicest surprises of the season.” American Record Guide found American Tonal: Piano Music of Samuel Barber and Daron Hagen to be an “attractive program—vividly recorded and sensitively played.” She has released recordings under the Albany, Capstone and Newport Classic labels. Her CD, Schumann Piano Music: The Poet Speaks on the Arsis label, is described by American Record Guide as “very beautiful...her command of color make them a pleasure to hear.” Golan’s most recent disc, STEPS: Piano Music of Claude Debussy and Jorge Martín, was released by Albany Records in July of 2004.