Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award Winner in Residence

February 03, 2014 | Tina Underwood

William Bolcom and Joan Morris
William Bolcom and Joan Morris
William Bolcom and Joan Morris

The Furman Music Department announces the residency of renowned composer and pianist William Bolcom and his wife Joan Morris, mezzo-soprano, Feb. 10-14.

The residency is sponsored by Partners in the Arts, a program made possible by a generous grant from the Duke Endowment to enhance the Fine Arts at Furman. Numerous events are scheduled for the week, including lessons, classes and performances.

"William Bolcom and Joan Morris are American musical treasures," said Furman music professor Dr. Anna Joiner, program coordinator for Partner in the Arts.  "What a unique opportunity for the students and faculty at Furman to work with these personalities. We look forward to sharing the events and concerts with the Greenville community."

Two concerts plus a session and conversation with Furman music students and the Bolcom-Morris duo are open to the public:

Conversations with American composer William Bolcom and mezzo-soprano Joan Morris

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2:30 p.m., Daniel Recital Hall

An engaging and inspiring hour of conversation about music: past, present and future with American composer William Bolcom and his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris. Music Department Chair Dr. Mark Britt will moderate.

An Evening of Chamber Music featuring American composer William Bolcom and mezzo-soprano Joan Morris

William Bolcom, host and commentator

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 8 p.m., Daniel Recital Hall, Faculty Chamber Recital

Tickets: $12 adult, $10 seniors, $5 students

Join the Furman music faculty for an entertaining evening of chamber music featuring the works of American composer William Bolcom. Bolcom will also be featured at the piano and joined by his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, for a captivating set of cabaret songs.

 Furman Symphony Orchestra

Thomas Joiner, conductor, with Grant Knox, Tenor

In a performance of "Canciones de Lorca" by composer-in-residence William Bolcom

Friday, Feb. 14, 8 p.m., McAlister Auditorium, Furman Symphony Orchestra Concert

Tickets: $12 adult, $10 seniors, $5 students

"Canciones de Lorca" by American composer William Bolcom will be the featured work for the Furman Symphony Orchestra concert. The song cycle was originally written for Plácido Domingo and features new Furman faculty member Grant Knox, tenor.

About William Bolcom

Named 2007 Composer of the Year by Musical America, and honored with multiple Grammy Awards for his ground-breaking setting of Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Bolcom is a composer of cabaret songs, concertos, sonatas, operas, symphonies, and much more. He was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Twelve New Etudes for Piano. As a pianist he has recorded for Advance, Jazzology, Musical Heritage, Nonesuch, Vox, and Omega. With his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, he has performed in concert for 40 years throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad.

About Joan Morris

Born in Portland, Ore., mezzo-soprano Joan Morris attended Gonzaga University in Spokane prior to her scholarship studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She continued speech and voice studies with Clifford Jackson and Frederica Schmitz-Svevo while appearing in off-Broadway and road productions and with harpist Jay Miller at the Cafe Carlyle, the Waldorf-Astoria's Peacock Alley, and other Manhattan night spots. Since 1973 Morris has concertized with her husband and accompanist, William Bolcom, singing popular songs from the late 19th century through the 1920s and '30s, the latest songs by Leiber and Stoller, and cabaret songs by Bolcom and poet-lyricist Arnold Weinstein.

About Bolcom and Morris:

"Bolcom and Morris may be the best thing to happen to American popular song since the invention of sheet music." (Chicago Sun-Times)

Traversing Broadway, vaudeville and music hall, performing music from the ragtime era to the end of the 20th century, the duo of William Bolcom and Joan Morris have delighted audiences across the United States and around the world since 1973. The duo has 24 recordings to their credit, from their Grammy-nominated debut After the Ball to recent collections of songs by Yip Harburg, Gus Kahn and Arnold Weinstein/William Bolcom. Their newest CD, Someone Talked! is available on the Equilibrium label.

About Grant Knox:

Knox joined the Furman music faculty in 2013. An American tenor, Knox enjoys a varied career in opera, musical theater, concert and recital. He has appeared with the Cincinnati Opera, Atlanta Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, and Chautauqua Opera, among others. Equally versed in concert repertoire, Knox has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic, Binghamton Philharmonic, and others, and has appeared in recital at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As a recording artist, Knox can be heard on the complete cast recordings of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Grand Duke and The Sorcerer, Offenbach's The Brigands, Romberg's Maytime, and Kalman's The Carnival Fairy, all released on the Albany Records label. Knox holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and a doctorate from Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music.

For more information about the event, contact the Furman Music Office at 864-294-2086. Concert tickets may be ordered by calling the same number, or may be purchased online here.