Violinist Timothy Schwarz brought a highly-acclaimed group together Wednesday night in Boyd Recital Hall to perform “Hidden Voices,” as part of the College of Performing Arts’ Faculty Spotlight Series.
Schwarz and his fellow performers put on an informative show that portrayed the different meanings that a song can hold.
Schwarz is an assistant professor and head of strings at Rowan, as well as artistic director and founder of Techne Music Festival held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He played the violin in every performance of the night.
On piano was Charles Abramovic, who has won critical acclaim for his international performances as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborator with leading instrumentalists and singers. Eun Jung Choi, who danced to the second song of the night, was one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” according to the pamphlet given at the event. She has been working professionally for the past 16 years in the United States, Mexico and Korea.
The show also featured the Voces vocal ensemble, conducted by Christopher B. Thomas. Thomas is the director of choral activities and an associate professor of music at Rowan.
Each song in the set had a correlation to the name of the show. The first piece of the night, Ciaccona from Partita No. 2 in D minor by J.S. Bach, included the Voces and Director Thomas.
“Bach wrote that for a solo piece, then he discovered all these different chorales within that,” Schwarz explained after the show. “They were hidden, and they were hidden for over 300 years before someone discovered them in the piece.”
The next three songs in the set were meant to represent minority groups. The second song, “Fantasia on Lama Bada Yatasama” by Steven Sametz, represented Arabic music.
Choi, the featured dancer, had only met Schwarz a day prior to the show and they only went through the music twice together. Schwarz explained that he “went faster or slower based on her movements.” Choi was representing a person dancing to the moonlight and was dressed in black attire.
The audience was filled with students coming out to support Schwarz. Every time he entered the stage there was applause exploding from the crowd.
“Dr. Schwarz was my chamber coach last semester so I worked with him a lot on certain pieces,” said senior music performance major Dylan James. “I think he is a great performer and a great coach for me so I just wanted to come and support him.”
Some other members of the audience were not affiliated with Rowan, but came out to support Schwarz. Mark Tirone explained his favorite aspect of the night was “the common thread between all the pieces.
“They were all very individualistic, but all had something hidden within the meaning,” he said.
Schwarz spoke for the first time to the audience before playing the last song, “Sonata for Viola and Piano: Impetuoso, Vivace, and Adagio-Agitato” by Rebecca Clarke. He talked about how he wanted to represent women composers.
“The last song was representing the hidden voice of a woman composer because it is still pretty rare in classical music and in 1919, when she wrote it, it was extremely rare to the point where people didn’t think she had actually wrote it,” Schwarz said.
Schwarz and his fellow performers put on an informative show that portrayed the different meanings that a song can hold. He talked afterwards about how he hoped that he proved that there is more to a piece of music than just what you hear, and he joked with the crowd about his ‘hidden’ desires.
“I always wanted to be a dancer,” explained Schwarz, “but I’m not really that flexible.”
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