Composer Robert Owens in residency at UNL Sept. 10-20

Released on 08/31/2007, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2007

WHERE: Kimball Recital Hall, 11th and R Streets (extended)

Lincoln, Neb., August 31st, 2007 —

Composer Robert Owens will be in residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Music Sept. 10-20. Owens will give lectures and master classes and coach UNL music students, faculty and friends.

The residency will conclude with a performance of Owens' work at 7:30 p.m. Sept 19 in Kimball Recital Hall, 11th and R streets (extended). Tickets for this event are $5 general admission or $3 students/seniors and will be available at the door approximately 1 hour before the performance.

Owens is an artist of diverse gifts and accomplishments. Born in 1925, in Denison, Texas, he grew up in Berkeley, Calif. Emulating his mother, Alpharetta Helm-Owens, a brilliant pianist, he began playing the piano at age 4, composing at 8, and performing publicly at 10. When he was 15, he wrote and performed his first piano concerto with Berkeley's Young Peoples' Symphony, under Jessica Marcelli.

After serving in the military, he continued his musical studies in Paris from 1946-1950 at the Ecole Normale de Musique under Jules Gentil and the renowned pianist Alfred Cortot.

In 1952, his formal debut as a concert pianist in Copenhagen was met with rave reviews. While continuing to concertize and compose, he took master classes in Vienna under Professor Grete Hinterhofer from 1953-57. After teaching in the United States for two years, he returned to Europe in 1959, to live and work in Germany, combining his work as a composer, pianist, and stage actor.

In 1970, his first opera, "Kultur! Kultur!" was performed in German, in the opera house of Ulm, to great critical acclaim. As an actor, he is much in demand for roles such as the title role in Shakespeare's "Othello," the professor in Ionescu's "The Lesson," and other major roles in Gardner's "I'm Not Rappaport," Athol Fugard's "Master Harold & the Boys," and Uhry's "Driving Miss Daisy." Owens has taught at Albany College in Albany, Ga., the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Owens' works are frequently broadcast on Bavarian Radio, and many have been recorded on the labels of Naxos, Cinnabar and Albany.

For more information, contact the UNL School of Music Public Relations Office at (402) 472-6865.

CONTACT: Michael Edholm, Public Relations and Publicity Coordinator, School of Music, (402) 472-6865