Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

October 12, 2000

Donivan Johnson to Lecture on Composer and Conductor Gustav Mahler

The 2000 Hans Moldenhauer Memorial Lecture will feature composer and music instructor Donivan Johnson, who will explore the music, mind and spirit of composer and conductor Gustav Mahler (1860-1911).

The lecture, Mahler: Prophet of Love and Death, will take place Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall at Whitworth College. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will be held after the lecture that will include a display of Mahler's scores, as well as photographs of and books about the composer.

During the lecture Johnson will discuss passages from Mahler's symphonies and songs that reflect what Mahler is most known for: the length, depth and painful emotions of his works. The Bohemian-born Mahler loved nature and life, and, due to several tragic childhood experiences, feared death. This duality appears in almost all of his compositions.

Mahler's work influenced composers such as Schoenberg, Webern and Britten, and the spirit of his music is discernible in contemporary composers such as Paert, Gorecki and Tavener. In addition, generations of Hollywood film composers including Korngold, Steiner and Williams have creatively borrowed from the pages of Mahler.

Donivan Johnson holds a master of arts in composition from California State University, Northridge. He has served as music instructor for the Selkirk School District since 1991, and he also serves as music director for the Selkirk High School Theatre Arts program. Johnson is active in the Washington Music Educators Association and has served as chair for Small Schools and state chair for Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Johnson inaugurated the Hans Moldenhauer Lecture in 1994 to honor the memory of world-renowned musicologist/archivist and Spokane resident Hans Moldenhauer (1906-1987). Moldenhauer was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1938. After serving in the U.S. Army, he settled in Spokane and was the first student to attend Whitworth College under the G.I. Bill. Moldenhauer earned a B.A. in music in 1945 and was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree by Whitworth in 1986.

The annual Hans Moldenhauer Lecture focuses on contemporary music and its place in society and music education. Hans' widow, Mary Moldenhauer, is an avid and generous supporter of the annual lecture and of the arts in Spokane.

In 1996 Johnson discussed the work of Moldenhauer as it relates to the life and music of composer Anton Webern as part of a Spokane Public Radio program. During the program, Johnson performed his composition, Three Theological Sentences, which is dedicated to the memory of Moldenhauer.

 

Contacts:

Dan Keberle, professor of music, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4582 or dkeberle@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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