Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 5, 2005

Hans Moldenhauer Memorial Lecture April 18 to Feature
Discussion of the Music of Charles Ives

The 2005 Hans Moldenhauer Memorial Lecture at Whitworth College will feature composer and music instructor Donivan Johnson, who will explore the music, mind and spirit of American pioneer composer Charles Ives. Johnson's lecture, "A Connecticut Yankee in the Classical Court," will take place Monday, April 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 scores, books and recordings. For more information, please call (509) 777-3280.

During the evening lecture, Johnson will guide the audience on an adventurous ride through the musical world of Charles Ives (1874-1954).

"Ives' work is all over the musical map," Johnson says. "He felt he was continuing the classical tradition following Beethoven. His music ranges from sublimely simple to some of the most complex music ever composed."

In addition to the lecture, Johnson will direct Whitworth music students in a performance of Ives' most well-known and enduring work, The Unanswered Question (1906).

Charles Feder, an Ives biographer, writes that "the life of Charles Ives spanned two centuries, as he grew up in the 19th and composed chiefly in the 20th. His nostalgia for a simpler life in the New England country town of his youth is revealed in his frequent musical quotation of songs of that earlier period: parlor and patriotic songs, and hymns and gospel music. He had learned these songs early in his life through his father, a village bandmaster, who remained the most important influence in Ives' life and music."

Monday morning Johnson will be a guest on KPBX 91.1 FM Public Radio during the program "Classical Music with Verne Windham." During the program Johnson will discuss some of the longer works of Ives and his development as a composer.

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. Mary Moldenhauer, Hans' widow, is an avid and generous supporter of the annual lecture and of the arts in Spokane.

Johnson holds a master of arts degree in composition from California State University, Northridge. He has served as the only K-12 music instructor for the Selkirk School District since 1991. In 2001, Selkirk was honored as "One of the Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America," based on a survey sponsored by the American Music Conference, Music Teachers National Association, International Music Products Association and the National School Boards Association. Johnson has had five of his works premiered locally as well as in San Antonio and San Francisco.

This is Johnson's fifth appearance at Whitworth as the Hans Moldenhauer Memorial Lecture guest presenter. His previous Whitworth lectures include: "Mahler: Prophet of Love and Death" (2000); "Rite and Requiem: The Age of Stravinsky" (2001); "The Ambient Music of Erik Satie" (2003); and "I Like a Webern Tune" (2004).

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Donivan Johnson, music instructor, d_j@hotmail.com or djohnson@selkirk.k12.wa.us.

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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