Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

March 21, 2007

Moldenhauer Lecture April 2 to Explore the Life and Music
of Composer Arnold Schoenberg

Composer and music instructor Donivan Johnson will explore the life, music and paintings of Arnold Schoenberg during the 2007 Hans Moldenhauer Memorial Lecture at Whitworth College. The annual lecture focuses on contemporary music and its place in society and music education.

Johnson will present his lecture, "Arnold Schoenberg: The Reluctant Revolutionary," on Monday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall at Whitworth. During the lecture, Johnson will share his views on and experience with Schoenberg's music. A collection of Schoenberg's scores and books will be on display after the lecture. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (509) 777-3280.

Monday morning Johnson will be a guest on KPBX 91.1 FM Public Radio during the program "Classical Music with Verne Windham." Johnson will discuss composing and selections of Schoenberg's music.

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) was a painter, a music theorist, and one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. Schoenberg is known for developing the widely used 12-tone compositional technique, which is a non-repetitive ordering of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale that serves as the unifying basis for a composition's melody, harmony, structural progressions and variations. Schoenberg considered his work to be evolutionary, not revolutionary, according to Johnson.

Johnson inaugurated the Hans Moldenhauer Lecture in 1994 to honor world-renowned musicologist/archivist and Spokane resident Hans Moldenhauer (1906-87). Moldenhauer founded the Spokane Conservatory of Music and the Allied Arts in 1942. After World War II, Moldenhauer and his second wife, Rosaleen, began assembling a collection of music manuscripts to provide musicians and scholars with the ability to view music history from primary sources. The Moldenhauer Archives now number more than 10,000 items covering 400 years of music history. The archives are housed in nine public collections in the U.S. and Europe, including one at Whitworth College; the Rosaleen Moldenhauer Memorial Collection is housed at the Library of Congress.

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 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. 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. Since 1991, he has served as the K-12 music instructor for the Selkirk School District. In September 2006, Johnson was invited to present his paper on the composer Helmut Lachenmann at the National Conference for the Society of Composers, in San Antonio, Texas. This spring he will deliver music lectures for the Elderhostel program at Clearwater Lodge. Johnson has four entries in Music History from Primary Sources: A Guide to the Moldenhauer Archives published by the Library of Congress.

This is Johnson's seventh appearance at Whitworth as the Hans Moldenhauer Memorial guest lecturer. His previous Whitworth lectures include "Excelsior: The Life and Legacy of Hans Moldenhauer" (2006); "A Connecticut Yankee in the Classical Court: The Music of Charles Ives" (2005); and "I Like a Webern Tune" (2004).

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college, which has an enrollment of 2,500 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


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

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

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