Marjorie Diener Blenden Artist-in-Residence Concert Returns

Steve Beck

After a two-year COVID hiatus, David Glaser, chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Music at Stern College for Women, was finally able to bring back the annual Marjorie Diener Blenden Artist-in-Residence concert with renowned pianist Steve Beck performing on Monday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Center for Jewish History at 15 West 16th Street in New York City.

The ambitious program included the premiere of Glaser’s first solo piece for piano, Nocturnes (2022), alongside works by Aaron Copland (Piano Sonata, 1941), Ursula Mamlok (2000 Notes, 2000) and Erich Wolfgang Korngold (Sonata No., 3, 1931).

“There are a few interesting stories behind the offerings,” Glaser noted. “Mamlok was born into a Jewish family in Germany and had to emigrate to Guayaquil, Ecuador, in 1938 because of immigration restrictions in the United States. She wasn’t able to enter the country until 1940 and became a U.S. citizen in 1945. Korngold was born in 1897 into a famous musical family, in what is now the Czech Republic. He had such prodigious musical abilities that he was composing original music by the age of seven.

His career track in classical music was derailed by the Nazi takeover in Europe, but he ended up in Hollywood as an Acacdemy Award-winning film composers for such movies as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935), The Sea Hawk (1940) and King’s Row (1942).”

Glaser is especially thankful to Marjorie Diener Blenden, whose support underwrites the Music Department’s mission to create opportunities for students to “experience live music in ways that remind them that music comes not from headphones, but from people, and we can demonstrate the craft and concentration needed to perform, as well as providing insight into the life and work of the professional artist/teacher.”