by Jeffrey Carter

Since the performance calendar is more sparse in September than any other time during the year, we have front-loaded the calendar this term with seminars.  In the university setting, a seminar is often a setting for sustained intellectual interaction away from the traditional classroom or project-based modes of delivery.  We offer a number of seminars each term; students are required to attend two as part of their recital attendance.

Last week’s seminar featured Webster University alum Pete Mayer as he was visiting the Saint Louis area.  Yesterday we hosted Sarah Bryan Miller, the classical music critic for the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, in a talk about journalism and music.

The big event this week was Christine Brewer‘s first visit of the year.  Chris is one of the world’s reigning dramatic sopranos. She sang in May at Carnegie Hall, where she returns for a solo recital later this year.  She returned just last weekend from Australia and New Zealand and a series of performances there.img_5131

Christine is Visiting Artist in Residence at Webster University.  She next presents a master class with advanced voice students next Wednesday.  She’ll return in the spring for another master class, and she occasionally pops into performances.  Last night she simply talked with the students about how she got from middle school teacher to Covent Garden, and the lessons she’s learned along the way.  The two hours flew by.

A sidebar: Christine sang for us last evening too, singing September from Strauss’ Four Last Songs after having referred to these works several times in her talk with us.  I accompanied at the piano.  And my life is now complete.