Bradley’s Peoria Lunaire celebrates first anniversary

Left to right: John Orfe, Kyle Dzapo, Alison Meuth, Marcia Henry Liebenow, Stephen Heinemann, Timothy Archbold.

December 10, 2013

By: Savannah Jones '14

Bradley’s faculty chamber ensemble, Peoria Lunaire, celebrated its first anniversary with a concert Tuesday, December 3 in Dingeldine Music Center. Peoria Lunaire includes Marcia Henry Liebenow, violin; Timothy Archbold, cello; Dr. Kyle Dzapo, flute; Dr. Stephen Heinemann, clarinet; and Dr. John Orfe, piano. The ensemble, with featured vocalist Alison Meuth, performed the third and final part of composer Arnold Schoenberg’s landmark 1912 composition Pierrot Lunaire.

Schoenberg’s adaptation of Albert Giraud’s 1884 collection of poems tells the story of a French pantomime artist’s life. The composition’s inventive sounds and vocal style were controversial when it was premiered, and it is well known for its complexity.

Pierrot Lunaire is one of the most significant pieces of the 20th century,” Heinemann said. “It expanded musical language with new concepts of harmony and an unusual vocal style that is a cross between singing and speaking.” 

The group sets aside time from teaching, grading and other performances for weekly rehearsals in Bradley‘s Constance Hall. Heinemann said the intimate size of the group allows for every member’s input.

“I think that we play really well together, and these are outstanding players,” Heinemann said. “It made perfect sense for us to begin our ensemble’s life with our namesake composition Pierrot Lunaire.”

The concert also included separate performances by Archbold, Henry Liebenow and Orfe. Orfe performed one of his own pieces, commissioned by the 2013 International Beethoven Project at the Merit School in Chicago, that incorporates different aspects of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Alumna Jenna Ferdon and staff accompanist Andrea Molina also performed Oliver Messiaen’s Theme and Variations

Peoria Lunaire will perform Pierrot Lunaire in its entirety in April 2014. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen Heinemann at 309-677-2603 or sjh@bradley.edu.