James B. Stewart set to perform with friends at DePauw

Sunday, September 28, 2014

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, the DePauw University School of Music will present Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart '73 in recital with faculty and friends. The concert will be given at 7:30 p.m. in the Green Center's Thompson Recital Hall.

Yes, you read that right. A part of the School's Faculty Select Series, Tuesday's chamber concert features James Stewart, the award-winning author from The New York Times, who receives regular invitations not just to play the computer keyboard as a newspaper columnist, but to also play the ivories in New York, where he currently works, practices the piano at least an hour every day, and lives with baritone Benjamin Weil, a chamber music specialist.

After opening the program with Schubert's Piano Sonata in A Minor, Stewart will be joined by Weil for a full-length performance of Robert Schumann's song cycle Dichterliebe. School of Music faculty members Nicole Brockmann and Anne Reynolds will then share the stage with him for Maurice Duruflé's Prélude, Récitatif et Variations pour flûte, alto et piano. Fellow alum, Pamela Coburn '74, now DePauw professor of music, will conclude the program with a work for voice and piano of special significance: Schumann's Widmung, which means 'dedication.'

"Widmung is a wonderful piece--one of the greatest lieder written by Schumann," says the soprano. "It exemplifies our dedication to our art and shows our love of making music."

Coburn, who, not at all coincidentally, holds the James B. Stewart Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music chair, says she has known him since they were both students at DePauw.

"Jim has just always followed my career," recalls Coburn. "When I came back to campus for a distinguished alumni award, it happened that he was also receiving an award that year, and when he heard I was going to come back to teach, he wanted to be a part of making that possible and sponsored a professorship in music for which I then became the first recipient.

"I'm extremely grateful for the training I received at DePauw, and the Stewart chair has allowed me to give back to students what I have learned through honing my technique over time," she continues, "technique that has kept me in good vocal condition and singing all these years.

"I am dedicating Schumann's Widmung to Jim for including me in this special recital and for his support in making it possible for me to come full circle and give back something to our next generation of students."

After graduating from DePauw, Stewart studied law, just as Schumann did. Schumann dropped out to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist; Stewart became a world-class journalist. The recipient of a 1988 Pulitzer Prize for the Wall Street Journal articles on the 1987 stock market crash and the insider trading scandals, Stewart is also the winner of the George Polk award, three Gerald Loeb awards, and the Edgar Allan Poe Award given annually by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2005, DisneyWar was named a finalist for the first annual Financial Times/Goldman Sachs business book of the year. Stewart received the Old Gold Goblet from DePauw in 2009.

General admission tickets to Faculty Select Series concerts are $5. Tickets for children, seniors and all students are free. For information or assistance, call (765) 658-4827, drop by the Green Center box office at 605 S. College Avenue (Sun.-Fri. between noon-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.), or visit www.depauw.edu/music/events.

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