Michael Kelly and David Leisner

Michael Kelly, baritone and David Leisner, guitar
Photo: Dorothy Shi


SCHUBERT selections from Die schöne Müllerin

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    Die Schöne Müllerin

Franz Liszt once said of Schubert, “such is the spell of your emotional world that it very nearly blinds us to the greatness of your craftsmanship.” Originally for voice and piano, the cycle is heard here in an arrangement for voice and guitar by David Leisner. Schubert was a guitarist himself, and most likely used the guitar to compose many of his songs. The arrangement brings new colors and deeper intimacy, and accentuates the folk song qualities already present in this masterpiece of art song repertoire.

    About Michael Kelly

Baritone Michael Kelly is an accomplished artist whose insightful interpretations, silken voice, and expressive use of language have garnered him comparison to such icons of song repertoire as Matthias Goerne and Gérard Souzay.

Mr. Kelly’s concert appearances have included Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 with the Cleveland Orchestra/Herbert Blomstedt, Schumann’s Pilgrimage of the Rose with the Houston Symphony/Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with Ars Lyrica, Carmina Burana with the Kansas City Symphony/ Nicholas McGegan, the premiere of an oratorio by David del Tredici with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin, Messiah with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Cohen, Durufle Requiem at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, as well as solo recitals at the Saint Louis Art Museum and New York’s Trinity Church, Satie’s Socrate and St. Ignatius in Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Schubert’s Winterreise in Houston, a concert of Tchaikovsky songs at New York’s Symphony Space with Ensemble for the Romantic Century, several European recitals including Liederabends on the stage of Opernhaus Zürich and at the Wagner Museum in Lucerne. Highlighting Kelly’s 2016/17 season is a return to Carnegie Hall for a revival of Mohammed Fairouz’s Zabur, a piece he premiered last season with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. Kelly also sings the Brahms Requiem with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Kelly’s wide-ranging musical curiosity led him to co-found SongFusion, an ensemble dedicated to collaboration between singers and instrumentalists, dancers, actors, and visual artists. Mr. Kelly has won prizes in several prominent competitions, including first prizes in 2013’s Poulenc Competition and 2011’s Joy in Singing. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Juilliard, and was a member of the Opernstudio at Opernhaus Zurich.

    About David Leisner

David Leisner is an extraordinarily versatile musician with a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher. “Among the finest guitarists of all time”, according to American Record Guide, Leisner is a featured recording artist for the Azica label, with 9 highly acclaimed solo recordings. Other recordings are on the Naxos, Telarc and Koch labels, with a concert DVD published by Mel Bay. David Leisner’s recent seasons have taken him throughout the US, Canada and Mexico, Asia and Europe. Celebrated for expanding the guitar repertoire, David Leisner has premiered works by many important composers, including David Del Tredici, Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Philip Glass, Richard Rodney Bennett, Peter Sculthorpe and Osvaldo Golijov. He was also a pioneer in the rediscovery of 19th-century guitar composers, Johann Kaspar Mertz and Wenzeslaus Matiegka. A frequent visitor to important chamber music festivals, he is also the Artistic Director of Guitar Plus, an innovative series in New York devoted to chamber music with the guitar. His own compositions, noted for their emotional and dramatic power, are performed, recorded and published worldwide. A distinguished teacher as well, Leisner is currently co-chair of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music. www.davidleisner.com.

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