JMU faculty members Carrie Stevens, mezzo-soprano, Kevin McMillan, baritone, Carl Donakowski, cello, and Gabriel Dobner, piano join forces to present an all-Britten program featuring the Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, the Cello Sonata op.65, and Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac.
Carrie Stevens is highly regarded for her versatility in concert, chamber and operatic venues, spanning styles from Baroque to contemporary music. She has performed with conductors Jeffrey Kahane, Ivan Fischer, Helmuth Rilling, Roger Norrington, Michael Morgan and Carl St. Clair, among others. Her concert experience includes performances with the Oakland Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra. She has enjoyed appearances with the Richmond Chamber Music, Staunton Music Festival, Crested Butte, Kalamazoo Bach, Austin Bach Society and Oregon Bach Festivals, and has been a Fellowship recipient at the Stonybrook Bach Aria Festival.
Stevens has a particular interest in contemporary music and has been involved in many premieres, including works by Kirke Mechem, Ofer Ben-Amots, John Baboukis and Russell Burnham. She holds a Doctorate of Music from the University of Minnesota and is currently Associate Professor of Voice at James Madison University.
Kevin McMillan has been described as an "outstanding Schubertian" whose "voice of glowing freshness and beauty is at the service of an intelligent, lively and distinctive personality." His performing career has spanned over 25 years with more than 750 concerts, 15 professional recordings, a Grammy Award, a Gramophone Award and numerous Juno Award nominations. He has made appearances with virtually every major North American orchestra and has also established a presence in Europe.
Carl Donakowski was a prize winner in the 1989 Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin. His recital performances have aired on WQRS Detroit, WQXR New York and Sudwestfunk Radio Baden-Baden. As a member of the West End Chamber Ensemble, he participated in the National Endowment for the Arts/Chamber Music America Rural Residency Chamber Music Initiative. His major teachers were Timothy Eddy, Janos Starker, Gary Hoffman and Christoph Henkel.
Gabriel Dobner has appeared with some of Europe’s leading singers in the major concert venues of Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Zürich, Vienna, Tokyo and Nagoya. He has recorded for both the Ottavo and MDG labels, winning high praise from BBC Music Magazine, Fono Forum and the West German Radio in Cologne, who referred to him as a “master among Lieder pianists.” He has also done numerous radio recordings in the U.S., Germany and Japan.