February 23, 2006
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—The German House at Amherst College will present a recital by local tenor Peter W. Shea at 4 p.m., on Wednesday, March 1, in Porter House, next to the Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst. Accompanied by pianists Gregory Hayes and Monika Jakuc, Shea will pay homage to the Romantic poet Heinrich Heine on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his death. Sponsored by the Amherst College German Department and the Eastman Fund, the concert is free and open to the public.
The concert of Heine poems set to music will include Schumann’s song cycle Dichterliebe and pieces by international composers. Additional settings of Heine poems will feature local Amherst composers Willis Bridegam, librarian emeritus of Amherst College, David Kidwell, Zeke Hecker and others. The performance will be in German, Hebrew, Dutch, Italian, Romanian and Slovenian, with side-by-side translations provided.
Peter W. Shea, a frequent tenor soloist with groups such as the Arcadia Players Baroque Orchestra, the Hampshire Choral Society and the Brattleboro Community Chorus, has sung professionally since 1972. He studied voice at the Hartt School in West Hartford and historical musicology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Shea is a cataloger of Germanic languages and musical materials for the University Libraries at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is devoting his current sabbatical to the collection, performance and recording of Heine songs.
Gregory Hayes is a 1973 graduate of Amherst College and of the Manhattan School of Music. He has taught piano at Dartmouth College since 1991 and is a frequent participant in the New England Bach Festival and the Mohawk Trail Concert series.
Monika Jakuc is the Elsie Irwin Sweeney Professor of Music at Smith College, where she has taught since 1969. She has released several CDs on Titanic Records and is a frequent performer on fortepiano with Arcadia Players.