January 27, 2010

Worthen joins Chamber Music Society in concert

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society injects some beauty into what can sometimes be dismal late winter with a concert featuring Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Douglas Worthen, lecturer in flute for the School of Music.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship on Parrish Lane.  Tickets are $15 for general admission, $3 for students.

The program blends classical chamber music selections from Beethoven and Mozart with music by composer Amy Beach (1867-1944).

Worthen compares the Beach selection favorably to compositions by Johannes Brahms.  She was the first American woman composer to gain worldwide recognition, Worthen notes.  A native of New Hampshire, Beach was a musical prodigy with a singing repertoire of 40 tunes by the time she was one year old.  She began composing at 4 years old, and made her professional debut in her late teens when she soloed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

“As a fellow New Hampshire musician, I feel a particular affinity with her music,” Worthen said.

Worthen has a busy performance and recording year ahead of him.  Already this year, he performed in the Netherlands.  He is set to perform in the United Kingdom and in China in October.

He has a recording due for release in March, and plans to record with Red Cedar Chamber Music in June.  The March recording is the Sonata Op. 91 from Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, a French baroque composer.  Red Cedar Chamber Music is a not-for-profit chamber music organization in Iowa that promotes chamber music through concerts and recordings.   A previous recording Worthen made with the Mannheim Quartet on period instruments still receives regular airplay on National Public Radio.

The Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, affiliated with the SIUC School of Music, uses its several annual concerts to promote chamber music and to raise scholarship money for the School of Music.