Hodgson School faculty duo explores songs with tuba as voice

Printer-friendly version

Two Hugh Hodgson School of Music faculty members—David Zerkel, professor of tuba and euphonium, and Anatoly Sheludyakov, resident accompanist—come together for a unique performance in Ramsey Concert Hall on Wednesday, September 27, at 8 p.m.

The recital, titled “Take Me To Your Lieder,” draws on the concept of the “lied,” a type of song most often for solo voice and piano accompaniment. Each piece was written with this voice-piano duo in mind, so this recital will explore how these pieces change when that voice is replaced with a tuba.

“One of the things that I try to stress with my students is that we should always be thinking about singing when we play, because singing is the most natural form of musical expression,” said Zerkel. “If you take a 4-year-old to a birthday party, they sing perfect little phrases.”

Because of that, the phrasing of the music in this recital is very natural, but it’s not without challenge. Without being able to verbally communicate, the challenge lies in expressing the song with low-brass sound alone.

“This requires me to tap my most extrovert skill set in a way that playing absolute instrumental music might not,” said Zerkel.

The songs of the recital also play into Zerkel’s wheelhouse. He jokingly admits he is “not known as being a brilliant technical player [and] would rather eat a bowl full of glass than perform ‘Carnival of Venice’ in front of live humans,” but the recital presents an opportunity to play music from an era when music for tuba hardly existed.

“No significant works were composed for the tuba until the 1950s—that’s 200 years after the death of Bach,” said Zerkel. “This program allows me to play a little bit of the great music that was composed before the tuba was even a glimmer in the eyes of the great composers.”

This performance is presented admission-free and will be streamed live to music.uga.edu/streaming.

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia sponsors more than 350 performances each year. Go to music.uga.edu to view the school’s performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email newsletter, and learn more about the School of Music.