BEMIDJI -- Fresh off a portrayal of Alma Mahler, “the most beautiful girl in Vienna,” at a New York City cabaret, world-renowned vocalist Tammy Hensrud will take the stage at the Bemidji High School Auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 24.
Hensrud, originally from Grand Forks, N.D., is making her second guest appearance with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra. She will perform “Songs of the Wayfarer” by Gustav Mahler, accompanied by the BSO, as well as contemporary composer Richard Pearson Thomas’ “Singing like the larks.” The orchestra also will perform Aaron Copland’s beloved “Tenderland” Suite and Robert Schumann’s “Faust Overture.”
“I know we sometimes use this term too generously when we call someone a world-class artist,” said Beverly Everett, the BSO’s conductor and music director. “But Tammy truly is. She continues to make her career singing not only in the United States but in Europe, and in addition to her work in opera and art song, does some really interesting programs. She really has just a lovely career as a teacher and a performer, all over the world. It’s always fascinating when she brings that to work with our orchestra.”
Everett said the concert, titled “Deep Pulses,” will feature two very different halves. The first includes the dark, romantic works of Schumann and Mahler, and the second will feature more Americana styles of Thomas and Copland.
“I love the Mahler songs,” Everett said, “because you get a little taste of Mahler without doing one of his whole monumental symphonic works. I think it will be just gorgeous to hear what Tammy does with that.”
The Thomas piece is based on the writings of Willa Cather. “It’s not what I would call pure classical art song, but it’s not Broadway, either,” said Everett. “It’s kind of somewhere in between. It’s artistic and creative, but also has an accessibility and message that reaches everyone. It’s originally for string quartet, so this will be the first time it’s performed with a full string section of the orchestra.”
Hensrud began her career as a cellist and holds a degree in cello performance, with master’s of music and arts degrees from the University of North Dakota. She received a Fulbright Scholarship and continued post-graduate studies abroad at the Opernschule, Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, Germany, where she received an Artist Diploma. Further studies were at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, the Franz Liszt Musik Akadamie in Weimar, Germany, and the L'ecole Hindemith in Vevey, Switzerland.
She has served on the faculty of Hofstra University as adjunct professor of voice since 2005, is currently visiting professor of voice at St. Olaf College in Northfield, and is on the faculty of several prestigious Summer Young Artist Programs in the New York area.
If you go:
What: Bemidji Symphony Orchestra's "Deep Pulses" concert
When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24
Where: Bemidji High School Auditorium
Tickets: Season tickets cost $90 and are available online at bemidjisymphony.org or can be purchased at the door. Single-concert tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com, at Lueken’s Village Foods North and South or at the door. Prices are $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors 62 and older, $10 for college students with ID and free for students in grades K-12.