Covenant Concert Features Steinway Pianist Stephen Nielson

  • Tuesday, September 24, 2002

A concert celebrating the inauguration of Dr. Niel B. Nielson, the fifth president of Covenant College will be held at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 3, in the Dora Maclellan Brown Memorial Chapel on the college's campus located at 14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain.

The concert will feature Steinway artist Stephen Nielson, piano; James Buswell, violin; Carol Ou, cello; Jenni Till, soprano; and the Covenant College Chorale.

The concert is free and open to the public as space allows.

"O Clap Your Hands"
by John Rutter

-The Covenant College Chorale
-Ken W. Anderson, Conductor

Song without Words, Op. 109
by Felix Mendelssohn

Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14
by Sergei Rachmaninoff / transcr. L. Rose

Flight of the Bumble-Bee
by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov / transcr. L. Rose

"In Heavenly Love Abiding"
by Felix Mendelssohn / arr. K Kaiser

-Carol Ou, cello
-Stephen Nielson, piano

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
by J. S. Bach / Myra Hess

Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 3 in G-flat Major
by Franz Schubert

Grand Etude after Paganini No. 5, "La Chasse"
by Franz Liszt

"Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee"
HENDON / arr. Nielson

-Stephen Nielson, piano

Hymn of Praise
arr. Steve Amerson

"My Jesus, I Love Thee"
arr. Edwin Childs

"Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion" from Messiah
by G. F. Handel

"Ride On, King Jesus"
by Hall Johnson

-Jenni Till, soprano
-Stephen Nielson, piano

Variations on a Theme by Corelli
by Fritz Kreisler

-James Buswell, violin
-Stephen Nielson, piano

Trio in C Minor, Op. 66, Mvt. 3: Finale: Allegro appassionato
by Mendelssohn
-Carol Ou, James Buswell, and Stephen Nielson

"The Lord Is My Light"
by Francis Allitsen / arr. O. Young
-Jenni Till and the Covenant Chorale with Guest Artists


James Buswell, Violin
"Buswell's playing was a model of violinistic accomplishment. The tone .. was beautiful at all times, and phrasings and rhythms were defined with the subtlest of accents" (The New York Times).

An amazingly versatile artist, James Buswell successfully combines careers as performer, conductor and educator, reported officials. He has performed as concerto soloist with virtually all the major orchestras in North America, as well as with many in Europe, Asia and South America. In recital, he has toured throughout the world, often with such noted colleagues as Yo-Yo Ma, Lee Luvisi and Emanuel Ax.

Mr. Buswell's life-long study of the music of J. S. Bach recently culminated in a recording of the six unaccompanied sonatas and partitas on the Centaur label. In addition, a major documentary film, "The Stations of Bach," was featured on PBS and is available on video.

An advocate of contemporary music, he has premiered countless new works and is presently active in reviving little-known masterpieces from the early twentieth century.

A graduate of Harvard University, Mr. Buswell resides in Boston with his wife, Carol Ou, and daughter, Anna. He is a member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.

Stephen Nielson, Piano
From his first full-length recital at age ten, to his orchestral debut at eleven, to Distinguished Performer honors at Indiana University's School of Music and ever since, Steinway artist Stephen Nielson has fulfilled the very early promise of a distinctive, multi-faceted musical career, said officials.

His concertizing has taken him to Hong Kong, Bogota, Freiburg, Copenhagen, Berlin, London, Vienna, Brussels, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Prague and Salzburg, to name a few. He has toured major artistic centers in Russia, the Baltics, Japan, and Switzerland.

He is an ambassador of culture for the World Cultural Alliance. His North American solo, chamber and duo-piano itinerary for more than a quarter century numbers countless concerts in major music centers as well as other cities and towns.

Acclaiming his performance in Germany, the Berlin Morgenpost said it was "highly sensitive ... artistic artistry," while Brussels' Le Soir reported that his was "exciting and masterful playing."

Stephen Nielson and his duo-piano colleague of 31 years, Ovid Young, comprise one of the most active and sought-after musical teams of our time said officials.

The incredibly varied venues of Nielson & Young performances range from Moscow's Tchaikowsky Hall to Oberammergau's famed Festspielhaus to Dallas' Meyerson Symphony Center to Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall.

Mr. Nielson's discography as soloist, duo-pianist and chamber musician encompasses more than a dozen recordings, including classical repertoire for solo piano as well as cello/piano music and hymn tunes in the classical style. His writing achievements are listed in the catalogues of several American publishers.

He and his wife, Carolyne, live in Dallas, and are the proud parents of daughters Christiana and Caroline. A charter member of Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Dallas, Mr. Nielson is an elder on the session, and serves in numerous areas of music and arts leadership. Mr. Nielson is the brother of Covenant College's president, Dr. Niel Nielson.

Carol Ou, Cello
A 1998 Outstanding Young Woman of America awardee and a top-prize winner in both the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Competition and the Irving Klein International String Competition, Carol Ou has won praise from audiences and critics alike across North America and Asia for her "utterly fabulous" playing (The Republic), and or her "astounding tone and incisive technique" (The Republic and Strad Magazine). The China Times called her "a magician on the cello."

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Miss Ou came to the United States at ten years of age and began cello studies with Gretchen Geber in Los Angeles. She later studied with Ronald Leonard, Janos Starker and Aldo Parisot.

She holds the bachelor of arts degree from Yale College and the master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Yale School of Music.

A versatile artist, Miss Ou has appeared with orchestras in such locales as Taipei, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and Connecticut. Recent seasons have seen the release by the Chi-Mei Foundation of her debut CD recording of seventeen cello and piano pieces, as well as her world premiere performance of Tyzen Hsiao's Cello Concerto.

An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with such celebrated artists as Midori, Felix Galimir, Timothy Eddy, Andras Schiff, and Richard Goode. She has appeared at the chamber music festivals of Santa Fe, La Jolla and Marlboro.

Miss Ou resides in Boston with her husband, James Buswell, and daughter, Anna. She is a member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.

Jenni Till, Soprano
Continuing to captivate audiences worldwide with her superb singing and warm spirit, Jenni Till is in demand in venues from concert halls to civic settings to churches, performing a vast repertoire encompassing opera, oratorio, popular and sacred literature.

Miss Till has distinguished herself internationally in leading roles of the major choral works including Handel's Messiah, Dubois' The Seven Last Words of Christ, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Hymn of Praise, Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Magnificat, Haydn's Creation, Mozart's Requiem, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

In Mozart's Solemn Vespers, for example, she collaborated with Sir David Willcocks in Coventry, England's famed cathedral and with Laszlo Heltay in Dallas' acclaimed Meyerson Symphony Center.

Her noteworthy orchestral appearances include the New Japan Philharmonic, Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra, Florida's Gold Coast Symphony, the Orchestra of New Spain, and the orchestras of Plano and Irving, Texas, and Nashville.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram called her performance in Handel's Messiah "the most impressive of the quintet. She brought a clear, ringing tone and strong stage presence to her part."

A leading voice in sacred music, Miss Till has sung for countless thousands in churches, denominational gatherings and conferences throughout North America, Japan and Korea.

A Billy Graham Crusade soloist, she has been featured at the Gaither Praise Gathering, Robert Schuller's "Hour of Power" and at Presbyterian Church in America national events. She and her husband, Dr. Robert Rasberry, are charter members of Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Dallas, where he was a founding elder, and she served on the music committee and as a middle school teacher.

Her discography includes inspiring recordings of sacred classics, hymns, gospel favorites and unique Bible story songs. She maintains a limited teaching schedule of gifted singers in the Dallas area.

She and Bob, a Southern Methodist University professor, have two sons, Paul Michael and John Robert.

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