Sunday pick: Celebrate Clara Schumann’s birthday with your mom at Fresno State

Clara Schumann

Looking for a last-minute Mother’s Day outing that 1) has the perfect theme; and 2) makes you seem like a sophisticated and cultured son or daughter?

Consider the finale of the 41st season of the chamber ensemble Orpheus (5 p.m. Sunday, May 12, Fresno State Wahlberg Recital Hall). The occasion is Clara Schumann’s 200th birthday. Not only was she a gifted musician and composer, but also the mother of eight children.

Artistic director Jack Fortner writes:

While looking for ‘guests’ to attend Clara’s birthday celebration, I found female composers from many countries and many eras.

The program includes:

• Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s “Luminance,” a darkly beautiful essay evoking images of her native Iceland.


• “Au sein de la Nature,” a little known set of piano pieces by Leokadiya Kashperova, Igor Stravinsky’s piano teacher at the Moscow Conservatory.

• A group of lieder by Schumann strategically placed to end the first half with early 19th century grace and elegance.

• Caroline Shaw’s “Limestone and Felt,” a jazzy rhythmic adventure for viola and cello.

• Two movements from the Frenchwoman Louise Ferrenc’s Trio in E minor.

• Romanian composer Dora Cojocaru’s dramatic “Three Sketches for a Fussy Winter.”

It sounds like a great lineup — and a wonderful gift for Mom.

Tickets are $15 general, free for students with I.D.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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