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Randall Scarlata and Gil Kalish

Gil Kalish (left) and Randall Scarlata (right)

The Department of Music and the Elizabeth Pollard Fetter Chamber Music Program will present a performance by baritone Randall Scarlata and pianist Gil Kalish on Sunday, April 14 at 7:30 PM in the Lang Music Concert Hall. The duo will perform Franz Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, a song cycle based on twenty poems by Wilhelm Müller. 

Randall Scarlata was a featured artist at Swarthmore during the 2019-2020 season, during which he instructed a masterclass with Swarthmore vocal students, performed in a recital with Laura Ward, and performed in the Lunch Hour Concert series. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and a variety of early music ensembles, is the co-artistic director of the Alpenkammermusik Chamber Music Festival in Carinthia, Austria, and is a faculty member of Tanglewood Music Center and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins. He previously taught at West Chester University and SUNY Stony Brook. Scarlata is a sought-after interpreter of new music, and has given world premieres of works by Ned Rorem, Lori Laitman, Daron Hagen, Samuel Adler, Thea Musgrave, and Robert Capanna among others. The Daily Telegraph noted that “Randall Scarlata sings with the assurance of one with nothing to prove." 

Scarlata was originally scheduled to perform with the Swarthmore College Chorus in the spring of 2020 as part of the featured artist programming, but these events were unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19. Bringing Scaralta back to campus now, along with Gil Kalish, is an opportunity to make up for the missed performances in 2020. 

When asked about Scarlata, Professor Andrew Hauze ‘04 of the Music Department said “Randall is such an extraordinary communicator through song, and we've been fortunate to have him perform on campus a number of times over the years. Each time I hear him I find his singing deeply moving.”

Gilbert Kalish is a professor of piano and Director of Performance Activities at Stony Brook University. For thirty years, he was the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. He was also a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and is an artist of the Chamber Music Society at the Lincoln Center. Previously, he was a faculty member at Tanglewood Music Center. He is also the International Program Director of Music @ Menlo’s Chamber Music Institute. In 2017, Kalish received the American Composers Forum’s ‘Champion of New Music’ award. In 2022, he won a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition performing on composer Caroline Shaw’s “Narrow Sea” along with singer Dawn Upshaw and Sō Percussion.

“Gil Kalish has been giving concerts at Swarthmore since the 1960s, including the inaugural concert for Lang Music Building in 1974. I still remember hearing his recording of the Ives Concord Sonata when I was in college and wondering how on earth anyone could play such complex music! He is a brilliant interpreter, and it will be such a treat to have him back on campus,” Hauze commented.  

Scarlata and Kalish’s partnership has been bountiful in recent years. Their recording of Schubert’s Winterreise was nominated for a Grammy in 2019. Their Swarthmore performance takes place in the Lang Concert Hall on April 14 at 7:30 PM. The concert is free and open to the public, no reservation is required.