Music of Donald Swann

Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 15h00

Music of Donald Swann, 1923-1994 with Richard G. Leonberger, tenor and William Phemister, pianist ( progam details )


Richard G. Leonberger is a visiting assistant professor of voice at Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, Texas. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University’s doctoral program in voice, studying with Professor Robert Grayson and Dr. Loraine Sims.   Dr. Leonberger has performed principle opera roles both in the United States and internationally, including Danilo Danilowitsch in Die Lustige Witwe with Louisiana State University; Franz in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Tri-Cities Opera; Jason in Médée with Opera Nova Costa Rica; and John Styx in Orphée aux Enfers with Opéra Périgord. He has been featured as a soloist in a number of oratorios and choral masterworks, including Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor, Handel’s Messiah, and Vaughan Williams’ Hodie. Dr. Leonberger’s areas of research include lyric diction and vocal literature. He has special interest in the literature of J. R. R. Tolkien and the vocal works of Donald Swann.

William Phemister, a Steinway Artist, is a graduate of the Juilliard School, has a Licence de Concert with Jules Gentil at the École Normale de Musique, and a Doctor of Musical Arts with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory focusing on the piano music of Brahms. He won a Fulbright Grant to France and first prizes in important United States piano competitions, including the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Award, and participated in the Geneva and Moscow Tchaikovsky international competitions.

           His concert career has taken him throughout America and around the world. In recent years, he has performed and held seminars in Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, China, Africa, and North Korea. In addition, William Phemister is the author of the 2018 American Piano Concerto Compendium, has produced many recordings, and is a published composer. He is Emeritus Professor of Piano at Wheaton College in Illinois.




Texts by J. R. R. Tolkien, from The Lord of the Rings:


The Road Goes Ever On


Upon the Hearth the Fire is Red


In the Willow-meads of Tasarinan


In Western Lands




I Sit beside the Fire




Bilbo’s Last Song


Lúthien Tinúviel


Texts by Michael Flanders, from At the Drop of a Hat:




The Hippopotamus


The Spider


The Whale


Ill-Wind, with apologies to Mozart