WORLD PREMIER OF ROBERT SHECHTMAN'S
February 2, 2004 - On Monday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Aquinas College Art and Music Center's Kretschmer Recital Hall, the World Premier of Robert Shechtman's (1939-2002) "15 Mysteries of the Rosary" will be performed. Christina Fong and the Aquinas College Percussion Group conducted by Rupert Kettle with student assistant conductor, Kelli Tilley will perform the 1999 composition for 5-string violin|viola and percussion. The extended 15-movement work is constructed upon the mysteries of the Catholic Rosary (pre-Pope John Paul II) and loosely based on Heinrich Biber's (1644-1704) violin sonatas on the same theme. The event is free and the public is welcome.
Christina Fong, a Michigan resident and leading performer of new music on the violin and viola, has presented North American or Michigan premieres of compositions by several composers including Arved Ashby, Arvo Part, David Lang, and Donald Erb to name a few. Fong's recent concert presentations have included performances of violin and piano works by Feldman, Nyman, Port and Garecki with Arved Ashby, Glass's "A Madrigal Opera" and complete works for unaccompanied strings, Cage's complete 'number pieces' for solo violin, Harrison's Suite for Violin and Gamelan with Embellish, Nyman's complete solo violin music and the world premiere of his "On The Fiddle" with the Grand Rapids Symphony.
Fong's ongoing series of world premiere recordings (currently on seven CDs) includes Cage's complete final works for solo strings and string ensemble (the "number pieces" One6, One10, Four, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Nine) with cellist Karen Krummel, Feldman's "Violin and String Quartet" with the Rangzen Quartet, Alvear's Fuerzas for viola, and Hovhaness's published works for violin/viola and keyboard with Arved Ashby.
Fong has bachelor and master degrees from Northwestern University, where she graduated Pi Kappa Lambda and was awarded the honorary title "Eckstein Scholar." Her principle violin teachers were Blair Milton, Myron Kartman and Donna Schaff. She studied orchestral music with Samuel Magad, Rubin Gonzales, Francis Akos, Charlie Pikler, Blair Milton and Edgar Muenzer and received chamber music coaching from Gerardo Ribiero, Donald Owens and Ray Still. Fong has held positions with the Florida Philharmonic and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. As soloist, Fong has appeared with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Valley State University Orchestra and Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as rehearsal soloist. A member of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 1988, Fong is currently associate concertmaster and plays in the Symphony's Calder Quintet, which tours western Michigan giving civic and educational concerts.
Rupert Kettle, Aquinas Adjunct Professor of Music, was raised in Grand Rapids. His earliest percussion teachers were Walter Walski and Donald Patterson. Later, in New York City, Kettle studied with Henry Adler, Doug Allen (keyboard percussions,) and Alfred Friese (timpani). His composition and/or arranging teachers have included Henri Gibeau, Ted Maters. Teije Ito, John Cage and Richard
Kettle is the author of countless articles on percussion playing which have appeared in DownBeat, Modern Drummer, Percussive Notes, and various other magazines. His music, published by Studio 4 Music and Honey Rock Publishing Company, is performed worldwide. As of 2003, Kettle's work is also being disseminated by the composers' collective, Frog Peak Music, a prestigious group of American experimental composers, including Larry Polansky, Jody Diamond, James Tenney, Philip Corner, and the late Lou Harrison.
Since 1965, Kettle has devoted himself primarily to being a professional private teacher, first in New York City, then in Grand Rapids. Kettle's commitment to education, and his abilities as a teacher was acknowledged by Aquinas College in 2000, when the school bestowed upon him the honorary degree of doctor of fine arts.