Guest Recital Series to feature cellist Elizabeth Lyon

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Cellist Elizabeth Lyon and pianist Xak Bjerken will present a guest recital at Penn State's Esber Recital Hall at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. The recital is free to the public.

Lyon, who grew up in Boalsburg and who holds an master's degree in cello performance from the Juilliard School, received the William Schuman Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. She is a currently a doctoral student at Cornell University. Bjerken is a professor of music at Cornell and earned his doctor of musical arts degree from the Peabody Institute of Music. Bjerken will also present a piano masterclass from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in 122 Music Building II. The masterclass is free and open to the public.

In addition to the repertoire listed below, the program will include works for cello and piano by Claude Debussy and contemporary composer Christopher Stark.

Program Highlights

Sonata No.4 in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1 -- Ludwig van Beethoven

Sonata No. 2 in F Major, Op. 99 -- Johannes Brahms

Currently a doctoral student in Cornell University's Classics department, Lyon received her master’s degree in cello performance from the Juilliard School in spring 2013. Salutatorian of her college class at Columbia University in 2011, Elizabeth flourished both musically and academically in the Barnard-Columbia-Juilliard joint degree program, where she was mentored by cello pedagogues Bonnie Hampton and Joel Krosnick, and professor of ancient philosophy Katja Vogt. A versatile and inquisitive musician, she has studied baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai and has also investigated the cello-forte piano repertoire with Audrey Axinn.

On the other end of the musical spectrum, Elizabeth also enjoys exploring contemporary music. She recently traveled to Helsinki, Finland, with Juilliard's new music ensemble, AXIOM, to perform a collaborative concert with the Sibelius Academy. As a doctoral candidate at Cornell, Elizabeth researches the Platonic line of philosophy, concentrating on metaphysics and ethics. She hopes to pair this with investigations into Greek music theory and Classical influences upon Renaissance and Baroque music theory and practice.

Pianist Bjerken has given solo and chamber music recitals in Europe and throughout the United States. Orchestral solo appearances include Edinburgh with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Rome with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and in Disney Hall, Los Angeles, with members of the LA Philharmonic. He has performed at the Royal Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall and the Kennedy Center, and has given recitals in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Hungary.

Bjerken has held chamber music residencies at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, performed at the Olympic Music Festival and the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, and served on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival. His first solo recording for CRI was released in 2001 and he has also recorded for Chandos, Albany Records, Fleur de Son and Koch International. Bjerken earned his bachelor's degree cum laude at UCLA, studying with Aube Tzerko, and his master's and doctorate degrees from the Peabody Institute as a student and teaching assistant to Leon Fleisher.

Last Updated October 24, 2013