“This summer has been a wonderful experience, with our biggest audiences ever and far more donations than we’ve received in previous years. The theme of bringing the community together with ‘friends making music for friends, old and new,’ has obviously resonated with all of us,” says DePauw music professor Eric Edberg, the festival’s founder and artistic director. The purposely varied repertoire of the last two summers, which has included folk, jazz, rock, and improvised music art times, has helped bring in new audiences. “Most importantly, it’s the sense of a community gathering to connect with each other, experiencing music as performers and listeners, that has energized all of us,” Edberg believes.
For the 12th and final program of the series, Edberg says he’s delighted to present Duo Diez. “Espen and Donna have a shared passion for Caribbean and Latin American music, and are creating a new repertoire through their research, transcription, and arranging. It’s exactly what classical musicians need to be doing: innovative, engaging programming at the highest artistic level.”
The program opens with music of Haitian composers Ludovic Lamothe and Justin Elie followed by an Afro Cuban Suite including music of Ernesto Lecuona. Then more Haitian music with the premiere of Dr. Jensen’s arrangements of five traditional songs presented as a suite. The concert concludes with El Gran Mambo by Puerto Rican composer Dan Román. Both performers have close connections to Haiti which have led to their interest in the music of the Caribbean. Ms. Clark has taught viola in Haiti, Dr. Jensen has done extensive research on Haitian music. Using this unique combination of viola and guitar which have a similar tonal range, the base and lead lines can be exchanged, leading to arrangements that offer intricate interplay and uncommon tonal beauty.
Both musicians are known for their interpretation of twentieth century music and their compelling performances of Latin American music. Fans of this duo find the enthusiasm and expertise of the artists to be what turns a great repertoire into a memorable listening experience.
Donna Lively Clark earned a full scholarship to study at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the renowned William Primrose and has also studied with William Lincer, Georges Janzer, and Alan de Veritch. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Indiana University and a Master of Music in Viola Performance from Butler University. An active and well-known performer, teacher and clinician, she has served as visiting professor of viola at Indiana University and Ball State University. Other significant teaching engagements include the Viola Camp at Pepperdine University; the National String Workshop at University of Wisconsin-Madison; Butler University, École Saint Trinité in Port au Prince, Haiti and as the viola professor for the Bicentennial Youth Orchestra of Argentina. Ms. Clark makes her home in Indianapolis where she performs in the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, with various ensembles including Duo Diez and the Lockerbie String Quartet and as a soloist. Every July she can be found in the Pacific Northwest playing in the Bellingham Festival Orchestra. As a recipient of two Lilly Foundation Creative Renewal Fellowships, she lived, studied, performed and recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These recordings of both traditional and original works appear on a CD, Una Viola Porteña, A Tribute to the Heart and Soul of Argentina, on the Centaur label. The second fellowship enabled her to do extensive research on the history of the Holy Trinity Music School in Port au Prince, Haiti where she has taught viola and chamber music.
A native of Norway, guitarist Espen Jensen is a recording artist currently living in the United States. He is the winner of several awards, among them First Prize in the 2001 Competition in Performance of Music of Latin America and Spain as well as First Prize in Indianapolis Matinee Musicale. In 2002, Dr. Jensen released his début solo CD, the much-acclaimed Nocturnal Variations. Soon after, he released his second album, Elogio de la Danza y la Canción, featuring music of the Caribbean, of Latin American and of Spain. Other albums are in the making: one featuring premiere recordings of contemporary Norwegian music of the guitar and a second with Duo Diez’s Haitian music. Dr. Jensen holds the degree of Candidatus Magisterii (cum laude) from Agder College-Conservatory in Norway (1998). From Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music, he has earned a Master of Music (2000) as well as a Performer Diploma (2003) and a Doctor of Music in Guitar Performance and Literature (2012). Dr. Jensen’s dissertation topic was Haitian Music. His guitar instructors include Ernesto Bitetti, Luis Zea, Jan Erik Pettersen, and Bengt Martinussen. Dr. Jensen currently teaches classical guitar at Indiana University where he also serves as the artistic director of the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble and associate director of admissions for the Jacobs School of Music.