Lakeland’s Shudong Braamse has performed on stages around the world, but will have a career first on February 24 when she performs at Carnegie Hall.
The award-winning soprano will be joined by fellow Lakelander, Charles Hulin, associate professor of music at Southeastern University and parish pianist at All Saints Episcopal Church in Lakeland.
And not to misunderstand their hometown fans, the two perform a free concert at 2 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Polk Museum of Art Auditorium, 800 E. Palmetto St., Lakeland.
Braamse has spent part of his professional career sharing Western music traditions at concerts in his home country and sharing developments in Chinese concert music with American audiences and students.
“A Voice Recital by Shudong Braamse and Charles Hulin” will feature classical works by composers such as Mozart, Debussy and Schubert as well as Chinese folk songs.
These will include “Three Wishes of a Rose” by Huang Tzu (1904-1938), “The Pathway”, a folk song from Shanxi, arranged by Liu Cong, and “Little Back-Basket” by Chengren Bai (1932-2011 ).
“I would like to introduce the first Chinese art songs and Chinese folk songs to the public,” she said. “There will be three sets. It is very rare for American audiences to hear some of these songs live.
Among the more traditional opera pieces on the program are JS Bach’s “Ave Maria”, “Caro nome” from the opera “Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi, “Le Colibri” by Ernest Chausson and “Nacht und Träume” by Franz Schubert.
In 2012, Braamse – who moved to Lakeland 20 years ago and now lives with her husband, Steve, and son, Aaron, 15 – recorded the piece “Silvery Night” in collaboration with Hulin. She said she wanted to introduce American listeners to the songs of Yao Qi, a composer from Singapore and the recording was kept in the National Library of Singapore.
Braamse – born in Maanshan, a small town 38 miles from Nanjing, China’s capital before 1949 – said it was a “good surprise” to be asked to play Carnegie with Hulin. She was invited to perform there in June by the president of the American International Culture and Art Exchange Center, Sheng Huang, whom she had met previously through a mutual friend and who had listened to some of the recordings. Braamse YouTube.
“I was like, ‘Wow,’ of course!” she said. “I said ‘yes’ straight away; it was a total surprise,” she said.
After teaching full-time at SEU for 18 years, she currently teaches Music Appreciation, Vocal Literature, and Applied Singing classes part-time.
Hulin said he was equally excited after being asked to accompany Braamse. The 49-year-old Clinton, North Carolina native has been playing the piano since being taught by his mother, Laurie, when he was 6 years old. He continued his undergraduate musical studies at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, before earning his Masters of Music at the Juilliard School of Music in New York in 1996 and his Doctor of Musical Arts from Peabody in 2002. .
Hulin still has friends in New York and expects them to attend the Carnegie show, which he called “a really great opportunity.”
“They asked (Braamse) to do the gig in New York and one thing led to another and when it all worked out she asked me to go with her and I said, ‘Of course I will. will do,'” Hulin said. “Playing in a venue like this in this city gives you the kind of focus in your work that allows you to deepen your potential and apply more of what you’ve learned.”
IF YOU ARE GOING TO:
WHAT: Voice recital by Shudong Braamse, soprano, and Charles Hulin, piano. Features works by Mozart, Shubert, Debussy and Chinese folk songs.
WHEN: 2 p.m., February 5
WHERE: Polk Museum of Art Auditorium, 800 E. Palmetto St., Lakeland
INFORMATION: www.polkmuseumofart.org; 863-688-7743