NAU musicians commemorate composer Wagner in next Horizons concert

Jeffrey Swann and Deborah Raymond
Jeffrey Swann and Deborah Raymond
Jeffrey Swann and Deborah Raymond pay tribute to Richard Wagner in the Oct. 28 Horizons concert.

Explore the fascinating and provocative world of Richard Wagner (1813-1883)—the German composer, librettist and essayist whose innovations propelled music and theater into the modern era—at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28 in Ashurst Hall. Internationally acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Swann, captivating soprano Deborah Raymond and a panel of experts commemorate the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth.

Wagner’s monumental music dramas, such as Die Walküre (“The Valkyries”), Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal, have spellbound audiences and inspired Wagner devotees for more than a century. Many share his conviction in the transformational power of art. Others consider his musical conceptions bombastic and his ideologies objectionable.

Whichever the viewpoint, few remain neutral on the subject.

At 6 p.m., five NAU speakers investigate Robert Schumann and Wagner’s different musical paths (Julie Hedges Brown), Wagner and anti-Semitism in 19th-century Germany (Björn Krondorfer), Wagner’s dramaturgy (Nando Schellen), origins and mutations of the Wagner myth (Marilya Veteto Reese), and Wagner’s legacy (Jeffrey Swann).

The recital portion begins at 7:30 p.m. with piano compositions by Frédéric-François Chopin and Franz Liszt, opera transcriptions by Liszt, Ferruccio Busoni and Ernest Hutcheson, as well as Wagner’s touching song cycle, Wesendonck Lieder.

Individual tickets for the Horizons Concert Series are $20 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and NAU faculty and staff, and free for children ages 17 and younger and NAU students with an ID. For tickets to all events, call (928) 523-5661, toll free (888) 520-7214, or purchase online at

The College of Arts and Letters has provided free parking in Lot P3 for the Horizons Concert Series. Visit for directions.