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Art Song Award Showcase Concert Also Honors Late SFCM Professor

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The November 13 concert features 2023 Kristin Pankonin American Art Song Award winner Jameson Caps ('23) and honors the music of Conrad Susa, who served on the composition faculty of SFCM from 1988-2013.

November 8, 2023 by Mark Taylor

Expect a concert like no other, with an award winner, all four composition faculty members, and a tribute to a musician and professor at SFCM.

The Kristin Pankonin American Art Song Award Showcase at SFCM on November 13 will feature the 2023 winner of the award, Jameson Caps' work will you change me. "Jameson has the unique distinction of having composed both the texts and the music for his song cycle," said David Conte, Jameson’s teacher and Chair of the composition program. 

Conrad Susa

Conrad Susa.

In addition, this concert will feature the music of longtime former faculty member Conrad Susa. Susa first joined the SFCM faculty in 1988, and during his storied career wrote more than 200 theater scores and five operas including “The Dangerous Liaisons” for the San Francisco Opera in 1994. 

He was also integral in shaping the composition program into what it is today, "Conrad was instrumental in promoting a culture of support for the composing of vocal music of all kinds at the Conservatory, art song, choral music, and opera," Conte said. 

Susa taught at SFCM until his death in 2013. "It's our honor to highlight our beloved former colleague and chair, in honor of the 10th anniversary of his death," Conte added. Of Susa's numerous notable works, faculty and students will perform selections from Hymns for the Amusement of Children

Susa was also part of SFCM's Oral History Project, which had the goal of seeking out and collecting memories of historical significance to the Conservatory.

Kristin Pankonin

A beloved member of the musical community, Kristin Pankonin died in 2014.

This concert will also feature music by members of the composition faculty, Elinor Armer, Mason Bates, David Conte and David Garner. The Kristin Pankonin Art-Song Award was endowed at SFCM by Kristin’s friends and fans to honor her legacy of collaborative music-making and her passion for new vocal work. Each fall student groups of a composer, vocalist, and collaborative pianist submit proposals for new art-song cycles. The winning group receives a cash prize, and premieres the music the following spring at the annual Kristin Pankonin Art-Song Showcase Concert. This concert also includes music by Matt Boehler ('17) the very first winner of the Pankonin Award.

Guests are asked to reserve seats for this free concert on November 13, 2023, at 7:30 PM in the Barbro Osher Recital Hall at SFCM.