About the Artists

Canons & Fugues Well-Tempered Clavier

|David Korevaar|Tim Smith|



David Korevaar

Photo: Casey Cass
Dr. Korevaar's homepage at www.davidkorevaar.com

David Korevaar was born in 1962 in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in La Jolla, California. At age 13, he became a student of Earl Wild, and continued to work with Mr. Wild at the Juilliard School in New York, where he earned his Bachelor of Music (1982) and Master of Music (1983) degrees. While at Juilliard, he studied composition with David Diamond. He continued his piano studies with Paul Doguereau, a student of Egon Petri, in Boston. In 1998 he returned to Juilliard to pursue his Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Abbey Simon.

Since his New York debut at Town Hall in 1985, David Korevaar has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as soloist and chamber musician. He was awarded the Peabody-Mason Foundation Sponsorship in 1985, and in 1988 won top prizes at the University of Maryland William Kapell International Piano Competition. In that same year he was a winner of the Young Concert Artists Auditions. In 1989 he received a special prize for his performances of French music from the Robert Casadesus Competition.

Solo piano CD's from David Korevaar include works by Lowell Liebermann, transcriptions of orchestral works by Franz Liszt (including Dr. Korevaar's solo piano versions of Festklänge and Orpheus), Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, and music of Brahms, Fauré, and Dohnányi. A founding member of the Prometheus Piano Quartet, David Korevaar has performed with many other ensembles, including the Lark, Chester, Manhattan, Shanghai, and Colorado Quartets.

In addition to performing, Dr. Korevaar is also a highly regarded composer who has been recognized for his sympathetic handling of compositions by his peers. He has participated in the commissioning and premiering of a number of new works, as well as the performance of works by American composers including Rochberg, Copland, Rorem, Riegger, Stephen Jaffe, Scott Eyerly, Libby Larson and Lowell Liebermann. Composition has provided a depth of insight that makes Dr. Korevaar's performances "extraordinary" (Washington Post), and "sonically impressive and thoroughly commanding" (Boston Globe).

Having had appointments at the University of Bridgeport and the Westport School of Music, Dr. Korevaar is currently a Professor of Piano at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Read Dr. Korevaar's Character and Counterpoint: Performing the Fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavier on the Modern Piano.

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Tim Smith

I was born in Chicago in 1951. When I was three my family moved to the Amazon rain forest of Peru where my father was a missionary pilot with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Five years later we moved to Ecuador where we lived in a palm-thatched house beside lake Limoncocha. My formal education through ninth grade was in a one-room schoolhouse. Until I began musical studies with missionary nurse Lois Pederson, first on a portable pump organ then on an upright piano she had shipped from the States, my musical universe was the hymn book, my dad's Moonlight Sonata on the accordion, and the popular Ecuadorian: aire típico, yaraví, danzante, passacalle, sanjuanito, and albazo (Listen to podcasts of the Dúo Benítez Valencia). While living in the jungle I enjoyed collecting butterflies, canoeing, fishing for piraña and hunting alligators. Our last three years in Ecuador were spent in the capital city of Quito, where I climbed these peaks in the Andes: Cotopaxi, Rumiñahui, South and North Iliniza, Guagua Pichincha, Cotacachi, and Carihuarazo.

In 1969 I traded the pristine jungles and mountains of South America for the freeways of Southern California. While at Biola College I majored in classical guitar and Biblical literature and doctrine. My college mentor was the chorale director Loren Wiebe, a humble and kind man whose friendship I treasure to this day. Upon graduation (1974) I married Dinah Ward whom I had met in California but whose grandmother my grandfather had courted in Pottawatamie County, Iowa, some seventy years earlier. We have three grown daughters and five grandchildren.

In 1980 I completed an M.M. degree in choral conducting at California State University, Fullerton, where I studied with Gordon Payne and David Thorsen. My thesis was a history of Southern Folk Hymns in the ante-bellum South. In that same year I received my first college job--teaching music theory at Judson Baptist College in The Dalles, Oregon. There I became fascinated with cherry orchards and would like soon to retire from teaching and buy one. While in Oregon I bought my first Macintosh, a 512K machine, that I still think was the best computer ever invented.

In 1984 I received an appointment at Nyack College (New York) with my first assignment being to complete a doctoral degree in music theory that I had begun at the University of Oregon. During my residency I had the pleasure of participating in the Oregon Bach festival and conducting for Helmuth Rilling. My career interest in the music of J. S. Bach traces to this experience. Also in Eugene, I studied music theory pedagogy and history with Robert Hurwitz and counterpoint with Hal Owen. My dissertation was a Narmour-inspired study of pitch formations and transformations in the folk-hymn repertory.

After the residency our family moved to Nyack, eighteen miles north of Manhattan, where I taught choral music and theory. While New York was fast-paced and exciting, I found urban life much too dense and confining and longed to return to the open spaces of the West. A six-year appointment (1989) at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana got me halfway there. Ball State was good to me. It was a period of great professional growth as I was introduced to Hypercard and began to combine my interest in Bach with hypermedia. While at Ball State I was honored to receive the Dean's Teaching Award in recognition of superior teaching and dedication to student development as well as to be a finalist in the Student Government Association's Teaching Professorship Competition.

But the West continued to beckon. So in 1995 we moved to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. This was about the time that the Internet took off. I began pouring the contents of my Hypercard and Bach research onto the web and this resulted in the Canons and Fugues of J. S. Bach. In the fall of 1997, as an experiment, I taught NAU's first asynchronous web course: Bach the Baroque and Beyond, and have since developed other web-based materials in Form and Analysis.

In 2002-'03 I was given a sabbatical to develop this technology further in a study of the Well-Tempered Clavier. In the course of this project I discovered what it was that I really wanted to say: Metaphor, Mystery, and the Music of J. S. Bach.

My wife and I continue to live in Flagstaff where she plays in the symphony, I enjoy writing poetry and hiking the backcountry, and we both enjoy antiquing.

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