Skip to main content

Winterreise Voice Recital featuring Dr. Dennis Bender & Dr. Jacob Coleman


Friday, February 23rd at 7:30 pm in Brock Auditorium

Winterreise (Winter Journey) is an extraordinary and powerful collection of 24 songs that tell the story of a jilted wanderer.  The song cycle opens as he sets out from his sweetheart’s town on a wintry night.  With each song his long, bleak and restless winter unfolds in grief, frustration, anguish and despair.  The song cycle, entirely in German, takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to sing and is a melancholy and memorable journey for both the performers and the audience.  Text and translations are provided with the program at the recital.  The poems are by Wilhelm Müller, and the music, haunting and beautiful, is by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), one of the greatest of German art song composers.  

color:black"> Dr. Dennis Bender, Bass, is associate professor of voice at the University of Kentucky.  He is assisted by Dr. Jacob Coleman, assistant professor of piano and collaborative piano at the University of Kentucky.

Dennis Bender has sung in opera and concert in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has performed in productions with Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Company of Boston, the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada. He has sung at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi in Italy, and most recently in a series of concerts in the Netherlands.

He has appeared as Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Osiride in Rossini's Moise et Pharaon, Grenvil in La Traviata, Zuniga in Carmen, Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Frank in Die Fledermaus. He sang in the New York premiere of Shostakovich's The Nose; other roles from contemporary opera include Reverend Hale in Robert Ward's The Crucible, Umpire Buttenheiser in William Schuman's The Mighty Casey and Grandpa Moss in Aaron Copland's The Tender Land. In concert, he has performed as a bass soloist at Great Woods, Tanglewood, and the Blossom Music Festival.

Dr. Bender is particularly interested in Russian vocal music, specializing in the works of Dmitri Shostakovich. He sang in the New York premiere of Shostakovich’s opera The Nose and in Rachmaninov’s epic ‘choral symphony' The Bells in Spoleto, Italy. Concerts of Russian vocal music include those at the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Singelkerk in Amsterdam. His recording of The Final Song Cycles of Dmitri Shostakovich with pianist Kenneth Griffiths will be released his summer.


A native of Athens, Georgia, pianist Jacob Coleman is Assistant Professor of Piano and Collaborative Piano at the University of Kentucky School of Music. As a collaborator, Dr. Coleman has performed with artists such as Cleveland Orchestra Principal Clarinetist Franklin Cohen, bassoonist William Ludwig, St. Louis Brass member Jeff Nelsen, flutist Leone Busye, Oregon Symphony Principal Cellist Nancy Ives, Metropolitan Opera Baritone Frederick Burchinal as well as the Kenari Quartet. As a vocal coach, he has held staff positions with the University of Georgia Opera Theater and the Astoria Music Festival. In 2012, Coleman was a Collaborative Piano Fellow at the Music Academy of the West where he worked with Jonathan Feldman. He has served as the official pianist for the Mid-South Flute Fest in 2016 and 2017. Other collaborative performances include the North American Saxophone Alliance and International Double Reed Society conferences.  In November of 2016, he was a semi-finalist in the Boulder International Chamber Music Competition.  

As a soloist, Coleman gave the Georgia premiere of Augusta Read Thomas' Two New Etudes. In April 2016, he premiered a new work by Lansing McLoskey for oboe and piano with oboist ToniMarie Marchioni at Spectrum.

Most recently he was on faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he directed the Collaborative Piano Program and created a new doctoral degree for the program. From 2014-2016, he served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.  During the summer, he is a member of the piano staff at the Meadowmount School of Music founded by Ivan Galamian. Dr. Coleman holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (DMA, Collaborative Piano), University of Oregon (MM, Collaborative Piano), and University of Georgia (BM, Piano Performance).  His primary teachers were Richard Zimdars, David Riley, and Anne Epperson.


Open /*deleted href=#openmobile*/