Arias and Art Songs for Guests of SRI-UQ

06 January, 2016

Guests of the January 2016 Uncertainty Quantification Applications Workshop (UQAW) had to check whether they were truly at a science and technology university in Saudi Arabia, or had perhaps taken a wrong turn en route to the poster session and reception in the KAUST University Library on the evening of 6 January.

Director Raul Tempone invited them, drinks and hors d’ouvres in hand, to a piano at the entrance to the poster atrium, where Electrical Engineering PhD candidate Itsikiantsoa Randrianantenaina, from Madagascar, and Applied Mathematics Professor David Keyes, from New York City, were waiting to deliver a program of six arias and art songs spanning three centuries of music, from operas of Scarlatti and Handel, through Mozart and Schumann, to Catalani and the obscure 20th century American composer Alexander MacFadyen.

Both Tsiky, who studied voice in Paris, and David, who studied piano in Boston, a generation apart, had contemplated music as career, but ended up under parental and peer influences going into science. Neither expected to be performing as regularly as they have been since arriving at KAUST, where the community must make its own music and both were delighted to assemble a program from recent KAUST appearances to entertain SRIUQ’s guests from around the world.

Tsiky has control over an incredible range of pitch and volume of delivery, and command of several languages,” remarked Keyes. “It is amusing to watch the surprise of her audiences when this petite chanteuse leans into an aria.” Randrianantenanina, in turn, feels supported for each musical gesture by Keyes. “David has 35 years of experience as an accompanist for his violist wife [KAUST Arts Office Coordinator Wendy Keyes], so his ensemble for a singer is instinctive.”

The pair endeavors to find time outside of academic and research deadlines to perform one new song during each month that classes are in session, at the monthly “Sunset Concerts” in the Library where UQAW met, or occasionally in KAUST’s grand auditorium, which is equipped with a worthy concert grand piano. They appreciated the attention of the symposium participants before getting to the business of their posters

and hope that each went home with a broader picture of KAUST and of Saudi Arabia, and some new musical leads to follow up in youtube.

V’adoro pupille                                                                     Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

(from Giulio Cesare)

Se Florindo è fedele                                                              Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)

(from La donna ancora è fedele)

An Chloë Wolfgang                                                              Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Du ring an meinem Finger                                                    Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

(from Frauenliebe und leben)

Ebben? Ne andrò lontana                                                     Alfredo Catalani (1854-1893)

(from La Wally)

Why I love you                                                                     Alexander MacFadyen (1880-1936)