Klock’s Final Recital Celebrates 40-Year Faculty Career

Professor of horn Laura Klock will mark her final year on the music and dance faculty with a recital on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

Since 1974, when she was 22, Klock has been teaching, performing and dedicating herself to her students and the department. “My timing was fortuitous; just as I was graduating from the University of Michigan with my master’s in horn performance, UMass was holding a search for a horn professor. I was somewhat surprised and delighted to win ‘my first job.’ As it happens, the Springfield Symphony had an opening in the horn section. I won the audition and began my tenure with the symphony and at UMass at the same time.”

For the recital, Klock has invited longtime colleagues to perform with her, including professor Nadine Shank, who has collaborated on piano with Klock for numerous concerts. They will perform Richard Strauss’ “Concerto, Op. 11.”

“I played this, Strauss’ first concerto, written by him at the age of 19, on my first faculty recital at UMass,” said Klock. “I’m delighted to be concluding my 38th faculty recital here at UMass with my longtime collaborator Nadine Shank with Strauss’ lush expression of what romantic music for horn is all about.” Over the years, Klock has performed with all except two music performance faculty members.

Two other familiar faces will join Klock: her husband professor Lynn Klock, a saxophonist who will also retire at the end of the semester, and professor Salvatore Macchia, a composer and doublebass performer. The three will play the premiere of Macchia’s “Soon”for horn, soprano saxophone and doublebass. “I’m so glad that Sal agreed to my request to write a final piece for the three of us,” said Klock. 

“Soon”was written in the fall of 2013 as a companion piece to the first work (“En trouvant les tombeaux) written by Macchia for himself and the Klocks. Their performances of this 1985 piece, “led to a professional and personal collaboration that has now, some 30 years later, seen the creation of almost two dozen new works which I have written especially for them, (often including a bass part for myself) and to one of the deepest and most important friendships in my life,” said Macchia.

Soon” has an upbeat or celebratory quality, particularly in its outer movements. Macchia said, “Though the astute listener will note a tinge of sadness here and there, and particularly in the second movement (I will deeply miss Lynn and Laura as colleagues), the overall emotive energy is upbeat and positive even if a bit manic.”

In addition to performing in recitals and with the Springfield Symphony, and teaching, Ms. Klock is a member of two faculty ensembles, Avanti Wind Quintet and Infinity Brass Quintet. She has given concerts and taught in Taiwan with faculty from the Manhattan School of Music, and performed with her husband, saxophonist Lynn Klock, in England, Scotland and Wales; with the Brass Ring at the Kennedy Center and in Italy; and in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Professor Klock has been guest principal horn with many New England orchestras and with the Bogota (Colombia) Philharmonic. In symphonies, choral works and operas she has played natural horn, and spent a sabbatical working on this instrument with Michel Garcin- Marrou, Rick Seraphinoff and Claude Maury. An upcoming CD, tentatively titled “It’s About Time,” will feature works written for Klock by facultycomposers Salvatore Macchia, Robert Stern and Frederick Tillis. She can be heard in other recordings on the Crystal, Gasparo, Open Loop and Albany labels. 

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have played so much great music. I found at UMass a wonderful community of active musicians, all working very hard to see that the students got what they needed to succeed and thrive. Of course, one musician I met in college has become more than a colleague and dear friend. My life has been made even more rewarding thanks to my husband, saxophonist Lynn Klock, and our two children, Suzanne and Ben. I send out my thanks to all.”

Tickets to the Feb. 16 concert are $10 general public, $3 UMass students, $5 other students, children and seniors and are available at the Fine Arts Center Box Office, 545-2511 or at fac.umass.edu/musicanddance.