Knecht premiere featured at Bailey faculty recital

John Bailey
John Bailey

Knecht premiere featured at Bailey faculty recital

calendar icon17 Jan 2023    

Suna Gunther (left) and Christopher Marks will join John Bailey in his faculty recital on Jan. 31.
Suna Gunther (left) and Christopher Marks will join John Bailey in his faculty recital on Jan. 31.

Lincoln, Neb.—Glenn Korff School of Music professor of flute John Bailey will present his faculty recital titled “Something Old, Something New” on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Westbrook Recital Hall Rm. 119.

The concert is free and open to the public. It will also be live webcast. Visit the day of the performance for the link.

Bailey will be joined on three pieces by Christopher Marks, fortepiano and piano, and on one piece with Suna Gunther, soprano.

“My recital contains some standards in the flute repertoire, plus a world premiere,” Bailey said. “All are melodic, interesting works, and the entire program lasts about an hour.”

The program will include the world premiere of Kurt Knecht’s “Sonata for flute and piano.” Knecht received his D.M.A. in composition in 2009 from UNL and is an active performer and composer in Kansas City. His D.M.A. document, “Missa Prolationem,” won the Folsom prize for the most outstanding doctoral dissertation in the University of Nebraska system. He received his B.M. in piano performance and theory from the University of Tampa and the M.M. in composition from Southern Methodist University.

“I really enjoyed playing his chamber work ‘Time and the River’ for nine players with my fellow Glenn Korff School of Music faculty members a few years ago and asked Kurt if he would consider writing something for flute,” Bailey said. “The outer movements of his brand-new sonata are quite rhythmic and technically challenging for both flutist and pianist, the final movement being influenced by Indian ‘table’ patterns. The central movement is a tranquil Nocturne and a joy to play.”

The program also includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Serenade, op. 41,” where Bailey will be joined by Marks on fortepiano, a precursor to the modern piano that Beethoven knew.

“It has no metal harp structure inside the instrument and therefore the tension of the strings (and the volume) is less than a modern piano,” Bailey said. “This is one of the prime examples of things that are possible at a large research institution—we have copies of instruments that these composers knew, and the sound possibilities are fascinating. Chris is a master harpsichordist and organist and suggested the idea of playing the Beethoven on fortepiano. The Serenade is a multimovement work, originally written for flute, violin and viola as op. 25. Beethoven later published a version for flute and piano as op. 41. This version I have never explored.”

Gunther will join him on Albert Roussel’s “Deux Poèmes de Ronsard, op. 26.”

“It is based on poetry by the 16th century French poet Pierre de Ronsard,” Bailey said. “I have never performed this piece, though I have heard it many times—for me a real treat.”

Rounding out the program is André Caplet’s “Rêverie et petite valse.”

“I have performed this work only once before, soon after coming to UNL in 1986, with UNL pianist Audun Ravnan,” Bailey said. “It is a standard Paris Conservatory piece in two parts: a lyric first section followed by a charming, sophisticated waltz.”

Bailey is the Richard H. Larson Distinguished Professor of Music (flute) and a member of the Moran Woodwind Quintet, the resident faculty quintet in the Glenn Korff School of Music. He is principal flutist with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. He is also an active recitalist, lecturer and masterclass teacher. He was president of the National Flute Association in 2003-2004. For more information on Bailey, visit

Marks is professor of music in organ and associate dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. With his series of recordings of music by Seth Bingham and his many performances on historic American instruments, Marks has gained a reputation as an expert in American organ music old and new. For more information on Marks, visit

Gunther is assistant professor of music in voice. She began her applied voice teaching career at Berea College in Kentucky while simultaneously serving as coach and pianst at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She has also taught at the University of North Dakota  and the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. She joined the Glenn Korff School of Music faculty in 2021. As a performer, she spent the past decade as a “cultural ambassador” of the U.S. State Department. For more on Gunther, visit