BSU Professors to Perform the “Mount Everest” of Romantic Song Cycles

Dr. Renbarger performing at the Steinway reception.
Dr. Renbarger performing at the Steinway reception.

Associate Professor of Music Dr. Cory Renbarger and Professor of Music Dr. Stephen Carlson, will perform Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise” on Dec. 9 at the First Lutheran Church in Bemidji.

Dubbed the “Mount Everest” of romantic period song cycles, “Winterreise” was authored by Franz Schubert with the lyrics influenced by Wilhelm Müller’s poetry and depicts the story of a man experiencing unrequited love, loneliness and misery.

“Winterreise,” as performed by Renbarger and Carlson, has previously been performed at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and in Tucson, Arizona, for the Tucson Chamber Artists series. A recording of Bemidji State’s performance will be released in 2022.

About Dr. Cory Renbarger

Dr. Cory Renbarger, associate professor of music.

Renbarger, a baritone, joined the Bemidji State Department of Music in 2012. He has performed across the United States with companies including the Minnesota Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and the Fargo-Moorhead Opera. Some of his notable opera roles have included Mozart’s Figaro in “Le nozze di Figaro,” Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Guglielmo in “Così fan tutte,” Verdi’s Marullo in “Rigoletto,” Sciarrone is “Tosca” and Gianni Schicchi in “Gianni Schicchi”. In oratorio, he has been heard in Mozart’s “Requiem,” on national broadcasts of Handel’s ‘”Messiah,” Haydn’s “Creation,” Fauré’s “Requiem” and more.

In 2008, Renbarger was a national semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions where he performed on stage in New York at the Metropolitan Opera. He holds degrees from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. as well as the Cincinnati College-Conservatory in Ohio. Additionally, while receiving his doctorate at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul he served as the official anthem singer for the Minnesota Wild hockey franchise.

In 2017, Renbarger joined the vocal faculty for the Northern Lights Opera Festival in Hibbing, Minnesota, and prior to joining Bemidji State, he taught voice at Houghton College in New York and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

About Dr. Stephen Carlson

Bemidji State University Professor of Music Dr. Stephen Carlson

An accomplished soloist and chamber musician Carlson began his undergraduate studies as a political science major and Army ROTC Scholarship Cadet. He made his 2005 New York debut as a solo recitalist in the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and has since performed across the United States and Eastern Canada, including performances at the Music Room Chamber Music Society Series in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Some of his performances have been heard on Arizona Public Media and Minnesota Public Radio.

Carlson began his Bemidji State career in 2006, before which he was a tenured faculty member at Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina. He has also taught piano at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. and St. Joseph’s School of Music in St. Paul, Minn.

Under the direction of Steinway artist, international soloist and chamber musician Uriel Tsachor, Carlson completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. In 2017, he was invited to perform a solo recital and conduct a doctoral master class in partial celebration of the University of Iowa’s new $189 million School of Music facility. Carlson also holds degrees from the University of Illinois and Gustavus Adolphus College.