University hosting “An evening with Madame F”

One-woman musical performance explores life and death of musicians held in Nazi concentration camps | March 15, 2004

“An Evening with Madame F,” a powerful one-woman performance of theater-with-music about a Holocaust survivor, is being presented Tuesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallagher Student Center Theater.

Claudia Stevens created the work using her talents as a pianist, singer and actress. Adopting the persona of an elderly concentration camp survivor who performed as a musician at Auschwitz, Stevens uses music actually played and sung by women musicians at the camp. She draws on survivors’ accounts, including that of Fania Fenelon, who performed in the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz.

On the faculty of the College of William and Mary and a child of Holocaust survivors, Stevens crossed over from an established career as a concert pianist, scholar and recording artist to become a multidisciplinary performer. “An Evening with Madame F” has been presented in more than 100 communities including New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., as well as by such universities as Duke, Emory and Vanderbilt. Public television and National Public Radio have produced several of Stevens’ works.

The Jewish Federation of Richmond, Va., commissioned “An Evening with Madame F” for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A native of California, Stevens holds a bachelor of arts summa cum laude from Vassar College, a master’s in musicology from the University of California and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Boston University. She has held academic, conducting and performing arts positions at Williams College, the University of Richmond and the College of William and Mary. As a pianist and composer, she’s performed at Carnegie Recital Hall and has recorded for and published compositions in Perspectives of New Music.

The office of mission and ministry, the Edward B. Brueggeman center for dialogue, Xavier performing arts, and the Ethics/Religion & Society program are sponsoring this event.

Admission to the event is free, but seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.