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Onstage: Preserving the preserver: music by John Donald Robb

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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 5:00 am

John Donald Robb (1892-1989) served for 16 years, through 1957, on the music faculty of the University of New Mexico — and for all but one of those years as its dean of the College of Fine Arts. He earned particular note for his work exploring the state’s Hispanic folk music, which he edited and helped preserve through published collections. He was also an active composer, having numbered Horatio Parker, Nadia Boulanger, and Paul Hindemith among his teachers. Since his death, the John Donald Robb Musical Trust, administered by the University of New Mexico, has provided funds to support musical research in the areas that interested him and underwrites performances of his music. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, the chorus and orchestra of the New Mexico Bach Society, conducted by Franz Vote, offers Robb’s Requiem (1985) at the St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art (107 W. Palace Ave.). Also on the bill is the Messe solennelle de Sainte-Cécile, unveiled in 1855 by Charles Gounod, a work that earned the approval of even as demanding a listener as Hector Berlioz. Tickets ($20 to $55, discounts available) can be had through Tickets Santa Fe at the Lensic (988-1234, www.ticketssantafe.org).

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