Darius Milhaud Concert

Music Event

Friday, October 2, 2020 - 8pm PDT
Online Event

A painting of Darius Milhaud conducting. From the collection of the Darius Milhaud Society.

Presented by Mills College Music Department. 

This is a free event. Donations are accepted.

Mills College’s annual Darius Milhaud Concert features music by Milhaud, Erik Satie, Arthur Honegger, Zeena Parkins, William Bolcom, and Burt Bacharach.

Pianist Genevieve Feiwen Lee, soprano Melissa Givens, violinists Sara Parkins and Sarah Thornblade, and cellist Maggie Parkins are the guest performers.


Darius Milhaud:

2 Poemes d’amour, Op. 30 (1915) – Rabindranath Tagore

1. Love, my heart longs day and night

2. Peace, my heart!

Les soirées de Petrograd, Op. 55 (1919) – René Chalupt

VIII. Les journées d’août

IX. Monsieur Protopopoff

X. Le convive

Erik Satie:

La Statue de Bronze, from Trois Mélodies (1916) – Léon-Paul Fargue

Ms. Givens and Ms. Lee

Arthur Honegger:

Sonatine for 2 violins (1920) dedicated to “Darius Milhaud”

Allegro non tanto


Allegro Moderato

Darius Milhaud:

Sonatine for 2 violins (1940) dedicated to “My students at Mills College”

I. Vif

II. Barcarolle

III. Rondo

Ms. Thornblade and Ms. Parkins, violins

Darius Milhaud:

Excerpts from The Household Muse (La Muse Ménagère),

composed July 5-11, 1944 at Mills College:

The Awakening (Le Réveil)

Household Cares (Les Soins du Ménage)

Poetry (La Poésie)

Cooking (La Cuisine)

Fortune Telling (Cartomancie)

The Son who Paints (Le Fils Peintre)

Reading at Night (Lectures Nocturnes)

Gratitude to the Muse (Reconnaissance à la Muse)

Ms. Lee, piano

Zeena Parkins:

Sistere for Solo Cello and Electronics , 2017-2020

Maggie Parkins, cello

Darius Milhaud:

Sonatine for Violin and Cello, 1953




Sara and Maggie Parkins, violin and cello

Darius Milhaud:

L’amour chanté, Op. 409 (1964)

III. Sonnet (Louise Labé)

IV. De sa peine, et des beautés de sa dame (Joachim du Bellay)

IX. Le lai de Chevrefeuille (Marie de France)

William Bolcom:

The Song of Black Max (as told by the de Kooning boys),

from Cabaret Songs (1985) – Arnold Weinstein

Burt Bacharach:

What the World Needs Now (1965)

Ms. Givens and Ms. Lee

Performer Biographies

Melissa Givens

American soprano Melissa Givens moves and excites audiences and critics alike with a rich, powerful tone, crystalline clarity, and intelligent musical interpretations. Especially noted for her expressiveness and elegance on the stage, she’s been hailed as a singer whose music making is “consistently rewarding” and “a pleasure to hear.” Givens is also an extremely versatile artist, regularly performing repertoire from the Baroque era through music of the 21st century.

Recent performances include George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children, the premiere of Die Schöne Mullerin Report, by Tom Flaherty (both with Pomona College faculty and guest artists), Mahler’s Symphony #4 (chamber version) with the Greenbriar Consortium, and True Witness (Goble) with the Claremont Colleges Joint Music Program. Upcoming events include a joint recital with baritone Timothy Jones.

An Assistant Professor at Pomona College, Givens remains in demand on concert series throughout the United States and abroad, and counts Grammy© winning Conspirare: A Company of Voices as a frequent collaborator. Her solo appearances on their major label releases have received enthusiastic reviews. She can also be heard on her solo CD, let the rain kiss you.

Genevieve Feiwen Lee

A versatile performer of music spanning five centuries, Grammy® nominated Genevieve Feiwen Lee has thrilled audiences on the piano, harpsichord, toy piano, keyboard, and electronics. She enjoys finding music that challenges her to go outside of her comfort zone to sing, speak, act, and play new instruments. She has given solo recitals at Merkin Concert Hall, NY, and the Salle Gaveau in Paris. Since her first concerto engagement at age twelve, she has appeared with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Brazil; the Vrazta State Philharmonic, Bulgaria, and The Orchestra of Northern New York. Her concerts in China appeared on Hunan State Television, and her performance from the Spiegelzaal at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was broadcast on live radio.

Ms. Lee has premiered and commissioned numerous works, and she can be heard on the Innova, Albany and Reference labels. She was nominated in the Best Chamber Music Performance category at the 58th Grammy® Awards for the recording of Tom Flaherty’s Airdancing. In the Los Angeles area, Ms. Lee has been a guest performer with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music series at Disney Hall, Southwest Chamber Music, Jacaranda, Piano Spheres and the Hear Now New Music Festival. She is a founding member of the Mojave Trio and was a member of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet when they performed in Carnegie Hall. Ms. Lee received her degrees from the Peabody Institute, École Normale de Musique de Paris, and the Yale School of Music. She is the Everett S. Olive Professor of Music at Pomona College, California, where she teaches piano, chamber music, aural skills and theory.

Maggie Parkins

An uncommonly versatile musician, cellist Maggie Parkins is equally at home in chamber music, orchestral music and the avant-garde, and has performed throughout the Americas and Europe.

Her work ranges from chamber concerts to multimedia, multi-genre collaborations. A robust advocate for new and experimental music, Parkins with the Eclipse String Quartet and Brightwork new music ensemble has commissioned or premiered numerous works from composers. Eclipse has had residencies at Mills College in Oakland and the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.

Parkins is also a member of the Los Angeles based Mojave Piano and the Duo The Smudges. Her interest in music outside the classical tradition has led her to perform with groups including the Jazz Passengers, Billy Childs and the Anthony Braxton Ensemble.

Parkins has performed under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Bernstein, Simon Rattle and Andre Previn. Her orchestral experience also includes the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Syracuse Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Riverside Symphony and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. Parkins has recorded extensively and can be heard on the Bridge, Albany, Tzadik, Avan and Victo labels.

Parkins has performed around the world including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Festival Internacional de Musica de Cadaques (Spain), Heidelberg Castle Festival, Spoleto (USA and Italy), the Taktlos Festival (Switzerland), and the Bach Aria Festival in New York. Parkins taught cello and chamber music at UC Irvine for 19 years and since 2016 teaches cello at Pomona College

Sara Parkins

Award winning violinist Sara Parkins is an active studio musician for major motion pictures, television and recording artists. Sara has performed at the Oscars, Grammy's and other renown award shows. Film composers she has worked with include John Williams, James Newton Howard, Randy Newman, Thomas Newman, Michael Giacchino, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, James Horner and many others.

As a member of the Angeles Quartet, Parkins won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for the complete recordings of the Haydn String Quartets.

Sara currently performs with two well-known chamber groups: the Grammy nominated Eroica Trio which tours internationally and the Eclipse Quartet, an ensemble dedicated to the music of living composers. Eroica Trio has performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with orchestras throughout North America and Europe. The Eclipse Quartet has premiered numerous works by composers including: Zeena Parkins, Sean Heim, Carla Kihlstedt, Tom Flaherty, and Billy Childs.

As a violinist with diverse interests, Sara has toured the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. She has participated in the Bravo Festival, Strings in the Mountains, Highlands Festivals, Santa Fe Chamber Music, Oregon Bach Festival, Taktlos Festival/Zurich, Unlimited Festival/Wels, Austria, SWR Festival, Bavaria/Germany, and Orchestra de Cadeques.

Sara had a memorable experience performing at a unique concert featuring Arabic music with musicians from different cultures in the United Emirates at the Sharjah Biennial. In Los Angeles, Parkins is currently principal second violinist of the Pasadena Symphony.

Ms. Parkins is a graduate of The Juilliard Pre-College, attended the Curtis Institute of Music and has a Masters Degree from Stonybrook University in New York.

Sarah Thornblade

Sarah Thornblade is a violinist dedicated to chamber music and the love of making music with others. She is the associate principal second violin of the LA Chamber orchestra and a member of the Eclipse Quartet, an ensemble dedicated to performing 20th century and contemporary music. The quartet is the recent recipient of an Aaron Copland Fund recording grant and has recorded works by composers such as Zeena Parkins, Morton Feldman, Frederic Rzewski, James Tenney and most recently Matthew Sargent for Tzadik, New World, Cold Blue and Bridge recording labels.

Sarah is a former member of the Denali Quartet and a former founding member of the Arianna String Quartet, which has been a grand prize winner at the Fischoff National, Coleman and Carmel chamber music competitions. She has also performed with Camerata Pacifica, Jacaranda Music and Auros Group for New Music (Boston). Sarah has performed throughout the country and abroad at festivals including the Tanglewood and Spoleto music festivals; the Look & Listen and Oregon Bach festivals; and the Norfolk, Steamboat Springs, Banff and Portland chamber music festivals. She has collaborated with artists such as Gilbert Kalish, Jeffery Kahane, William Winant , Beck, Andres Cardenes, Caetano Veloso, Randall Hodgkinson and Warren Jones.

Sarah is on the faculty of Pomona College and is also an active recording musician for film and television. She holds degrees from Indiana University and Northern Illinois University and studied with Miriam Fried, Mathias Tacke and Shmuel Ashkenasi.