In Harmony: Ancient Songs, Modern Voices


Free & Open to the Public

This interactive concert experience will feature new repertoire which utilizes ancient melodies and shows the deep connection between our past and our present through music. The chants and songs will be performed as they may have originally been heard with special guest performances including Paul Barnes (piano), Ron Warren (native flute), the St. Mary Byzantine Mens Choir, and the Conservatory’s Artist-Faculty, Omaha Academy Choir, Frontier Strings & chamber ensembles.  The residency includes a workshop experience for the students at the St. Augustine Indian Mission School and special events for String Sprouts. Each ancient song will be followed by the new composition which interweaves the melody in a contemporary setting.

Join us for this special performance featuring the Omaha premiere of Philip Glass Piano Quintet “Annunciation” and the world premiere of Ron Warren’s “Distance Between 2.

Sponsored by Debbi & Speedy Zweiback


Praised by the New York Times for his “Lisztian thunder and deft fluidity," pianist Paul Barnes has electrified audiences with his intensely expressive playing and cutting-edge programming. He has been featured seven times on APM’s Performance Today , on the cover of Clavier Magazine, and his recordings are streamed worldwide.

Celebrating his twenty-four-year collaboration with Philip Glass, Barnes commissioned and gave the world premiere of Glass’s Piano Quintet “Annunciation” with the Chiara Quartet at the Lied Center for Performing Arts on April 17, 2018.  The work is Glass’s first piano quintet and first work based on Greek Orthodox chant.  In a Journal Star interview, Glass stated: “You have a world-class pianist in Paul Barnes. He’s a pure piano virtuoso.”  The Journal Star described the world premiere performance as “meditative… striking… touchingly played by Barnes and the Chiara Quartet, “Annunciation” is a romantic, late-period Glass masterwork.”  Fred Child, host of APR’s Performance Today was present for the premiere and wrote: “Pianist Paul Barnes put together and performed a thrilling evening of music!”    Child’s interview with Barnes and Glass and the word premiere performance of the quintet was featured three times on Performance Today.   The New York premiere took place on May 12, 2018 in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  New York Classical Review called the quintet a “a fascinating mosaic of Glass’s late style…with a warm inner expression that seemed to echo Brahms.”   And New York Music Daily labeled the quintet “magically direct….lushly glittering.”   Since the world premiere, Barnes has performed the quintet in Chicago, Seattle, and Hartford, with the Chinese premiere at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu.  Barnes will perform the quintet in Vermont, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, with the Canadian, French, and Austrian premieres in 2020.  Barnes recorded the quintet with Brooklyn Rider in January of 2019 and performed with Brooklyn Rider as part of an international CD release event at the Lied Center for Performing Arts on Oct 3, 2019.  Nebraska Educational Telecommunications produced a video on the creation of the quintet and the collaborative relationship of Barnes and Glass which was recently featured on PBS News Hour.

Barnes is Marguerite Scribante Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music. He teaches during the summer at the Vienna International Piano Academy and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival. In great demand as a pedagogue and clinician, Barnes has served as convention artist at several state MTNA conventions, most recently at Virginia in October of 2018, and was recently named "Teacher of the Year" by the Nebraska Music Teachers Association.


Ron Warren is an Echota Cherokee musician, currently based near Orlando, Florida. An accomplished and innovative Native American flute player, he is also an award winning composer/songwriter as well as an experienced and highly respected music educator. Ron’s recordings have consistently received critical acclaim and have been honored with numerous Native American Music Award nominations. He has received additional support for his work from the National Museum of the American Indian, the Music Omi Foundation and the First Nations Composers Initiative. His music has been featured on NPR, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, Pacifica Radio, and many other media outlets and has been used in several documentary films including “Labyrinth Journeys” by Cintia Cabib and a series on Native Repatriation issues produced by the Smithsonian Institute.

In his current work, Ron continues on his chosen path of creating new music for Native Flute that expands the musical language of the instrument while remaining firmly in touch with traditional native musical structures and practices. Recent highlights have included serving as Alumnus Artist in Residence at Music Omi in New York, performing at a special event for Congressional Medal of Honor winners and their families hosted by the National Museum of the American Indian, being a soloist at a festival of music by Philip Glass at the Lied Center in Lincoln, Nebraska and being featured by Peruvian musician/ethnomusicologist Efraín Rozas on his acclaimed radio program, “La Vuelta al dia in 80 mundos”.

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