Creating Yourself

2023–2024 Season: In Quotes

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw

Creating Yourself

Witness the invention of style and persona with Opus 1 genius compositions. Music by Beethoven, Schubert, Josef Suk, and Jessie Montgomery.

Franz Schubert (1797–1828)Erlkönig
Jessie Montgomery (b. 1981)Rhapsody No. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1
Josef Suk (1874–1935)Piano Quartet, Op. 1
Richard Novaktenor
Patricia Shihviolin
Kathryn Steelyviola
Greg Sauercello
Michelle Schumannpiano

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Friday Intimate Concerts take place at KMFA 89.5. Friday night tickets are only available in advance and include drinks and light bites during a post-concert reception with the artists. Saturday Synchronism Concerts take place at the First Unitarian Church. Subject to availability, $12 Student Rush (with student ID), $33 General Admission, and $48 Premium tickets may be purchased at the box office starting at 6:30 PM on the evening of the Saturday night concert.


Erlkönig | Franz Schubert (1797–1828)

Rhapsody No. 1 | Jessie Montgomery (b. 1981)

Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1 | Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

  • Allegro
  • Adagio
  • Scherzo. Allegro assai
  • Finale. Presto


Piano Quartet, Op. 1 | Josef Suk (1874–1935)

  • Allegro appassionato
  • Adagio
  • Allegro con fuoco

Richard Novak, tenor | Patricia Shih, violin | Kathryn Steely, viola | Greg Sauer, cello | Michelle Schumann, piano

Approximate music run time: 65 minutes

Richard Novak

Tenor Richard Novak has performed across the U.S., Italy, Germany, Thailand, Japan, Poland, and Mexico. Novak’s operatic credits are Rodolfo, Pinkerton, Alfredo, Don José, Nemorino, Ernesto, Werther, Eisenstein, Tamino, and Roméo. Training programs included Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, the Wesley Balk Institute, and the Evelyn Lear/Thomas Stewart Emerging Singers Program. In 2005 and 2006, Novak won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Tulsa District). Dr. Novak holds a B.M. and M.M. in Vocal Performance from Stephen F. Austin State University and a D.M.A. in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas. Dr. Novak is an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, where he teaches applied voice, lyric diction, and vocal literature. He is also on the faculty of the Interharmony International Music Festival in Italy and Germany. In 2019, Novak made his Carnegie Hall debut singing a recital of songs by James Simon. Novak has been honored to premiere new music in recent years. He was the driving force behind the commission/creation of Kevin Salfen’s song cycle Stations of Mychal in 2021 and premiered Dr. Mengele in Thomas Yee’s Opera Eva and the Angel of Death in 2022.

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Patricia Shih

Described by legendary mentor Josef Gingold as “one of the greatest talents that I have ever taught. Her great technique, inborn musicianship, sense of style and virtuosity are unequalled.” Patricia has performed as soloist in some of the world’s great venues including Carnegie Hall, NY, Roy Thompson, Toronto, Wigmore Hall, London, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, and Liszt Akademy, Budapest and as soloist with leading orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Mexico National Symphony, Singapore Symphony and the Polish National Radio Orchestra. Patricia received the highest honour for three consecutive years in the 4,000 person entrant Canadian Music Competition, a feat never achieved by anyone since. By age 14, Patricia became a pupil of the legendary Josef Gingold and made a highly acclaimed debut at NY’s Carnegie Hall. As the first violinist of the Borealis String Quartet, the quartet has toured worldwide. Their performance for the Prime Minister of Canada was viewed by over 75,000 people, at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Patricia was honoured as “Distinguished Fellow of BC” for presentations as a Visiting Scholar at Green College@ UBC. The Borealis is endorsed by Pirastro Strings and are ambassadors for the famed string company. On the Biography Channel, “Patricia Shih, a half hour documentary” was aired across North America. Patricia is Associate Professor of Violin at Baylor University.

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Kathryn Steely

Dr. Kathryn Schmidt Steely is Professor of Viola in the Baylor University School of Music. An avid chamber musician, she performs frequently with the Brazos Ensemble, Baylor University’s Inlumio String Quartet, and as a founding faculty member of the Credo Chamber Music summer festival. Fanfare reviewed her 2010 release of the Flackton Viola Sonatas on MSR Classics as “a delight.” She has been honored to serve on several occasions as a jury panelist for the Primrose International Viola Competition. Also an experienced orchestral violist, Dr. Steely formerly held a core position with Florida’s Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Fort Worth Symphony, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet, Akron Symphony, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Wichita Symphony, and as principal violist with the Rockford (IL) and Waco (TX) Symphonies. She performs regularly with Philharmonie Austin, a period instrument ensemble.

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Gregory Sauer

Gregory Sauer performs in many different musical arenas. He has appeared in recital at the Old First Concert Series in San Francisco, the Brightmusic Concert Series in Oklahoma City, and at universities such as Vanderbilt and Rice University. Mr. Sauer has performed concertos with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, and the Tallahassee Symphony, among others. His most recent recording on the Albany label is titled Conversa, and features 20th and 21st century Brazilian and North American duos with pianist Heidi Louise Williams.

As a member of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, Greg played concerts in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, in Italy, and in China. Other chamber music appearances have been at the Austin Chamber Music Center, the Victoria Bach Festival, the Texas Music Festival, and the Colorado Music Festival.

In 2006, Greg was appointed to the faculty at Florida State University. Prior to that he taught eleven years at the University of Oklahoma, and was named Presidential Professor.

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Michelle Schumann

Hailed for her “sensitive, flexible, and tempestuous dexterity” (Fanfare Magazine), pianist Michelle Schumann has built a reputation for evocative and moving performances. Since 2006, Michelle has served as Artistic Director of the Austin Chamber Music Center, where she “is fearlessly expanding our definition of chamber music” (Austin-American Statesman). Her brand of performance includes an enthusiastic interplay with audiences, bringing diverse music together under a narrative blanket. She was named “Best Classical Musician” in the Best of Austin 2019 Readers Poll by the Austin Chronicle.

Schumann is Professor of Piano at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and additionally holds a Performance Diploma from the Vienna Conservatory.

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