School of Music

USM School of Music to Present Violinist Ronald Lantz and Pianist Laura Kargul in Valentine’s Day Concert

January 22, 2014

GORHAM, Maine – Violinist Ronald Lantz and pianist Laura Kargul, USM professor of music and director of keyboard studies, once again will celebrate the Valentine season with a program of romantic music next month in the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Music Corthell Concert Hall. 

The concert, “Valentine’s Day with Lantz and Kargul: To Clara, with Love,” will feature several works written for and by Clara Schumann, the widely renowned pianist and composer beloved by both Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms.

“The highly charged and intriguing relationships between these three artists has been fodder for research and speculation for over a century,” Lantz said in a recent interview.  “Since no one will ever have all the answers, we’ll have to let their music tell the story.” 

The details of the concert are:

  • “Valentine’s Day with Lantz and Kargul: To Clara, with Love,” 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14, Corthell Concert Hall, USM Gorham campus, 37 College Ave., Gorham; tickets $15, general public; $10, seniors, USM employees and alumni; $5, students; go to: or call (207) 780-5555.

Lantz and Kargul have become well known to audiences for their passionate interpretations of romantic music. 

“This program is drawn from the most overtly emotional period in the history of music,” Kargul said.  “The practice of expressing profound feelings through music reached its pinnacle in mid-to-late 19th century Germany. These three composers spoke straight from their hearts whenever they put notes on paper.”

The evening will begin with the smoldering opening phrases of the “Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Minor” by Robert Schumann, followed by Clara Schumann’s exquisitely poetic “Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Opus 22.”  The pair will close the program with the sweetly lyrical second violin sonata of Brahms, written while he was vacationing in the Swiss Alps.

Lantz and Kargul also will take time throughout the evening to explore the complex emotions that inspired these composers by reading from their personal letters.

Local florists Sawyer & Company, Harmon’s & Barton’s and Minnott’s Flowers have made an in-kind donation of long stem roses to the USM School of Music, which will be available to purchase in the Corthell Hall lobby prior to the concert. Proceeds will benefit the USM School of Music Scholarship Fund. All concert attendees are invited to stay for a special Valentine’s Day-themed reception in the Corthell Hall lobby following the concert.

Lantz and Kargul began to perform together in 2010, and their collaboration immediately elicited rave reviews:  "They gave the audience an unforgettable concert, one that provided sincere as well as passionate music making, a marvelous mix of intellect and musicianship of the highest order," according to a November 2010 review in the “Journal Tribune.”

Lantz has taught and concertized in more than 30 countries as a founding member of the Portland String Quartet.  He has performed with numerous symphony orchestras both as soloist and as principal player and has served on the faculties of the University of New Hampshire, Bates College, the University of Southern Maine, Bowdoin College, and Colby College, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree.  Lantz performs on a violin made in Paris in the 1850s by the famous instrument and bow maker, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.

Kargul has appeared as a soloist and collaborative artist throughout Europe, in venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Schleswig-Holstein and Nordhessen Music Festivals in Germany, the Evian Music Festival in France and the Chamber Music Festival of Lucca in Italy.  In the U.S., she has appeared with ensembles such as the Michigan Chamber Strings and the Lark, Da Ponte and Portland String Quartets in venues including the Aspen Music Festival, Music Mountain, and the Ordway Music Theater in St. Paul. Kargul holds a doctorate in piano performance from the University of Michigan.

The snow date for “Valentine’s Day with Lantz and Kargul: To Clara, with Love” is 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15. In the case of inclement weather, patrons should call (207) 780-4800.

Lantz and Kargul will present the same program on two separate occasions, the details of which are:

  • 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16, Opera House at Boothbay Harbor; tickets: $15, advance; $20, day of concert; go to: or call (207) 633-5159.  
  • 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum; tickets: $15, general public; free, age 21 and under; go to: http:// or call (207) 324-2797.