School of Music

USM School of Music Presents Bass Malcolm Smith and Pianist Paul Wyse in Concert of Schubert’s “Die Winterreise”

January 10, 2014

GORHAM, Maine – As the country continues to deal with this winter’s record-breaking sub-zero temperatures, the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Music will become even wintrier later this month with Malcolm Smith and Paul Wyse’s concert of Schubert’s “Die Winterreise” in Corthell Concert Hall on the USM Gorham campus.

“An Evening of Schubert’s ’Die Winterreise,’” features bass Smith, USM voice faculty artist, and Wyse on piano. The concert will kick off the winter and spring 2014 concert season at the USM School of Music and is presented as part of the USM Faculty Concert Series.

“Die Winterreise” is a cycle comprising 24 songs, which features lyrics from a Wilhelm Müller poetry collection. It is the second of two song cycles Schubert wrote using Müller’s poetry. The expressive and dramatic song cycle is presented from the point of view of a protagonist who is alone and wandering on a cold winter’s evening. Schubert’s piece balances the role of the singer and the pianist equally; the lyrical interpretation and piano’s rhythm present an atmospheric story of yearning set amidst the beauty of nature cloaked in winter. 

The details of the concert are:

  • “An Evening of Schubert’s ‘Die Winterreise,’” 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24, Corthell Concert Hall, USM Gorham campus, 37 College Ave., Gorham; Tickets $15/$10/$5. 

“’Die Winterreise’ is one of the great song cycles,” Smith said in a recent interview. “It is very descriptive of winter scenes, while the protagonist looks back over episodes of his life. There are happy moments but many more contemplative moments.”

“There is a hopefulness of getting to a better place, of longing and searching, but not being able to find it,” said Wyse. “Hope is a major tenant of romantic poetry, and it carries through the 24 verses. It’s a great parallel to living in Maine in the winter – don’t we always hope for a warmer time?”

Smith and Wyse will take three short breaks in the song cycle, during which Wyse will provide descriptions of the meaning behind the upcoming song section.

Smith has been a USM voice artist faculty member since 2003. He and his wife, mezzo-contralto Margaret Yauger, USM voice artist faculty since 1999, spent many years living and singing in Germany, where they each performed with various leading opera and concert organizations.

Smith has appeared with the world's major operatic and symphonic organizations. He has performed with such renowned companies as the Metropolitan Opera; New York City Opera Company; La Scala; Deutsche Oper and Staatsoper Berlin; Hamburg Opera; Munich Opera; Vienna State Opera; Paris Opera; and Düsseldorf Oper where he received the honorary title of Kammersänger. 

Smith has been heard in concert repertoire with such leading orchestras as the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Montreal and National Symphonies. 

Wyse is renowned for both his piano performances as well as his portrait paintings of musicians. He has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe and New Zealand. Highlights include premiere performances for the Royal Family of Monaco, concertos with the New World Symphony, the Gettysburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Northern New York, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Peabody Chamber Orchestra.

Wyse’s portraits hang in North America's finest collections including the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, the Steinway Hall historical portrait collection and the House of Commons of Canada. 

Wyse is a faculty member of the Crane School of Music of State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam. He attended early college courses at the USM School of Music while a high school student.

Smith and Wyse will perform their concert of “Die Winterreise” a second time at SUNY in February.

Ticket Details
Tickets: $15, general public; $10, seniors, USM employees and alumni; $5, students.

Make reservations online at or call the USM Music Box Office at (207) 780-5555. For special accommodations call (207) 780-5142, TTY (207) 780-5646. 

The snow date for “An Evening of Schubert’s ‘Die Winterreise’” is 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31. In the case of inclement weather, patrons should call (207) 780-4800.