September 26, 2011

Vol. 27 , No. 02   

Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 30 for Piano and Violin
Antonin Dvorak: Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 11
Johannes Brahms: Sonata No. 1 in G Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 78

Deborah Buck and Robert Edward Thies have graced the Athenaeum stage in the past, both in solo recitals and in chamber ensembles. Each time the response has been an overwhelming, “When will they return?” So, don’t miss a rare and wonderful opportunity to hear these two superb musicians in concert once again.

Described by Strad magazine as “Particularly impressive for her surpassing degree of imagination and vibrant sound,” violinist Deborah Buck has built a strong musical career as chamber musician, concertmaster, and soloist. She enjoys a versatile musical life as the first violinist of the LARK Quartet and the tenured Concertmaster of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Ms. Buck is also a frequent concerto soloist, appearing with the Little Orchestra Society at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, Santa Cecelia Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles, and the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. As recitalist, Buck has performed at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and over the airways via broadcasts of the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago for WFMT and “Sunday’s Live” in Los Angeles for KKGO.

The recipient of many honors and awards, her violin solos for television helped breathe life back into the re-mastered American Silent Film classic, “The Scarlet Letter,” (1926) (Turner Classic Movies). Ms. Buck was educated at the Juilliard School as a Starling Scholar of Dorothy DeLay and the University of Southern California as a student of Robert Lipsett where she was the recipient of the Jascha Heifetz Violin Prize. In 2010, Ms. Buck was named Executive Director of the Kinhaven Music School where she has served on the summer faculty in Weston, Vermont for the past ten years. Ms. Buck performs on a violin by Vincenzo Postiglione graciously on loan by Ray and Marcia Corwin.

CMC is also privileged to welcome back to the Athenaeum Los Angeles-based pianist Robert Edward Thies. Thies was catapulted into the international spotlight in 1995 by winning the top prize at the Second International Profokiev Competition, a renowned piano contest held in St. Petersburg, Russia. Thies’ victory was the first by an American in any Russian piano competition since 1958 — an impressive accomplishment for any artist, let alone one who was in his mid-20’s at the time. Since that time, Thies has garnered a reputation as a consummate, graceful musician with a keen poetic sense and a remarkably diverse repertoire.

Thies studied under Robert Turner and Daniel Pollock, who were themselves students of the great Russian masters Madame Rosina and Josef Lhevinne. Thies has enjoyed a diverse musical career as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He has appeared with such orchestras as the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Mexico City Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Mexico, Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), and the Naples Philharmonic. In 2001, Thies completed a recital tour of 40 American cities, and he has collaborated with numerous chamber music ensembles. Thies’ location in Los Angeles has also made him a highly sought-after studio musician, and he has contributed to the film scores of such renowned composers as James Horner and Danny Elfman. His debut solo album, Live in Recital, was released in February 2006.

An Evening with the Author

Born on a dirt street in Tijuana, Mexico, Luis Alberto Urrea was the first in his family to graduate from college. He is now a college professor. But he is most known for being a prolific writer of books, short stories, essays, and poetry – both fiction and non-fiction. His mission is to use dual-culture life experience to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph.

Urrea’s first book, Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border (1993), earned recognition as a New York Times notable book of 1993, and his 12 subsequent books – as well as his poetry, essays, and short stories – have continued to garner similar praise. His 1999 memoir, Nobody’s Son: Notes from an American Life (1998), won an American Book Award; Six Kinds of Sky: A collection of Short Fiction (2002) was named the 2002 small-press fiction Book of the Year by ForeWord magazine; his work appeared in the 1996 Best American Poetry collection; in 2009, he won the Edgar Award for best short story from the Mystery Writers of America. The Devil’s Highway (2004), which tells the true story of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Urrea’s most recent book is Into the Beautiful North: A Novel (2009). It’s the story of a group of young women from a small Mexican town who decide to find the town’s young men, who have all immigrated to the U.S. The bestselling book uses strong narrative, poetic images, and charming humor to explore both the appeal of adventure and the enduring meaning of home.

A graduate of U.C. San Diego and the University of Colorado–Boulder, Urrea has taught at Harvard University, Massachusetts Bay Community College, the University of Colorado, and the University of Louisiana–Lafayette. He is now a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois–Chicago.

Luis Alberto Urrea’s visit to Claremont is jointly sponsored by the Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Center, The Friends of Claremont Library, and the Athenaeum.

Join the Revolution

CMC alumus Brett Hoebel is one of the most sought-after fitness experts and trainers in the country. He is a trainer on the 11th season of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” and has worked with many Hollywood mainstays, from Victoria’s Secret models to A-list actors and music icons. He has also created successful revolutionary fitness programs, including RevAbs and reVamp.

Hoebel synthesizes many different fitness and lifestyle perspectives by integrating Eastern and Western disciplines, including different types of martial arts, kickboxing, yoga, and educational training. His passion for fitness, holistic health, and healthy lifestyles comes from his days as an overweight youth. In his sophomore year in high school, he reached a healthy weight through his involvement in sports, and has been dedicated to helping others do the same ever since. This passion and his extensive training and knowledge in the field of health and fitness make it no surprise that he is now one of the most successful fitness professionals in the United States. He has appeared on the “Today” show and “Good Morning America,” among others, and has contributed to many publications including Shape, Self, and The New York Times.

“Join the Revolution” and participate in a discussion about the country’s all time low in physical, mental, emotional, and financial health. Brett Hoebel is an advocate for training health leaders – people to spearhead a health revolution. Health begins with individuals, then rippling out to family, friends, and communities. Come and learn how to lead by example.

Beowulf: The Epic in Performance

Vocalist, harpist, and scholar Benjamin Bagby will be joining us at the Athenaeum for his lauded presentation of Beowulf: The Epic in Performance. Mr. Bagby accompanies his performance with a six-stringed harp, based on the excavated remains of similar seventh-century instruments. The retelling of Beowulf requires artistic skill and creativity, as well as a thorough understanding of the poem itself, the instrument, and the history surrounding medieval retellings of the tale. Mr. Bagby’s performance of the epic poem has been praised by the British Theatre Guide, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, among others.

Beowulf is not Mr. Bagby’s first foray into the performance of Germanic and Anglo-Saxon oral poetry, and he is also the founder and director of Sequentia, a Paris-based ensemble for medieval music. He brings his academic and musical expertise in medieval music to both his shows and the ensemble, as well as writing about performance practice. He travels the world performing, as well as teaching workshops and courses around the world, including at Harvard University, the Autunno Musicale in Italy, and Stanford University. Mr. Bagby is also on the faculty of the Sorbonne University in Paris.
Mr. Bagby graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and Oberlin College, and now lives in Paris. The Athenaeum is thrilled to host him and his unique and exciting rendition of the epic poem Beowulf.

Uneasy Compromise
LUNCHEON 11:45 a.m.; LECTURE 12:00 p.m.

Few Americans can boast more experience in government and politics than Tom Campbell. Today the Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law and Dean of the Chapman University School of Law, he has served at various times over the last 35 years in all three branches of the federal government, as well as in California state government. A two-time member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Campbell has also devoted much of his career to teaching and scholarship. His talk will examine the “uneasy compromise” between the President and Congress in the conduct of war.

Following his graduation from the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School, Campbell clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals and then the Supreme Court, for Justice Byron R. White. After completing his Ph.D. in economics, Campbell joined the Reagan Administration, first as a White House Fellow, before moving to the Justice Department. From 1981 to 1983, he served as Director of the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission.

In 1983, Campbell began teaching law at Stanford University, remaining on faculty there until 2002. Between 1989 and 2001, he served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, interrupted by two years as a California State Senator (1993-1995). Following his congressional service, Campbell became the Bank of America Dean and Professor of Business at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. During his tenure, the school rose from 15th to 2nd in the Wall Street Journal’s national business school rankings. From 2004 to 2005, Campbell also served as the Director of the California Department of Finance.

In 2009, Campbell became a Presidential Scholar and Visiting Professor of Law and Economics at Chapman University. In February of this year, he was appointed Dean of the School of Law.

Dean Campbell’s visit is being jointly hosted by the Rose Institute for State and Local Government and the Athenaeum.

Theology and Imagination

In 1939, Geoffrey Hartman joined thousands of other Jewish children escaping Nazi-occupied territories in the Kindertransport mission. After reuniting with his mother in the U.S., Hartman went on to become a leading literary scholar and theorist and a prominent public thinker on the Holocaust.

Hartman earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature at Yale University and has taught there nearly ever since, with stints at the University of Iowa and Cornell University, and visiting or advising positions at literally dozens of other schools and scholarly institutions. He remains on the faculty at Yale, as the Sterling Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, Senior Research Scholar, and the Project Director of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies.

Hartman has authored 20 books and has served on the editorial boards of 14 different publications. He has advised and supported numerous national and community organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He is a leading authority on Judaic and Holocaust studies in the U.S., Israel, and around the world. Hartman’s efforts led to some of the earliest Holocaust survivor testimonies available to the public.

Professor Hartman’s talk will evaluate the roles of reason and imagination in religious traditions, as expressed in the story of Creation. “It is my hope,” he says, “that when theology’s imaginative truths are fully explored they will be freed from dogmatism and appreciated also in a liberal arts curriculum.”

Homage to Federico Garcia Lorca: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of His Death

Maestro Francesc de Paula Soler, a “Poet of the Guitar,” is a prolific and virtuosic classical guitarist, appearing at the Athenaeum in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. His performances across the world have earned praise as both soulful and skillful – and in the tradition of the great Spanish guitarists.

Having studied music since the age of 6 and guitar since the age of 11, Soler has been teaching since 1969, and is the founder and director of El Centre de Guitarra del Maresme. He has lectured or performed at more than 60 colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. His most recent American tour was sponsored by the Spanish Embassy in the United States.

Soler’s appearance features a tribute to Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, one of the country’s most famous writers of the 20th century. Lorca’s murder during the Spanish Civil War has made him and his work important icons of Spanish democracy.

The recital is divided into two parts: the first, gives the audience the “Homage to Federico Garcia Lorca” and a panoramic view of the Spanish music for guitar; in the second, the artist presents, like a musical rainbow, some of the most representative composers of the Latin American guitar.

"A Writing Life in a 24-Hour News Cycle"

Professor Melissa Harris-Perry is a public intellectual for the twenty-first century. A distinguished professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is the founder and director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Race, Gender, and Politics in the South, Professor Harris-Perry is a frequent guest on the local and national news, and she regularly appears on NBC and MSNBC. She is a columnist for The Nation and is extremely active on Twitter. She has taught at the University of Chicago and Princeton University.

Harris-Perry is the author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought (2006), the winner of the 2005 W.E.B. Du Bois Book Award. In her new book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America; ; For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Isn't Enough (2011), she discusses the myths and misconceptions that inhibit black women’s lives. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., praises Sister Citizen: “Melissa Harris-Perry is one of our most trenchant readers of modern black life… This book will change the conversation about the rights, responsibilities, and burdens of citizenship.”

Professor Harris-Perry’s talk, “A Writing Life in a 24-Hour News Cycle,” will examine what it takes to engage in a meaningful writing life in our current age of constant internet, news, and social media attention. As we lose the time that used to be dedicated to single ideas, she wonders, what happens to the traditional basis of a writing life? As she provocatively asks, “Must we have Walden to create meaningful work or can we squeeze our best ideas into 140 characters?”

This lecture is sponsored by The Center for Writing and Public Discourse with generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Adam Smith's Dirty Little Secret: The Curiously Intimate Relationship between Markets and Morality

What type of a relationship is there between markets and morality? It is an important but seldom asked question, and if you are like many CMCers, you may be wondering if there is one at all. Professor Paul Hurley will illuminate just how closely the two are connected in his talk at the Athenaeum, “Adam Smith’s Dirty Little Secret: The Curiously Intimate Relationship Between Markets and Morality.”

One of CMC’s most beloved professors, Professor Hurley is a mainstay in the Philosophy Department. He is the Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy for CMC’s popular Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program, and has been awarded the Roy P. Crocker Award for Merit at CMC. Professor Hurley has published multiple journal articles and his book, Beyond Consequentialism (2009), is highly respected in the world of philosophy.

Professor Hurley’s areas of expertise include normative ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, and of course markets and morality. He also serves on the Review Board of the Encyclopedia of Ethics, as well as holding positions on many other important professional committees.


  • It is the policy of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum that no lecture, appearance or performance by any speaker or performer at the Athenaeum is to be videotaped, audiotaped, or otherwise recorded and/or broadcast without the prior written permission of the relevant speaker, performer, or other authorized owner of the intellectual property rights to the event.

  • Anyone requesting permission to record an event is required to submit an “Event Recording Request Form” to Bonnie Snortum, the Director of the Athenaeum, at least 48 hours in advance of the relevant event.

  • It is understood that the speaker, the performer, the Athenaeum, and any other event sponsor, as appropriate, reserve all intellectual property rights for each Athenaeum event.

  • If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Bonnie Snortum at or at (909) 607-4180.


  • The Athenaeum serves as a gathering place where ideas, inquiry, and fellowship bring students, faculty, staff, other scholars, and nationally prominent speakers together.

  • Attendance at any event may be limited to persons associated with CMC, to the people who signed up for the dinner, or to the maximum number of people allowed by fire regulations.

  • On some occasions the speaker may address the group in another forum or the College may set up a video feed to handle an overflow crowd. All programs at the Athenaeum are filmed. Individuals attending should understand that their image might appear on the videotape.

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  • Time allowing, there will be a period set aside for questions. Students will have priority during this portion of the program.

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