LAWRENCE — Composer and pianist Randy Klein will be the Simons Public Humanities Fellow for 2011-12 at the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas.
Klein, who was also the recipient of the 2009 BMI Foundation Jerry Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Musical Theatre, will work in conjunction with the jazz and film departments at the University of Kansas to formulate two new works.
Klein’s corpus includes performances in various ensembles, including Two Duos, Solo Improvised piano, and a quintet. He has won four Southern Regional Emmy Awards and is the winner of gold records for songs recorded by performance artists. His musical repertoire includes solo piano improvisations, jazz compositions with and without lyrics, songs for musical theatre shows, music for children’s educational TV, music for film and documentaries, R&B, pop, country and novelty songs, and improvisational synthesizer works.
While in residence, Klein will stage performances of “For My People—The Margaret Walker Song Cycle” and “Two Duos,” his recording duet project. He will also conduct music clinics and master classes.
The mission of the Simons fellowship is to bring a citizen of experience, accomplishment and promise from such fields as journalism, business, health care, law, politics, the arts or nonprofit work to the Hall Center for the Humanities to participate in the intellectual life of the university. The Fellowship was made possible by a gift from the Simons family of Lawrence, together with matching funds from a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. The Simons family has been in the newspaper business in Lawrence since 1891. They are proud supporters of KU and longtime exponents of the view that education is a lifelong experience.