Oct 30, 2019

College of the Ozarks to host piano quartet on Nov. 6

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks will host a piano quartet for a guest artist recital on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Newman Recital Hall. The recital is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The three string players perform with the Springfield Symphony, but this is the first time the quartet will perform together. They will also perform at Drury University on Thursday, November 14. Violinist Pam Davis, violist Kirsten Weiss, cellist Michael Murray, and pianist Clara Christian, associate professor of music at College of the Ozarks, will share a selection of pieces all by French composers.

“Since the performers are up close to the audience, the music really comes to life,” Christian said. “Being able to see the players’ hands and the expressions on their faces as they play makes it feel like they’re sharing in a more personalized way.”


  • “Grande Duo No. 1, Opus 69: Allegro Spiritoso” by Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831), performed by Pam Davis, violin and Kirsten Weiss, viola
  • “Twelve Etudes, L. 136 XII. Pour les Accords” by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), performed by Clara Christian, piano
  • “Elegie, Op. 24” for cello and piano, by Gabriel Faure (1845-1924), performed by Michael Murray, cello, and Clara Christian, piano
  • “Piano Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 15” (1879, revised 1883), by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)


I. Allegro molto moderato

II. Scherzo: Allegro vivo

III. Adagio

IV. Allegro molto

“Not only do we want to educate our audience members about the world of chamber music, but to demonstrate to them that music really has an impact both spiritually and emotionally,” Christian said.

Musician Biographies

Pam Davis, a graduate of Indiana University and Missouri State University, is assistant concertmaster of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the Springfield Regional Opera Orchestra, a member of the Missouri Philharmonic, and a recently retired Hollister Public Schools administrator. She is also a part of the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra. The Michigan native performed in the Florida Symphony (Orlando), the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico (Toluca), the Midland Symphony (Michigan), the Traverse Symphony (Michigan), the Las Vegas Symphony, the Nevada Chamber Orchestra, the Serenata Trio (Las Vegas), and the White River Trio (Taney County). Davis taught music in Michigan and Missouri and was adjunct instructor at College of the Ozarks for five years. Pam and Dwight, her tuba and trombone-playing husband, have made Branson their home for the past 24 years. 

Kirsten Weingartner Weiss currently serves as the principal violist of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and the concertmaster of the Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra. She earned her Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Illinois Wesleyan University, and her Master of Music in viola performance from DePaul University. In the past, she has performed as a member of various symphonies throughout the United States. For 10 years, Kirsten was the violist and featured violin soloist for the Lawrence Welk Show. She is a Suzuki teacher with registered training and has a studio of approximately 46 young violinists and violists, in addition to teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Missouri State University.

Michael Murray is professor emeritus at Missouri State University and recently celebrated his 35th season as a member of the Springfield Symphony, serving most of those years as principal cellist. Murray enjoys playing chamber music most of all and his many collaborations have taken him throughout the United States and to several European venues. The music of Gabriel Faure has been a cornerstone of Murray’s professional work, and he is delighted to perform at the College of the Ozarks.

Clara Christian is associate professor of music and director of the piano program at College of the Ozarks.  Before coming to College of the Ozarks, she was on the faculty at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Northwestern University's Music Academy (Evanston, Illinois). Christian has performed throughout North America, as well as in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Strasbourg, France.  She received her Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance and pedagogy at Northwestern University, where she studied with Alan Chow, and she earned a Master of Music with Ellen Mack at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. She received her Bachelor of Music in piano performance at Wheaton College with Daniel Horn. Christian was a finalist in Northwestern University's Thaivu Isaak Piano Competition and a semi-finalist in the 2017 Franz Liszt Festival and International Competition.