Sunspots

sunspots_full_diskThese things just happen once in a while – I don’t know why – sunspots? –  but I seem to have six performances coming up next month. To save you from having to click on the “upcoming performances” link above, (although you should feel no inhibitions about doing so), here’s the news for April:

April 2, 2013: Pure Contraption, Absolute Gift (premiere)

Judith Gordon, piano
Sage Hall
Smith College
Northhampton, MA

April 5, 2013: Chamber Concerto

Benjamin Fingland, Clarinet
Network for New Music
Rose Recital Hall
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

April 13, 2013: Times Like These

Lisa Oberlander, clarinet
Yien Wang, piano
Cheryl G. & Joseph C. Jensen Grand Concert Hall
of the Stephens Performing Arts Center
Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID

April 16, 2013: “Cinder” from Holy the Firm

Kameryn Lueng, soprano
Szilvia Mikó, piano
Longy School of Music
Boston, MA

April 18, 2013: String Quartet #3

Daedalus Quartet
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
Settlement Music School, Queen Street Branch
Philadelphia, PA
Concert will honor composer Richard Wernick with performances of works by his students.
Program includes music by Melinda Wagner, Yinam Leef, and Philip Maneval.

April 27: “Cinder” from Holy the Firm; How Can I Keep From Singin’? (arranged by Primosch)

Kameryn Lueng, soprano
Szilvia Mikó, piano
Bito Performance Space
Bard College Conservatory of Music
Annandale on Hudson, NY

Would that this kind of thing happened more often. Hope to see you at one or another of these – I’ll be at Smith, in Philly for both concerts, and possibly at Bard.

Bard and “First Songs”

Few posts lately because I was concentrating on re-formatting the parts for my Chamber Concerto that Network for New Music will be doing in April. That job finally got finished yesterday, so I can now start to catch up a bit.

This past Thursday I was in New York to attend the “First Songs” concert put on at the Morgan Library by the Bard College Conservatory of Music Graduate Vocal Arts Program. This is the program that Dawn Upshaw directs, and her presence attracts students working on a quite high level. The idea of the concert was to feature the student singers performing new works created for them by young composers. Dawn herself rounded out the evening, performing songs written for or championed by her, with one such song, my own “Cinder”, performed by student soprano Kameryn Lueng, with pianist Christina Giuca. I agree with Zachary Woolfe in the Times, Kameryn did indeed “soar” in my piece – it was a lovely performance, and Christina finely balanced the soft, clustery chords of the accompaniment. Kameryn was enthusiastic about “Cinder”, and hopes to do more of my music. Here’s a picture of Kameryn and I:

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and here I am with Dawn:

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“Cinder” in New York and Boston

539wIt was about this time of year in 1999 that I completed a set of songs for Dawn Upshaw called Holy the Firm. The best song from the cycle, one that she and others have often performed, is “Cinder”, and it sets a poem by my friend Susan Stewart. I just got a message from Dawn that she has programmed that song on concerts to be given this week by herself and some of her students from Bard College. Here are the dates and locations:

Feb. 19 at Bard, in the new Bito Performance Space at 8pm
Feb. 21 at the Morgan Library in NYC at 7:30pm
Feb. 24 at the Longy School of Music in Boston at 7pm

Student Kameryn Lueng will sing “Cinder” – I don’t have her pianist’s name yet. The program will include a number of new songs written specifically for the students, three songs from John Harbison’s Simple Daylight, a song by Laura Schwendinger, as well as a new song by George Tsontakis performed by Dawn herself with pianist Kayo Iwama. (picture: Dawn Upshaw)

Update: Kameryn’s excellent accompanist is Christina Giuca.