A few items of interest on a chilly day in Philadelphia:
– Two choirs that have performed my music offer Christmas concerts this weekend: The Crossing, and Cantori New York.
– Did you know you can hear performances from Yellow Barn online? Lots of new music, including works by Michel van der Aa, Charles Wuorinen, Oliver Knussen, Hans Abrahamsen and many more, as well as traditional repertoire.
– The extraordinary violinist Rolf Schulte
has made archival recordings of his performances of concertos by Roger Sessions and Donald Martino available on CD Baby here
. The Sessions is performed by the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, with Janos Kulka, and the Martino is with the New Hampshire Symphony and James Bolle. The music is also available on the iTunes store.
– The Association for the Promotion of New Music presents an all-Babbitt program in his centennial year on December 19 at the Di Menna Center in New York, including performances by the New York New Music Ensemble.
– There will be a concert of music by Robert Capanna on Friday, January 6, at the Settlement Music School’s Queen Street Branch here in Philadelphia. Presented in collaboration with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the performers include the Network for New Ensemble conducted by Jan Krzywicki, soprano Sharon Harms, pianist Charles Abramovic, and the Prism Saxophone Quartet.
In connection with its celebration of the Vincent Persichetti centennial, Network for New Music held a panel discussion with several former Persichetti students plus composer Daniel Dorff who worked alongside him at the Theodore Presser Co. Find videos of the discussion here. The last of the set also includes a fine performance of the Serenade for flute and harp. My own experience with performing Persichetti was as a member of the Cleveland State University Wind Ensemble where we played the well-known Symphony for Band and a work for chorus and wind ensemble on texts of Walt Whitman called Celebrations – I remember greatly enjoying playing both pieces.
There were an unusually large number of musical events taking place in Philadelphia the day Network for New Music did its recent Vincent Persichetti program – hence it is all the more welcome that Network has posted recordings from the concert and a PDF of the program booklet on its website. Find them here.
There has been a lack of posting here due to a deadline for my Philadelphia Chamber Music Society commission. But this week I sent the last movement of my new violin and piano to my brilliant editor/computer notation wizard, and I am now catching up on various neglected tasks. I’ll write about the PCMS piece in another post, for now I’ll just say it is called Five Poems – it was originally going to be a Violin Sonata, but the movements feel more like character pieces than something “symphonic” in conception.
The soprano soloist for the New Juilliard Ensemble performance of my From a Book of Hours has been named: Alexandra Razskazoff. There is a brief bio of her here (scroll down) from a press release on a Juilliard performance of Le nozze di Figaro this past spring.
So many events worth your attention this weekend in Philly:
– Guthrie Ramsey’s Musiqology at Annenberg
– Network for New Music has a panel and a concert for the Persichetti centennial
– Bowerbird explores Julius Eastman
– The Crossing is at Chestnut Hill Presbyterian with encore performances of several pieces
– Kile Smith has a premiere on the first Mendelssohn Club concert under new artistic director Paul Rardin
And if you are in New York City this weekend, Mimi Stillman and Bart Feller will be doing my Badinerie Squared at a New York Flute Club program this coming Sunday.
Bluets – Maggie Nelson
A Dance of Polar Opposites – George Rochberg
Music is undervalued in more ways than just through insufficient royalty payments for streaming audio – read this essay by Craig Havighurst.
– The Prism Saxophone Quartet and pianist Uri Caine collaborate in a program at the World Cafe this Thursday, April 16 at 7:30 PM (The program is repeated in NYC on the 17th.) I’m going to be writing a piece for Prism and piano myself for next season.
– Bowerbird is presenting an evening of “visual music” by composer and video artist Matthew Greenbaum at Temple University’s Rock Hall this coming Saturday, April 18, at 7:30 PM. The program features pieces that combine live performer with video. You might see this an extension of the live performer plus electronic sound genre so brilliantly cultivated by Matthew’s teacher Mario Davidovsky, but Matthew’s language – both sonic and visual – is very much his own.
– On April 19 at 3 pm, at the Curtis Institute, Network for New Music offers pieces by Michael Hersch, Jan Krzywicki and David Ludwig in a collaborative program bringing together Network with Curtis and the Print Center.
There always has to be an angle. That’s what foundations and funding sources insist on from presenters and performers these days, and the angle at last night’s concert by Network for New Music at The Barnes Foundation was the notion of having a group of composers write pieces in some way inspired by the museum’s collection. (The Barnes’s title for the event, “American Composers Respond”, sounded too much like a title card from a newsreel dating from shortly after Pearl Harbor.) There were new pieces by Kristin Kuster, Jeremy Gill, Stephen Hartke and Louis Karchin, all of relatively modest dimensions, and all meriting the listener’s attention. Stephen Hartke offered The Blue Studio, a set of perfectly timed and characterful miniatures for piano trio, while Louis Karchin’s Luminous Fields, inspired by Rousseau, set in motion fleet gestures in harmonically bright colors, using harp, flute, cello, and pitched percussion. The concert took place in the reverberant space of the Light Court at the Barnes, and that resonance enhanced the moments of three-dimensional depth in the minimalist strata of Kristin Kuster’s folding planes: frosted panes, inspired by the Barnes building itself. Jeremy Gill captured something of the intense colors and fluid approach to form in the cutouts of Matisse in his Sons Découpés. Network’s performances were typically fine throughout the evening.
Here’s (left to right) Jeremy Gill, Stephen Hartke, and Kristin Kuster after the show:
Gerald Levinson, Jay Reise and Stephen Hartke:
and Jerry again with myself and Lou Karchin:
Excellent music excellently played isn’t good enough for grant givers these days, but for listeners, it will do just fine, and that was the gift granted us by Network last night.
Only time for a quick note before I get back to the oboe quartet. You should go to:
– an all-Richard Wernick program tomorrow night, Feb. 25, at U Penn, 8 pm in Rose Recital Hall, featuring the Daedalus Quartet and pianist Gregory DeTurck
– Network for New Music at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia this Friday, Feb. 27; more info here. A video preview:
– a concert in honor of the extraordinary violinist Rolf Schulte will be held at Merkin Concert Hall in NYC next Wednesday, March 4. Program include a Hayes Biggs premiere. More info here.
This has been on YouTube for a little bit, but I am only now getting around to presenting it here: Network for New Music plays my Chamber Concerto, with Ben Fingland, clarinet, and Jan Krzywicki conducting.
You can hear the “exquisite corpse” composition made by 30 Philadelphia composers to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Network for New Music by going here. Strictly speaking, it’s 30 Philly composers plus one from Chicago; there are a few bars from Augusta Read Thomas‘s Passion Prayers (commissioned and premiered by Network) to get the corpse rolling. Each composer contributed 6 measures, having been given only the last measure of the preceding segment.