Filed under: News
The Boulder Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Devin Hughes, will present an ambitious program on Saturday, December 7th. It will include two large works by Mahler, and a World Premiere by Austin Wintory, who is the Composer in Residence with the Boulder Symphony.
Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G major was written in 1899 and 1900, and, in it, Mahler uses a song, as did his first four symphonies, originally written in 1892. The song, “Das himmlische Leben”, depicts a child’s vision of Heaven. It is sung by a soprano in the work’s fourth and last movement.
Also on the evenings program is Mahler’s Songs of the Wayfarer, which is his first song cycle.
EVENT: Boulder Symphony Concert “Bridges to Heaven”
EVENT DATE: Saturday, December 7th at 7:30 pm (NOTE: This is a later start time due to the Lights of December Parade in downtown Boulder)
LOCATION: First Presbyterian Church, 1820 15th St., Boulder
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Gustav Mahler: Songs of a Wayfarer
Austin Wintory: Converge – A WORLD PREMIERE –
Guest artists for this performance are Teresa Castillo, soprano, and Thomas Kittle, baritone.
ADMISSION: $5-$15, and always free admission for K-12 students
Boulder Symphony is excited to present “Bridges to Heaven” at 7:30 pm on Saturday, December 7th at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Boulder.
Gustav Mahler’s music brings us a wealth of experience from the earliest childhood memories to depictions of heaven, and everything in between. For his Fourth Symphony, widely known as his more populist from the genre, classical tradition clashes magnificently with contemporary culture. The Song and Symphony become one as we premiere composer-in-residence Austin Wintory’s modern version of the Song cycle for orchestra, as we welcome back soprano Teresa Castillo and baritone Thomas Kittle.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (60+), $5 for college students with ID, and always free for K-12 students. Additional information is available at http://www.bouldersymphony.org or at 970-577-1550. Free parking is available in the city garages.
ARRIVE EARLY AS PARKING WILL BE A CHALLENGE DUE TO THE LIGHTS OF DECEMBER PARADE.
CONTACT: 970-577-1550, email@example.com
Filed under: News
The Ars Nova Singers, Boulder’s nationally recognized ensemble of 38 choral musicians, will present their annual holiday concerts, Christmas Connections, in December. The program includes special guest artist Kathryn Harms, harp. The performances will be held:
Friday, December 6, 7:30 p.m. – St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1600 Grant Street, Denver
Saturday, December 7, 7:30 p.m. – St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine Street, Boulder
Friday, December 13, 7:30 p.m. - St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine Street, Boulder
Saturday, December 14, 2:00 p.m. – Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E. Hampden Blvd, Englewood
Tickets are $24 for adults, $18 for seniors, $12 for college students, and $6 for youth. Tickets are on sale at our website: http://www.arsnovasingers.com or by phone: (303) 499-3165. Advance purchase is recommended; the Boulder performances are expected to sell out.
Artistic Director Thomas Edward Morgan: “Our annual December program has become a valued Colorado holiday tradition, recognized for providing unusual, little-heard music for the season. As Artistic Director, this is one of most challenging concerts of the season to assemble, constructing a program that balances novelty and tradition, mystery and jubilation, familiar melodies with innovative new sounds.”
The program begins in the medieval era with music from the 13th and 14th century England, including Latin sequences and early carols. Three hundred years later, the Renaissance was truly the golden age of vocal music; Ars Nova will perform the celebrated Lullaby by the English Renaissance master William Byrd.
Moving closer to our own era, the Singers will perform a selection of music by Benjamin Britten in the centennial year of his birth. The program includes some of Britten’s finest choral works, including the beautiful Ceremony of Carols and three rarely performed early works: A Hymn to the Virgin (composed when Britten was 16 years old), A Wealdon Trio and A New Year Carol.
Ars Nova is recognized as a leading interpreter of contemporary works, and the program will include modern carols by Marjorie Hess and Steve Heitzig, as well as traditional carols in new arrangements by Ars Nova Artistic Director Thomas Edward Morgan.
Guest Artist: Kathryn Harms, harp
From international solo recitals to state fair performances, harpist Kathryn Harms enjoys a varied performing career. In 2013, she graduated cum laude from Ball State University with a BM in Music Performance and a BA in French. While at Ball State University, she studied with Elizabeth Richter, and she is currently pursuing an MM in Music Performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder studying with Janet Harriman.
In 2012, Ms. Harms was named as the Ball State School of Music’s Presser Scholar, an award given to the most outstanding junior, and she also won the undergraduate concerto competition. As first-prizewinner, she represented her school as an exchange-soloist and presented a solo recital at Mukogawa Women’s University near Osaka, Japan. In 2010, she won first prize in the Jan Pennington Gray National Harp Competition, and she was also selected as one of thirteen finalists to compete in the Anne Adams Awards National Competition.
In the summer of 2011, Ms. Harms was chosen from national auditions as harpist for the Pierre Monteux Festival Orchestra, and she was also selected to perform in the debut season of the National Music Festival Orchestra. Additionally, she has attended the Saratoga Harp Colony studying with Elizabeth Hainen and the MPulse Summer Institute at the University of Michigan studying with Lynne Aspnes. In summer of 2012, she performed regularly at the Indiana State Fair where she was interviewed by the Indianapolis Star Morning News.
While an avid performer and competitor, Ms. Harms also has a passion for teaching and studying various approaches to harp pedagogy. She has taught both private lessons and harp ensemble preparatory classes through the Williamsburg Youth Harp Ensemble, and she currently serves as the teaching assistant for the University of Colorado at Boulder harp studio.
For further information on the program or the ensemble, please visit our website, http://www.arsnovasingers.com
Filed under: News
The theme for the Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra’s 2013-2014 concert season is Epic Music. It is music that has had epic impact on the history of music, it is music that is epic in scope, or it might even be music that is of epic difficulty. Certainly, such is the case with some of the music that is being performed on their season opener, November 22.
The Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra, with Maestra Cynthia Katsarelis conducting, is performing Beethoven’s (1770-1827) difficult Symphony Nr. 7. This symphony is also epic because it was Beethoven’s definitive break with stylistic conventions that he had learned from Mozart and Haydn. It is totally abstract and totally symphonic, breaking harmonic rules and increasing the breadth of symphonic form. It could be considered epic because of the large number of noted musicians that contributed their services to play in the orchestra when it was premiered: Schuppanzigh, Romberg, Spohr, Mayseder, Dragonetti, Meyerbeer, Hummel, and Moscheles.
The second epic work on the November 22nd program will be the Concierto de Aranjuez by Spanish composer, Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999). This work is epic for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Rodrigo was blind from the age of three due to diphtheria. He composed in Braille, and then carefully dictated his compositions to a copyist. This guitar concerto had an epic impact on his musical life, because it immediately established him as one of the important twentieth century composers. He was always in demand as a pianist, as well as a composer, and during his life he received many awards from governments around the world, as well as six honorary doctorates from universities worldwide. This concerto clearly demonstrates his affinity for the guitar as well as his affinity for the orchestra. The guest artist performing this concerto will be Nicolo Spera, and I quote from the web:
“Spera received his postgraduate education with Lorenzo Micheli at the Conservatory of Aosta and at the Accademia Musicale Tema in Milan. He then moved to the United States, where he was awarded the Artist Diploma in Guitar Performance at the University of Denver. He later completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado Boulder with Jonathan Leathwood.
A versatile chamber musician, in 2012 Spera co-founded the ensemble Duo Chagall with violinist Jenny Diaz. Previously, he worked on an unusual chamber music project with clarinetist Andrew Dykema, and together they performed the complete guitar and clarinet repertoire by the late Romantic Viennese composer Ferdinand Rebay.
“In 2011, Spera was appointed to the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is Instructor of Classical Guitar. He is also on the faculty of the International Studies Institute at Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, Italy.
“In 2013, he founded the University of Colorado International Guitar Festival and Competition, an unprecedented event that attracts prestigious guests, guitar performers, and students from all over the world.”
The Strut for String Orchestra might be considered epic because of Michael Daugherty’s (b. 1954) American compositional influences, which run the gamut from jazz, rock, and funk. Some of his compositions contain references to Elvis Pressley, J. Edgar Hoover, I Love Lucy, UFOs, spaghetti westerns, Rosa Parks, and Barbie dolls. Perhaps that is what makes him one of the most widely performed composers of today. This work is a tribute to the great American dancer, Paul Robeson.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major
Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Michael Daugherty: Strut for String Orchestra
Note that there are two performances of this concert:
November 22, 2013 Friday, 7:30 PM – Pre-Concert Talk at 6:30 PM
St. Paul Lutheran, 1600 Grant St. Denver, CO 80203
November 23, 2013, Saturday, 7:30 PM – Pre-Concert Talk at 6:30 PM
First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
$25 at the Door ($22.50 in advance), $5 Students.
Filed under: News
Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra (PMC) announces their 2013-2014 season, A Season of Epic Symphonic Works.
Pro Musica Colorado, a fully professional orchestra presenting the classics to the cutting edge, will be exploring some of classical music’s most sublime works, punctuated by engaging new pieces. “When I was planning the music for this season, I was thinking about epic works of literature, such as the Iliad, where the protagonist is presented with a problem, has adventures, and arrives home,” says Cynthia Katsarelis, Music Director and Conductor of Pro Musica Colorado. “I believe this journey is a part of great art. The symphonic work of Beethoven and Mozart gives meaning to our lives as it is a powerful metaphorical for our own human experience.”
Pro Musica Colorado will bring these performances to Denver and Boulder with a Friday and Saturday performance schedule. See below for complete program details.
In November, Pro Musica will be presenting Epic Beethoven. The centerpiece is Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 in A Major. This symphony is known for its fantastic architecture, dance-like rhythms, and its famous slow movement. “The structure of this work contributes to the feeling of an epic story.” The program includes a guitar concerto, Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, played by the wonderful guitarist, Nicolò Spera. Also on the program is Michael Daugherty’s Strut for String Orchestra, inspired by Paul Robeson, the great African-American actor, singer and civil rights activist.
The January and February program is Epic Mozart and includes his Symphony No. 40 in G Minor. Mozart only wrote two minor key symphonies and the 40th is the most far-reaching. “Mozart took expressive chromaticism as far as it would go until the late Romantics,” says Katsarelis. Pianist Hsing-ay Hsu joins Pro Musica to perform Beethoven’s sublime Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major. The program will also include Daniel Kellogg’s string quartet, Coming Into the World, re-envisioned for string orchestra.
The season finale in April, Epic Seasons, features violinist Lina Bahn in Vivaldi’s beloved Four Seasons, alongside Astor Piazzolla’s tangy companion piece, the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. “We love to juxtapose works old and new, and this is the perfect combination,” says Katsarelis. “Lina Bahn is an ideal collaborator for an epic night of violin virtuosity!”
Ticket prices to A Season of Epic Symphonic Works: $25 General seating at the door ($22.50 in advance), $5 Students. Season Passes for Friday or Saturday Concert Nights are $60. Tickets are available online at: www.promusicacolorado.org. For further information, or to purchase tickets by phone, call: 720-443-0565.
“We hope you will consider taking this epic journey with us,” invites Katsarelis.
Event Details: Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra 2013-2014 Season, A Season of Epic Works. Photos and Bios available upon request
EPIC BEETHOVEN - 7:30 pm Concert, 6:30 pm Pre-Concert Talk (Cynthia Katsarelis)
November 22, 2013, Friday - St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1600 Grant Street, Denver, CO
November 23, 2013, Saturday - First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major
Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez - Nicolo Spera, Guitarist Michael
Daugherty: Strut for Strings Orchestra
EPIC MOZART - 7:30 pm Concert, 6:30 pm Pre-Concert Talk (Cynthia Katsarelis)
January 31, 2014, Friday - Saint John’s Cathedral, 1350 Washington Street, Denver, CO
February 1, 2014, Saturday – First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO
Wolfgang A. Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4 in G Major, Op. 58 – Hsing-ay Hsu, Pianist
Daniel Kellogg: Coming Into the World
EPIC SEASONS - 7:30 pm Concert, 6:30 pm Pre-Concert Talk (Cynthia Katsarelis)
April 4, 2014, Friday - St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1600 Grant Street, Denver, CO
April 5, 2014, Saturday - First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO
Antonio Vivaldi: Four Seasons - Lina Bahn, Violinist
Astor Piazzolla: Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Ticket prices to A Season of Epic Works: $25 General seating at the door ($22.50 in advance), $5 Students. Season Passes for Friday or Saturday nights are $60. Tickets are available online at: www.promusicacolorado.org. For further information, or to purchase tickets by phone, call: 720-443-0565
About Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra and Cynthia Katsarelis, Music Director and Conductor:
Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra is a professional chamber orchestra presenting excellent performances of familiar and innovative music. Cynthia Katsarelis has served with the Cincinnati Symphony, Pops and May Festival, the Greensboro (N.C.) Symphony, and has conducted many professional, college, and youth orchestras. For the past two seasons, she has guest conducted the Colorado Music Festival’s Young People’s Concerts. Katsarelis is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, with degrees in both violin and conducting.
See concert previews also on The Scen3
Filed under: News
To all of my readers on the East Coast: I would address your attention to a concert given by the North/South Chamber Orchestra which is going to take place Monday, November 11, at 8 PM. The performance will be held at the Christ and St. Stephen’s Church which is between Broadway and Columbus in New York City at 120 West 69th St. This concert will feature four composers, including a composition by Maestro Max Lifchitz, who is the conductor of the orchestra. Please take note that the admission to this concert is free.
The program will open with a new composition by Hayg Boyadjian. I have written articles about Mr. Boyadjian previously to this one, as I have heard his music and reviewed a CD of his. He is an outstanding composer, as are all of the composers on this program. Boyadjian has entitled this new work Danzas Ocultas No. 1. He composed it for string quintet & woodwind quintet.
I will quote from Boyadjian’s website:
“Hayg Boyadjian, Grammy Nominee composer, was born in 1938 in Paris, France. At an early age he immigrated with his family to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he started his musical studies at the Liszt Conservatory. In 1958 he immigrated to the USA, and presently lives in Lexington, Massachusetts. In the USA he continued his musical studies as a special student first at the New England Conservatory and later at Brandeis University. Among his teachers were Beatriz Balzi (student of Alberto Ginastera, with whom Boyadjian had several consulting meetings), Seymour Shifrin, Alvin Lucier, and Edward Cohen. He has composed a large number of works from chamber to symphonic. Many of his compositions have been performed throughout the world: USA, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Korea, Russia, France, Holland, England, Spain, Armenia and others.
“A number of his scores are available through the American Music Center, New York and on the internet through Sibelius Music. Some of his chamber and symphonic compositions are recorded on the following CD labels: Living Music; Society of Composers Recordings; North/South Consonance Recordings; and Opus One Recordings.
“He is a member of the Composers’ Union of Armenia, ASCAP, Society of Composers, the MacDowell Colony, and others. His name is found in the Who’s Who in American Music, the International Who’s Who in Music.
For a brief description of this new work, I will quote from an article which appeared in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, of October 26, 2013:
“The composition is written for 10 musicians, a woodwind quintet and a string quintet and it will be conducted by the director of the ensemble, Max Lifchitz, who has also in the past performed, recorded and conducted works of Boyadjian…The new composition is a collection of snippets of dances from western to eastern styles. “As one would suspect from the word ‘hidden’ in the title, only portions of the dances are heard like apparitions, fragments of a whole slew entity. To maintain a sense of wholeness to the piece I have chosen to use two common harmonies, C minor and G minor, like a tonic and dominant. Thus all this disjointed material, the dance fragments, have a unifying background in their harmonies…” For more information about Boyadjian visit http://www.haygboyadjian.com/.”
The second work on the program will be by José Lezcano, who is professor of music at Keene State College where he teaches guitar, music theory, Latin American music. He also directs the Guitar Orchestra and the Latin American Ensemble at KSC.
Again, I will quote from the web:
“Lezcano’s own Guitar Concerto (2004), which he premiered in New York City as soloist with the North-South Consonance Chamber Orchestra directed by Max Lifchitz, has received critical acclaim after release on the North-South label in 2007 as “Remembrances/Recuerdos.” Fanfare magazine wrote, “Colorfully scored … agreeable music, and dashingly performed by the composer.” Lezcano performed the concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Peru in September 2008. “
Lezcano’s works include two additional concerti, a song cycle, a choral suite, chamber music, and solos, written in an eclectic, expressive, but accessible language that is praised for “energy” and “soaring melodies” (Flute Talk). His chamber works with guitar, published by Alry and Tuscany, have been performed by major artists including Ricardo Cobo, Antigoni Goni, Duo Fresco, the Alturas Duo, and William Bennet. A recent CD by Ms. Goni, “Songs from the New Village,” on Koch International, includes José’s Sonatina Tropical.
” Concerning this guitar concerto which is entitled Concierto Cubanero, Lezcano states that: “ Concierto Cubanero, a mini-concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra (strings and woodwind quintet), is a nostalgic tribute to Cuban musical idioms like the Bolero, Cha-cha-cha, and the sounds of Orquesta Tipica. As a boy growing up in Miami, I often heard this music on the car radio or at family parties. There are also references to the Baiao rhythms of Northeast Brazil. Extensive solo passages for winds complement the solo guitar writing. The title Cubanero is whimsical and alliterative. The work was commissioned by Max Lifchitz and North-South Consonance, with whom it is a pleasure and privilege again to collaborate.”
Mr. Lezcano’s website is: http://joselezcano.wordpress.com/
The third work on this interesting concert, Yellow Ribbons No. 42, was written by Maestro Max Lifchitz. According to the web:
“Professor Max Lifchitz is active as a composer, performer, arts administrator and educator. A graduate of The Juilliard School and Harvard University, he was invited to join the University at Albany faculty in 1986. Previously, he held teaching appointments at the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University. In addition to teaching a variety of music courses and general education offerings, Lifchitz has served as Chair of both the University’s Music Department and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Department, where he holds a joint appointment. In the spring of 2005, he was honored with an Excellence in Research Award. During the fall of 2006 Lifchitz served as the Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies at Columbus State University’s Center for International Education in Columbus, GA.
“Lifchitz is the founder and artistic director of North/South Consonance, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City devoted to the promotion and performance of music by composers from the Americas. Active since 1980, the North/South Consonance Ensemble has received grants from, among others, the Aaron Copland Fund; the Ditson Fund at Columbia University; the Yvar Mikhashoff Fund for New Music; the Cary Charitable Trust; the Virgil Thomson Foundation; New York Women Composers, Inc.; the Zethus Fund for Contemporary Music; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council for the Arts; and the National Endowment for the Arts. It has also received contributions from several corporations and numerous individual donors. North/South Consonance, Inc. sponsors an annual concert series in New York City featuring new chamber music from the Americas and has issued over fifty compact discs on the North/South Recordings label.” Lifchitz is represented as composer, pianist, and conductor on several CD and LP albums issued by the Classic Masters, CRI, Finnadar, New World, North/South, Opus One, Philips, RCA Victor, and Vienna Modern Masters labels.
His Yellow Ribbons No. 42 belongs to a series of works that Lifchitz is in the process of writing as homage to the former American of hostages in Iraq. The single movement work juxtaposes quotations from ancient colonial Latin American hymns, North African melodies, and innovative contemporary techniques.
For more information on Max Lifchitz, please click on this link: http://www.albany.edu/pr/updates/3-2-7.html
The last work on the program is diss-FUNK-shun, composed for the North/South Consonance Chamber Orchestra by Dr. Roger Wesby.
From his website:
“Roger Wesby was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated from Eastman School of Music with a BM in Composition. With his wife, Barbara, he served in the Peace Corps, teaching and performing in national art centers in El Salvador and Costa Rica, which led to professional opportunities. In Costa Rica Wesby played trumpet in the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted the National Youth Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony’s Chamber Music Series and served as Academic Coordinator of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra School.
“Wesby was appointed conductor of the National Symphonic Chorus and conducted numerous concerts with the choir and orchestra in addition to maintaining an active schedule of community concerts and concerts in prisons. He created the Coro Laboratorio, a chamber choir which brought together many of the country’s finest singers, for the purpose of exploring advanced repertoire. He founded the National Association of Choral Directors. While living in Costa Rica, the Wesby’s children, Carla and Andrew were born.
“He received a master’s degree from Westminster Choir College where he studied with Joseph Flummerfelt. He earned the title of Doctor of Music at Indiana University, studying with Robert Porco. He was Director of Choral Activities at the University of Kentucky, where he conducted the Choristers, and Chamber Choir and founded New Voices, an elite vocal chamber ensemble that performed jazz and gospel music as well as Renaissance and twentieth century sacred and secular music. With his wife, he co-founded the Lexington Children’s Chorus, which became a jewel of central Kentucky, performing state-wide and regional tours and was much in demand for performances with professional opera companies. The Lexington Children’s Chorus recorded Malcolm Dalglish’s Hymnody of Earth for PBS with the composer and poet Wendell Berry.”
Please see: http://wagner.edu/music/faculty/wesby/