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PROGRAM NOTES ARCHIVE
"E v e r y t h i n g  F i v e"

June 7, 2008

be sure to come early at 7:00 for a special
Pre-Concert Talk


Our Featured Composer
Matthew Halper received a Whitaker Reading Prize from the American Composers Orchestra for his orchestral work Stalin's Wake: Homage to Shostakovich, Paul Lustig Dunkel, conductor. His String Quartet was awarded the Walsum Prize and premiered by principal members of the National Symphony Orchestra. His music has received performances in many leading venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Moores Opera House in Houston, and live on Chicago Radio and Public Television. He has lectured on contemporary music and has had his works performed at conferences of the College Music Society, College Band Directors National Association, National Association of Composers USA, the Society of Composers, the National Flute Association, and at various institutions including the Juilliard School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Recent recordings include the release of his Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble on Albany Records (TROY821) which the American Record Guide lauded as “ambitious, ... lyrically dramatic, majestic and broadly American in flavor.” The St. Louis Post Dispatch characterized his Transfiguration as “a most satisfying piece, …and an ultimately mysterious work.” Recent performances include the premiere of The Tempest by the Westfield Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey. Dr. Halper is professor of music at Kean University and is Artistic Director of Ars Vitalis: The New Jersey New Music Forum. He received the D.M.A. degree in music composition from the University of Maryland; the M.S. degree in applied mathematics from New Jersey Institute of Technology; an M.A. degree in composition and theory; and a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. He has received several awards from ASCAP and is a 2000 and 2006 recipient of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship.

Mr. Halper will be on hand for the Pre-Concert Talk at 7:00pm

Trio for flute, clarinet & piano [2008]
World Premiere - commissioned by Palisades Virtuosi


Ernest Bloch was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1880.  After completing his violin and composition studies in Belgium and Germany, he returned to his homeland to lecture at the Geneva Conservatory.  Bloch immigrated to the United States in 1916.  He accepted a post at the Mannes College of Music in Manhattan, and subsequently directorships of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music  During the 1930’s he spent much of his time back in Switzerland composing and conducting in various European cities.  Bloch returned to the US in 1940, where he taught at the University of California at Berkley until his retirement in 1952.  He spent the last years of his life in Oregon until his death in 1959. His music is known for its many “Hebraic” melodies and tonalities, as well as for its deeply emotional character.
 

Concertino, for flute, clarinet & piano

 The Concertino for flute, clarinet (or viola) and orchestra was written during his neoclassical phase.  His reduction for piano has been painstakingly edited by Mr. Levy to bring clarity to the overly dense and unpianistic textures characteristic of reductions.  The three movements are performed without interruption.  The first movement is characterized by a joyous melody, modal in nature which becomes increasingly playful in its interchanges between the flute and clarinet.  The chorale-like second movement has a reflective melody and a lovely melodic arch.  The last movement begins with a very serious fugue theme that assumes a lighthearted, almost jocular character, in the coda section.


Richard Lane [1933-2004], a native of Paterson, New Jersey, graduated from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester where he studied piano with Jose Echaniz and Armand Basile and composition with Louis Mennini, Wayne Barlow and Bernard Rogers. He is the recipient of both the Eastman School Recording and Publication Award and a Ford Foundation Grant and his works have been performed extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa and Australia, as well as in Mexico and the Soviet Union. Mr. Lane's compositions included chamber works, choral works and piano concertos, piano solos and works for voice and piano.  They have been published by Carl Fischer, Boosey & Hawkes, Coburn Press and Mills Music and have been recorded on the Brass Unlimited, Music Minus-One and Mercury Record labels. Following two years as composer-in-residence for the Rochester, New York and then Lexington, Kentucky school systems under Ford Foundation auspices, he returned to Paterson where he composed and taught piano and composition. He spent summers on Cape Cod where he was widely known as performer and composer.  Mr. Levy and Ms. Swinchoski had long association with Mr. Lane and were the recipients of new works which they premiered.  Mr. Lane was a beloved icon in the New Jersey music scene.
Sonata No. 5, for flute & piano [1984]
Mr. Lane wrote at least 7 sonatas for flute & piano, each one dedicated to a flutist colleague and friend. The Sonata No. 5 was written for Geroge Marge, Jr. ( le plus jeune) and it is quintessential Lane, sliding harmonies, soulful adagios and sparkling rhythms.  This a truly a gem and we were delighted to discover it.

The Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) was a colorful individual and an aesthetic visionary.  Originally sounding quite “Chopinesque”, his music became increasingly personal and idiomatic, aligned and imbued with mysticism and displaying radically new structural and harmonic innovations. You can read more about this unusal composer at  http://www.scriabinsociety.com/
Ron has chosen his Nocturne in F# Minor, Op. 5 [1890] to perform on this concert.
 
 


Aaron Grad (b. 1980) is a young American composer and guitarist, whose music embraces both his roots in popular culture and his training in the Western tradition. Born in Alexandria, Virginia, he was a listless student of piano and violin from age five. At ten he started fresh on guitar, and was soon writing songs, forming bands, and playing his first jazz gigs. Mr. Grad moved to New York in 1998 to study jazz guitar at New York University, but he was quickly seduced by the “downtown” new music scene. While completing his Bachelor of Music degree in three years, he performed with his own groups at The Knitting Factory and Cornelia St. Café, and founded and directed a concert series at Judson Memorial Church. In the past six years Mr. Grad’s emphasis shifted to composing, and his catalog has grown to include over 80 works.

In the fall of 2006, Mr. Grad enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory to pursue a Master’s Degree in Composition in the studio of Christopher Theofanidis. His current project, Tai Chi, is a work for large orchestra in which the four movements provide music to accompany live onstage performances of tai chi forms. In the fall of 2007, the Peabody Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Michael Formanek will perform a new piece by Mr. Grad.  read more

Be Aware of Wonder [2008]
Aaron writes of this piece:  In his iconic essay, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum wrote: "Be aware of wonder.  Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up, and nobody really knows how or why, but we are like that."  It is in this spirit of wonder and appreciation that I offer my congratulations to the Palisades Virtuosi for their first five years of concerts, recordings and unparalleled commitment to new repertoire.  Those who know the trio recognize that their greatest asset is not virtuosity, or dedication, or artistry, although all of those qualities are abundant; the magic of the Palisades Virtuosi is the incredible warmth and joy that Margaret, Don and Ron share with each other and all who enter their orbit.  My contribution to this program comes in the form of a surprise gift from Ron Levy to his colleagues, and I hope I have done justice to the playfulness and comaraderie that make this group so fun to know.   A. Grad


Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Jason D. Ham has been a member of the US Military Academy Band at West Point since March, 2002. A 2001 graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees both in Music Education and Music Performance, Jason was also the winner of the 2001 Solo Euphonium Artist Competition at the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, held that year in Lahti, Finland.  He is one of America’s most active euphonium soloists, having given performances and clinics in more than 100 different locations since moving to New York in 2002.

Jason has become recognized in the euphonium community for several firsts he has contributed to euphonium history. In 2004, Jason was the first guest euphonium soloist to perform in Beijing, China, as part of a USMA Band delegation that performed with the People’s Liberation Army Band at the National Library there. In 2005, he presented the first-ever euphonium recitals in Bulgaria and Macedonia, and his performances were heard throughout those nations on Bulgarian National Radio and Macedonian Public Television. This past September, 2007, Jason became the first guest euphonium soloist to visit the nation of Argentina, where he was a guest of the 3er Encuentro de Tubas y Eufonios in Buenos Aries.

As a teacher, Jason is also being recognized for his work. In 2007, Jason became the first euphonium specialist since 1994 to teach at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, where he will return in the summer of 2008. In 2005, he hosted the Northeastern Regional Tuba and Euphonium Conference at the United States Military Academy that March. Currently, Jason currently serves as a Visiting Instructor of Euphonium at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ.  Jason D. Ham is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and can be found on the web at www.jasondham.com.

Mr. Ham will perform "Harlequin" for euphonium & piano by Philip Sparke(b. 1951)



The Women Speak  II
March 8, 2008

Our featured composer - Gwyneth Walker
World Premiere of "Full Circle"
commissioned by Palisades Virtuosi

Dr. Gwyneth Walker (b. 1947) is a graduate of Brown University and the Hartt School of Music. She holds B.A., M.M. and D.M.A. Degrees in Music Composition. A former faculty member of the Oberlin College Conservatory, she resigned from academic employment in 1982 in order to pursue a career as a full-time composer. She now lives on a dairy farm in Braintree, Vermont.  Gwyneth Walker is a proud resident of Vermont. She is the recipient of the Year 2000 "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Vermont Arts Council.  Walker's catalog includes over 170 commissioned works for orchestra, band, chorus and chamber ensembles. The music of Gwyneth Walker is published by E.C. Schirmer of Boston (choral/vocal music) and MMB Music of St. Louis (orchestral/instrumental music).  During the 2006-7 season, Gwyneth Walker traveled across the United States working with a variety of musicians as they premiered and recorded her works. As a result of these collaborations, several new CDs have been released: A Vision of Hills (piano trios and string works, performed by Trio Tulsa), An Hour to Dance (music for SATB chorus recorded by the choirs at Whitman College) and Now Let Us Sing! (with Bella Voce Women’s Chorus, Burlington, Vermont).  In addition to the composing of new works, there has also been a special project of creating orchestral accompaniments for a number of choral and vocal works in the Walker catalog. Thus, the Songs for Women’s Voices, I Thank You God, I Will Be Earth and the song cycle, No Ordinary Woman!, have all been orchestrated. Another new work, A Testament to Peace, combines a number of peace-oriented choral works (Tell the Earth to Shake, The Tree of Peace, and There is a Way to Glory) into a set with chamber orchestra.  Commissions for the coming year will include several works for brass quintet: a new Christmas suite, A Season of Wonder, for the Nebraska Brass, and Sweet Imagination for the Carolina Brass. Orchestral compositions will span a variety of genres: Muse of Amherst (based on poetry of Emily Dickinson) for the Holyoke, MA, Civic Symphony and narrator; The Rainbow Sign (the first in a set of American Songs for Orchestra) for the Santa Cruz, CA, Symphony; an orchestral and narrative adaptation of the Walker Acquaintance with Nature (based on the writings of H. D. Thoreau); an Idyll for Flute and Strings for the Mistral Ensemble of Andover, MA, and Voices in Song for the Walla Walla, WA, Symphony and Youth Chorus. New works for chorus, vocal soloists, instrumentalists and chamber opera will fill out the coming schedule. It is always the composer's desire to explore a variety of genres, especially those with dramatic potential.

You may find out more about Ms. Walker at her website .
 

Our commissioned work this evening is "FULL CIRCLE", a three movement work based on readings "Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road", "The Grace of the World" and "Let Tomorrow Come" from the Unitarian Universalist Hymnal.

Guest Artist - Mezzo-contralto Hanne Ladefoged-Dollase is a native of Randers, Denmark. She has performed extensively throughout North America, promoting Scandinavian Music Culture in song recitals and lectures, including A Celebration of Danish Music, From Tivoli to Troldhaugen, Danish Music – Past and Present and A Musical Portrait of Hans Christian Andersen. Her refreshing concert appearances and lush contralto capture the humor, history and deeply emotional nature of the Nordic Song. Virtually unknown in North America, her repertoire offers the listener a rare glimpse into Scandinavian passion and pathos – through Folk, Golden Age and contemporary Scandinavian songs.  Before moving to the New York area, Ms.Ladefoged-Dollase lived in Seattle, WA, where she was a frequent guest on King F.M., 98.3 and performed with numerous groups, including Seattle Opera, Tacoma Opera, Orchestra Seattle, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta and the Early Music Guild of Seattle. She has performed in avant-garde and baroque opera, and also roles in the standard opera repertoire such as Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Maddalena in Rigoletto.  She has sung the altos solos in works by Bach, Beethoven, Berstein, Durufle, Dvorak, Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Vivaldi, as well as Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, the Mother in Elverskud by Danish composer, Niels W.Gade, the old woman in Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, and the world premiere of Passing Chimes for mezzo and chamber ensemble by Northwest composer, Roger Briggs.  In the New York area Ms. Ladefoged-Dollase has performed with the St. Cecilia Chorus (at Carnegie Hall), the New York Scandia Symphony, the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, the Oratorio Society of New Jersey, the Ars Musica Chorale, the Essex Chorale, the Orfeus Men’s Chorus, the Scandia String Quartet and in the Trinity Concert Series, among others. She made her East Coast operatic debut as Ines in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with the State Repertory Opera of New Jersey.  Ms.Ladefoged-Dollase holds a Masters Degree in musicology and vocal pedagogy from the University of Copenhagen. Upon finishing her degree, she won several prestigious scholarships and grants to pursue post-graduate studies in vocal performance in the U.S.


New Jersey based artist Leslie Montana will display some of her works at this concert - please visit her website to see her full gallery -
www.lesliemontana.com




  Adrienne Albert - A graduate of UCLA in music and the child of European trained professional violinists, Adrienne began studying the piano at age 4 and composition at 10. She had the good fortune to have had great teachers: for piano, Jacob Gimpel and Aube Tzerko in Los Angeles, Joanna Graudan at the Aspen Music School and early composition studies with Saul Kaplan and Leonard Stein. After enjoying a lengthy hiatus performing other people’s music, she returned to studying composition with Stephen “Lucky” Mosko at CalArts and orchestration with Albert Harris.

"Music has always been a central part of my life. Whether it has been performing, singing, or composing, it is the thread that weaves through each part of my being. I find joy in every form of music, and my life has been an eclectic patchwork of music ranging from avant- garde 20th century vocal and choral music to Baroque, ethnic, folk music, jazz, popular, and of course, classical music. We are each an amalgam of our pasts, influenced by our individual experiences, and I have been extremely fortunate in having an extraordinary past which informs my present and makes me look forward with great enthusiasm to the future."

You may visit her website for more information.
 

We open our program this evening with "Doppler Effect", an evocative minimalist work in which undulating meoldies weave over an ostinato piano part.  We love the way it unfolds and builds throughout.


Faye-Ellen Silverman (b. 1947) began her music studies before the age of four at the Dalcroze School of Music. She first achieved national recognition by winning the Parents League Competition, judged by Leopold Stokowski, at the age of 13. She holds a BA from Barnard, cum laude and honors in music, and an AM from Harvard and a DMA from Columbia, both in music composition. She spent her junior year of college at Mannes College. Her teachers have included Otto Luening, William Sydeman, Leon Kirchner, Lukas Foss, Vladimir Ussachevsky, and Jack Beeson. Seesaw Music, a division of Subito Music, publishes about 75 of her compositions. Zigzags is available on Crystal Records, and Passing Fancies, Restless Winds, and Speaking Alone are on New World Recordings. An entire CD of her work will be available from Albany Records by late summer, 2008.

Silverman's awards include the selection of her Oboe-sthenics to represent the United States at the International Rostrum of Composers/UNESCO, resulting in international radio broadcasts (1982); winning the Indiana State [Orchestral] Composition Contest, resulting in a performance by the Indianapolis Symphony (1982); a Governor's Citation (1982); and having September 30, 1982 named Faye-Ellen Silverman Day in Baltimore by Mayor Donald Schaeffer. Additionally, she has been the recipient of the National League of American Pen Women’s biennial music award (2002), yearly Standard Awards from ASCAP (now known as ASCAPlus) since 1983, several Meet the Composer grants, and an American Music Center grant. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2007), a resident scholar at the Villa Serbelloni of the Rockefeller Foundation (1987), a Composers' Conference Fellow (1985), a Yaddo Fellow (1984), and a MacDowell Fellow (1982). She is currently a Founding Board Member of the International Women's Brass Conference (for which she has served as composer-in-residence), and a founding member of Music Under Construction, a composers’ collective.

 Please visit  her website for more information.

"Mariana" for Mezzo-Soprano, Clarinet & Piano is based on a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson (after Shakespeare)


AMY MARCY CHENEY  BEACH
In her own words...
"The women composers of today have advanced in technique, resourcefulness, and force, and even the younger composers have achieved some effects which the great masters themselves would never have dared to attempt. The present composers are getting away more and more from the idea that they must cater to the popular taste, and in expressing their individual ideas, are giving us music of real worth and beauty."
Amy Marcy Cheney [Beach] (1867-1944), a child prodigy and one finest pianists in Boston in her day. She debuted at sixteen, and in 1885 played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She was the first significant female composers in America and one of the leading composers of the "New England School".

She married at 18 and began to live the life her husband wished for her.  He requested that she limit her performing career which allowed her to concentrate her energies on her composition.  She was best known for her songs and piano works, but also mastered larger choral and symphonic works, one of the first wormen composers in this country to do so.

Much more about the composer information is available on line at Wikipedia and the Essentials of Music website.

"Romance" Opus 23 was written in 1893, for violin & piano which she performed with violinist Franz Kniesel in 1894.  It is based on a theme of one of the songs she'd written earlier in her career.  The simple melodic opening develops into a lovely and passionate work.


Julie Schmidt’s interest in composing music started when she was in grade school, when she would make up songs on the piano to perform for her friends’ birthdays, and play in class for show-and-tell. She suffered through piano lessons for years in the hopes of getting good enough to play the more intricate songs she heard in her head. That never happened, so she is thrilled to hear other, infinitely more competent musicians play them.

Notable compositions are her three poems by e. e. cummings, Flute Fantasy, and Piano Sonata, which won the International Mu Phi Epsilon outstanding composition award.  Most recently she has written an anthem for the 100th Anniversary of The Cresskill Congregational Church.

Julie Schmidt has performed the role of Carlotta Giudicelli to critical acclaim in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and in over forty cities across the nation. She was twice nominated for the Best Actress award by the League of American Theatres and Producers. She has also produced benefit concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in St. Paul, Cincinnati, New Orleans and Houston.  Ms. Schmidt has performed with the Greater Miami Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and numerous companies in the New York area.  The Kansas native received her Bachelors Degrees summa cum laude in Voice and Theory-Composition from Wichita State University, and her Masters in Voice from Florida State University, and in 1990 was a recipient of a Kansas Cultural Trust Grant. She is currently on the voice faculty at the Mannes Conservatory in Manhattan, and maintains a private voice studio in New Jersey. Ms. Schmidt is married to clarinetist Donald Mokrynski, and is mother to twins Kaete and Isabelle.
 

"Sirens" was written in 1994 as a birthday present to clarinetist Donald Mokrynski, her boyfriend at the time, now her husband. It combines folk-song and torch-song melodies with undulating and sometimes tempestuous piano accompaniment.


Donna Kelly Eastman (b. 1945) has had a varied musical career, which includes keyboard and vocal performance, choral and chamber ensemble direction, studio and classroom teaching, and writing and arranging music for many settings. She received her undergraduate education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Maryland. She has received composition awards from the Roodepoort International Eisteddfod of South Africa, the Florilege Vocal de Tours International Choral Competition, the Delius Competition, the International Alliance for Women in Music, the National League of American Pen Women Music Composition Competition, the Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program of the American Music Center, the Composer's Guild International Competition, and the National Federation of Music Clubs Glad Robinson Youse Competition; and commissions from Judith Lapple, Principal Flute -- US Air Force Band, Genevieve Fritter-Bieber, Concertmistress Emeritus -- National Ballet Orchestra, the Kirkwood Flute Ensemble, and Connor Smith, Soprano. Dr. Eastman's music is published by Editions a Coeur Joie, Lyons, France, and her work, Just Us, appears in the journal of the Society of Composers, Inc. She has held Visiting Composer positions at Illinois Wesleyan University and Sweet Briar College, and is a Fellow of the Charles Ives Center for American Music, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation. Dr. Eastman is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Women, and Who's Who in the World, and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honorary and Phi Kappa Phi National Academic Honor Society. She is past-President of the Southeastern Composers' League, a life member of the Society of Composers Inc, and a BMI affiliate. She is also a member of Sigma Alpha Iota National Fraternity for Women in Music, the American Composers Forum, SEAMUS--the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and the International Alliance for Women in Music. Ms. Eastman is a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
 
We will be performing two songs from the song cycle "Just Us" for flute & mezzo-soprano.  The title is meant to suggest the intimacy of a private conversation between two friends (the flute & the voice) on which the audience is invited to "eavesdrop".  The texts are by New York poet, Sybil Kollar.




Joan Tower (b. 1938) is a contemporary American composer, pianist and conductor.  New Yorker magazine calls her "one of the most successful woman composers of all time", her bold and energetic compositions have been performed in concert halls around the world.

A professor at Bard College since 1972, she is famous for her "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman" written in the mid-80's for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.  She was also pianist and founder of the Da Capo Chamber Players. Tower received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1976.  She has won nearly every major prize available to composers, received a Guggenheim fellowship and was recently commissioned by orchestras in all 50 states to compose "Made In America" which subsequently was performed in all 50 states furing the 2005 - 2007 seasons.
She is currently the Asher B. Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson,[5] New York, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and serves on the Artistic Advisory panel of the BMI Foundation.

Much more about her can be found at the G. Schirmer website and at Wikipedia.
 

"A Little Gift" is a brief 2-minute work for Flute & Clarinet is based on the song "My Funny Valentine" and was originally comissioned as a birthday present. The piece was later reworked and incorporated into a larger work for chamber ensemble and received it's premiere in NYC in February of this year.




Nancy Bloomer Deussen(whose maiden name was Nancy Van Norman) is a prominent San Francisco Bay Area composer and co-founder of the Bay Area chapter of The National Association of Composers,USA. She has been a dedicated champion of more accessible contemporary music, a viewpoint amply demonstrated in all of her works. A composer who is well-loved by audiences, her works encompass a wide spectrum of performers and include works for band, chorus, orchestra (full, string and chamber), many chamber music combinations, recorder consort, flute, clarinet and violin solo, piano solo, brass ensemble and solo voice and piano. Her works have received performances by many well-known orchestras She has also had numerous performances by chamber ensembles, brass ensembles, bands and soloists across the country.

Ms Bloomer Deussen is the recipient of a number of awards which include:  The Bay Area Composer's Symposium Performance Award for her orchestral work "Reflections on the Hudson" in 1994, The Britten on-the -Bay First Prize for "Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano" in 1996 ,the Mu Phi Epsilon Original Composition Contest (for large works) for "Concerto for Clarinet and Small Orchestra" in 1999, the Second Marmor Chamber Music Composition Competition sponsored by Stanford University in 2002 for "Woodwind Quintet # 2" and selection in a competition by The Foundation for Universal Sacred Music in 2004 to compose an original choral work which was premiered in New York City in October, 2004. Her most recent awards were First and 2nd Prize in Orchestral Category and First Prize in Choral Music in the 2006 Composition Competition of the National League of American Pen Women.

You may visit her website for more information.
 

The Trio we will perform tonight is originally for Violin, Clarinet & Piano.  The violin part was easily adapted for Flute and it has become one of our favorite new pieces!  It is filled with lush harmonies, beautiful soaring melodies and fanciful rhythmic figures.  We consider ourselves fortunate to have found it!
Notes for the December 1 concert

"Shall We Dance?"







Randall E. Faust is a Professor of Music at Western Illinois University and Hornist of the Camerata Woodwind Quintet and LaMoine Brass Quintet.   In addition, he has served on the Summer Horn Faculty, Interlochen Center for the Arts for over two decades. The compositions of Randall Faust have been performed at many international venues—including the  Symposia of The International Horn Society, The International Trumpet  Guild, The International Trombone, Association, The National Gallery of  Art, and the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. His compositions have been discussed in several doctoral dissertations—most prominently in The Horn in Mixed Media Compositions Through 1991 by James Alan Criswell--Doctor of Musical Arts Dissertation, The University of  Maryland, 1995; and A Performance Guide to the Horn Works of Randall  Edward Faust by Alan Franklin Mattingly--Doctor of Music Treatise, The Florida State University, 1998. His music has been recorded on MSR CLASSICS, Crystal Records, Summit Records, and ACA Digital Recordings.

As a hornist, Randall Faust has established a reputation as a performer of the work of contemporary composers—most recently on the Camerata Woodwind Quintet Recording of the works of Hétu, Iannaccone, and Steinmentz (Crystal Records), and his recent recording of horn music of William Presser and Randall Faust (Faust Music). Past  performance credits include many broadcasts over Peach State Public Radio during twelve years as Principal Hornist of the Columbus, Georgia, Symphony Orchestra and the recording as a member of the Clarion Wind Symphony: Sea Drift—the Wind Music of Anthony Iannaccone(Albany Records Troy 280.)

His articles and reviews have appeared in The Horn Call since 1980. He has chronicled the work of legendary Interlochen horn teacher Marvin Howe in his 1996 Horn Call article “Marvin Howe Singer of Smooth Melodies” and in his edition of Marvin Howe’s The Singing Hornist(2001).

Dr. Faust's professional and academic studies began at The Interlochen Arts Academy (Interlochen Honors Musicianship Scholarship, 1966), and continued at Eastern Michigan University (Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, 1972), Minnesota State University, Mankato (Master of Music in Composition, 1973), and The University of Iowa (Doctor of Musical Arts, 1980).  He has served on the Faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory of Music of Shenandoah University (1973-1982), Auburn University (1982-1997), and has served as President of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, (1992-1994), and The International Horn Society (1987-1990). During the 2004-2005 Academic year, he served as Interim Chair of the Western Illinois Department of Music.
 



Art of Motion, Inc. - a non-profit and cultural organization

Lynn Lesniak Needle, former soloist with the Nikolais Dance Theatre, has toured internationally, traveling to six out of seven continents and more than 40 United Sates. She began dancing at age four with Annette McKenna, where her weekly training in ballet expanded to include jazz, tap, and, eventually, her lifelong love—modern dance. Lynn has been influenced by many, but studied intensely with her mentors Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis at the Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab in New York City.   Lynn earned her B.A. in Dance cum laude from Connecticut College. Lynn was the recipient of the ACDFA Dance Magazine National Award for her choreography, adjudicated by Murray Louis, Pauline Koner and Clay Taliafero. Her work COOL WAVE, featured in Dance Magazine was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Murray Louis invited Lynn to study at the Dance Lab, where she met Nik and was invited to join the Nikolais Dance Theatre. Nik created seminal works on Lynn during her tenure with the company and she began teaching while on tour. She was later asked to direct the Nikolais and Louis Dance Lab, a professional studio school of dance in Soho where she arranged for dancers from around the world to study with Nik and Murray. During this time, Lynn pioneered classes in Pilates-based exercises, training with thera-bands, trampolines, and fitness balls. Her students included Jane Pauley, Meredith Brokaw, Anna Murdoch, many print and fashion models, and dancers who have gone on to perform with professional companies.  Over the years, Lynn has choreographed pieces for MTV, corporate videos for Verizon, and premiered her work at the Boston Conservatory, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C, the Westbeth Theater Center in the West Village, and the JOYCE SOHO, as well as Hunter College, Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Ramapo College, Bergen Community College, Ridgewood’s annual First Night Celebration of the Arts, and for local community theatre groups. In many of these venues, Lynn has choreographed for the Art of Motion Ensemble, a company established after she founded the non-profit studio, Art of Motion, Inc.   Lynn has also worked for the N.J. State Department of Education as an artist in residence in the public schools and was a regional coordinator for the N.J. School of the Arts, a performing arts high school without walls. She became a staff developer, assisting public school districts in developing dance programs and infusing creativity in the classroom. Lynn has served as President of the Ridgewood Arts Council and is a passionate visual and performing arts advocate.

Olivia Galgano directs the classical ballet program at Art of Motion and choreographs excerpts from classical repertory as well as original work. Olivia began her ballet training with the Boston School of Ballet at the age of seven under the direction of E. Virginia Williams. At the age of 16, she became a member of the New England Civic Ballet Company, presently known as the Boston Ballet Company. As a soloist, her performances included Rustic Wedding, which was created specifically for her by Leon Danielian. The work was premiered at the Boston Arts Festival and also performed at the Gloucester Arts Festival. She was then invited to join and became one of the youngest members of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, touring throughout the United States and Canada. Olivia's repertoire included over 50 ballets, and she performed solo roles in such ballets as Coppelia, Swan Lake, Gaite Parisienne, Le Beau Danube, and Sombreros. Her coaches included such renowned artists as Fredrick Franklin, Anton Vilzak, Leon Danielian, and Irina Barovska, all of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.  Now a resident of Paramus, Olivia has been teaching in Bergen County and has choreographed a number of original pieces that have been performed at the New Jersey Dance Festival and the Bergen Community Dance Festival. Along with her dedication to teaching and choreographing, she has served as chairperson of the Cultural Committee for the Paramus Schools and has assisted the music department in creating and developing movement into their curriculum. Olivia was co-owner and artistic director of the Classic Ballet School for over 20 years. The Classic Ballet Ensemble has performed throughout the New Jersey school system and other community facilities. Currently, she is co-director of Art of Motion and has continued her artistic dedication and choreographic efforts through the Art of Motion Ensemble. She strives to keep the classics alive by restaging some of the great ballets, such as those by Petipa and Fokine, as well as creating original works. She has been influenced by choreographers such as Balanchine and Robbins, who maintained the classics, but were the innovators of the contemporary dance world.

As Artistic Directors of Art of Motion, Lynn and Olivia focus on developing the range of movement of each student to his or her fullest capacity and emphasize the history and artistry of dance as an art form and discipline. They hope to provide an artistic atmosphere that is conducive to learning about the body as an expressive instrument by offering classes in classical ballet, modern, tap, classical jazz, theatre dance, Pilates-based exercise, yoga, improvisation, choreography, repertory, and dance conditioning. Art of Motion is located in The Performing Arts Building 17 Chestnut Street, 2nd floor Ridgewood, NJ 07450T: 201-652-5800 F: 201-652-3347 E: artofmotion@earthlink.net, www.artofmotion.org.
 


Sunday - November 18 - 5:30pm
Yamaha Piano Salon - 689 Fifth Avenue - NYC

New American Masters
Palisades Virtuosi presents five recently commissioned works
for The New York Flute Club


Aaron Grad [b. 1980] is a young American composer and guitarist, whose music embraces both his roots in popular culture and his training in the Western tradition. Born in Alexandria, Virginia, he was a student of piano and violin from age five. At ten he began studies on guitar, and was soon writing songs, forming bands, and playing his first jazz gigs. Grad came to New York in 1998 to study jazz guitar at NYU, but he was quickly seduced by New York’s “downtown” new music scene. While completing his B.M. in three years, he performed with his own groups at The Knitting Factory and Cornelia St. Café, and founded and directed a concert series at Judson Memorial Church. In the past five years Grad’s emphasis has shifted to composing, and his catalog has grown to include over 80 works. His music has been commissioned and performed by the Manchester Music Festival (VT), Fairfax Choral Society (VA), Palisades Virtuosi (NJ), the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New York Chamber Ensemble. Aaron has studied with Carlos Carrillo and Randall Woolf, and has worked for American Composers Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

  "Lep·i·dop·ter·ol·o·gy" [2003] is a study of butterflies. The piece is a tribute to pianist Ron Levy (a great champion of new music and a butterfly enthusiast) and was commissioned by the Palisades Virtuosi in 2003. The piano opens the work with two declamatory phrases. In between the piano phrases, and continuing into a gentle duet for the flute and clarinet, certain notes of the piano sustain a soft haze of consonant sound. This gossamer texture is contrasted at other times by the brilliance of the piccolo, austere counterpoint in the piano, and swooping arpeggios passed from clarinet to flute. The piece ends with a tranquil and stately elaboration of the opening duet melody. -A.G.


From symphonies to big band jazz, from chamber works to Latin American music and film scores – Carlos Franzetti has no limits.  He is a 2007 Latin Grammy® Nominee in the category of Best Instrumental Album, a 2006 Grammy® Nominee in the category of Best Classical Contemporary Composition for his opera, “Corpus Evita,” a double 2003 Grammy Nominee for “Poeta de Arrabal,” in the categories of Best Classical Crossover Album and Best Instrumental Arrangement, and the winner of the 2001 Latin Grammy Award for Best Tango Album, “Tango Fatal.”  Carlos Franzetti has received many outstanding grants and awards, including the 2002 New Jersey Council on the Arts Composers’ Fellowship, The Yamaha Composers Award, The Trofeu Laus from Spain, a Clio Award, The Prensario Award, ACE Award and Premio Konex from Argentina, The Foundation for New American Music, The Penfield Music Commission Project, several grants from Meet The Composer, and two gold records.  Mr. Franzetti adjudicates for SGAE and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. Carlos Franzetti’s compositions and arrangements have most recently been performed by the New World Symphony, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and at the Moab Music Festival.  Collaborations with major orchestras include the opening concert of the VI International Music Festival in Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colon with the Orquesta de la Plata, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony (Washington, D.C.), the St. Louis Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Mexico, the National Symphony of Argentina, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, the Czech National Symphony, the City of Prague Philharmonic, the Modus Chamber Orchestra, the Janacek Philharmonic, the Bratislava Radio Orchestra, and orchestras in Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Sweden, Norway and France.  A citizen of the United States for many years, Carlos Franzetti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1948.  Biographies of Carlos Franzetti are listed in Latin American Classical Composers Second Edition by Michel Ficher and Furman Schleifer, published by Scarecrow Press, Maryland 2002, The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, published by MacMillan Press Ltd., London 1988, Diccionario de Compositores, published by La Nacion/Corregidor, Buenos Aires 1998, and Chronology of Western Classical Music Volume 2 by Charles J. Hall, published by Rutledge Great Britain Taylor & Francis Books, Inc.
Four Movements for Virtuosi

As the title connotes, this music was commissioned by and dedicated to the Palisade Virtuosi in 2005.  The four movements are based on popular music styles from the United States and from Argentina, where I was born and raised.  These styles range from Argentine tango, milonga and the folk idiom “chacareraâ€? to some American ragtime in the last movement.  My intention with this music was to feature each member of the Palisades Virtuosi, both individually and as an ensemble.  When I attended the concert at which they premiered it, I was delighted with the results of their performance.  --C.F.


Brian Schober has pursued an active career as a composer and performer throughout the United States and abroad.  A native of New Jersey, Schober pursued his musical studies at the Eastman School of Music where his teachers included Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner in composition and Sue Seid and Russell Saunders in organ.  He furthered his studies in Paris, studying composition with Olivier Messiaen and Betsy Jolas at the Paris Conservatory of Music while studying organ privately with Jean Guillou and André Isoir.  Schober’s music spans all instrumental and vocal media.  His music has been performed by the Gregg Smith Singers, The New York Treble Singers, Voces Novae et Antiquae, the Kitos Singers, nexus Arts, the percussion ensembles of The Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music and the University of Buffalo, and the New York Percussion Quartet.  As a performer of organ music of all styles and periods, he has toured both the U.S. and Europe, particularly presenting concerts of new organ music.  He has also performed with the new music group Speculum Musicae.  He is the recipient of many prizes and awards including those from BMI, Editions Salabert, the French Cultural Ministry, the National Endowment of the Arts, The American Music Center and twice from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.  In 1984-5, he was composer-in-residence at the Center for Computer Music and Research at Stanford University under a Rockefeller Foundation Grant.  A CD of works for chorus and organ recorded by the Gregg Smith Singers and the New York Treble Singers is issued by Ethereal Recordings, Manhattan Impromptus for piano, performed by Stephen Gosling, has been released by Capstone Records.  He is presently Music Director of the First Congregational Church in Park Ridge, New Jersey.
"Wind-space" [2007] for alto flute, bass clarinet and piano was composed for the group Palisades Virtuosi in response for a piece in memory of the events of 9-11.  Although, the piece does not relate in any specific way to those events, it evokes the idea of empty and open spaces and the wind which passes through, as indicated by the title.  The writing was greatly influenced by the Japanese bamboo flute or shakuhachi.  The alto flute acts as a catalyst for the work in that the other instruments as commentators to it.  The three performers are treated very independently of each other and rarely play together except in a few dramatic moments.
 

Robert Manno [b. 1944] is an acclaimed composer, conductor, singer and pianist.  His compositions include over 30 chamber works, a Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, 2 song cycles, pieces for chorus, solo piano pieces, art songs and arrangements. Composer Ned Rorem has described his music as "maximally personal and expressive" and Fanfare Magazine has said: "his instrumental compositions are shot through with powerful lyrical impulses. Manno's music, in whatever guise, always sings...displaying an expansive, well-rounded sense of architecture and shape.”  A full-time member of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus from 1977 to 2001, he was previously a member of the New York City Opera Chorus. Following his retirement from the MET Chorus, Manno served as an assistant conductor on the Metropolitan Opera Music Staff.  The recipient of numerous compositional honors, he has been awareded the Ernest Bloch Award, First Prize at the Delius Festival, and many Meet the Composer Grants and ASCAP Awards.  His music has been performed and broadcast throughout the United States and in Wales, U.K.

  ‘Three Scenes from the Mountains’ was inspired by views from my home overlooking a mountain range in the Northern Catskills.  The first movement, “The Wind on the Water” depicts the visual movement of the rippling of wind-driven water on our pond, sometimes still, sometimes flowing and suddenly rushing, and always with a sense of change and calm.  The second movement, “The Meadow at Dawn” is a song-like description of a gentle summer morning in our meadow when the mist is just beginning to clear. The third movement, “The Forest at Night” attempts to elicit the sense of loneliness that one experiences when walking in the woods by moonlight.  -R.M.
 


After attending Harvard College, John Lampkin [b. 1946] studied music privately, with acclaimed composer Donald Waxman as his principal composition and piano teacher.  His hundreds of works for piano solo include a three-book recital series, Portraits. In review, Piano Quarterly wrote: “Mr. Lampkin is extremely gifted with a wonderful sense of humor.”  Piano & Keyboard magazine cited Portraits in its millennium issue as being one of the most significant 20th century educational collections. During the 1990's he turned to musical theater, and wrote scores for eleven musicals.   In 1998 he composed his Piano Concerto, which garnered First Prize in the Orchestral Division of the 1999 Composers Guild's competition, an annual event which attracts entries from around the world.  His "Insects: a Musical Entomology in Six Legs" for woodwind quintet was "simultaneously" premiered in 2000 in five states (the Austin premiere was nominated for the Austin Critics Table Award for the Best Chamber Concert of the Season);  and subsequently  won the Grand Prize in the 2001 Composers Guild competition. Mr. Lampkin has served  as composer-in-residence for the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, the Equinox Chamber Players in St. Louis, Dolce Wind Quintet in Minneapolis, and The Austin Chamber Players in Austin, Texas.  His "Migrations" for Symphonic Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the University of Oklahoma, and premiered at the national convention of the Society of Composers. He has received dozens of grants from funding agencies and foundations, including Meet the Composer and the Mid-America Arts Alliance.

  "George Washington Slept Here!"  is a set of variations on "Soldier's Joy," which was a popular tune 250 years ago. It appeared in published collections of sheet music on both sides of the Atlantic, and as a fiddle tune was played for barn dances and square dances in colonial America. The melody with its simple harmonic structure is typical of fiddle tunes and hornpipes of the period. My set of variations is written in the historic tradition, but with modern conventions. The set closes with a pair of fughettas where at several points we hear the melody being played 5 different ways simultaneously. The title captures the good humor of the set, and celebrates the Hudson Valley, home to the Palisades Virtuosi and to me." - J.C.
 




 
 

Saturday - October 6, 2007
"Anniversaries"


World Premiere –“Wind-space” (a 9-11 Commemorative)

Brian Schober has pursued an active career as a composer and performer throughout the United States and abroad.  A native of New Jersey, Schober pursued his musical studies at the Eastman School of Music where his teachers included Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner in composition and Sue Seid and Russell Saunders in organ.  He furthered his studies in Paris, studying composition with Olivier Messiaen and Betsy Jolas at the Paris Conservatory of Music while studying organ privately with Jean Guillou and André Isoir.  Schober’s music spans all instrumental and vocal media.  His music has been performed by the Gregg Smith Singers, The New York Treble Singers, Voces Novae et Antiquae, the Kitos Singers, nexus Arts, the percussion ensembles of The Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music and the University of Buffalo, and the New York Percussion Quartet.  As a performer of organ music of all styles and periods, he has toured both the U.S. and Europe, particularly presenting concerts of new organ music.  He has also performed with the new music group Speculum Musicae.  He is the recipient of many prizes and awards including those from BMI, Editions Salabert, the French Cultural Ministry, the National Endowment of the Arts, The American Music Center and twice from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.  In 1984-5, he was composer-in-residence at the Center for Computer Music and Research at Stanford University under a Rockefeller Foundation Grant.  A CD of works for chorus and organ recorded by the Gregg Smith Singers and the New York Treble Singers is issued by Ethereal Recordings, Manhattan Impromptus for piano, performed by Stephen Gosling, has been released by Capstone Records.  He is presently Music Director of the First Congregational Church in Park Ridge, New Jersey.

Wind-space – commissioned by the Palisades Virtuosi
Wind-space for alto flute, bass clarinet and piano was composed for the group Palisades Virtuosi in response for a piece in memory of the events of 9-11.  Although, the piece does not relate in any specific way to those events, it evokes the idea of empty and open spaces and the wind which passes through, as indicated by the title.  The writing was greatly influenced by the Japanese bamboo flute or shakuhachi.  The alto flute acts as a catalyst for the work in that the other instruments as commentators to it.  The three performers are treated very independently of each other and rarely play together except in a few dramatic moments.
 



 Edward Elgar – Chanson de Nuit – clarinet & piano

Sir Edward William Elgar (1857 – 1934) was an English Romantic composer. He was self-taught in music.  His love of nature is reflected in this quote - "There is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take as much as you require."  He spent his early years as a violinist in local orchestras in Worcester & Birmingham and began composing seriously when he was about 29.  His first major orchestral work, the Enigma Variations, was premiered in 1899 and established him as the pre-eminent British composer of his generation.  One of the best examples of English choral music is his choral setting of Cardinal Newman's poem The Dream of Gerontius.  Elgar is probably best known for the march Pomp and Circumstance, which has become synonymous with graduation ceremonies everywhere for decades.  Between 1902 and 1914 Elgar enjoyed great success, earning the most fees from the performance of his music and making several visits to the USA including a conducting tour.  He was Professor of Music at the University of Birmingham from 1905 - 1908. Shortly before the death of his wife in 1920 he composed the elegiac Cello Concerto, often described as his last masterpiece. He was the first composer to make extensive recordings of his own compositions.  He also composed oratorios, chamber music, symphonies and instrumental concertos and was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
Chanson De Nuit – originally written for violin and piano – was composed in 1897 and marks its 110th birthday this year.
More information on the composer can be found at these links:
http://www.elgar.org/
http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/302.htm
 




Igor Stravinsky - Piano-Rag-Music [1919] & Pastorale (Trio) [2007]

At this concert we mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of Igor Stravinsky (1882 –1971), Russian composer, pianist & conductor.  Stravinsky is often considered to be the most influential composer of 20th century music. He was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people of the century. His compositional style was diverse, ranging from the famous ballets that were commissioned by Serge Diaghilev (“The Firebird” & “The Rite of Spring”) to the neoclassicism in the 1920s (Symphonies, fugues and concerti that were reflective of the styles of Bach, Tchaikovsky & Verdi) to the serial techniques of the 1950s.  Throughout his career his music is marked by clarity of form and expression, energetic rhythms and a distinct expressivity.  The Pastorale on this program is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.
More information on the composer can be found at these links:
http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/stravinsky.html
http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/stravinsky.html



 Claude Debussy – Children’s Corner [1907] (Centenary of the work)

Claude Achille Debussy (1862 -1918), composer of impressionistic  music,  studied at the Paris Conservatoire, won the 1884 Prix de Rome.  He was heavily influenced in his earlier works by his visits to Bayreuth and then later by hearing Javanese gamelan music in Paris. His famous Prélude à 'L'après-midi d'un faune  and his opera Pelléas et Mélisande showed fluid colors and rhythms new to Western music.  His main works were orchestral pieces, piano sets, and songs.  Among his major orchestral works are the three Nocturnes (1899), La mer (1905) The three Images (1912), Ibéria. and the ballet Jeux (1913) the ballets Khamma (1912) and La boîte à joujoux (1913).  Debussy wrote much piano music Suite bergamasque, 1890; Pour le piano, 1901, Images pour piano 1904 – 1905.  In his famous Children's Corner Suite for piano, which he wrote for his beloved daughter whom he called Chou-chou also suggests influences from the Orient as well as a new wave of jazz influence although Debussy references Richard Wagner in the piece Golliwogg's Cake-walk.  Claude Debussy died in Paris in 1918 during World War I.  Debussy's death as well as the World War I coincided with the sad end of the Belle Epoque era in which Paris bloomed with sophistication and modernity as never seen before in Europe.

For this performance we are doing our own special version of "Children's Corner"!

more information on the composer is available at:
http://www.carolinaclassical.com/articles/debussy.html
http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/259.htm
 



Percy Grainger – Molly on the Shore – flute & piano

Percy Aldridge Grainger (8 July 1882 – 20 February 1961) was an Australian-born pianist, composer who became a naturalized US citizen in 1918.    Grainger was influenced by composer Edvard Grieg as is evident in his love of folk music and his use of it throughout his works.  He enjoyed his greatest popularity during the first and second world wars – his music is often stirring and dramatic.  He played the oboe & saxophone and wrote many works for concert band in addition to many piano works.  He was incredibly fit physically - he was known as "the jogging pianist" for his habit of racing through the streets to a concert where he would bound onto stage at the last minute.   When travelling by ship on tour he would spend his free time shovelling coal in the boiler room! He was a great innovator – he employed the use of hitting the strings of the piano to produce tone – “string-piano” technique and later in life developed the “Free Music Machine” – a precursor to the modern day synthesizer.   His wedding in 1928 was one of the most remarkable on record. It was held on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl, following a concert before an audience of 20,000, with an orchestra of 126 musicians and an a cappella choir, which sang his new composition, To a Nordic Princess, dedicated to Ella.    Many of his instruments and scores are located at the Grainger house in White Plains, New York, now the headquarters of the International Percy Grainger Society.  He had many eccentricities which included never ironing his shirts and wearing the same clothes for days.  He was a vegetarian who hated vegetables.  He lived chiefly on boiled rice, milk, cereals, nuts and oranges.  Throughout the 1920s Grainger recorded numerous live-recording player piano music rolls for the Aeolian Company's "Duo Art" system all of which survive and can be heard. Amongst these is a complete rendition of Grieg's Piano Concerto and a recently unearthed performance of music from "The Warriors." Grainger's own Duo-Art grand pianola can still be seen at the Grainger Museum replete with Grainger's music machine experimental modifications.

Molly On the Shore is a popular folk song that many musicians have played over the years on many different instruments.  Grainger arranged it for Violin & Piano and once again, Margaret has taken over a fiddle part and made it her own!

More information on the composer can be found at:
http://www.percygrainger.org/
http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/425.htm



 Joseph Schwantner – (65th) Black Anemones – Flute & Piano

Joseph Schwantner (b. 1943) is an American composer and educator. His first musical instrument was the guitar.  His first serious attempt at composition, the jazz-influenced Offbeat, won the 1959 National Band Camp Award. Offbeat was a byproduct of Schwantner’s interest in experimental (sometimes known as “free”) jazz. It was a twelve-tone work for jazz ensemble, written in 5/4. His first orchestral piece, Sinfonia Brevis, was written while a student at the American Conservatory in Chicago.  His early works were highly atonal and written with strict serial methods, later he moved toward a more flexible technique.   In 1977 he was a Resident Fellow at one of the oldest arts colonies in the United States, the MacDowell Colony where he composed Wild Angels of the Open Hills, a song cycle for soprano, flute, and harp, with texts by science fiction author Ursula K. LeGuin.  In addition to numerous awards, Schwantner has received CAP (Composer Assistance Program) Grants, a Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation Grant, the Fairchild Award, the Alfred I. Dupont award for outstanding composers, and numerous honorary doctorates. in 2007 the American Symphony Orchestra League and “Meet the Composer” announced that Schwantner was selected as the second Ford “Made in America” composer.  Joseph Schwantner was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002.  His orchestral work Aftertones of Infinity received the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Music.  Schwantner is prolific, with many works to his credit. His style is accessible, coloristic and eclectic, drawing on such diverse elements as French impressionism, African drumming, and minimalism.

Black Anemones is a transcription for flute and piano of a song originally published in
"Two Poems of Agueda Pizarro.

For more information you may visit:
http://www.schwantner.net/index.html
 



Richard Faith  – (80th B’day) - Fantasy Trio No. 1

Richard Faith, Professor Emeritus of the University of Arizona, is a native of Evansville, Indiana. A graduate of Chicago Musical College and Indiana University, he received a Fulbright Grant to study piano and composition at the Academia de Santa Cecilia in Rome. Winner of numerous awards and competitions, Faith has performed in recitals throughout the United States and Europe and has appeared as soloist with a variety of orchestras including the Chicago Symphony. He is the composer of four operas, a number of symphonic works, three piano concerti, an oboe concerto, a mass, a cantata, chamber music, more than one hundred songs, and many piano works.
Maurice Hinson, in his book Music for Piano and Orchestra, describes the work of this distinguished American composer as "freely tonal and neo-romantic [in] style. His broad, beautiful melodies naturally unfold into stunning, textured sonorities. All of his music deserves performance." The Washington Post critic, Judy Gruber, writes that his music is "full of drama and tension, with beautifully etched phrases and sweeping lines."
Some works recently commissioned include Sextet for Winds and Piano, Suite 'Trouveres' for Harpsichord, an opera, Beauty and the Beast, 'Creation' for Six Singers and Piano, and 'Incantation' for Soprano, Viola or Alto Flute and Piano.

The Fantasy Trio No. 1 was originally written for Violin, Clarinet & Piano.  For this concert, Margaret transcribed the flute part with Richard's blessing and ended up using both the piccolo & the alto flute to cover the registral demands of the part.

More information on the composer can be found at www.richardfaith.com .
 


JUNE 9. 2007 - 8:00PM
"The Jazz Age"


Our Featured Composer - DICK HYMAN
Throughout a busy musical career that got underway in the early '50s, Dick Hyman has functioned as pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances and well over 100 albums recorded under his own name. While developing a masterful facility for improvisation in his own piano style, Mr. Hyman has also investigated ragtime and the earliest periods of jazz and has researched and recorded the piano music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Zez Confrey, Eubie Blake and Fats Waller, which he often features in his frequent recitals. Other solo recordings include the music of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Duke Ellington. In a different vein, Mr. Hyman was one of the first to record on the Moog sythesizer, and his early explorations have now been reissued.  Mr. Hyman's concert compositions for orchestra include his Piano Concerto, Ragtime Fantasy, The Longest Blues in the World, and From Chama to Cumbres by Steam, a work for orchestra, jazz combo, and prerecorded railroad sounds. A cantata based on the autobiography of Mark Twain was premiered with the choral group, Gloria Musicae, in Sarasota. In a growing catalogue of chamber music compositions, his most recent pieces are Dances and Diversions for the Kinor String Quartet, and Parable a trio for the Palisades Virtuosi. Earlier compositions include a violin/piano sonata, a quintet for piano and strings, and a sextet for clarinet, piano and strings. Mr. Hyman has often been heard in duo-piano performances with Derek Smith, in Three-Piano Crossover with Marian McPartland and the late Ruth Laredo, and in various pops concerts under the direction of Doc Severinsen. In 2004, after serving as artistic director for the acclaimed Jazz in July series at New York's 92nd Street Y for twenty years, and holding a similar role at the Oregon Festival of American Music, he stepped down from both venues but continues his Jazz Piano at the Y series in New York.  There is much more about him on his website www.dickhyman.com and literally dozens of recordings of his compositions are available everywhere.

He says of Parable for a Parrot (the piece he has written for us) "The title is merely a euphonious play on words, the composition is abstract.  The structure is based on the working out of a four-note phrase among the trio, who  greatly modify and develop it in one brisk movement lasting about 4 minutes."

We are also delighted that he has agreed to perform a selection for our audience at this concert.  This will be a thrill for all of us I'm sure.
 



Robert Russell Bennett [1894-1981] was a phenomenally prolific composer, arranger and musician.  Talented on many instruments at an early age he came to New York in 1919.  There he got a job as a copyist at G. Schirmer and began to build a vast network of musical contacts.   He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1926-1929 and then returned to New York where he began his storied Broadway career.   Bennett worked as an arranger for several of the greatest composers on Broadway including George Gershwin, Kurt Weill and Cole Porter, but his later collaborations with Jerome Kern and Richard Rodgers gave birth to his most well-known works.  He was known to produce scores at the alarming rate of 20 or more a year for these composers!  The most famous scores are still revived on Broadway and remain among the great shows of all time - Oklahoma, Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun, My Fair Lady, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music just to name a few.  He also did a lot of his own composing is famous for writing the score to the epic television series Victory at Sea.
Among his first friends in New York, were the members of the New York Flute Club.  The piece we will perform on June 9, Six Souvenirs for Two Flutes and One Piano, is in six movements, each one dedicated to a flutist friend of his, including William Kincaid, Verne & Edward Powell, and Georges Barrere.  The score has been lovingly transcribed from manuscript to printed form by Jan and Paul Somers and it is truly a joy to perform!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Russell_Bennett
http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/90.htm
 



Pierre Max Dubois (1930 – 1995) was a student of Darius Milhaud.  There are rhythmic and harmonic similarities between his music and the music of Milhaud, but Dubois added a rakish twist to his harmonies and a more lighthearted touch to his works in general.  He wrote a great deal of music for saxophone including the well-known “Quartet for Saxophones” in 1962, and utilized the saxophone as both a soloist and with other winds.  He won the Prix de Rome in 1955.  There's not much information on him but some of his recordings are available on amazon.com and there is a list of his works at the Wikipedia site.
“Les Treteaux” is a trio for flute, alto saxophone & piano in three movements.  The first is joyous and sassy, the second, longing and romantic and the third is an overblown waltz.  The piece is a fun-loving romp and from the very first bars of reading it we were hooked!  “Les Treteaux” in French, is literally “the trestles or tables” but is commonly used in France to mean “the stage”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Max_Dubois



Already a recognized jazz musician and composer of music of over a hundred films, Claude Bolling (b. 1930) gained international recognition in the "classical" world with his Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano, a piece designed to make any classically-trained flutist sound like an accomplished jazz player.  The piece was such a hit that he created similar works for other instruments, guitar & flute, violin and cello. The Suite can be performed with just flute and piano, or with the addition of bass and drums.   We're putting out own twist on it - for this concert, Don has taken the bass part and put it on the bass clarinet!  We will perform the first movement of the Suite to open our program.
For more on the composer please visit:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Bolling or http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/5497.htm   His recordings are also widely available.
 


On this program, Ron will perform a set of three short piano works by George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and ... himself!
The first of these, Piano Prelude No. 1 in B Flat Major [1926], is by George Gershwin.
George Gershwin [1898-1937] is probably one of the most recognizable names in American music.  His music centers on the jazzier side of classical music with emphasis on the use of folk tunes and idioms for his inspiration.  He started out writing ragtime music and then incorporated those syncopations and rhythyms into his own brand of jazz.  His first big hit, Swanee River in 1919 became the signature tune of vaudeville entertainer, Al Jolson.  He was a prolific creator of piano rolls, making several dozen of them under his own name and dozens more under several pseudonyms.  In 1924 he collaborated with his brother Ira on the musical comedy, Lady Be Good.   It was the beginning of a very successful partnership that resulted in some of America's favorite musicals, including Funny Face, Girl Crazy and Strike Up the Band. In 1924 he also wrote his famous Rhapsody in Blue for piano and orchestra.  Other well known works include his folk opera, Porgy & Bess and American in Paris. Sadly, he died at the age of 39 from a brain tumor.  He was truly a cross-over artist, bringing jazz related elements into the traditional symphonic orchestration of his day.  With all the popular and well loved works that he wrote, it's no wonder that the royalty earnings from performances of his works that his estate has taken in has earned him the title of the wealthiest composer ever.

For more on George Gershwin please visit: http://www.gershwinfan.com/ or http://www.maurice-abravanel.com/gershwin_george_english.html
Recordings of works by Gershwin are widely available.




Next in his set of short piano pieces Ron will perform movement 2, Soft & languid from Four Piano Blues [1926-48] by Aaron Copland.
Aaron Copland [1900-1990] is probably the other most recognizable name in American music.   His influences were more in the traditional vein of classical compostition, but he often drew his inspirations from American folk music and popular culture; he also used jazz elements in his works.   A student of Nadia Boulanger in the 1920's he retuned to the states in 1925 with his Concerto for Organ and Orchestra which premiered in Carnegie Hall that year.  He was a prolific composer of music for ballet (Billy The Kid, Rodeo, Appalachian Spring), film (The Heiress, Of Mice and Men) and orchestral works (three symphonies, Fanfare for the Common Man, Lincoln Portrait).  He went through several phases in his creative life, from the early jazz-influenced works, through the Stravinsky-inspired "Piano Variations", through the popular culture era (the western themed music that has become so associated with his music), to the later phases of his writing that seemed to be influenced more by Schoenberg than by the Shakers.  By all accounts his legacy to American music is immense.

To learn more about him please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Copland or
http://www.aaroncopland.com/
His recordings are widely available.



Lastly, Ron will perform Anderson St. Rag.  He writes of this piece, "Every once in a while I have the urge (fortunately or unfortunately) to compose something.  Over time, this urge has spawned many compositions for piano, voice and piano, and chamber ensembles.  A considerably younger version of myself, fresh out of college, had to supplement his income with a ten-year stint in banking.  During one particularly trying day at the Anderson Street, Hackensack branch of United Jersey Bank, I excused myself and went into the kitchen, where I started to pen this rag, which I later dedicated to my friend, neighbor and inspiration Max Morath, a famous ragtime pianist and advocate.  Similar musical "epiphanies" have helped me remain sane [sic] over the years.  Piano mavens will recognize a quote from Beethoven's Sonata Op. 109 in the rag's third section."

Biographical information on Ron is available on this website and most of his recordings are available at Amazon.com and at our concerts.
 



No program about jazz would be complete without a tribute to Scott Joplin.  The title of  "Father of American Jazz" might be a little more than is called for, but he is recognized by all as the greatest promotor and creator of ragtime music, and as such, Joplin's work carried American music from 19th century romanticism to the doorstep of American Jazz.  Born in 1868 (or 1867- no one is sure) he started piano at an early age, practicing in houses of the wealthy as his mother cleaned their homes. His "Maple Leaf Rag" in 1899, pushed him to the top of the list of ragtime performers and his career took off.  As a pianist, he rarely performed anything other than his own works.  Although he never made a sound recording, he did create several piano rolls.  By studying his performance on these it is possible to better interpret his musical style.  Ragtime music is not supposed to be played fast, as so many performers do.  It is supposed to be a little slower, the syncopations and "pre-jazz" elements stand out even more when performed in this way.  On this program we are doing our own arrangement of "Ragtime Dance - A Stop-Time Two Step" [1906].
There is much more information on him at http://www.scottjoplin.org/biography.htm


Felix Mendelssohn

!! What's he doing on a "Jazz Age" program??  Well, in their search for works to perform for this concert Don & Lou came across this arrangement of the Concert Piece No. 2 which was originally written for clarinet, basset horn & piano.  I was in the other room when they read through it and I couldn't believe the opening movement.  There is a constant syncopated riff that repeats throughout the movement - it's very jazzy!  So we just had to include it on this program!  Enjoy!
For biographical information about Mendelssohn please visit http://www.felixmendelssohn.com/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Mendelssohn



 
 

PROGRAM NOTES for OUR MARCH CONCERT

Saturday - March 31, 2007
"South (and North!) of the Border"
8:00pm

Our featured composer is ERIC EWAZEN.  "Eric Ewazen's music has been performed by soloists, chamber ensembles, choruses, wind ensembles and orchestras around the world.    His music can be heard on some 50 commercially released CDs, including 6 solo CDs.  A member of the faculty of the Juilliard School since 1980, where he received his Doctorate Degree, he also attended the Eastman School of Music, receiving his BM in 1976.  He has been Vice President of the League of Compoers-International Society of Contemporary Music, and Composer-in-Residence with the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble in NYC and the Kalamazoo (MI) Symphony.  During the current season, he is a guest with the Calgary Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfonica Valladolid (in Spain), the Zagreb brass festival in Croatia, the National Trumpet Contest at George Mason U., Youngstown State U., Truman State U., Brevard College (NC), Mars Hill College (NC) and Western Michigan University.  Evelyn Glennie will be giving her first performance of his Marimba Concerto with the Istanbul Philharmonic on March 28th and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia will be featuring two evenings devoted to performances of his chamber music.

Ron & Margaret have known Eric for years.  He is a charming and jovial personality, always a joy to be around.  Some of you have Margaret's CD, "From the Hudson Valley"  On it is his "Ballade, Pastoral & Dance" for Flute, Horn & Piano recorded with Ron and one of our past guest artists, Scott Brubaker from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  Eric has said about his neo-impressionistic style that although for several years he wrote 12-tone works, he ultimately decided "to write music that people want to listen to".  His music is lyrical, lush and evocative; filled with the exuberance and warmth that is evident when you meet him.  We were delighted that he managed to fit a commission for us into his busy schedule.  We know you'll enjoy his new work"Palisades Suite".

For more information on the composer and recordings please visit: - www.ericewazen.com


From"South of the Border" we will present works by Alberto Ginastera, Hector Villa-Lobos and Michael Colina, a New York-based composer of Cuban-American heritage.


 The Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) is generally regarded as one of the most original and important South American composers of the 20th century. His works for piano blend Argentine folk rhythms and colors with modern compositional techniques. His musical style incorporates rhythmic energy, enchanting lyricism and cerebral atmosphere.

"To compose, in my opinion, is to create an architecture... In music, this architecture unfolds in time... When time has past, when the work has unfolded, a sense of inner perfection survives in the spirit. Only then can one say that the composer has succeeded in creating that architecture." — Alberto Ginastera

Ron will be performing "Suite de Danzas Criollas", a five movement suite for solo piano.

For more information on the composer please visit:
http://www.answers.com/topic/alberto-ginastera or
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Ginastera
 



Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), in his lifetime considered the greatest composer of the Americas, wrote about 1,000 pieces. His importance resides in one particular fact, among others: he reformulated the concept of musical nationalism, and became its greatest exponent. It was because of Villa-Lobos that Brazilian music became known in other countries, eventually becoming universal in appeal.

In Brazilian life, a choros was an ad hoc group of musicians who played on street corners, at weddings and parties and at restaurants and cafes.  Villa-Lobos spent several years playing in various choros groups and travelling around Brazil.  He became facile in a variety of Brazilian musical styles and began to incorporate these into his music.  Between 1921 and 1929 he created a series of Choros (fourteen works for varying ensembles).  The Choros No. 2 for flute & clarinet was written in 1924.  It is filled with spiky dissonances and syncopated melodies and is reminiscent of the improvisatory style of Rio's street musicians.  It can also be seen as a two-part invention and as such, a precursor to Villa-Lobos' later Bachianas Brasilerias series.

For more information on the composer please visit:

http://www.museuvillalobos.org.br/mvl11.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heitor_Villa-Lobos
 



 After 25 years of helping others create their music as a multiple Grammy® winning jazz composer and producer, Michael Colina is focusing today on the music that he has always dreamed of creating for himself.  His most recent works reflect a new, classical direction, one that pulls threads from jazz, classical, and his Cuban-American heritage. Examples of this new classical direction include The Isles of Shoals, a concerto for flute and orchestra; The Idoru Piano Trio for piano, violin and cello; The People, an orchestral work for Richard Kuch commissioned by the Boston Ballet; and a modern dance score, A Time of Crickets, commissioned by Pauline Koner and supported by The National Endowment for the Arts. Colina, born of Cuban-American heritage, studied composition at the North Carolina School of the Arts with Vittorio Giannini, Louis Mennini (father of composer Peter Mennin) and Robert Ward. He continued studies at the Chigiana in Sienna, Italy with Thomas Pasatieri and Roman Vlad. He was the first recipient of the Vittorio Giannini Memorial Scholarship award.

Habanera for flute, clarinet & piano.  This piece was originally written for violin, clarinet and piano.  Don heard the piece and asked Mr. Colina to arrange it for us so that we could bring this piece to you!

The musical descendant of the contradanza, the habanera or contradanza habanera (Havana-style contradanza), the habanera's distinguishing musical feature is its short, repeating 2/4 rhythmic figure in the bass line.  Cuban musicologist Emilio Grenet calls the habanera "Perhaps the most universal of our genres" because of its far-reaching influence on the development of many Latin American song forms such as the Argentine tango and its frequently Europeanized treatment in classical music, such as in Georges Bizet's 1875 opera Carmen, in which the title character sings the now-famous habanera aria.

In 1884 Sebastian Yradier's "La Paloma" became the first exported habanera to gain popularity in Mexico.  Already a decade before, any music in Mexico with the habanera rhythm was called danza.  In 1890, Eduardo Sanchex de Fuentes' habanera "Tu" became so popular, both within and outside of Cuba, that it epitomized the form.  Its absorption in Buenos Aires was such that early 20th-century French publishers mistook its origin and printed the sheet music as an example of "tango habanera."  According to preeminent Cuban music historian Alejo Carpentier, the habanera was never called such by the people of Havana (for them it was just the local style of contradanza).  It only adopted its present name when it became popular outside of Cuba.

For more information on the composer and sound samples please visit:  http://www.michaelcolina.com



 Donald Draganski (b. 1936) is a life-long resident of the metropolitan Chicago area. He received his BMEd degree in 1958 from De Paul University in Chicago where he studied bassoon under Wilbur Simpson of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also studied composition for one year with Alexander Tcherepnin. Since 1998 he as been composer-in-residence of the Pilgrim Chamber Players.

As a bassoonist to the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra during his tour of active duty in the Army, he toured throughout western Europe – Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands – giving concerts for the most part to civilian audiences, and functioning as one of Uncle Sam’s most effective cultural ambassadors.

He was a founding member of the The North Winds woodwind quintet.  (His involvement with woodwind quintets over the years explains the preponderance of music for that combination in his list of compositions.) At present he holds first chair in the Evanston Sympony Orchestra. In addition to composing and performing, he also writes program notes for the Pigrim Chamber Players and the North Shore Choral Society.

The "Trio From Rio" incorporates two folk borrowings:  the opening of the second movement is based on "Vamo abri terrero" while the 5/8 section in the same movement uses the metrical pattern (but not the melody) of "Viva a fe."  Otherwise all the of the material is original and based on the style of Brazilian dances and songs rather than on literal quotes.  The Trio was written for the Pilgrim Chamber Players for their January 1999 recital featuring music of Latin America.

For more information on the composer please visit:  http://www.draganskimusic.com
 

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