Mar 07 2013
March Madness – Five Premieres!
Chamber Orchestra Music by Composers from Ireland and the US
Henry Bulow Food Court
Frank Corcoran Variations on Myself
Binette Lipper Ten-Able
Joyce Solomon Moorman The Snow Storm
William Pfaff The Road is All
Max Lifchitz, conductor
The North/South Chamber Orchestra
Tuesday, March 12 at 8 PM
Christ & St Stephen’s Church
120 West 69th St (bet Bway & Columbus), NYCFree Admission. No tickets necessary
North/South Consonance, Inc. continues its 33rdconsecutive season of free-admission concerts on Tuesday evening March 12. The GRAMMY nominated North/South Chamber Orchestra under the direction of its founder Max Lifchitz will premiere five works especially written for the occasion by composers representing a wide variety of styles hailing from Ireland and throughout the US. The composers are: Harry Bulow, Frank Corcoran, Binnette Lipper, Joyce Solomon Moorman and William Pfaff.
The concert will start at 8 PM and will take place at the auditorium of Christ & St. Stephen’s Church (120 West 69thSt – between Broadway and Columbus) on Manhattan’s West Side. Admission is free– no tickets necessary.
Harry Bulow studied at San Diego State University and the University of California, Los Angeles. His mentors included Aaron Copland, Peter Mennin, Henri Lazarof and Henry Mancini. His works have been performed by the San Antonio Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, the Eastman Wind Ensemble and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. He serves as director of the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University in Indiana. Bulow’s single-movement Food Court weaves together musical phrases associated with a variety of cultures and juxtaposes them with each other. The composer writes that the musical language of the work “….is a hodge-podge of different fragmented musical ideas, some clearly recognizable (Mexican Hat Dance and Take Me Out to the Ball Game) and others newly composed. Like a typical Food Court, the piece makes reference to the large bright signs of those advertising their particular cultural delight. The piece has a carnival quality to it while still having some serious moments.”
The event will feature the first performance of Variations on Myself by the noted Irish composer Frank Corcoran. A founding member of Aosdána – Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists, – Corcoran was born in Tipperary in 1944 and completed his musical education in Berlin under the supervision of Boris Blacher. His Two Unholy Haikus won the Sean Ó Riada Award at the 2012 Cork International Choral Festival and the First Prize in the 2013 International Federation of Choral Music. Several of his orchestral and choral works are available on recordings issued by, among others, the NAXOS, Col-Legno, and Caprice labels. For almost thirty years he taught composition and theory in the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, Germany. Corcoran first visited the US in 1989 as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Subsequently, he has been invited to lecture at Indiana University, CalArts, Harvard University, Boston College, New York University and Princeton.
As basis for his recently completed work, Variations on Myself, Corcoran employs a melodic theme derived from the pitches suggested by the composer’s name: F-D-C#-Eb-C-A. Melodic and harmonic materials are generated by mutating these pitches while strict metrical writing of the strings contrasts with undulating lines in the wind instruments often moving at their own speed.
A native New Yorker, Binnette Lipper did graduate studies at The Juilliard School after attending Hunter College. Her teachers included Ludmila Ulelha, Louise Talma and Meyer Kupferman. Her music has been performed throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe and the Far East. She has received grants and awards from The American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and numerous ASCAPlus Awards. Ten-Ableis in two contrasting movements: the first is contemplative in nature and develops out of the opening clarinet melody. The contrapuntal second movement projects the energy and extroversion of an 18th century stylized dance driving constantly to an exhilarating finale.
Joyce Solomon Moorman was born at the Tuskegee Institute Hospital in Alabama. After attending segregated public elementary and high schools in South Carolina, Moorman earned degrees from Vassar, Rutgers University, Sarah Lawrence, and Columbia University. In 1998 she won the Vienna Modern Masters Millennium Commission Competition. She has also received awards from the International Alliance for Women in Music Competition, the Women of Color Commission, and the Andy Warhol Composers’Competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Currently on the staff of the Music Department at CUNY’s Manhattan Community College, Pen and Brush, Inc. presented her with the June Jordan Award in 2003 for excellence in the field of arts and performance and the perpetuation of African American culture.
Moorman’s The Snow Storm was written during the 2012 winter months while New York City and most of the tri-state region experienced a snow drought. In three contrasting movements (Anticipation, Snow Storm, Beautiful and Fun) the quasi-programmatic works conjures up a much looked-for snow storm.
William Pfaff studied at Brandeis University and the University of New Hampshire. His composition teachers included Martin Boykan and Yehudi Wyner. An Associate Professor of Music at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, Pfaff has been composer-in-residence at Lafayette College, California State University Monterey Bay and High Point University in North Carolina. Pfaff has been recognized with fellowships from the Wellesley Composer’s Conference, June in Buffalo, May in Miami, Ucross, and the Composer/Conductor Program at Hartt School of Music.
The Raod is All takes its title from Willa Cather’s phrase “The end is nothing; the road is all.” The composer was inspired by the hitchhiking and hopping around on freight trains he did while in his early twenties. Throughout the single-movement work, the traveler is the oboe who is the principal initiator of forward momentum. The music contrasts a rather static opening with an otherwise largely through-composed journey criss-crossing a varied soundscape.
North/South Consonance’s 2012-13 season is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; grants from the Arthur Berger Fund and the Music Performance Trust Funds; as well as contributions by many generous individuals.
For further information about North/South Consonance’s activities, including concerts and recordings, please visit http://www.northsouthmusic.org.