Ken Perlman, banjo
Max Lifchitz, conductor
The North/South Chamber Orchestra
Elizabeth Bell, Paolo Boggio, Max Lifchitz & Harold Schiffman
Sunday, January 10 at 3 PM
Christ & St Stephen’s Church
120 West 69th St (bet Bway & Columbus)
New York City
Free Admission (no tickets necessary)
North/South Consonance, Inc. will open its 36th Winter/Spring season of free-admission concerts on Sunday afternoon January 10, 2016 when banjo virtuoso Ken Perlman will join conductor Max Lifchitz and the Grammy nominated North/South Chamber Orchestra for a performance of Harold Schiffman’s delightful Banjo Concerto. The multigenerational program will also feature works by Elizabeth Bell and Max Lifchitz as well as the first US performance of a recent work by the young Italian composer Paolo Boggio.
The concert will take place at the acoustically superior but intimate auditorium of Christ & St Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th St – bet Bway & Columbus) on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It will start at 3 PM and end at 4:45 PM. No tickets necessary.
Hailed as “the Heifetz of the Banjo” Ken Perlman is an acknowledged master of the 5-string banjo. The Glasgow (UK) Herald noted: “Perlman can make his instrument do more or less anything he wants it to” as his pioneering claw-hammer style picking helps spotlight the power and expressiveness of the wide range of music he performs. Perlman has toured across North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Western Europe and Australia. An acclaimed teacher of folk-music instrumental skills, Perlman has authored widely respected banjo and guitar instruction books and has been on staff at prestigious teaching festivals around the world.
Since its inception in 1980, the North/South Chamber Orchestra has brought to the attention of the New York City public over 1,000 works by composers hailing from the Americas and elsewhere representing a wide spectrum of aesthetic views. Its activities are 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 as well as grants from the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy and the Music Performance Trust Funds. Contributions by numerous individual donors are also gratefully acknowledged.
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS AND THEIR MUSIC
Elizabeth Bell (b. 1928; Cincinnati, OH) attended Wellesley College and The Juilliard School where her mentors included Vittorio Giannini and Peter Mennin. Described by the American Record Guide as “one of our country’s leading composers” and by Fanfare Magazine as “a fine composer whose instrumental music is particularly striking,” her works for voice, solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and orchestra, have been performed throughout the US and abroad. Her Concertino for Chamber Orchestra is a three movement work employing an ensemble consisting of winds, piano and strings.
The compositions of Paolo Boggio (b. 1964; Verecelli, Italy) have garnered awards and prizes in several international competitions and are published by RAI Trade and Berben Editions. Educated at the St Cecilia Academy in Rome and the Birmingham Conservatory in England, Boggio now teaches at the Torino Conservatory. The press has described his style as “eclectic, combining deliberately outdated gestures with a sense of parody.” Written in 2013, his multi-movement work Shi-Kiai for winds and strings was inspired by Chinese Taoist philosophy — a holistic conception of nature.
Active as composer, pianist and conductor, Max Lifchitz (b. 1948; Mexico City) was awarded first prize in the 1976 International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music held in Holland. Robert Commanday, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle described him as “a composer of brilliant imagination and a stunning, ultra-sensitive pianist.” The New York Times music critic Allan Kozinn praised Mr. Lifchitz for his “clean, measured and sensitive performances” while Anthony Tommasini remarked that he “conducted a strong performance.” Payton MacDonald writing for the American Record Guide remarked: ”Mr. Lifchitz is as good on the podium as he is behind the piano.” His Yellow Ribbons No. 40 belongs to an ongoing series of compositions written as homage to the former American hostages in Iran. These compositions represent a personal way of celebrating the artistic and political freedom so often taken for granted in the West. The performance of the work will honor the tragic victims of the recent attacks in Paris, France and San Bernandino, California.
Harold Schiffman (b. 1928 in North Carolina) has been described by the international press as “a most distinguished composer whose well-crafted and communicative music repays repeated hearings.” He taught composition at Florida State University from 1959 until 1983 and also directed that institution’s New Music Festival. Especially written for Ken Perlman, Schiffman’s three-movement Banjo Concerto is cast in a traditional fast-slow-fast pattern. Inspired by Appalachian’s melodies, the work’s musical language recalls Baroque-era lute music while offering the soloist ample opportunity for technical display.
For the complete Winter/Spring concert series schedule please visit
To stream, download and/or purchase the more than 60 compact discs released under the North/South Recordings label please go to
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