Chamber Orchestra Works by American Composers
Victoria Bond, Allan Crossman,
Robert Martin, William Schimmel & Thomas Whitman
William Schimmel, accordion
Max Lifchitz, conductor
The North/South Chamber Orchestra
Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 3 PM
Christ & St Stephen’s Church
120 West 69th St (bet Bway & Columbus), NYC
Free Admission. No tickets required.
North/South Consonance, Inc. starts the new decade with a special concert on Sunday afternoon February 7 at the auditorium of Christ & St. Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th St) in Manhattan. Admission is free.
The North/South Chamber Orchestra will perform five recent works by living American composers. World-renown accordionist and composer William Schimmel will be the featured soloist while the orchestra’s founder Max Lifchitz will conduct.
The program will open with the first performance of Coastal Ghost (2009) by Allan Crossman. The work was inspired by the story of the Trickster one of the many celebrated stories of the Canadian Maritimes, whose spirit lives in the swirling wind blowing across the shores of Nova Scotia. A native New Yorker, Crossman lived in Montreal for many years while he taught at Concordia University. He now resides in the Bay Area where he has served on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory.
Suara Suadin (Voice of Suadin) (2009) by Thomas Whitman will also be heard for the first time. The work is a set of variations on a melody originally written for a Balinese gamelan ensemble. Also originally from New York, Whitman spent time in living and studying in Indonesia before joining the Swarthmore College faculty where he co-directs the Balinese Gamelan Semara Santi.
The first half of the program will close with the performance of William Schimmel‘s Harold is Alive and Doing (Seemingly) OK Somewhere in Lisbon (2009) for accordion and chamber orchestra. Described by the NY Times as a “virtuoso accordionist whose performances can be both entertaining and provocative” Schimmel is well known for his award-winning recordings with the Tango Project and for his work in numerous movies and television series including Sesame Street, Scent of a Woman and Sex and the City. Schimmel’s composition is both ironic and humorous. Inspired by the romantic masterpiece Harold in Italy, Schimmel â€˜s accordion odyssey finds the imaginary protagonist lost in Lisbon enjoying Fado music while searching for a deeper meaning of life. The work garnered much acclaim when it was first performed as part of the North/South concert series on June 9, 2009. The composer will once more be perform the intricate solo accordion part.
A newly minted work by Victoria Bond will open the second half. Inspired by Puerto Rico’s Coqui frog, Ms. Bond’s new score titled Coqui (2009) employs clever instrumental figures that imitate the chirping and calling of the exotic creature. The delightful and colorful orchestration features piccolo calls as well as special effects in the string instruments that recall and imitate the constant chirping of the Coqui in Puerto Rico’s rain forest. In addition to being an award-winning composer whose works have been performed by important ensembles throughout the country and abroad, Ms. Bond is the first woman to earn a doctorate in conducting from The Juilliard School. She has appeared at the helm of ensembles throughout the US, Europe and China.
Robert Martin‘s They Will Take My Island (2009) will close the program. Inspired by the painting of the same name by the great Arshile Gorky, Martin’s dramatic music features whispering, undulating melodic lines designed to encircle and captivate the listener. The colorful score demands the utmost in virtuosity from the performers. Martin is now devoting all his energies to composing after retiring from a successful career in the world of finance. He has received the Charles Ives Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as Fulbright and Japan-US Creative Artists fellowships.
The composers will be on hand to introduce their works and meet with the audience during intermission and after the concert. All participants in the event are available to the press for interviews and may be contacted through our office at
North/South Consonance’s 2009-10 season is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; grants from the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University, the Music Performance Funds of Local 802 and the Zethus Fund for Contemporary Music. Contributions by many generous individuals are gratefully acknowledged.
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