With JiB’s annual weeklong festival about halfway through already, I thought I’d suggest the festival as a topic of conversation on the composer’s forum. Who’s been to June in Buffalo and would like to share some memorable experiences?

 Here’s one I posted on my blog (www.sequenza21.com/carey) earlier this week:

 

June in Buffalo Memory: Pinch hitter

 

In 1999, I was invited to June in Buffalo for a second time. My string quartet was slated for premiere by the Cassatt Quartet: an excellent opportunity for a composer at any age, but particularly exciting for a young pup still in grad school!

The piece mixed aspects of 12-tone writing with swing-era jazz, and finding the correct balance between these two different demeanors was a tricky compositional and interpretive challenge.

Fortunately, the Cassatt members were very generous with their time. I met with them in New York City to rehearse the quartet, and things went quite well.

But when I arrived in Buffalo, I learned that their cellist had fallen ill and wouldn’t be able to play on the concert; the festival’s opener. While having any ensemble member cancel is concerning, it was particularly worrisome that the cellist was unavailable. I’d written the quartet in such a way that the cello served as the de facto “˜rhythm section’ of the piece, frequently articulating the pulse with walking bass lines.

But into the breach stepped Christopher Finckel; an excellent new music player who was also playing at the festival. Chris learned, rehearsed, and performed the quartet in one day. His pinch-hitting rescued the concert and earned a young composer’s lasting gratitude.

 

3 Responses to “June in Buffalo”
  1. Christian says:

    Okay, let’s try this again. emerging composer/performer participants – esp. those just returning from JiB – we’d be glad to hear how things went at the Festival.

    Best,
    Christian

  2. June in Buffalo is well-known, but I wanted to mention another, rather unpublicized gem, in Boston. SICPP (Seminar in Contemporary Performance Practice, also fondly called Sick Puppy), is going on right now, with fantastic, free concerts every night this week at New England Conservatory. I was overwhelmed by the performance of Stockhausen’s Kontakte last night. I wrote about it in my blog (elusivemusic.blogspot.com)

  3. Christian says:

    Pamela,

    Thanks for mentioned SICPP. Wish I could be in Boston this week!

    Best,
    C

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