Saturday, March 27th at 7:30pm CDT, anyone in driving range of Birmingham, Alabama should be paying UAB’s Hulsey Recital Hall (950 13th Street South) a visit. Back last year, Meet the Composer’s Met Life Creative Connections Program gave some funding for a program of new compositions by three composers (Connecticut-based Alphonse Izzo, Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn from Washington State, and Alabama resident Craig Biondi), all written for the fantastically able chops of cellist Craig Hultgren.

What’s that, you say you’re not going to be anywhere near Birmingham just then? Why son, you’re as close as that little screen in front of your face! That’s because the concert will be streamed live courtesy of USTREAM; all you have to do is click that link I just gave you and you’re there (they’ll also be streaming the pre-concert discussion, slated for 6:00pm CDT).

The program’s title is Listen Out Loud, and what made the run-up to this one so interesting is that for the past few months, each of the composers has been blogging about their experiences while composing their respective piece. At the blog Composing Out Loud, you can follow the genesis and fruition of each of the composer’s ideas.

Each composer will present a work for solo cello, and a work for cello with ensemble. Izzo’s solo cello piece The Madcap Laughed is the composer’s surrealist tribute to Syd Barrett, the late founder of Pink Floyd. Hultgren is joined by Katherine Fouse on piano and Denise Gainey on clarinet for the premiere of Izzo’s Memory Theater.

ASO English horn player Erica Howard and Hultgren engage in an intimate dialogue in Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn’s “...and I will love the silence…”. Dramatic contrast follows with the premiere of the light hearted solo work Snap! Crackle! Pop!

Biondi will present a haunting work for solo cello, Adrift.  Then Fouse and Hultgren are joined by Soprano Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk and percussionist Gene Fambrough for the premiere of Biondi’s improvisatory Two Psalms.

So between all of the great, intimate  background information, brand-spanking new works and a concert itself brought close no matter where you may live, here’s beautiful example of what a concert in this century can be. I know I’ll be in the ‘audience’, even here in Houston!

One thought on “Composing and Listening Out Loud”
  1. Thanks for the kind write-up! A quick clarification: the concert will be at 8:30 EDT for you east coasters, 7:30 CDT for the Birmingham locals, 6:30 MDT, and 5:30 for you folks out west. Hope to see you all online!

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