LSM Newswire

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Concert of New Works Performed by Soprano and Baritone Up-and-Comers

Aliana de la Guardia and Jonathan Nussman

BOSTON, MA - On Thursday, November 19, 2009 at St. Paul's Church in Brookline contemporary soprano and actor, Aliana de la Guardia and baritone, Jonathan Nussman, will present an eclectic collection of works featuring four living composers assorted with works by Berg, Brahms, and Barber with Pianist Hisako Hiratsuka. With Nussman's sophisticated musicality and de la Guardia's grit and intensity, this spunky young duo presents an interesting and varied program of new and traditional repertoire suitable for a contemporary audience.

The composers to be featured are Marti Epstein, Rudolf Rojahn, John Murphree, and Masaki Hasebe whose radically different works make for an exciting concert on their own.

Hasebe's Mi-da-re-ga-mi for soprano and piano is sung in Japanese and features the sensual poetry of Akiko Yosano. This was commissioned by Hiratsuka and de la Guardia.

Murphree's duet for male and female voices and pre-recorded sound is farthest from traditional art song.

Epstein's Lenz is from poetry by Kandinsky, who was one of the foremost abstract/expressionist painters of the early 20th century. His Lenz is an attempt to accomplish in poetry form something along the lines of what he could accomplish in his paintings. Epstein's setting is simultaneously simple and deceptively complex. She works with the poetry to create images and feelings that are open to free interpretation by the listener, much like viewing a Kandinsky canvas.

"I chose Kandinsky's poetry because I love his paintings so much; I felt this was a way to make a musical connection to him as an artist. Jonathan Nussman and I met last year when we gave a performance of some songs by John Murphree. I was very impressed with the beauty of Jonathan's voice as well as his musical intelligence, and I immediately thought of asking him to present the premiere of these songs. We gave the first performance last month, and I am still hearing comments from people about the beauty and intensity of Jonathan's performance." - Composer Marti Epstein

Scored for soprano and violin Rojahn's Dodo as Avian Christ is a setting of first-hand historical accounts of the discovery and slaughter of the famous flightless bird which would become the earliest and most famous example of animal extinction.

"The dodo's role as one of the earliest concrete examples of animal extinction in Western culture provided a jumping off point for the work. The text was taken from a variety of first-hand historical accounts of the infamous bird assembled into a five movement arc. The piece chronicles the dodo's discovery, slaughter, extinction and ultimate rebirth as a martyr and cautionary tale." - Composer Rudolf Rojahn

Dodo as Avian Christ will be premiered by Gabriela Diaz and de la Guardia, the violin and soprano duo that performed Kurtł░g's Kafka Fragments last February at The Boston Conservatory New Music Festival and for PRI's The World.

November 19, 2009 at 8pm
St. Paul's Church, 15 St. Paul Street, Brookline, MA
$12.00 General Admission
Purchase tickets online at or cash only at the door.


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