LSM Newswire

Monday, October 5, 2009

Composer Laitman Presents Classes and Recitals in Cleveland and Colorado Springs October 2009

Acclaimed American composer Lori Laitman will be the guest composer at The Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music and the Buckeye NATS Fall Meeting from October 8th to October 10th, 2009. She will also be the Distinguished Visiting Composer at Colorado College from October 27th to October 30th, 2009. Laitman will coach vocalists, present lectures and master classes and have her songs performed in recitals by faculty and students at Baldwin-Wallace and Colorado College on October 9th and October 30th respectively.

Lori Laitman is one of America's most prolific and widely performed composers of vocal music. She has composed nearly 200 songs, setting the words of classical and contemporary poets from Emily Dickinson to Richard Wilbur. "It is difficult to think of anyone before the public today who equals her exceptional gifts for embracing a poetic text and giving it new and deeper life through music." (The Journal of Singing)

Laitman's new opera, The Scarlet Letter, premiered in 2008 to rave reviews. "Composer Lori Laitman has written gorgeous music that works hand-in-glove with the words of librettist David Mason and underpins the very essence of this psychological-social drama...the few arias are at key moments and are stunningly effective." (The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette). The opera, commissioned by The University of Central Arkansas, is based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's literary masterpiece, as adapted by award-winning poet David Mason. Mason and Laitman are continuing as collaborators on a new opera, based on Mason's verse novel, Ludlow. Currently they are working on Vedem, a Holocaust oratorio which tells the story of the boys at Terezłén and their secret journal. Vedem was commissioned by Music of Remembrance and will premiere at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA on May 10, 2010.

Music of Remembrance also commissioned Laitman's song cycle The Seed of Dream, released on Naxos to critical acclaim. The cycle sets the poetry of Vilna Ghetto survivor Abraham Sutzkever. Dr. Sharon Mabry, in The Journal of Singing, pronounced the work "a masterpiece that should not be missed!"

Since launching her career in 1991, Laitman's music has been performed frequently in the US and abroad. Some recent U.S. venues include The Frye Art Music and Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA; The Kennedy Center and The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Hall in New York, NY; The Granada in Santa Barbara, CA and The USC Fisher Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Her discography also continues to grow, with releases on Albany Records, Naxos, Channel Classics and other labels, showcasing the talents of some of today's top musicians, among them Jennifer Check, Sari Gruber, Warren Jones, Maureen McKay, Robert McPherson, Lee Poulis, Barbara Quintiliani, Randall Scarlata and William Sharp. Laitman frequently travels to universities and festivals to present master classes on her music.

Within These Spaces, Laitman's latest solo CD released in May 2009, is receiving exceptional praise: "This is music of depth and richness that connects with the soul." (American Record Guide); "Her affinity for the voiceĺ─Âis beyond doubtĺ─Âher songs represent outpourings of great beauty." (Fanfare Magazine). Gramophone Magazine called Laitman's Becoming a Redwood: "An extraordinarily impressive achievementĺ─Â[which indicates] increasing evidence of a major talent. Lori Laitman's beautiful, sensitively crafted songs deserve to be performed widely." In a review of her 2000 release, Mystery, Opera News says: "Composer Lori Laitman knows how to let the voice soar and exploreĺ─Âspinning lyrical neo-romantic vocal lines over shifting post-modern sonorities." A Journal of Singing review says of her 2003 album, Dreaming: "This is a stunning collection of widely varied songs by one of the finest art song composers on the scene today...Lori Laitman deservedly stands shoulder to shoulder with Ned Rorem for her uncommon sensitivity to text, her loving attention to the human voice and its capabilities, and her extraordinary palette of musical colors and gestures."

Laitman graduated magna cum laude from Yale College and received her Master of Music degree in flute performance from The Yale School of Music. Her recordings are available on her website,, as well as Amazon and ITunes. Laitman is represented by Jona Rapoport Artist Management.

Songs of Lori Laitman - Recital Information:

October 9, 2009 : 8 pm, Gamble Auditorium, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, 275 Eastland Road, Berea, Ohio 44017. Tel: 440-826-2222. For more information, please visit

October 30, 2009: 7:30 pm, Packard Hall, Colorado College, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St, Colorado Springs, CO. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Laitman's Mystery Garners Further Acclaim in Patricia Green's New CD

Laitman's Mystery Garners Further Acclaim in Patricia Green's New CD

"Laitman is one of the best and most prolific song writers at work today," writes Robert Moore in the American Record Guide Review of Patricia Green's new Blue Griffin release, Unsleeping, in which the Canadian mezzo-soprano pays tribute to six living international composers, with Laitman singled out to represent the United States with a song cycle titled Mystery. This version of the 1998 cycle, originally composed for baritone and recorded on Laitman's eponymous first solo CD, has already received several glowing reviews, and serves as a testament to the composer's extraordinary skills in adapting her remarkable art songs to a variety of voice types, making them accessible to a wider tapestry of vocal talent. In speaking of her approach and method, the composer says:

"In my vocal writing, I always compose the vocal line first. I custom construct each melody to emphasize the words or phrases of a poem that I find most important. I also take great care to create a musical line that will work well for the voice. Of course, other musical aspects factor into my work, but having a primary focus on melody makes my songs particularly adaptable to other voice types ĺ─ţ so long as the accompaniment can function in another key and the text remains appropriate."

The song cycle consists of five settings to poems by American poet Sara Teasdale. Of the current recording Gramophone Magazine writes: "The teaming of composer Lori Laitman and poet Sara Teasdale in Mystery results in five songs of generous lyricism and propulsive ardour." Colin Clarke of Fanfare Magazine says: "Laitmanĺ─Â has made her name in the field of art song, and it is not difficult to hear why. These are exquisitely crafted miniatures. The delicious love song, "Spray" (the cycle's second movement), is most movingly and tenderly rendered here. The quasi-improvised nature of the piano part to "The Mystery" gives it almost a late-night jazz feel before "The Rose" introduces the character of Pierrot in a portrayal of deeply felt regret."

The youngest composer featured on this new recording, Lori Laitman's "exceptional gifts for embracing a poetic text and giving it new and deeper life through music" (The Journal of Singing), finds the composer with over 200 songs to her credit, setting the words of classical and contemporary poets with uncanny skill and unmatched beauty. Laitman's own fourth solo CD, Within These Spaces, was released in May 2009 by Albany Records. The composer's full-length opera, The Scarlet Letter, to poet David Mason's libretto on Hawthorne's literary masterpiece, opened to splendid accolades in November 2008.

Laitman is currently composing Vedem, a Holocaust oratorio commissioned by Music of Remembrance. The work is based on the story of the underground magazine published at the Terezin concentration camp, and weaves poet David Mason's haunting new libretto with poetry written by the Czech boys imprisoned at the camp. Vedem will premiere on May 10, 2010 in Seattle, WA, and will feature musicians from Music of Remembrance as well as the famed Northwest Boy choir. The busy composer's calendar in the upcoming months will see her presenting master classes and workshops at Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, The Buckeye NATS Fall Workshop, Colorado College, and the Virginia NATS Spring Conference.

Find more information about Lori Laitman's music on her official website at:

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Walden School Announces Joan Tower as 2009 Composer-in-Residence

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ffin Records releases John Hardy composition

Orchestra piece is a step outside reality

With a salary of Čú30 and a mission to oversee every school in an area the size of England, Anne Ritchie set out on foot and by dugout canoe across vast terrains and wild country. Her letters home paint pictures of a truly foreign world, with schools so poorly equipped they have "children doing arithmetic on their bare arms," and where they found a "python over at St Mary's, but the girls killed it quite happily!"

Forty years after her return, her son John Hardy was commissioned by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to compose an accessible, energetic piece for a series of concerts. His inspiration for the music came from the stories his mother had told of her adventures in Africa. Her letters sent back home gave the piece its name: Blue Letters from Tanganyika. "What I did was to take some of them and use them as the basis for a sort of tone poem," explains John, "describing in music some of the colour and drama of her time there."

The 18-minute piece is split into four movements, each based on a different part of Anne's travels. "The first movement is her arrival there, a dangerous and rough journey, at one point she inadvertently walked through an area patrolled by lions; the second movement is a scherzo which describes travelling on a lake, sometimes calm and tranquil and other times stormy; the third describes the calm and peace of the very long and dark African nights near the Equator and then the last movement is an on-safari finale."

Full of exuberant African colours and textures, the piece is rich with imagery and imagination. Anyone who likes classical, orchestral, classical crossover and big film scores will feel instantly at home with this visual and visceral sound-world. Fresh and bold, Blue Letters from Tanganyika conjures an exotic world where lions are banished by bicycle bells, snakes are frightened away with hymns and the only person who can cure an aching tooth is a German nun.

Following the success of the piece in audience votes, radio broadcasts and five live performances, Ffin Records are releasing the music on Friday 1st May.

The tiny Cardiff-based record label has kept hold of the music in the face of serious attention from major companies who have described the piece as "great" (Universal Classics & Jazz) and "cinemagraphic" (Hyperion Records), praising the "great feel for atmosphere, beautifully scored" (EMI Classics).

Naxos even put in a bid to release the music themselves, noting "the music would appeal to a Classic FM audience." However, Ffin Records is committed to an independent release. "This music needs the attention it can only get from a personal, specialist label," manager Ed Scolding notes, "we know the music best ĺ─ý so we can help everyone experience this extraordinary music in the fullest possible way". Recorded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Grant Llewellyn, Blue Letters from, Tanganyika will be released digitally on Friday 1st May at Part of the sale proceeds will be donated to charities supporting work around the area of Tanzania described in the letters.

Notes: John Hardy is a highly-acclaimed composer whose concert music has been described as 'utterly engrossing' and 'unique' by the Guardian, 'witty' by the Independent, 'gripping and intensely theatrical' by Opera Now and 'energetic, instinctive' by the Times.

He is regularly commissioned to write substantial choral and instrumental works for organisations such as Welsh National Opera, DV8, BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales, BBC Concert Orchestra, Test Dept. and Westminster Abbey.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eighth Blackbird Performs Steve Reich's Pulitzer Prize-Winning Double Sextet at Ojai Music Festival

*Steve Reich and members of Nexus perform Reichĺ─˘s Drumming at 2008 Ojai Music Festival


Work To Be Performed By Eighth Blackbird at Ojai Music Festival Sunday, June 14

Steve Reich, the 2008 featured composer at the Ojai Music Festival described by New Yorker magazine as ĺ─˙the most original musical thinker of our time,ĺ─¨ has won a Pulitzer Prize for Double Sextet, which was commissioned and premiered in 2007 by eighth blackbird, the music director of the 2009 Ojai Music Festival. The 22-minute work can be performed either by a sextet playing against a prerecording of the work or as an ensemble of 12 instrumentalists.

On Sunday, June 14, the closing day of the four-day Ojai Music Festival, eighth blackbird will be joined by six ĺ─˛liveĺ─˘ musicians in a performance of Steve Reichĺ─˘s Double Sextet, to open the Festivalĺ─˘s four-hour Marathon Finale.

Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird, known for its provocative and engaging performances, comprising flutist Tim Munro, clarinetist Michael J. Maccaferri, violin/violist Matt Albert, cellist Nicholas Photinos, percussionist Matthew Duvall, percussion; and pianist Lisa Kaplan. The sextet, which plays with a virtuosic and theatrical flair, debunks the myth that contemporary music is only for a cerebral few.

The six artists joining eighth blackbird in the June 14 performance of Double Sextet are flutist Alexis Kenny, clarinetist John Schertle, violinist Andrew McCann, cellist Darrett Adkins, percussionist Greg Beyer, and pianist Amy Briggs.

American composer Steve Reich, an early pioneer in tape music and American minimalism, has established himself as one of the foremost composers of our time. The 72-year-old composer has been described by The Guardian as one of the few composers who have "altered the direction of musical history" and by The New York Times as ĺ─˙our greatest living composer.ĺ─¨ His music has been performed by countless orchestras and ensembles worldwide, and noted choreographers have created dances to his music. Known for steady pulse, repetition, and a fascination with canons, his music has been influential to composers and pop musicians all over the world. Mr. Reich has been recognized with Grammy Awards for Different Trains and Music for 18 Musicians (also to be performed at the 2009 Ojai Music Festival), and his ĺ─˙documentary video operaĺ─¨ works The Cave and Three Tales, created in collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot, have expanded the boundaries of the operatic medium.

The 63rd annual Ojai Music Festival, under 2009 Music Director eighth blackbird, takes place from June 11 to June 14. The Festival, which for six decades has become well known for its fearlessness in championing pioneering musical ideas and personalities, takes place in the unspoiled beauty of Californiaĺ─˘s Ojai Valley, and is known worldwide for providing artists with the freedom to present music they are passionate about. Many of todayĺ─˘s finest contemporary artists have been gathered for this yearĺ─˘s festival, which has been described as ĺ─˙a wild and diverse musical party of extraordinary talents.ĺ─¨ Among them are freewheeling chamber ensemble Tin Hat; the matchless recorder quartet from Berlin, QNG; American pianist Jeremy Denk; composer/guitarist Steven Mackey, actor/singer Rinde Eckert, and renowned sound sculptor Trimpin. The Ojai Music Festival is located 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Ojai Music Festival single tickets range from $35 to $95 for reserved seating; lawn seats are $15. For a full schedule of events, visit

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Monday, March 23, 2009

U of T presents Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider

University of Toronto Faculty of Music to present Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider

"To call Schneider the most important woman in jazz is missing the point in two ways. She is a major composer - period." - TIME MAGAZINE

"...she puts together stories that speak with the clarity of Ernest Hemingway and the musical grace of Aaron Copland."


TORONTO ĺ─ý The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto presents Grammy Award-winning composer Maria Schneider in a lecture and a concert with the U of T Jazz Orchestras. On Thursday, April 2, the Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition will present a lecture in Walter Hall as part of the Thursdays at Noon Series, and on Saturday, April 4, she will join the Faculty of Musicĺ─˘s 10 Oĺ─˘Clock and 11 Oĺ─˘Clock Jazz Orchestras in a concert in MacMillan Theatre. Details of the events are as follows:

Thursday, April 2, 2009
Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition
12:10 pm. Walter Hall, 80 Queenĺ─˘s Park. Free

Saturday, April 4, 2009
CONCERT with the U of T Jazz Orchestras

Maria Schneider conducts her own music with the U of T Jazz Orchestras
7:30 pm. MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queenĺ─˘s Park. Tickets: $14 ($8 seniors/students).
Box Office: 416-978-3744
Box office hours: 1 ĺ─ý 7 pm, Monday to Friday, with extended hours on performance nights.
Address: Lobby level, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queenĺ─˘s Park, Toronto ON M5S 2C5

Maria Schneider's music has been described as evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization. Born in Windom, Minnesota, Schneider arrived in New York City in 1985 after studies at the University of Minnesota, the University of Miami and the Eastman School of Music. She immediately sought out Bob Brookmeyer to study composition, and at the same time became an assistant to Gil Evans, working on various projects with him.

The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra came into being in 1993, appearing at Visiones in Greenwich Village every Monday night for a stretch of five years. Subsequently, her orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls across Europe as well as in Brazil and Macau. She's received numerous commissions and invites with American and Europeans orchestras, guest conducting in Brazil, Italy, Portugal, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Canada, Scotland, Australia, Greenland and Iceland, as well as across the U.S. Commissions include the Norrbotten Big Band's and Danish Radio Orchestra's commission to arrange and conduct concerts with Toots Thielemans. Other commissioning organizations include the Metropole Orchestra, Stuttgart Jazz Orchestra, Orchestre National de Jazz (Recapitulation), Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra (El Viento), Monterey Jazz Festival (Scenes from Childhood), University of Miami Concert Jazz Band (Three Romances), Hunter College (Concert in the Garden and Sky Blue), Jazz at Lincoln Center (Bulerłéa, Soleł░ y Rumba), Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (Aires de Lando) and Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope Festival (Cerulean Skies). Maria was also the recipient of a Doris Duke award to compose a dance work (Dissolution) in collaboration with the Pilobolus dance group. It was performed with her orchestra at the American Dance Festival and Kennedy Center. Her latest major work, commissioned by The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, debuted in October of 2008 Written to feature soprano, Dawn Upshaw, it is entitled Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories.

Schneider has had a distinguished recording career as well. Her debut recording Evanescence, was nominated for two 1995 Grammy Awards. Her second and third recordings Coming About and Allłęgresse were also nominated for Grammys. Her third album, Allłęgresse was chosen by both TIME and BILLBOARD in their Top Ten Recordings of 2000, inclusive of all genres of music.

Concert in the Garden, released only through her website (an ArtistShareČĂ site), was a watershed in her career when she won the 2005 Grammy Award for ô─ňBest Large Ensemble Albumô─š and became the first Grammy-winning recording with Internet-only sales. It also receivedô─ňJazz Album of the Yearô─š by the Jazz Journalists Awards and the DOWNBEAT Critics Poll. Both also awarded her ô─ňComposer of the Yearô─š andô─ňArranger of the Yearô─š and the Jazz Journalists also named her group ô─ňLarge Jazz Ensemble of the Yearô─š.

Her newest fan-funded ArtistShareČĂ recording, Sky Blue, was released in July 2007 and received unanimous praise. It was nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning one in the category of ô─ňBest Instrumental Compositionô─š (Cerulean Skies). The album received the honor of ô─ňJazz Album of the Yearô─š from the VILLAGE VOICE Critics Poll as well as a Choc Award in France and was one of only two albums to receive a five-star review from DOWNBEAT in 2007.

Artist website:

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Notes on Composing


Movement and meaning between Canada and the Netherlands

A Festival of Canadian and Dutch Music, Film and Literature


5 collaborations in film and music

Final Event of SHIFT Festival Marks Opening Night of the


April 2, 2009 at Isabel Bader Theatre

For Immediate Release ĺ─ý Toronto, March 23, 2009: SHIFT is not over yet, but the big bulge of activity at the end of February -- swelling the city's cultural offerings like an early spring thaw -- has passed. After continuing on to Vancouver for a concert with Vancouver New Music Society, Ives Ensemble musicians (now great musical friends of many in Canada) have returned to the Netherlands; Quatuor Bozzini returned to Montreal before setting off on yet another European tour; having made their guerrilla hit, Toca Loca's musicians have again dispersed. But Continuum is hard at preparations for the final event.

On April 2 at the Isabel Bader Theatre, The Images Festival and Continuum present Notes on Composing: 5 collaborations in film and music. Premiered at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam, the event features works on diverse themes by well-known and emerging Canadian film and video artists with music by composers from Canada and the Netherlands: Clive Holden (CA) and Oscar van Dillen (NL) deal with the sea as the Pacific Ocean and the North Sea are juxtaposed on a split screen; Christina Battle (CA) and Martin Arnold (CA) treat the mutual invasion of the human and natural worlds as represented by clips from old movies intercut with highly processed images of birds and bats in flight; Vera Frenkel (CA) and Rick Sacks (CA) have created a poignant view of the loss of connection with water in Toronto's urban environment; Dałěchi Sałěto (CA) and Malcolm Goldstein (CA) muse on trees in Parc Mont-Royal in Montreal; and Guy Maddin (CA) and Richard Ayres (NL) present the story of an aging gangster's paranoid delusions, near death experience and revival through highly unconventional means.

NOTES ON COMPOSING ĺ─ý Opening Night of the 2009 IMAGES FESTIVAL

Thursday, April 2 at 8PM at Isabel Bader Theatre: 93 Charles Street West

Tickets: $15 adults / $12 students & seniors

Advance tickets available at: Info: (416) 971-8405

Composer/Filmmaker: Title

Martin Arnold/Christina Battle (Toronto/Toronto): Behind the Shadows

Richard Ayres/Guy Maddin (Renkum/Winnipeg): Glorious

Oscar van Dillen/Clive Holden (Rotterdam/Toronto): 2 Cameras @ Sea

Rick Sacks/Vera Frenkel (Toronto/Toronto): ONCE NEAR WATER: Notes from the Scaffolding Archive

Malcolm Goldstein/Dałěchi Sałěto (Montreal/Montreal): Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis


Admittance to all screenings (except Youth Screenings) is restricted to those 18 years of age or older. The Images Festival believes in freedom of artistic expression and is against discrimination on the basis of age. However, under the Ontario Theatres Act, film and video festivals are required to adopt a blanket adult rating in order to hold public screenings without having to submit all works for prior classification. Film and video are the only forms of expression subject to this kind of censorship system in Ontario. The Images Festival complies with the Ontario Theatres Act under protest.

Continuum is supported through grants from The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the city of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council; the Metcalf Foundation's Strategic Initiatives programme; the SOCAN, Emerald and McLean foundations; by patrons Aurora Tewksbury Reford, Ann Southam and Christopher Des Brisay; by the accounting firm Newman & Sversky; and as well, through the generosity of many private donors. SHIFT is supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, Muziek Centrum Nederland, Muziekgebouw aan ĺ─˛t IJ, the Consulate-General of The Netherlands, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Qułębec, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Charles Street Video and a variety of individual and corporate donors.

For more information on SHIFT please contact Festival Coordinator Josh Grossman at (416) 924-4945 or , or visit .

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Juno Award-Winning Canadian Composer John Burge

US Premiere of Juno Award-Nominated Composer John Burgeĺ─˘s Mass for Prisoners of Conscience at Lincoln Center, April 5, 2009

ĺ─˙In attempting to communicate the suffering of political prisoners, to pay tribute to Amnesty Internationalĺ─˘s role in ending it and to write a large piece, the young composer set himself a challenging taskĺ─ÂJohn Burgeĺ─˘s Mass for Prisoners of Conscience is a triumph.ĺ─¨-- Kingston Whig Standard

A classical and a modern Mass

A recording of the music of John Burge, Flanders Fields Reflections, by the Sinfonia Toronto, conducted by Nurhan Arman, has been nominated for a 2008 Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys, in the category of Best Canadian Classical Music Composition. The US premiere of the Burge Mass for Prisoners of Conscience will be presented in a performance dedicated to human rights organization Amnesty International, at Lincoln Centerĺ─˘s Avery Fisher Hall, Sunday, April 5, at 2:00 PM. Conductor Laureate Doreen Rao will conduct musicians and singers from the University of Toronto, where she is Director of Choral Programs, and Queenĺ─˘s University in Ontario, where Dr. Burge is Director of the School of Music.

As a counterpoint to the Burge Mass, the evening will also feature the Mass No. 12 in B minor ("Theresienmesse") of Franz Josef Haydn, under the baton of Guest Conductor Eric Johnson. This work features the Distinguished Orchestra International and the Distinguished Singers International, which consists of vocalists from all corners of the United States and abroad. Guest soloists for this section of the program will be Orna Ariana, Soprano, Shannon McGee, Mezzo, John Tiranno, Tenor, and Samuel Smith, Baritone.

Previous recognition; First musical setting for world-famous poem

John Burge has written a large body of vocal, chamber, and orchestral compositions. His piece, Angelsĺ─˘ Voices, for choir and orchestra, received the 2006 Outstanding New Choral Composition Award from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors and was performed in New York Cityĺ─˘s Carnegie Hall in 2005. As a long-serving past-President of the Canadian League of Composers, Burge has been a passionate advocate for contemporary music and Canadian music in particular. His oeuvre contains many works that are inspired by Canadian poetry and landscape, such as One Sail, based upon a poem by Canadian poet Margaret Avison. Regarding the Juno-nominated Flanders Fields Reflections, based on the iconic poem by Canadian military officer John McCrae, conductor Nurhan Arman said, ĺ─˙Recording these works was a real labour of love for us, and we are delighted that now peopleĺ─Âwill be able to listen to these remarkable compositionsĺ─Âitĺ─˘s a great privilege to help pieces as beautiful as these become better known.ĺ─¨

The Program

Mass for Prisoners of Conscience, commissioned in 1987 by Vancouverĺ─˘s Christ Church Cathedral Choir, is scored for baritone, mezzo-soprano and child soloists, accompanied by choir and a small instrumental ensemble of four solo woodwind instruments, two pianos and percussion. The text material for the soloists consists entirely of settings of first-hand accounts of political prisoners and their families sung in English. These accounts or testimonials are drawn from material provided by Amnesty International. The choir sings sections from the liturgical Mass in Latin, and comments on the emotions and situations expressed in the solo movements. Musically, the work is highly dramatic in the way that it combines percussively angular passages with lyrical vocal writing. The work was premiered by the University of Toronto Symphony Chorus, Dr. Doreen Rao, conductor, on November 9th, 1990.

The Theresienmesse was composed following Haydnĺ─˘s tenure in England, where he had secured his reputation as the greatest living composer of his day. He would write no more symphonies, but did accept a commission from Nicholas II, the fourth of the Esterhł░zy princes whom he had served, to write a Mass each year celebrating the name day of Nicholasĺ─˘s wife. The Theresa Mass is written for four vocal soloists, chorus, and a somewhat unusual orchestra consisting of two clarinets, bassoon, two trumpets, timpani and strings.


To obtain tickets or further information regarding this event, please visit the Distinguished Concerts web site, Tickets can also be purchased by calling the DCINY box office, 212.707.8566, x 307 or directly from the concert venue.

Premiere works

In just two short years, DCINY has joined the ranks of major classical music production companies in America, nearly doubling its roster of participating ensembles and attracting talent from all over the globe. Among the events DCINY is honored to present this season are: one world and two US premiere performances of major new works by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, which took place on January 19, and the world premiere of a new choral piece by American composer Eric Whitacre on June 28. Please visit for details regarding other highlights of DCINYĺ─˘s 2009/2010 Season.

Interviews can be arranged by contacting Mindi Rayner Public Relations, at 718.377.4720, or For press tickets please contact Gene Wisniewski of Distinguished Concerts International, at 212.707.8566, ext. 306, or

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Poul Ruders 60th Birthday Concert and Celebration

On Thursday, March 26, 2009, at 7:30 pm, the Scandinavia House and Bridge Records will present a concert devoted to the music of the Danish composer, Poul Ruders. The concert will take place at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue at 38th Street. Mr. Ruders will be in attendance and will speak about his music and the works on this program. The program features the world premiere of Pages I-X (2008) performed by guitarist David Starobin, and the US premiere of Serenade on the Shores of the Cosmic Ocean, to be performed by Mikko Luoma, accordion and the iO String Quartet. Also on the program are: Regime (1984) played by the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, Star Prelude and Love Fugue (1990) performed by Vassily Primakov, piano; and New Rochelle Suite (2005) played by David Starobin, guitar and Daniel Druckman, percussion.

On the eve of his 60th birthday, Poul Ruders is widely acknowledged to be one of the leading composers of his generation. In the last decade Ruders' operas have been acclaimed in productions in England, the USA, Canada, and Denmark, and his orchestral scores have been commissioned and premiered by many of the world's great orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic. The next two years will see the world premiere of his 3rd Symphony ĺ─˙Dream Catcherĺ─¨ by the Royal Danish Orchestra, and his 4th Symphony ĺ─˙An Organ Symphonyĺ─¨ by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Odense Symphony Orchestra. His latest opera, Dancer in the Dark, will have its first production at the Royal Danish Opera, and premieres of new works are scheduled in locales as far flung as Estonia, Munich and Seattle. New recordings are due for release in 2009 on the DaCapo and Bridge labels.

Poul Ruders was born in Ringsted, Denmark on March 27, 1949. His early studies in piano and organ led eventually to studies in orchestration with the Danish composer Karl Aage Rasmussen. Ruders' first compositions date from the mid-60s. Writing about Ruders, the English critic Stephen Johnson states: "He can be gloriously, explosively extrovert one minute- withdrawn, haunted, intently inward-looking the next. Super-abundant high spirits alternate with pained, almost expressionistic lyricism; simplicity and directness with astringent irony." These extremes have defined the Ruders style, but only begin to touch on the rich variety found in his large catalog. The recent opera Kafka's Trial weaves disparate influences including Klezmer music, into a two-hour tapestry of wildly varying tonal shades; the 9/11-influenced Listening Earth for large orchestra, begins with teeming and optimistic orchestral explosions, only to wind down to a spare and devastatingly desolate conclusion; while the popular Concerto in Pieces riffs on a theme by Henry Purcell, and ends with a triumphant dancing fugue. Though not an "easy" composer, Ruders has managed to find a voice that is communicative, varied, recognizable and profound. More than 40 CDs of his music are currently available including his two grand operas (The Handmaid's Tale and Kafka's Trial), and a 400-plus page study of his work (Acoustical Canvases- The Music of Poul Ruders), published in 2007.

Tickets for the Ruders Birthday Concert are $15, and $10 for ASF members, please call 212 879 9779 for tickets reservations and sales. For further information contact Becky Starobin, 914 654 9270.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Annonce de publication CMBV

Choral Masses and Noł┤ls at the time of Louis XV: Louis Grłęnon, a composer rediscovered at Le Puy-en-Velay

These four amazingly modern masses by Louis Grłęnon, presented by the łÔditions du CMBV and edited by Jean Duron, are the first pieces to be published from the music collection recently discovered at Le Puy-en-Velay Cathedral. The most original of them is probably the Christmas Mass, which parodies popular tunes, as well as themes by Rameau and Mondonville. The Mass in G major and the Petite messe in A major, both in concerted style, and the quite short and more austere Missa quinti toni, also hold some interesting surprises. These masses are all for choir and continuo, and sometimes two concerted bassoons are required.

For further information, see

Messes et Noł┤ls pour chëýur au temps de Louis XV : Louis Grłęnon, un compositeur redłęcouvert au Puy-en-Velay

Les partitions des 4 messes de Louis Grłęnon, łęditłęes par Jean Duron au Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, viennent complłęter notre connaissance du rłępertoire sacrłę du temps de Louis XV. Ces ëýuvres, dont on dłęcouvrira la grande qualitłę musicale et la modernitłę, sont les premił«res publications issues de la dłęcouverte rłęcente d'un fonds musical au Puy-en-Velay. La Messe en Noł┤l, parodiant notamment des thł«mes de Rameau et de Mondonville, est probablement la plus originale. La Messe en sol majeur, la Petite messe en la majeur, toutes deux en style concertant, ou la plus austł«re mais brł«ve Missa quinti toni rłęservent łęgalement de trł«s belles surprises. Toutes se chantent en chëýur avec basse continue, parfois avec deux bassons concertants.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Worldwide search for aspiring new composers begins


October 23, 2008

Worldwide search for aspiring new composers begins

A worldwide search for 21st century compositional talent will begin this Friday (October 24) with the call for scores for the 2009 University of Aberdeen Music Prize.

The Aberdeen Prize ĺ─ý as it has become known in musical circles ĺ─ý is a unique, biennial competition for aspiring new contemporary composers from around the globe.

Established in 2005, it represents a unique collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (SSO), and will be judged by the pre-eminent Scottish composer James MacMillan.

Hundreds of scores from as far afield as Australia, China, India and Russia were submitted for the 2007 prize, with South Korea's Jun Lee eventually coming out on top.

He was awarded Čú5,000 in the form of a commission to write a full piece for orchestra, which will be premiered by the BBC SSO at Aberdeen Music Hall this Friday (October 24), before being broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The event will also see the launch of the global call for scores for the 2009 prize. Five works will be selected by a panel of experts and the composers brought to Aberdeen in November 2009 for a series of workshops with the distinguished composer James MacMillan and members of the BBC SSO.

Under the patronage of Dame Evelyn Glennie, the University of Aberdeen Music Prize competition forms the centerpiece of a wider celebration of contemporary musical creativity in the form of a weekend of hands-on events, workshops and concerts in Aberdeen.

Dr Paul Mealor, Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of the University of Aberdeen Music Prize said: "Since it was first launched, this search for creative talent has helped to develop Aberdeen's role as one of the major cultural centres in the UK. Hundreds of composers from every corner of the globe embraced the 2007 competition, many of whom wrote to us to express their gratitude that such an event exists.

"We are also honoured to have such a well respected judge in James Macmillan, and in the BBC SSO we have a body of musicians that understands the techniques of modern music better than anyone. We're delighted to be able to open the call for scores for the 2009 competition."

Gavin Reid, Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, said: "The BBC SSO has an international reputation for promoting new music and developing the work of young composers, and so we're delighted to continue our partnership with the University of Aberdeen Music Prize."

Jun Lee will have his commission, Marea, premiered by the BBC SSO, under the baton of American conductor Andrew Litton, at Aberdeen Music Hall on Friday, October 24, 7.30pm. The concert will also include Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.

The University of Aberdeen Music Prize is open to composers of any nationality, with no age limit or restrictions. Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday, May 29, 2009.

For further information and application details for the Music Prize please visit, email or call + 44(0)1224 273 874. Alternatively, contact Aberdeen Music Prize, Office of External Affairs, University Office, King's College, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom AB24 3FX.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Le nouveau Prix de composition de CBC/Radio-Canada




Montrłęal, 15 octobre 2008 Espace musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada, et CBC Radio 2, en partenariat avec le Banff Centre, sont fiers d'annoncer la naissance du concours łÔVOLUTION, le nouveau Prix national de composition de CBC/Radio-Canada.

Date limite d inscription : 15 dłęcembre 2008 łŢ

Ouvert łŢ tous les compositeurs canadiens ou rłęsidents permanents łógłęs de 19 łŢ 35 ans au 15 dłęcembre 2008, łÔVOLUTION accueille toutes les esthłętiques musicales contemporaines, une vitrine unique sur la crłęation musicale d'aujourd hui. En plus des 55 000 $ en prix remis par CBC/Radio-Canada et ses collaborateurs, le Banff Centre offre aux cinq finalistes une rłęsidence de composition unique, un słęjour de 25 jours (du 2 au 26 mars) au cëýur d'un des plus imposants parcs nationaux canadiens. Cette rłęsidence intensive et obligatoire culminera avec la prłęsentation en concert des cinq ëýuvres finalistes, le 26 mars 2009, un łęvłęnement diffusłę en direct sur CBC Radio 2, łŢ l'antenne d'Espace musique et en son et en images sur

Č┤ łÔVOLUTION a pour but d'identifier et d'encourager les jeunes compositeurs les plus prometteurs au pays, et de dłęmystifier, par diffłęrents moyens, le processus de crłęation musicale. Nous espłęrons ainsi mettre en lumił«re l immense talent de ces artistes issus d un milieu encore trop młęconnu, tout en jetant un regard attentif et trł«s personnel sur les łętapes de composition d'une ëýuvre Ȭ, ont dłęclarłę Christiane LeBlanc et Mark Steinmetz, respectivement premił«re directrice d'Espace musique et directeur de la programmation musicale de CBC Radio 2.

ł─ partir de toutes les candidatures reł▀ues au 15 dłęcembre 2008, un jury national słęlectionnera cinq finalistes dont les noms seront dłęvoilłęs publiquement le 2 fłęvrier 2009. Les cinq compositeurs obtiendront alors des indications leur permettant de procłęder au travail prłęliminaire de composition de l uvre finaliste. Mais c'est łŢ partir du 2 mars, łŢ leur arrivłęe au Banff Centre, que les compositeurs vivront la partie la plus intense du concours, des moments que pourront suivre dans le dłętail les internautes sur Des entrłęes de blogues, des vidłęos, des entrevues et autres permettront au grand public de ne rien manquer de cette grande aventure.

CBC/Radio-Canada accordera une bourse de 5000 $ łŢ chacun des cinq finalistes. De plus, łŢ l'issue de la grande finale en concert le 26 mars 2009, le Grand Prix national de composition de 20 000 $ sera remis au laurłęat par CBC/Radio-Canada et le Conseil des Arts du Canada. Le prix de l'Orchestre de la Francophonie canadienne, sous forme d une commande de 5000 $, sera quant łŢ lui remis łŢ l'un des cinq finalistes. Les auditeurs et les internautes seront appelłęs łŢ faire connałĂtre leur oeuvre prłęfłęrłęe par un vote qui dłęterminera le laurłęat du Prix du public d une valeur de 5000 $, offert par la Fondation Jeunesses Musicales du Canada.

CBC/Radio-Canada est le radiodiffuseur public national du Canada et l'une des plus importantes institutions culturelles du pays. Avec ses 28 services offerts sur toutes ses plateformes radio, tłęlłęvision, Internet, radio par satellite, audio numłęrique, sans compter un service de distribution de disques et de musique, et ses services de messagerie sans fil WAP et SMS , CBC/Radio-Canada est de plus en plus accessible łŢ tous les Canadiens, en tous lieux, łŢ tout moment et d innombrables fał▀ons.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Henry Du Mont

New volume in the monumental edition of French baroque composer H. Du Mont

Before his installation in Versailles in 1682, the Sun King organized his official music around three talented composers : J.-B. Lully for secular music and, for sacred music, Henry Du Mont and his colleague Pierre Robert. This period was decisive in the creation of French musical style and of the splendour of Versailles. This scholarly edition of the music of Henry Du Mont sheds light on a little-known aspect of the history of baroque music in France and offers to performers, singers and choral groups the opportunity of rediscovering a remarkable musical heritage.

This volume, edited by Laurence Decobert and based on the original publication in 1681, collects a representative sample of sacred works composed before the installation of the King in Versailles. Du Mont, who was then 70, published 37 motets and 3 instrumental pieces mostly composed for the daily mass of Louis XIV. The composer, near the end of his career as choirmaster of the Royal Chapel, choose a sumptuous selection from his huge output.

The volume contains motets for one to four voices and also includes motets which can be performed with two choirs. Most of the works are accompanied by instruments ad libitum - often 1 or 2 violins (or treble viols; the composer use the ambiguous abbreviation "viol.") ĺ─ý but some require "symphonies" (a small string orchestra). The motets are elegant, varied, and relatively easy to perform.

In a very detailed preface, the editor presents the numerous printed and manuscript sources of these motets, describing and comparing them very precisely ĺ─ý dating, corrections by the composer, the meticulous details for the performers. The circulation of these works is discussed, with particular attention given to a copy made by the English composer John Blow, which was itself copied until the early 19th century. Also discussed are the vocal and instrumental requirements, innovations in notation (links between two chords in figured bass), the ossia, time signatures, the origins and functions of the sacred texts used, and much more.

This volume contains, in addition to the preface in French and English and the scores of these 40 pieces, all the texts of the motets (in Latin with French and English translation), 13 facsimiles and, at the end, a critical apparatus. Material for performance is also available separately in set of parts for singers and for instruments.

Laurence Decobert, who has a doctorate in musicology from the Sorbonne, is a librarian in the Department of Music of the Bibliothł«que nationale de France. She devotes part of her research to religious music in France in the second half of the seventeenth century and has edited several volumes of grands motets by Henry Du Mont published by the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. She is currently preparing a monograph on the choirmaster of Louis XIV. She also interested in collection of early music in the department of music of the Bibliothł«que nationale de France and has just published an article on the collection Philidor in the Revue de Musicologie.

Du Mont suggests alternative voices for twelve of the motets. The original version is published in the critical edition. Vocal parts, which include original and all alternative versions, are also available. For example, the full score for the motet O nomen Jesu is available for 2 sopranos in the parts for "Motets łŢ 2 voix, vol. 1 (voix de dessus)" and also in the alternative version suggested by Du Mont for high tenor and tenor in the parts for "Motets łŢ 2 voix, vol. 3 (voix d'hommes 1)".

For more information, prices and ordering information, please visit the online shop of the Editions du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles:

Henry Du Mont, Motets łŢ II, III et IV parties (1681), łędition scientifique de Laurence Decobert (CMBV)

Cette edition scientifique de la musique d'Henry Du Mont łęclaire une partie peu connue de la musique baroque en France et permet aux interprł«tes, chanteurs ou chëýurs, d'accłęder łŢ un remarquable patrimoine musical. Avant son installation łŢ Versailles, le Roi-Soleil organise sa musique officielle autour de 3 talentueux compositeurs. Jean-Baptiste Lully se charge (principalement) de la musique profane et Henry Du Mont et Pierre Robert se partagent la charge de sous-małĂtre de la Chapelle Royale. Tous trois orienterons de manił«re dłęcisive le style musical franł▀ais caractłęristique de la splendeur de Versailles.

Ce recueil, publiłę par Christophe Ballard en 1681, rassemble un łęchantillon reprłęsentatif du rłępertoire exłęcutłę łŢ la messe de Louis XIV avant l'installation de la Cour łŢ Versailles. En effet, Henry Du Mont, qui a alors 70 ans, prłęsente au public 37 motets et 3 pił«ces instrumentales majoritairement composłęs pour la messe quotidienne de Louis XIV. Le compositeur organise et supervise de prł«s cette łędition : le choix des ëýuvres est somptueux, le sous-małĂtre de la Chapelle royale, en fin de carrił«re, pouvant se targuer d'un catalogue important.

Le volume contient des motets pour des effectifs vocaux allant de 2 łŢ 4 voix, mais aussi des pił«ces łŢ 1 voix et 4 motets pouvant s'exłęcuter Č┤ łŢ deux chëýurs Ȭ. La plupart sont accompagnłęs par des instruments ad libitum ĺ─ý souvent 1 ou 2 violons (ou violes, le compositeur laissant planer une ambigułětłę par l'usage de l'abrłęviation Č┤ viol. Ȭ) ĺ─ý et certains nłęcessitent des Č┤ symphonies Ȭ (un petit orchestre łŢ cordes). On trouvera lłŢ des ëýuvres łęlłęgantes, de caractł«res variłęs et d'une exłęcution relativement aisłęe.

Dans une prłęface trł«s dłętaillłęe, l'łęditeur scientifique prłęsente les nombreuses sources imprimłęes et manuscrites de ces motets en les dłęcrivant et les comparant trł«s prłęcisłęment. La question de la circulation des ëýuvres est abordłęe ĺ─ý notamment des copies de la main du compositeur anglais John Blow qui furent elles-młümes copiłęes jusqu'au dłębut du 19e sił«cle ĺ─ý la datation des ëýuvres, les corrections que le compositeur a portłęes sur les exemplaires imprimłęs, ses prłęcisions młęticuleuses pour les interprł«tes. Sont łęgalement traitłęs la question des effectifs vocaux et instrumentaux, les innovations techniques d'łęcriture (liaison des chiffrages de basse continue), les ossia, les chiffres de mesure, l'origine et les attributions des textes utilisłęs, etc.

Ce volume contient, outre la prłęface en franł▀ais et en anglais et la musique, tous les textes des motets (avec leur traduction en franł▀ais et anglais), 13 fac-similłęs et, en fin de volume, un appareil critique.

Laurence Decobert est conservateur au dłępartement de la Musique de la Bibliothł«que nationale de France et docteur en musicologie (Paris-Sorbonne). Elle consacre une partie de ses recherches łŢ la musique religieuse en France dans la seconde moitiłę du XVIIe sił«cle, a łęgalement rłęalisłę plusieurs volumes de grands motets de Henry Du Mont aux łęditions du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles et prłępare actuellement une monographie sur le sous-małĂtre de Louis XIV. Elle s'intłęresse par ailleurs łŢ la mise en valeur des collections anciennes du dłępartement de la Musique et vient de publier un article sur La collection Philidor dans la Revue de musicologie.

Henry Du Mont propose des effectifs alternatifs pour 12 de ces motets. Prłęsentłęs dans ce volume critique comme dans l'łędition de 1681, ils sont transposłęs pour les interprł«tes dans nos Č┤ tirłęs-łŢ-part Ȭ. Le motet O nomen Jesu, par exemple, se trouve dans :

  • Motets łŢ 2 voix, vol. 1 (voix de dessus), version originale pour voix de dessus et bas-dessus ;
  • Motets łŢ 2 voix, vol. 3 (voix d'hommes, 1), pour voix de haute-contre et taille, les voix ayant łętłę, dans ce recueil, transposłęes łŢ l'octave infłęrieure comme le suggł«re Du Mont.

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