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New Music New Haven concert features solo works by Aaron Jay Kernis & Christopher Theofanidis

February 16, 2012

Performers in March 1 concert include Wesleyan University Balinese Gamelan

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, March 1 at 8 pm. Faculty composers Aaron Jay Kernis and Christopher Theofanidis are featured on the program, as are several graduate composers. The concert will take place in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, corner of Wall Street).

The featured piece from Aaron Jay Kernis is the virtuosic piano piece Ballade out of the Blues: Superstar Etude No. 3, performed by Charles Richard-Hamelin. Christopher Theofanidis is represented by Flow, my tears, a short piece for solo violin performed by Julie Eskar.

A guest ensemble, the Wesleyan University Balinese Gamelan, will perform Matthew Welch’s Lagu Campur Dua. Also on the program are Justin Tierney’s Trio for piano and strings; Jordan Kuspa’s Lemonade Toccata (performed by Leonardo Gorosito, marimba); Stephen Feigenbaum’s Spread the News for flute, viola, and cello; and a guitar duo by Daniel Schlosberg.

Welch, Tierney, Kuspa, Feigenbaum, and Schlosberg are graduate students in the School of Music’s prestigious composition program. Christopher Theofanidis is the artistic director of the New Music New Haven concert series.

Admission to the concert is free. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.


About the Featured Composers

Among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation, Grawemeyer- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis has been on the faculty at the Yale School of Music since 2003. He has been commissioned by sopranos Renee Fleming and Dawn Upshaw, violinists Joshua Bell and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, guitarist Sharon Isbin, and institutions including the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Proms, Los Angeles, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Recent recordings include song cycles by soprano Susan Narucki (Koch) and orchestral works by the Grant Park Festival Orchestra (Cedille). He has received the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and multiple Grammy nominations, and has been composer-in-residence for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Public Radio, and American Composers Forum. He is the new music advisor for the Minnesota Orchestra and chairman and co-director of its Composer Institute.

Christopher Theofanidis (b. 1967) regularly writes for a variety of musical genres, from orchestral and chamber music to opera and ballet. His work Rainbow Body, which is loosely based on a melodic fragment of Hildegard of Bingen, has been programmed by over 120 orchestras internationally. Mr. Theofanidis’ works have been performed by such groups as the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and he has a long-standing relationship with the Atlanta Symphony and Maestro Robert Spano. His Symphony No. 1 has just been released by that orchestra on disc. Mr. Theofanidis has written widely for the stage, from a work for the American Ballet Theatre, to multiple dramatic pieces, including The Refuge for Houston Grand Opera and Heart of a Soldier with Donna DiNovelli for San Francisco Opera. His large-scale piece The Here and Now, for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, based on poetry of Rumi, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007. Mr. Theofanidis is currently on the faculty of Yale University and has taught at the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. He is also a fellow of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program. Mr. Theofanidis’ upcoming works include the opera Siddhartha for Houston Grand Opera, a new work for the Miro String Quartet for Chamber Music Monterey Bay in collaboration with the multi-media artist Bill Viola, a solo piano work for the fiftieth anniversary of the Van Cliburn Competition, and a evening-length oratorio called Creation/Creator for the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus.
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