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New Music New Haven presents music by Michael Daugherty Mar. 7

February 28, 2013

Michael Daugherty has “a maverick imagination, fearless structural sense and meticulous ear.”
– The Times (London)

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, March 7, 2013. The performance features two pieces by renowned composer (and Yale School of Music alumnus) Michael Daugherty along with music by YSM graduate composers. Performers include YSM students as well as guest conductor Thomas C. Duffy.

Both Daugherty pieces feature percussion, beginning with “Walk the Walk” for bass clarinet and percussion (2005). Using a deconstructed fragment from the Temptations’ “My Girl” as a compositional theme, the work explores the musical grooves of Detroit blues, jazz, rock, and Motown. Daugherty’s music is infused with contemporary American vernacular, giving his compositions a complexity entwined with familiarity.

Thomas C. Duffy, Director of Bands at Yale University, will conduct Daugherty’s “Ladder to the Moon” for solo violin, wind octet, double bass, and percussion (2006). Inspired by the urban landscapes of American painter Georgia O’Keeffe, the piece recreates the feeling of skyscrapers and cityscapes in Manhattan of the 1930s.

The program also includes music by graduate students in the School of Music’s prestigious composition program. Matthew Welch‘s Favrile Opalescence, for bagpipes and six percussionists, opens the concert, followed by Trio in Two Parts for cello, piano, and percussion by Paul Kerekes.

Polina Nazaykinskaya‘s A Poem of Memory is written for violin, viola, cello, bass, and piano. The first half of the concert closes with Arrows/Pand(5) for guitar, saxophone, and drumset, written by Brendon Randall-Myers and his band Grains.

The concert begins at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Admission is free, and no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu.

About the Featured Composer

Dr. Michael Daugherty is one of the ten most performed living American composers. Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1954, Mr. Daugherty grew up playing keyboard in jazz, rock, and funk bands. He pursued his study of music at North Texas State University, the Manhattan School of Music, and Yale University, where his mentors included Earle Brown, Jacob Druckman, and Roger Reynolds. He also studied internationally as a Fulbright Fellow at IRCAM in Paris and with Ligeti in Hamburg. In 1992, Mr. Daugherty was appointed professor of composition at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. His compositional style combines rigorous polyrhythmic counterpoint with the playful influence of the popular music of Mr. Daugherty’s youth. He first came to national attention in 1989 when his “Snap!—Blue Like an Orange” won a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, launching a compositional career fueled by the energy of a generation. His “Metropolis Symphony” and “Bizarro” were both inspired by the Superman Comic strip of the 50s and 60s, and other works centered around American icons include “Desi,” a Latin big band tribute to Desi Arnaz of ‘I Love Lucy’,’ “Dead Elvis,” a chamber work, and “Le tombeau de Liberace,” a piano concerto. Daugherty also pays tribute to the modern American landscape in such works at “Niagara Falls” for band, “Route 66” for orchestra, “Sunset Strip” for chamber orchestra, and “Motorcity Triptych,” a three-movement symphony.

Dr. Thomas C. Duffy, composer and conductor, is professor (adjunct) of music and director of bands at Yale University. He served as acting dean of the School of Music in 2005–2006, having served as associate dean since 1996 and deputy dean since 1999. He has served as a member of the Fulbright National Selection Committee and a member of the Tanglewood II Symposium planning committee. He attended the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education in 2005. An active composer with a D.M.A. in composition from Cornell University, where he was a student of Karel Husa and Steven Stucky, he has accepted commissions from the American Composers Forum, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Army Field Band, and many bands, choruses, and orchestras. He joined the Yale faculty in 1982.

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