[ Concerts Faculty ]
Guitarist Benjamin Verdery performs music for guitar with koto, theremin, and shakuhachi
The Faculty Artist Series at the Yale School of Music presents Standing in Our Own Light, a concert of introspective music for guitar, koto, theremin, and shakuhachi, on Monday, February 18 at 8 pm. Faculty guitarist Benjamin Verdery will be joined by koto virtuoso Yumi Korosawa and by Elizabeth Brown on shakuhachi and theremin.
All three performers are also composers, and the program will feature their compositions as well as music by Mozart, Albéniz, Ezra Laderman, and Yatsuhashi Kengyo.
The program opens with two pieces for solo guitar: Albéniz’s “Cordoba” from Chants d’ Espagne, arranged by John Williams, and Ezra Laderman’s On Vineyard Sound (2009), written for Verdery. Next, Kurosawa will play two pieces for solo koto: her own arrangement of Takeda (Lullaby), and her composition Inner Space (2003). The first half closes with Yatsuhashi Kengyo’s Midare (“Disorder”) for shakuhachi and koto.
Verdery opens the second half of the concert opens with his own arrangement (for solo guitar) of Mozart’s Adagio, K. 540. Next is his composition Standing in Your Own Light (2012), a commission from Kyo-Shin-An Arts, for koto and guitar.
Two pieces by Elizabeth Brown follow: shakuhachi solos from Isle Royale (2005), and Atlantis (2007) for theremin and amplified classical guitar with slide bar, written for Benjamin Verdery.
The concert takes place at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street). The event is free and open to the public.For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.
Benjamin Verdery has been the chair of guitar at the Yale School of Music since 1985. Distinguished as “an American original, an American master” by Guitar Review Magazine, the guitarist and composer has enjoyed an innovative and eclectic musical career. Since his 1980 New York debut with his wife, flutist Rie Schmidt, Benjamin has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America and has recorded and performed with such diverse artists as Leo Kottke, Hermann Prey, and John Williams. Benjamin has released over 15 albums, his most recent – Branches (Mushkatweek) – featuring arrangements of works by Bach, Mozart, Strauss, and Hendrix, and the traditional Amazing Grace. A prolific composer, Benjamin Verdery has had many compositions performed and published over the years, most recently Now and Ever for David Russell and Peace, Love and Guitars for John Williams and John Etheridge. Benjamin Verdery is the artistic director of the Yale Guitar Extravaganza and Art of the Guitar at the 92nd St Y (New York), conducts an annual master class week on the Island of Maui (Hawaii), and is an honorary board member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.