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Summer Partnertship with Kerrytown Concert House and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music

August 27, 2002 - 8 pm

Collboration concert with Kerrytown Concert House and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
with Guest Artists Robert Auler, Piano

Program

Fantasia Fiorentina (16') - Joel Hoffman, (1953--)
Mr. Auler
Mr. O'Neill

"The Stream Flows" (10') - Bright Sheng, (1955--)
Mr. O'Neill


Sonata for Violin and Piano (14') - William Bolcom, (1938--)
Mr. O'Neill
Mr. Auler

INTERMISSION

Two Diversions for Piano - Elliott Carter, (1908--)
Mr. Auler


Sonata for Violin and Piano - John Corigliano, (1938--)
Mr. Auler
Mr. O'Neill

Joel Hoffman is a professor of composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is also director of Music 2002, a contemporary music festival at the College-Conservatory, which attracts top composers and performers for a two-week celebration of contemporary music, including master classes, concerts, lessons, and lectures. Past invitees have included Bright Sheng, William Bolcom, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, and Milton Babbitt. He is a highly repsected composer whose awards include the BMI award, 15 ASCAP awards, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and American Academy of Arts and Letters. His "Fantasia Fiorentina" is a work which fuses tonality with atonal elements, and which places equal technical and musical demands on each instrument.

Last October, Bright Sheng was named a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellow, one of only two musicians to receive the highly prestigious award. He is currently professor of composition at the University of Michigan. Recent projects have included "Nanking! Nanking!", an orchestral work commemorating the Rape of Nanking, and "Red Silk Dance", a piano concerto premiered by Emmanuel Ax with the Boston Symphony. His work for solo violin, "The Stream Flows", derives from a famous southern Chinese folk song. Written in two parts, the first part attempts to recreate the sound of a female singer, while the second is a fast country dance. The text of the folk song is as follows:

The Stream Flows

The Rising moon shines brightly
it reminds me of my love in the mountains
Like the moon, you walk in the sky
as the crystal stream flows down the mountain.

A clear breeze blows up the hill.
My love, do you hear I am calling you?

William Bolcom, distinguished professor of composition at the University of Michigan, has won awards from every era of his compositional career. In 1988, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his "Twelve New Etdues for Piano". His compostional style represents a junction point between tonal, atonal, and vernacular elements including jazz and ragtime. His Fourth Sonata for Violin and Piano, written in 1994, demonstrates many of these eclectic elements: the first movement is fast, motivic, and employs atonal melodies and rapid-fire technical work for both performers. The second derives its lyrical, tonal material from a Danish folk tune, which is then distorted throug the perception of memory. The third, entitled, "Arabesque", uses a repetitive displaced octave figure in the piano, while the violin soars above this accompaniment. The fourth movement, "Jota", is a very fast dance movement, again demonstrating virtuosity and flair on the part of both performers.

Elliott Carter, born in 1908, is regarded as one of the most important American composers since Copland, and has won most of the awards avaiable to a composer. He is perhaps best-known for his innovative use of metric modulation, a rhythmic technique in which the pulse shifts seamlessly from one tempo to another, sometimes even many times in the course of a phrase. His "Two Diversions for Piano", written in 1999, exhibit this tendency, as well as extremes in dynamics and textures, which range from sparse, economical writing to soaring, lyrical melodies.

John Corigliano is perhaps best known to audiences as the Oscar-winning composer of the film score to the "Red Violin". He has also written two Symphonies, an Opera, "The Ghosts of Versailles", important concertos for Clarinet and Piano, and a host of other solo, chamber, and vocal works. In 1964, he won the Spoleto Chamber Music Prize for his Sonata for Violin and Piano, written in memory of his father, John Corigliano, Sr., then Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic. The Sonata is a highly lyrical, nostalgic work, which effectively employs atonaity, but which is nonetheless rooted in tonality. The first movement's feverish violin writing coupled with a toccata-like piano part is extremely exciting. The second movement is a sweeping, lyrical interplay between the violin and the piano. Following the third movement's more static quality, the fourth once again returns to the feverish pitch of the opening, ending with an extraordinary race to the end between the violin and the piano.

Robert Auler, piano
Tim O'Neill, violin


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