Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Charles Wuorinen and the New York New Music Ensemble in residence


The incomparable Charles Wuorinen visits UB on Tuesday, April 19 in conjunction with a four-day residency by the New York New Music Ensemble, distinguished proponents of his music -- along with many other composers working in "the more rigorous end of the contemporary repertory," as The New York Times put it in a recent, admiring review.

At 7:30 pm on Tuesday, Wuorinen will conduct members of the New York New Music Ensemble in four of his works at Lippes Concert Hall at Slee Hall: Salve Regina: John Bull (1961, rev. 1997); The River of Light (1996); Fifty Fifty (2002); Metagong (2008). That concert will be preceded by a lecture/demonstration on his music at 3 pm.

On Wednesday (4/20), the NYNME will give readings of works by four fortunate students in UB's graduate composition program: Kenichi SaekiChun Ting PangJacob GotlibEthan Hayden, Nathan Heidelberger, and Felipe Ribiero.  And on Thursday, the NYMNE steps into the spotlight at Lippes to perform works by Ricardo Zohn-MuldoonTania LeonWuorinen, Alexandre Lunsqui, and Mario Davidovsky. Tickets for the latter event are available here.

Wuorinen is no stranger to Buffalo, having been a Senior Faculty member at June in Buffalo during the early 1980s, and in 2003.  His many honors include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize (the youngest composer to receive the award).  His more than 250 compositions encompass every form and medium, including works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, soloists, ballet, and stage.  

His newest works include 
It Happens Like This, a dramtic cantata on poems of James Tate to be premiered at Tanglewood in Summer 2011, Time Regained, a fantasy for piano and orchestra for Peter Serkin, James Levine and the MET Opera Orchestra, Eighth Symphony for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Metagong for two pianos and two percussion. He is currently at work on an operatic treatment of Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain to a libretto by the author. (Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories based on the novel of Salman Rushdie was premiered by the New York City Opera in Fall 2004.) Described as "maximalist," his works have been recorded on nearly a dozen labels including several releases on Naxos, Albany Records (Charles Wuorinen Series), John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and a CD of piano works performed by Alan Feinberg on the German label Col Legno.

Founded in 1976, the New York New Music Ensemble is one of NYC's quintessential groups, noted for its authoritative interpretations of challenging "uptown" repertoire. With more than 120 commissions and 20+ recordings to its credit, it is one of the leading ensembles of its kind. Wrote the
Times's Allan Kozinn in a recent review, "These are musicians for whom sharp-edged themes, complex rhythms, and dense harmonies hold no terrors, and they usually make the works they play, however thorny, sound fresh and vital."

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