Monday, October 9, 2017

Concert Celebrates Innovative Past and Present Works by UB Composers

From Jonathan Golove, UB Associate Professor of Cello and Composition:

I'm writing to let you know about a concert that I've been working toward for over a year. This Friday night at 7:30, a group of UB performers and professionals from the region will play a program of music by composers associated, both currently and formerly, with UB Music. We're thrilled to have Moshe Shulman and Robert Phillips represented on the program, both of whom received doctoral degrees in composition at UB. Moshe is well known to many in the area for his tango exploits, and he'll be conducting his wonderful Seven Prophetesses for soprano, harp, and string quartet. Moshe was commissioned by the Fromm Foundation for this work, and you'll hear that he really delivered! Outstanding soprano Tiffany DuMouchelle, newly appointed at UB, will sing.

Robert Phillips
Robert Phillips recently returned to Buffalo to manage the Center for 21st Century Music, following several years in Berlin, and we're delighted to welcome him back by performing his Larghetto Rubato for guitar, cello, and bassoon. It's a really intriguing and beautiful work composed for an all-star trio of European musicians (Magnus Andersson, Rohan de Saram, and Pascal Gallois) who were at UB for a visiting residency back when Rob was earning his degree. Sungmin Shin, UB guitar faculty, leads our performance of the trio.

Belgian composer Henri Pousseur was in Buffalo from 1966 to 1968, serving as Slee Professor of Composition, giving a series of "lecture recitals," and living in the Delaware building now known as "The Mansion." During that time, he was working to finish his magnum opus, an opera in collaboration with French novelist Michel Butor, who had also been on the UB faculty several years before. They referred to their work, Votre Faust (Your Faust) as a "variable opera," and it was a compendium of music that could be shaped by its performers in many ways, but was also open to the intervention of the audience, who would determine, among other things, the way the story ended! Votre Faust was premiered in a concert version in March 1968 at the Second Buffalo Festival of the Arts Today (at the Albright Knox), and this is the (near) 50th anniversary we are celebrating. Pousseur adapted his music for the opera into a series of works he called "satellites," and we will be playing some of these Friday night. The performers are Tiffany DuMouchelle, pianist Eric Huebner, flutist Emlyn Johnson, and myself. This music is unrecorded, and the chances to hear it are quite few.

In addition to the concert, which begins at 7:30pm in Lippes Concert Hall (Slee Hall), we will have two related events. The first is a lecture on Thursday at 5 given by visiting composer and Pousseur scholar Andre Brégégérè (NYC). The second is a panel discussion including Brégégérè, UB Music's own Jamie Currie, and Romance Languages and Literatures Professor Fernanda Negrete. Thursday's lecture will be be held in Baird 327, and the panel, which will include live music, will be at 4 on Friday in the Music Library. While you're there, be sure to spend some time looking at the tremendous exhibit curated by the Music Library's John Bewley on Pousseur in Buffalo! The concert and panel discussion are funded by the University Library's Wolf-Steger Fund and by the Center for 21st Century Music. The Wolf-Steger Fund supports the presentation of the work of Buffalo composers through an endowment from the late UB music faculty member Muriel Wolf and her husband, bassist Albert Steger, a longtime member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

For more information:

Henri Pousseur

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