Friday, February 4, 2011

Within EarShot

In a perfect world, every talented young composer would have the opportunity to hear his or her scores read by a committed professional orchestra. No matter how good your ear may be, there's simply no substitute for the experience of having live musicians engage with your work. Which is why EarShot, a program that teams emerging American composers with orchestras around the country, is such a valuable resource. Through EarShot, some 24 such composers have had readings by the Memphis, Colorado, Nashville, Pioneer Valley, and New York Youth Symphonies.

Earshot comes to Buffalo February 8 - 10 for the Buffalo Philharmonic New Music Readings, highlighted by a free concert by the BPO at Kleinhans Hall on Wednesday, March 9 (7 pm). No tickets are required for this event. Four composers, selected from a national call for scores, will hear their works read by the BPO under the baton of associate conductor Matthew Kraemer, and will receive feedback from mentor composers David Felder, Steven Stucky, and Robert Beaser, and the conductor and BPO principal musicians. The four composers selected, diverse in background and style, are Michael-Thomas Foumai, Austin Jaquith, Nathan Kelly, and Carl Schimmel. EarShot is a partnership among American Composers Orchestra, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, the League of American Orchestras, and Meet The Composer.

In conjunction with EarShot, the Center for 21st Century Music will present a concert at Kleinhans Hall's Mary Seaton Room on Tuesday, February 8 at 7 pm. Violinist Yuki Numata will play David Felder's Another Face, and pianist Eric Huebner will perform selections from György Ligeti's fiendishly virtuosic Etudes, plus rewarding works by György Kurtág and Steven Stucky. The balance of the program will be devoted to chamber works by Frank Zappa, played by Buffalo's eclectic Genkin Philharmonic. If you haven't heard this rock icon's concert music, don't be fooled: titles such as Peaches en Regalia, Igor's Boogie, Eat the Question, and Harry, You're a Beast belie a composer of considerable skill and imagination. 

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