Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yehudi Wyner's Piano Concerto "Chiavi in Mano" at June in Buffalo 2013

We’re enjoying having Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner on the Composition Faculty of June in Buffalo 2013, and looking forward to hearing his music this week. On Wednesday, June 5th, Talea Ensemble will give a concert featuring Wyner’s Refrain, and on Saturday, June 8th, SIGNAL's concert will feature Wyner’s Passage, which will be conducted by Brad Lubman, and feature soloists Irvine Arditti on violin and Ken Radnofsky on saxophone. Both concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. in Slee Hall.

Yehudi Wyner
The final concert of June in Buffalo 2013 will be on Sunday, June 9th, at 2:30 p.m. in Slee Hall, when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will perform works by JiB Faculty composers that will conclude with Wyner’s Piano Concerto, Chiavi in Mano, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006. Our guest Geoffrey Burleson will join JoAnn Falletta and the BPO as the piano soloist on Chiavi in Mano – Burleson’s playing has been described as “vibrant” and “compelling”  by the New York Times, who also praised his “command, projection of rhapsodic qualities without loss of rhythmic vigor, and appropriate sense of spontaneity and fetching colors.”

A recent 55-minute audio interview with Yehudi Wyner, by Christopher Lyon, is available at the Huffington Post. For a little more information, we’ve excerpted a small bit from Wyner’s biography and reproduced it below, the complete bio can be found at the Milken Archive:

“For nearly a half century Yehudi Wyner has been recognized as one of America’s most gifted composers. Although born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, he grew up in New York City. His father, Lazar Weiner (1897–1982), was a leading exponent of Yiddish high musical culture, both as a choral conductor and as a composer, and is now the acknowledged avatar of the Yiddish art song medium. Throughout his youth, Wyner was exposed to his parents’ Yiddishist intellectual milieu, and their home was frequented by literati and artists from the Yiddish cultural orbit. (His father had the spelling of his children’s surname changed—though not his own—to preclude a common mispronunciation.)

“By the age of four or five, no doubt inspired by the music he heard in that environment, Wyner began improvising short pieces that had an eastern European Jewish folk or Hassidic character. He started his formal musical life as a pianist, although he never studied with his father—who was himself a brilliant pianist. While a piano student of Loni Epstein at The Juilliard School, Wyner became increasingly attracted to composition, which he then studied at Yale with Richard Donovan and Paul Hindemith, and at Harvard with Randall Thompson and Walter Piston. After completing his undergraduate work, he spent a summer in residence at the Brandeis Arts Institute in Santa Susana, California, a division of the Brandeis Camp, where the music director was Max Helfman (1901–1963), one of the seminal figures in Jewish music in America. That program brought together college-age students as well as established Jewish—and especially Israeli—composers, in an effort to broaden the Jewish artistic horizons of young musicians. There, Wyner came into contact with some of the most creative and accomplished Israeli composers and other artists of that period, and he was introduced to new artistic possibilities inherent in modern Jewish cultural consciousness.”

Check out the video below of Yehudi Wyner's Quartet for Oboe and String Trio, performed by the Mimesis Ensemble at Fenway Park:

Link to this post here.

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