MAR 09: CCO + Aznavoorian

Thursday, March 9, 2017
7:30 pm
Ganz Hall @ Roosevelt University
430 S Michigan Ave, 7th Floor
Tickets available at the door.

Jonathan Bailey Holland – The Party Starter
George Walker – Tangents for Chamber Orchestra
Bernard Rands – London Serenade
Seth Boustead – Piano Concerto No. 1 (Satori), feat. Marta Aznavoorian, piano

Press Release

Marta Aznavoorian

Marta Aznavoorian has performed to critical acclaim throughout the world as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. A Chicago native, she has performed in her hometown’s most prestigious venues and tours extensively throughout the world. She made her professional debut at the age of 13 performing Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor K.491 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center in four concerts of their series. She has won over audiences appearing as soloist with orchestras internationally including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatory Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Northwest Indiana Symphony, and the New World Symphony which resulted from a personal invitation from Michael Tilson Thomas who also was her conductor.

Aznavoorian has worked with such renowned conductors such as the Late Sir George Solti, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lukas Foss, Henry Mazer, Francesco Milioto, Kirk Muspratt among others. She has won numerous awards throughout her life, including top prize in the Stravinsky International Competition where she was also lauded the special prize for best interpretation for the commissioned contemporary work. As a recipient of the 1990 Level 1 award in the National Foundation for the Arts Recognition and Talent search, Ms. Aznavoorian became a Presidential Scholar and was invited to the White House and to perform as soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

A champion and lover of new music, Ms. Aznavoorian has worked with the worlds leading composers including William Bolcom, Osvaldo Golijov, Jennifer Higdon, Shulamit Ran, Augusta Read Thomas, Joan Tower, Lera Auerbach, Pierre Jalbert, Stacy Garrop, Laura Schwendinger, and Marta Ptaszynska and continues to collaborate with several of the most innovative composers of our time.

Seth Boustead

Seth Boustead is a composer, radio host, arts manager and writer, concert producer, in-demand speaker and visionary with the goal of revolutionizing how and where classical music is performed and how it is perceived by the general public. He received his Master of Music Composition degree from the Chicago College for the Performing Arts in 2002 and has gone on to forge a unique and highly personal musical identity through a prolific outpouring of works in every conceivable genre. His music is regularly performed across the United States and in Europe and has been heard on radio and television stations in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Paris among others and his orchestra piece This Point Forward was a finalist for the American Prize in 2012.

Seth is the founder and Executive Director of Access Contemporary Music, an organization that exists to present classical music as a living tradition by performing new works in innovative ways for new audiences, providing community-based education, and collaborating with composers from around the world. After nine years of his leadership ACM has grown to have the nation’s third largest composer member program, Chicago’s ACM School of Music offers lessons to just over 200 students in three locations, dozens of high school students have benefited from summer workshops and classes, ACM has commissioned over a hundred new works from composers around the world and its resident ensemble Palomar has performed consistently innovative programs to capacity crowds in Chicago and beyond.

Chicago Classical Review has named Seth “one of our most creative concert programmer/producers,” with past production credits including Songs About Buildings and Moods, a guided architectural tour that included music composed especially for each space performed live in the building, Composer Alive, an annual commission in which a piece by an international composer is emailed in installments and rehearsed and recorded live, Rags, Stomps and Stride, an evening of contemporary ragtime, 1,001 Afternoons in Chicago, a radio play for voices and live music inspired by stories by legendary journalist Ben Hecht, and far too many more to list.

In addition to the stunning variety of these events, each has been highly successful. Songs About Buildings and Moods led to an annual collaboration with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 1,001 Afternoons in Chicago is being recorded for commercial release, will be performed live on WFMT in 2014 and is being adapted into a film version and Composer Alive has led to worldwide acclaim for ACM and the Palomar ensemble.

Seth has shared his passion for contemporary classical music with radio listeners through his show Relevant Tones since 2005, first on Loyola University’s WLUW and, since 2011, on WFMT, Chicago’s classical music station. In January 2014 Relevant Tones will syndicate nationally, bringing it to an estimated 100,000 listeners around the country each week. Always interested in innovation, Seth created the Thirsty Ear Festival in 2012 to showcase the stunning diversity happening in classical music today and to spotlight talented ensembles. Broadcast live from City Winery in Chicago, it is the nation’s only contemporary classical music festival to be broadcast live on a classical radio station.

A passionate advocate of silent film, Seth started the Sound of Silent Film Festival in 2005 featuring newly composed music performed live to modern silent films. The festival has been a sold-out event in Chicago for years and recently premiered to great success in New York City. Featured films have been by big name directors like Martin Scorsese, Gus van Sant, Guy Maddin and Alexander Payne but also feature lesser known films deserving of a wider audience and many of the films screened at the Sound of Silent Film Festival have been created expressly for it.

Bernard Rands

Through a catalog of more than a hundred published works and many recordings, Bernard Rands is established as a major figure in contemporary music. His work Canti del Sole, premiered by Paul Sperry, Zubin Mehta, and the New York Philharmonic, won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His large orchestral suites Le Tambourin, won the 1986 Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. His work Canti d’Amor, recorded by Chanticleer, won a Grammy award in 2000.

Born in Sheffield, England in 1934 his 80th birthday has been marked internationally by upward of one hundred concert performances, radio and television broadcasts of his music. Rands emigrated to the United States in 1975, becoming an American citizen in 1983. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004 and into the Illinois Lincoln Academy in 2014.

Conductors including Barenboim, Boulez, Berio, Davis, Eschenbach, Maazel, Marriner, Mehta, Muti, Ozawa, Rilling, Salonen, Sawallisch, Schiff, Schuller, Schwarz, Silverstein, Slatkin, Spano, von Dohnanyi, and Zinman, among many others, have programmed his music. Rands served as Composer in Residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra for seven years. Through this residency, Rands, working with Riccardo Muti, made a wonderful and dedicated contribution to the music of our time.

Recent commissions have come from the Suntory Concert Hall in Tokyo, the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Internationale Bach Akademie, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra. Many chamber works have resulted from commissions from major ensembles and festivals from around the world. His chamber opera was commissioned by the Aspen Music Festival and School for its fiftieth anniversary in 1999. His full-scale opera Vincent, with libretto by J.D. McClatchy, was commissioned by Indiana University Opera School and produced there, to critical acclaim, in 2012.

In June, 2014, the BBC’s three-day FOCUS festival was entirely dedicated to Rands’ music with many orchestra and chamber concerts live and broadcast throughout the European Union. Since the Concerto for Piano & Orchestra, Rands has composed Folk Songs, which was commissioned by the Tanglewood Festival where it received its premiere in July, 2014.

Bridge Records released, in December 2013, a cd of fifty years of Rands’ piano music: “Bernard Rands – Piano Music 1960 – 2010,” performed by Ursula Oppens and Robert Levin.

A dedicated and passionate teacher, Rands has been guest composer at many international festivals and Composer in Residence at the Aspen and Tanglewood festivals. Rands is the Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor Emeritus Harvard. He has received honorary degrees from several American and European universities.

George Walker

George Walker was presented in a debut recital in Town Hall, New York by Mr. and Mrs. Efrem Zimbalist. With his “notable” debut, as it was described by the New York Times, he became the first black instrumentalist to perform in that hall. As the winner of the Philadelphia Youth Auditions, he played the 3rd Piano Concerto of Rachmaninoff with the Philadelphia Orchestra with Eugene Ormandy conducting two weeks after his New York debut in November of 1945. He was the first black instrumentalist to appear with this orchestra. The following year, he played the 2nd Piano Concerto of Brahms with the Baltimore Symphony, Reginald Stewart conducting and the 4th Beethoven Concerto with Dean Dixon and his orchestra. In 1946 George Walker composed his String Quartet no. 1. The second movement of this work, entitled, Lyric for Strings, has become the most frequently performed orchestral work by a living American composer. In 1950, George Walker became the first black instrumentalist to be signed by a major management, the National Concert Artists. In 1954, he made an unprecedented tour of seven European countries, playing in Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England in the major cities of Stockholm, Copenhagen, The Hague, Amsterdam, Frankfurt a Main, Lausanne, Berne, Milan and London with great acclaim.

Upon returning to the United States, he taught at Dillard University in New Orleans for one year before entering the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree Program at the Eastman School of Music in 1955. In 1956, he became the first black recipient of a doctoral degree from that institution as well as an Artist Diploma in Piano. George Walker was awarded both a Fulbright Fellowship and a John Hay Whitney Fellowship in 1957. He was the first composer to receive the Whitney award. He spent two years in Paris where he had composition lessons with Nadia Boulanger. In 1959, he embarked upon another tour, playing concerts in France, Holland and Italy. After a recital in London in Wigmore Hall in 1963 that was sponsored by Mrs. Efrem Zimbalist, he received an honorary membership in the Frederic Chopin Society there.

George Walker’s distinguished career as a teacher continued in 1960 with faculty appointments to the Dalcroze School of Music, The New School for Social Research, where he introduced a course in Aesthetics, Smith College (1961-68) (where he became the first black tenured faculty member), the University of Colorado (1968-69 as Visiting Professor), Rutgers University (1969-92, where he was Chairman of the Music Department), Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University (1975-78) and the University of Delaware (1975-76, where he was the recipient of the first Minority Chair established by the University). He has given Master Classes in many institutions including the Curtis Institute of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Columbia University, Wayne State University, Wellesley College, Temple University, Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.), Williams College, Montclair State University and the University of Colorado.

George Walker has composed over 90 works for orchestra, chamber orchestra, piano, strings, voice, organ, clarinet, guitar, brass, woodwinds, and chorus. His works have been performed by virtually every major orchestra in the United States and by many in England and other countries. His awards include the Harvey Gaul Prize, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and Bennington Composer Conference Fellowships, two Guggenheim Fellowships, two Rockefeller Fellowships, a Fromm Foundation commission, two Koussevitsky Awards, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Award, the Mason Gross Memorial Award, numerous grants from the Research Councils of Smith College, The University of Colorado, Rutgers University, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New Jersey Council on the Arts. He has received two Alumni Awards from the Eastman School of Music, the University Medal from the University of Rochester (1996), honorary doctorate degrees from Lafayette College (1982), Oberlin College (1983), Montclair State University, Bloomfield College, Curtis Institute of Music (1997) and Spelman College (2001).

George Walker has received important commissions from many ensembles that include the New York Philharmonic (Cello Concerto), the Cleveland Orchestra (Dialogus for Cello and Orchestra), the Boston Symphony (Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra), the Eastman School of Music (An Eastman Overture) , the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Violin and Piano Sonata No. 2), the David Ensemble (Five Fancies for Clarinet and Piano Four Hands), Affiliate Artists and Xerox (Guido’s Hand), the Pew Charitable Trust (Piano Sonata No. 4), The Boys Choir of Harlem (Cantata), The Cleveland Chamber Symphony (Orpheus), New Jersey Symphony (Pageant and Proclamation), the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust (Modus), the New Jersey Chamber Music Society (Wind Set), Maryland International Piano Competition (Bauble), Columbus Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra (Tangents), New Jersey Youth Symphony (Icarus In Orbit), and the Network for New Music (Abu). In 2005 George Walker was commissioned by the Las Vegas Philharmonic to compose a work to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Las Vegas. This work is entitled, Hoopla (A Touch of Glee). Also in 2005., he completed a second commission from the Eastman School of Music with Foils (Homage to Saint George ) for Orchestra. The New York Philharmonic also premiered (In Praise of Folly) (1981) that was televised nationally on the PBS program, “Great Performances”. His compositions have been recorded for CBS, Mastersound, Desto, C.R.I., Serenus, Da Camera Magna, BIS, Orion, Mercury, GM and Albany Records. Some of the major conductors who have performed the music of George Walker include Andrey Boreyko, Andrew Davis, Comissiona, DePriest, Eschenbach, Paul Freeman, Jarvi, Levi, Maazel, Mata, Mehta, Muti, Ozawa, Rostropovitch, Robert Shaw, Joseph Silverstein, Skrowaczewski, Slatkin, Tortelier, Hugh Wolf, and Zinman.

In 1996, George Walker became the first black composer to receive the coveted Pulitzer Prize In Music for his work, Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra, premiered by the Boston Symphony, Seiji Ozawa conducting. Prior to that distinction, his Dialogus for Cello and Orchestra nominated by the Cleveland Orchestra for the Pulitzer Prize in 1977 after its premiere, was the only finalist in this competition. In 1997 Marion Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC proclaimed June 17th as George Walker Day in the nation’s capitol. In 1998, he received the Composers Award from the Lancaster Symphony and the letter of Distinction from the American Music Center for “his significant contributions to the field of contemporary American Music.” In 1999, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In April 2000, George Walker was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

He also received in May the Dorothy Maynor Outstanding Arts Citizen Award for 2000 from the Harlem School School of Arts. In March of 2001, the Detroit Symphony awarded him their first annual Classical Roots Award for a lifetime of achievement in American Music. George Walker has been awarded the annual A.I Dupont Award presented by the Delaware Symphony for 2002. In 2003 he was selected for inclusion in the Washington Music Hall of Fame (Washington, DC). In 2005 George Walker was named Honorary President of Ebb and Flow Arts in Maui, Hawaii. A Proclamation from the Borough President of Brooklyn, NY designated April 6, 2005 as ” A Celebration for Dr. George Walker.” Albany Records released a 60th Anniversary Retrospective featuring the Liszt Piano Sonata played by George Walker that was hailed “a magnificent performance” by In January of 2007 George Walker received the annual Legacy Award from the National Opera Association. Also in 2007 the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by James Depreist gave the New York premiere of the Sinfonia No. 3 after its first performance by the Detroit Symphony conducted by Andrey Boreyko. Several years earlier the Juilliard School of Music presented a program entitled, “George Walker: A Musical Perspective”. In July 2009, Scarecrow Press released “Reminiscences of an American Composer and Pianist”, an autobiography.

In 2009 the Philadelphia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit gave the New York premiere of Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra in Carnegie Hall in the series of concerts promoted by Jessye Norman called ” Honor”. Also in 2009 the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra received its world premiere in brilliant performances by the soloist, Gregory Walker, the concertmaster of the Boulder Philharmonic. The Philadelphia Orchestra was conducted by Neeme Jarvi. In May of 2010 KUSC FM in Los Angeles presented a five hour program hosted by Jim Svejda of the music of George Walker. In June he was honored by Trilogy, an opera company in Newark, NJ. NPR designated the Albany Recording, Troy 1178, “George Walker: Great American Orchestral Works, Vol. 2″, one of the five most outstanding cds of contemporary American Music for 2010. He became the first black composer to be performed at the Cabrillo Festival in 2011 when Foils for Orchestra (Hommage a Saint George) was played. Additional awards in 2011 were received from the National Council of Negro Women and the Newark School for the Arts. The Sinfonia No. 4 commissioned by the New Jersey Symphony received its premiere in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in March of 2012. It was also performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony and the National Symphony. The Sinfonia No. 4 (Strands) was also played at the Cabrillo Festival in 2013. The National Symphony hosted a series of sixteen concerts entitled “Summon The Heroes” for public school students in Washington, DC. The Lyric for Strings was performed on all of these concerts in November of 2012 and March of 2013. In May of 2012 George Walker delivered the Commencement Address at the Eastman School of Music and received a Doctor of Music Degree. He also received the Aaron Copland Award from ASCAP during this month. Gregory Walker gave the world premiere of “Bleu for Violin Unaccompanied” at the Library of Congress in April of 2013. The work was performed for the first time on a copy of the famous Betts Stradivari from the Stradivari Collection of the Library of Congress. Movements for Cello and Orchestra received its premiere by the Sinfonia da Camera conducted by Ian Hobson at the University of Illinois in November of 2013.

Jonathan Bailey Hollandjonathanbaileyholland_january142015_resized

His works have been commissioned and performed by numerous orchestras, including the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minnesota, National, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Springfield, St. Louis, and South Bend Symphony Orchestras; as well as the Auros Group for New Music; the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble; Transient Canvas; Boston Opera Collaborative; Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia; Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies; Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra; Orchestra 2001, and many others. A recipient of a 2015 Fromm Foundation Commission, he has received honors from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, American Music Center, ASCAP, the Presser Foundation, and more. He has served as Composer-in-Residence for the Plymouth Music Series of Minnesota (currently Vocal Essence); Ritz Chamber Players; Detroit and South Bend Symphony Orchestras; and the Radius Ensemble. His music has been recorded by the Cincinnati Symphony; the University of Texas Trombone Choir; trumpeter Jack Sutte; and flutist Christopher Chaffee. Upcoming recording releases are scheduled by the Radius Ensemble, and by pianist Sarah Bob. Recent highlights include the premiere of Equality for narrator and orchestra for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the premiere of Forged Sanctuaries by Curtis on Tour, commissioned to commemorate the centennial of National Park Service. Holland is Chair of Composition, Theory and History at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Faculty Chair of the Music Composition Low Residency MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Previously he served as Professor of Composition at the Berklee College of Music.

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