Lynn Vartan, percussion, and Bridget Convey, piano, will perform in a special guest concert at the USM School of Music, Corthell Concert Hall. Featuring a world premiere composition by USM faculty member Daniel Sonenberg. For event details and ticket reservations visit the Music Box Office or call 780-5555. TTY: 780-5646. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $10 seniors and USM faculty/staff, $5 students. Parking on campus is free for evening and weekend events.
Sunday, September 30th at 2:00pm
University of Southern Maine
Admission: General $15/Seniors $10/Students $5*
Saturday, September 29th at 3:30pm
USM Corthell Hall
Admission: General $6/USM students FREE*
Admission to the Master Class is free with purchase of concert ticket
Percussion and piano duo, Lynn Vartan and Bridget Convey will be at the University of Southern Maine for a two-day residency on September 29 and 30, 2012. Ms. Vartan, an international performer and educator who has worked with many of the leading figures in the contemporary music world, is currently Director of Percussion at Southern Utah University; and Ms. Vartan, a Maine pianist with a national reputation for excelling at new music is on the faculties of University of Maine at Farmington and Bates College. They will begin their residency by leading a master class for pianists, percussionists, and composers. Four USM Composition students (three graduate and one undergraduate) have written new compositions for piano and percussion, which will be performed and coached at the Saturday afternoon master class.
On Sunday, September 30, Vartan and Convey will perform a concert of contemporary music by John Cage, Anna Ignatowicz-Glinska, Barbara White, Christos Hatzis; and World Premieres by two of the leading composers in Maine’s new music scene, Vineet Shende (Bowdoin College) and Daniel Sonenberg (University of Southern Maine).
Shende’s composition, Suryachi Saoli (Marathi: Sun’s Shadow), employs 12-tone and celluar techniques the composer had previously only required of his students but not applied to his own work. It also is inspired by Shende’s mild synesthesia, which means he “sees” colors when hearing sound. The composer adds: “While experimenting with the various sounds possible from piano and percussion, I tried bowing the piano while striking the glockenspiel. The color that I “saw” was the same bright greenish-purple that one sees when closing one’s eyes after (hopefully, inadvertently) looking at the sun. This color immediately took me back to my 9-year-old self, when I somehow got it into my head that if I stared at the sun while singing the chorus to “Be Good Johnny” by the Australian pop band Men At Work, it would cure my myopia. (By the way, this doesn’t work.)”
Sonenberg’s work, 41 Fathead, was commissioned by Vartan and Convey with support of a Maine Arts Commission Good Idea Grant. It is a memorial both to Sonenberg’s father, and his friend and musical influence, Christopher Hume. The title refers at once to the composer’s age when he wrote the piece, his father’s age when he died, and his friend’s joking lyrical setting for the melodic interval of a descending minor 3rd (4-1, analytical shorthand for C#-E): “fathead,” which Hume communicated to fellow students as a mnemonic device for the minor 3rd interval. In Sonenberg’s piece, both performers are required to sing that word with utmost seriousness at the work’s conclusion.
Other works on the concert, which will also be performed at Bowdoin’s Studzinki Hall on Friday, September 28, at 2:30pm, include a composition by John Cage for prepared piano, a work for percussion and digital audio by Christos Hatzis, a solo piano piece by composer Barbara White, and a solo marimba work by Anna Ignatowicz-Glinska. All but two of the composers on the program were born after 1967, and as such the program presents a particularly current cross section of compositional activity for percussion and piano.
For the Saturday Master Class, four composers have written new works for piano and percussion to be performed by students and coached by the visiting artists. The composers are Timothy Burns of Biddeford, Joseph Cough of Bar Harbor, Josh Newton of Farmingdale, and Eric Peppe of Westbrook. According to Sonenberg, who directs composition studies at USM, “it’s a wonderful opportunity for our advanced students to write for this dynamic and contemporary-sounding duo of instruments, and for both our composers and performers to be coached by musicians of such stature. It’s a particular plus that both of the visiting artists have established themselves as committed interpreters of contemporary music.”
Percussionist Dr. Lynn Vartan is an international performer and educator who is an advocate for diversity in music. In addition to her position at SUU, Dr Vartan is the percussionist for Southwest Chamber Music, the violin/percussion duo 61/4 which she founded with Shalini Vijayan, and the Exacta duo she formed with Tambuco's Miguel Gonzalez. As a new music percussionist Lynn has worked with Michael Colgrass, Vinny Golia, Arthur Jarvinen, Ursula Oppens, Joan Tower, Glen Velez, Xtet, James Newton, Chinary Ung, the Hilliard Ensemble and the Tambuco Percussion Ensemble, and is known for her dynamic athleticism and exciting energy on stage. She has commissioned and/or performed countless new works for percussion by composers such as Donald Crockett, William Kraft, Steve Hoey, Veronika Krausas, Erica Muhl, Arthur Jarvinen, Sean Heim, Jeff Holmes, and Shaun Naidoo.
As a soloist, Lynn has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, the Different Trains Series, at Montana State University, the Hanoi Conservatory, Cornell University, with the Sierra Wind Symphony, the Helena Symphony and at the World Trade Expo in Seim Reap, Cambodia. She is regularly presented on the Music at the Court series in Pasadena, California, where she produces her own solo percussion concerts. As a recording artist, Lynn has appeared on the ECM New Series, New World Records, Bridge Records, Albany Records, and was twice Grammy® nominated on the Cambria label with Southwest Chamber Music in the "Best Classical Album of the Year" and "Best Small Ensemble with or without a conductor” for The Complete Chamber Music of Charlos Chavez, Volume III and The Latin Grammy® for “Best Classical Album of the Year” for William Kraft’s Enounters Series.
Lynn is endorsed by the Paiste Corporation, Remo Inc., and Marimba One, whom she travels for as artist and performer.
Bridget Convey, piano
As a soloist and ensemble musician, pianist Bridget Convey has been heard throughout the United States performing music of diverse periods and styles. She has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center (NYC) and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles, CA) (with the Los Angeles Philharmonic); Ojai Music Festival, CA; Fechin Institute Chamber Concert Series, Taos, NM; Maybeck Performing Arts Studio, Berkeley, CA; Bowdoin College, ME; UMaine, University of Maine at Augusta; University of Southern Maine; Southern Utah University; Emery Community Arts Center at UMF; several venues in Portland, ME; among many others.
Bridget has been specifically sought after as a New Music pianist and featured musician at several National and International Festivals. She was invited to perform at the International New Music Festival at CSSN in Las Vegas, NV; "Artist in Residence" at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Spring New Music Festival; and featured lecturer and performer at the MMTA Spring Convention at UMaine and USM; at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Columbus, OH; and at the "Satellite Salon Series" at Southern Utah University.
Since Bridget relocated to Maine she has performed throughout Central and Southern Maine. She works regularly with the Maine Music Society's Androscoggin Chorale and pianist Chiharu Naruse. Bridget serves as part-time faculty at the University of Maine at Farmington and Bates College.
Vineet Shende’s work has been called “startlingly intense and vivid” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). It often deals with conceptual issues of timbral development, structural order, and the Japanese aesthetic concept of ma (“active” space and time). Shende’s music incorporates a wide variety of styles, including the modal and rhythmic world of North Indian classical music, the visceral energy of rock music, and a harmonic language described as “hard to characterize, dissonant in some places and with celestial harmonies in others, but unusually accessible” (Maine Sunday Telegram). His music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has brought him recognition in the form of awards, fellowships, and grants from such organizations as ASCAP and the Mellon Foundation. Recent premieres have included Naimittika Pralaya for double string orchestra and prepared piano, commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Three Longfellow Poems for soprano soloist, two choirs and orchestra, commissioned by the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Ensembles such as the American Modern Ensemble, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Cassatt String Quartet, the Aeolian Chamber Players, and the National Symphony Orchestra have all recently performed Shende’s music. Recent recordings (on the New Focus label) include the “vigorous and sassy” (Gramophone Magazine) Throw Down or Shut Up! on Flexible Music’s debut album FM, and the “particularly outstanding” (American Record Guide) Sonetos de amor performed by soprano Elizabeth Weigle and guitarist Daniel Lippel on Lippel’s album Sustenence.
Shende’s formative years alternated between the cities of Chicago, Illinois and Pune, India. His earliest music lessons were from his mother, a vocalist trained in North Indian classical music. He started playing guitar at the age of eight and was soon singing and playing in rock bands (which he still does today). In college, after briefly toying with physics and economics, he became completely enamored by music composition and now holds degrees from Cornell University, Butler University, and Grinnell College. His principal composition teachers have been Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, Michael Schelle, and Jonathan Chenette. He has also studied music with sitar virtuoso Ustad Usman Khan and conducting with Stanley DeRusha and Scott Tucker.
Shende is an Associate Professor of Music at Bowdoin College, where he oversees the composition program and teaches courses in composition, electronic music, orchestration, music theory, music history, and Asian music. He is a member of ASCAP, and a charter member of Score Board, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s composer advisory organization. He lives in Brunswick, Maine with his wife, daughter, and dog in a nineteenth-century house that is constantly undergoing renovation.
Daniel Sonenberg is a composer, performer, and scholar. His music has been performed throughout the United States and in Europe by ensembles and institutions including the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Momenta String Quartet, Friends and Enemies of New Music, the Portland Chamber Music Festival, the Manhattan School of Music, the New York Singing Teachers Association, the American Composers Alliance, Florida State University’s Festival of New Music and many others. In 2011, Dr. Sonenberg was on sabbatical and was awarded a residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, where he completed his opera, The Summer King, about the great Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson. Workshop and concert performances of scenes, arias and duets from the opera have taken place at venues in New York City and Portland, Maine since 2003. Many of these have been sponsored by the New York-based company American Opera Projects.
Dr. Sonenberg has been increasingly active as a performer of his own music in recent years, having played the guitar part for numerous performances of his Seven Jarring Dances for Clarinet(s) and Steel-String Guitar (2011) and the drum part for his Takes One to Know One (2012), for bass clarinet, cello, bass, and percussion (floor tom and kick drum).
In the Spring of 2013, the Da Capo Chamber players will premiere a new work by Sonenberg while in residence at the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Sonenberg has received grants and fellowships from the Maine Arts Commission, Meet The Composer, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the New York Music Fund, and the American Music Center. He is Associate Professor and Resident Composer at the University of Southern Maine, where he founded and directs the USM Composers Ensemble.
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