SCARSDALE, N.Y. — Hoff-Barthelson Music School’s contemporary music festival, “Celebration 2012: The Music of Our Time,” will feature an unprecedented four world or East Coast premieres of music written for student or faculty performance.
The festival is scheduled from May 14-20, with most of the concerts to be held free of charge at the school, 25 School Lane, Scarsdale.
The premieres will be featured as part of the festival finale at 7 p.m. May 20 at the Community Unitarian Church, 468 Rosedale Ave., White Plains. Admission to the concert is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and free for HBMS students. The premieres and other music will be performed by the school’s chamber choir, beginner and junior voices, festival chorus, festival orchestra and a student chamber ensemble and faculty chamber ensemble. For reservations and information, call 914-723-1169, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see the school website.
“In 2012, a confluence of events has led to an unprecedented four 21st century premieres,” said HBMS Executive Director Joan Behrens Bergman in an email. “HBMS and Copland House have had a long-term invaluable relationship with an annual commissioned piece for HBMS students. This year, one of our multi-faceted faculty members composed a choral piece. Mixed modalities are the wave of the musical future, hence a performance of a piece for Japanese bamboo flute and western piano trio. And ‘The Noisy Intermission’ is a delightful and humorous introduction to orchestral instruments, perfect for a teaching institution to perform.”
HBMS Faculty member Laura Green will conduct the HBMS Chamber Choir in a performance of her own “Wintry, Wintry Wind.” “Music in Yellow and Green,” written by the HBMS annual Copland House fellow Joel Hoffman, will be performed by a student chamber ensemble. James Nyoraku Schlefer’s “A Smile on the Buddha Calm,” for violin, cello, piano and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), will be presented by an HBMS faculty ensemble, with Schlefer playing shakuhachi. Also, Michael Valenti's novelty piece, “The Noisy Intermission,” will receive its East Coast premiere by the Festival Orchestra, with librettist Ron Spivak as narrator.
Other 20th and 21st century composers who will receive performance attention include Prokofiev, Satie and Kirke Mechem.
Student solo and ensemble performances will be held at the school May 14-19. The school’s yearlong “Compose Yourself!” project will include performances at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 19, of the student works written throughout the year. The Jazz Studies Program students and faculty will be featured at 8 p.m. Monday, May 14, in Jazz A to Z, and the Young Composers Recital will be presented at 6:15 p.m. that same day. A Faculty Recital, featuring many of the school’s faculty members in various ensembles, will present a Focus on Prokofiev and Satie at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 16.
“Imagine,” said Music of Our Time Festival Director Ed Niemann, “at one time, Beethoven’s music was considered radical and unlistenable! Our students integrate 20th and 21st century compositions into their psyches and recital work through the ‘Music of Our Time Festival.’ The classical music repertoire must be in a constant state of revivification for it to grow and survive.”