ROCHESTER, NY — New music will wear a coat of many colors when four Eastman School ensembles together present their final concert of the season at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 3, in Kilbourn Hall (26 Gibbs St.). The performance — which will be webcast live by the American Music center’s NewMusicBox — includes music for chamber ensembles, jazz ensemble, and voices. Admission is free and open to the public.
Assistant Professor of Conducting and Ensembles Brad Lubman, who in addition to directing Eastman’s Musica Nova has led and composed for many of the world’s top new music groups, has composed a new work titled Scary Plumbing to be premiered in this concert. Written for strings, winds, brass, percussion, singers, reciters, tape, and turntables, the piece incorporates pre-recorded, live, and improvised elements. Lubman, who composed the piece based on particular talents and special abilities of the performers, explains, “Some parts of the piece were composed by experimenting in rehearsal, sort of like learning music from an aural tradition, and it’s a very colorful and imaginative group — so the results should be wild!” Lubman’s work for eight cellos, titled They Ate Cellos, also is on the program and will be performed by the recently formed Tarab Cello Ensemble, a chamber group composed of Eastman cello students.
Ossia, Eastman’s student-run new music group, will present a preview of their upcoming New York City debut with the premiere of a new version of Steve Reich’s The Desert Music. The work, which was composed in 1984 for full orchestra and large chorus, recently was reduced by the composer to employ chamber orchestra and 10 singers. Ossia’s version, which will be premiered in the May 3 concert, is an integration of instrumental forces from the original version and the chamber version. “We’re excited to have been able to work with Reich, who reviewed and approved our ideas for this new instrumentation,” says Ossia member Gavin Chuck. Ossia will perform The Desert Music, as well as Reich’s other vocal masterpiece Tehillim, at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre on May 24.
Also on the program is Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto, written for clarinet and dance band. First performed in 1946 by the Woody Herman Orchestra, the piece will be played by Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media Chair Ramon Ricker and the Eastman Jazz Ensemble.
The concert will be streamed live on NewMusicBox, and will be available for “on-demand” viewing for a period of one month starting May 5, 2001. NewMusicBox (http://www.NewMusicBox.org) is the web magazine of the American Music center. Founded by a consortium led by Aaron Copland in 1939, the American Music center is the nation’s oldest service organization and information center for new music. “NewMusicBox is the American Music center’s response to the diminishing media coverage of new music,” explains Richard Kessler, the center’s executive director. “Eastman has developed a busy new music scene in recent years, and thanks to our partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts, we are pleased to be able to bring one of their innovative performances to a larger audience through the Internet.”