New York, NY "It’s as multi-faceted as the composer himself," is how Bradley Lubman, music director of the Eastman School of Music’s Musica Nova, describes John Zorn’s Rituals, a 30′ work being given its American premiere by that ensemble in The Great Hall at Cooper Union (East 7th Street at 3rd Avenue) on Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m.
Lubman has been studying the score to this mammoth 1998 work for singer plus 10 instruments, and calls the piece "an amazing adventure," with "virtuoso writing and original sound textures that make the piece absolutely refreshing."
Drawing on his experience in a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore punk, classical, klezmer, film, cartoon, popular and improvised music, John Zorn has created an influential body of work that defies academic categories. Born and raised in New York City, he has been a central figure in the downtown music scene since 1975, incorporating a wide range of musicians in various compositional formats, his experimental work with rock and jazz earning him a large cult following.
Lubman feels that the Zorn piece is an excellent pairing with two "classic" Charles Wuorinen works that round out the program, The Winds (1977) and Arabia Felix (1973), which are each intriguing and virtuosic. The Winds is scored for eight wind and brass players plus piano; Arabia Felix was written for the unusual combination of flute, bassoon, violin, piano, electric guitar and vibraphone, and is a sunny, effervescent sextet.
Founded in 1966, Musica Nova is the Eastman School of Music’s contemporary music ensemble. Composed of graduate and undergraduate students, the ensemble flourished under composer Sydney Hodkinson, who directed the ensemble during his 25 years (1973-1998) at Eastman. The current director is conductor/composer Bradley Lubman, who led the ensemble in its first appearance at Cooper Union in January 2000, and is assistant professor of conducting and ensembles at Eastman since 1997. Under Lubman’s energetic and innovative direction, the ensemble has become known for its excellent performance standards and diverse repertoire. Composers such as Steve Reich, John Adams, Bernard Rands, Magnus Lindberg, and Augusta Read Thomas have praised the ensemble for its performances of their works.
This concert is part of the CooperArts series, which brings New Yorkers high quality programs in the performing and literary arts. Tickets for the concert are $15; call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 between 1-8 p.m., or visit the Web site at: www.ticketcentral.org.
Musica Nova will present a special preview performance for Rochester audiences at 8 p.m., Thursday, March 7, in Kilbourn Hall. This performance is free and open to the public.
Note: Photos and interviews may be available on request.