Fagan Commission Features Eastman Composer, Student Musicians

October 9, 2007

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057, hsnihur@esm.rochester.edu)

A collaboration involving Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and musicians from the Eastman School of Music will result in the inaugural preview of a University of Rochester-commissioned dance work this month.

Set to a score by Eastman faculty member and composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon and choreographed by Fagan, the piece, titled EDGE/JOY, will receive its first performance during the University’s annual Meliora Weekend celebration.

Featuring Garth Fagan Dance, EDGE/JOY is set to a suite of three of Zohn-Muldoon’s compositions: “Candelabra,” for piano and cello; selections from “Jácaras,” for piano trio; and “Páramo,” for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, guitar, and percussion.

Accompanying the dancers for the Oct. 18 performance will be an ensemble of Eastman School students conducted by Reuben Blundell, a doctoral student in conducting, and including doctoral student Dieter Hennings, guitar; sophomore Chester Howard, clarinet; senior Deidre Huckabay, flute; senior Hanna Hurwitz, violin; master’s degree student Ailbhe McDonagh, cello; Arthur Williford, who received a bachelor’s degree at Eastman in 2006, piano; and doctoral student Matthew Witten, percussion.

Garth Fagan Dance will also present the piece during its annual season at The Joyce Theater in New York City Nov. 6 to 11 and will reprise the piece locally during its season at Nazareth College Arts Center Nov. 27 to Dec. 2. The Eastman student ensemble will travel to New York City to accompany the dance company for two performances there. In addition, the students will record the score to be used at performances where live music is not offered.

Garth Fagan has received numerous awards for his groundbreaking work for The Lion King, including the 1998 Tony® Award for Best Choreography. His company, Garth Fagan Dance (www.garthfagandance.org), cited for its excellence and originality, continues to tour the world to wide acclaim. The Company was honored with the New York Governor’s Arts Award, among others, and has had five members receive the “Bessie” Awards (New York Performance Awards) over its 37-year history.

Mexican-born composer Zohn-Muldoon joined the Eastman faculty in 2002. His music has been praised for its detailed sculpting of concise musical ideas that unfold in contrapuntal “kaleidoscopes” of intense rhythm and color. His works have been performed by such groups as the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, eighth blackbird, Neue Ensemble Hannover, and San Francisco Contemporary Players. More information about his work is available at www.rzohn-muldoon.com.

Meliora Weekend (www.rochester.edu/alumni/melioraweekend) is the University of Rochester’s combined homecoming, alumni reunion, and family weekend. This year’s dates are Oct. 18 through 21.

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