Tag: chamber music

Music lecturer Evan Williams ’11 wins Detroit Symphony’s 2018 Classical Roots African American Composer Residency

Evan Williams, who is spending the 2017-18 academic year as a visiting lecturer in music in the composition department at Lawrence University, has been named the winner of the Detroit Symphony’s 2018 Classical Roots African American Composer Residency.

Evan Williams
Evan Williams ’11

Williams, a 2011 Lawrence graduate, was chosen from a national application process. He will be in residence with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Feb. 24-26. During his residency, he will conduct community outreach education with the civic ensembles of the DSO.

Highlighting his residence will be a performance of his composition “GRIME” performed during the Classical Roots Chamber Recital Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at Detroit’s Plymouth United Church of Christ.

Written in 2013 for the Fresh, Inc. chamber music festival at UW-Parkside, “GRIME” is an eight-minute work for violin, viola, cello and double bass. Calling it a “confluence of seemingly disparate inspirations, including rock, spectralism, minimalism and modernist techniques,” Williams said the goal of the piece was to create a piece that would recreate the sound of a different instrument, in this case, an electric guitar with heavy distortion.

The work’s title came near the end of the composition process. Its working title was “GRIND” due to the harsh grinding sound that resulted from the molto sul ponticello and bow overpressure used in the work.

“In the search for a title, I wanted a word that began with G and also had an ‘edgy’ feel to it, given the rock inspiration,” Williams wrote in a blog post about the work. “I eventually decided against the word ‘grind,” as it held more hip hop and rap connotations for me. While ‘GRIME’ doesn’t hold any rock connotations that I am aware of, the title seemed to be more suited to the work.”

Prior to joining the Lawrence faculty, Williams spent a year as a composer fellow at Bennington College and taught in the Young Musicians Program at the Walden School in New Hampshire.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in theory/composition at Lawrence, Williams earned a master’s degree in composition from Bowling Green State University and a D.M.A in composition from the University of Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence Artist Series welcomes Elias String Quartet

The internationally acclaimed London-based Elias String Quartet brings its reputation for performing with “exuberance and fire” to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Friday, Feb. 3 in the second concert of Lawrence University’s 2016-17 Artist Series.

Tickets, at $25-30 for adults, $20-25 for seniors, $18-20 for students, are available online through the Lawrence Box Office or by calling 920-832-6749.A photo of London-based Elias String Quartet sitting on the couch.

Hailed as one of the leading ensembles of their generation, Elias will feature Beethoven’s “String Quartet in F minor, Op. 95,” Kurtág’s “Moments musicaux for string quartet, Op. 44” and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13” in its Lawrence performance.

A product of Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music in England, the quartet has evolved from student group to professional ensemble, earning raves for its artistic excellence after bursting on the scene in 1998. Since then, they have performed around the world, collaborating with many of the best musicians in the world’s most revered venues.

In 2015, the quartet — violinists Sara Bitlloch and Donald Grant, violist Martin Saving and cellist Marie Bitlloch, Sara’s sister — finished its ground-breaking Beethoven Project, which saw it record and perform the composer’s complete set of works for string quartet.

In its review of a recent performance, The Sunday Times of London raved “The players are individually brilliant, but their interplay is profound” while the Philadelphia Inquiring called their playing “intoxicating.”

Passionate about playing new music, Elias has premiered works by contemporary composers Sally Beamish and Colin Matthews of the UK, Matthew Hindson from Australia and American Timo Andres. In addition to the Beethoven project, their discography includes Mendelssohn and Britten as well as an album of French harp music and Schumann and Dvorak piano quintets with Jonathan Biss.

Remaining performers on this year’s Artist Series line-up include Mnozil Brass, March 29,  and Roomful of Teeth, April 7.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Michael Mizrahi and NOW Ensemble release third album, “Dreamfall”

NOW Ensemble, an eclectic chamber ensemble co-founded by Lawrence University Professor of Music and pianist Michael Mizrahi, released its latest album, “Dreamfall,” May 27 on New Amsterdam Records.

NOW-Ensemble-newsblog
NOW Ensemble features electric guitarist Mark Dancigers, flutist Alexandra Sopp, bassist Logan Coale, clarinetist Sara Budde and pianist Michael Mizrahi.

The ensemble’s third full-length album in the past 10 years, “Dreamfall” explores vibrant new sonic possibilities while featuring several new commissioned works by some of today’s leading young composers, including Andrea Mazzariello, Scott Smallwood and John Supko.

Mizrahi launched NOW Ensemble in 2004 with a vision of creating new chamber music for the 21st century. With its unique instrumentation — flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass and piano — the ensemble provides a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical tradition, reflecting the musical influences and diverse backgrounds of its members.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.