Tag: Joanne Metcalf

Classical, Jazz Composer/Pianist Laurie Altman Performs During Visiting Artist-in-Residence

Award-winning composer and pianist Laurie Altman, whose extensive repertoire covers both classical and jazz, opens a week-long, visiting composer-in-residence at Lawrence University with a guest recital Sunday, April 10 at 3 p.m. in Harper Hall of the Music-Drama Center.  Altman will perform some of his solo piano compositions as well as jazz standards with Lawrence faculty musicians Dane Richeson, percussion, and Mark Urness, bass.

All Altman events during his residency are free and open to the public.

Laurie Altman

Highlighting his residency will be the world premiere of his composition “The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel during the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and Lawrence choirs concert.

The work, based on a poem by Ezra Pound of the same name, will be performed by the orchestra and Cantala, Lawrence’s women’s choir, and will feature guest artist Professor of Music Patrice Michaels, soprano.

Associate Professor of Music Joanne Metcalf will moderate a preconcert discussion of the work with Altman and Michaels beginning at 7:15 p.m. in the Chapel.

Other scheduled activities during Altman’s residency include:

• Monday, April 11 — Jazz Jam Session with Altman, students and faculty performing jazz standards and arrangements by Altman and others. Warch Campus Center cafe, 9:30 p.m.

• Tuesday, April 12 — Composition Studio Master Class, Lucinda’s, Colman Hall, 11:10 a.m.

• Thursday, April 14 — Jazz Composing and Arranging Workshop, Shattuck Hall 146, 12:30 p.m.

• Thursday, April 14—Chamber Music of Laurie Altman: A brief concert of works for small ensembles featuring Lawrence students and faculty. Harper Hall, 9:30 p.m.

Altman performed extensively throughout the 1970s and ’80s at many of New York City’s most famous jazz clubs, including The Blue Note, Soundscape and Seventh Avenue South. He has written more than 100 jazz pieces as well as chamber, vocal, piano, opera, choral works and film scores.

A native New Yorker now living in Switzerland, Altman has been recognized with two National Endowment Fellowships, a Lincoln Center Felt Forum Award and the Mason Gross Composition Prize.

Choral Concert Features Tribute to Late Lawrence Faculty Member Jennifer Fitzgerald

The American premiere of Associate Professor of Music Joanne Metcalf’s “O Shining Light,” a musical tribute to her former colleague and friend, Jennifer Fitzgerald, highlights the Lawrence University choral concert Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 520 E. College Ave., Appleton. The concert is free and open to the public.

Cantala women’s choir, under the direction of conductor Phillip Swan, will perform the U.S. debut of Metcalf’s composition, which honors Fitzgerald, who taught at Lawrence first as postdoctoral fellow and then as an instructor of music before dying of cancer at the age of 32 in 2007. While at Lawrence, Fitzgerald was active in exploring new, interdisciplinary forms of composition.

“O Shining Light,” written for four women’s voices, was commissioned by the Scottish ensemble Canty. The group performed its world premiere last October at St. Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen and will release it on CD later this year.

In composing the tribute to Fitzgerald, Metcalf said she tried to create the impression “of a profoundly beautiful outer light, such as that of the stars, that reflects back the beauty of one’s inner light.”

The Lawrence Concert Choir and Viking Chorale, both under the direction of Paul Nesheim, also will perform. The concert choir will sing the traditional spiritual “Hold On,” William Mathias’ “Let the People Praise Thee, O God,” which was commissioned for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, as well as works by Claude Debussy and Eric Whitacre.

The Viking chorale’s program includes Aaron Copland’s “Stomp Your Foot” from his opera “The Tender Land” and the rousing chorus “Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite” from George Handel’s “Samson.”

The concert will be webcast beginning with a pre-concert program at 7:30 p.m..

Award-winning German Vocal CD Features Composition by Lawrence University’s Joanne Metcalf

Joanne Metcalf won’t receive a funky, little gold statuette for her efforts, but the Lawrence University assistant professor of music says personal satisfaction is its own reward.

Metcalf wrote the main composition on a classical CD by Singer Pur, a German-based sextet that recently won the German Recording Academy’s ECHO Klassik prize for best vocal ensemble performance at an awards ceremony in Munich. The ECHO is considered the most prestigious classical music award in Europe.

Metcalf’s “Il nome del bel fior” (“The Name of that Fair Flower”) is a 25-minute, seven-part vocal composition that was used as the last track on the CD “Rihm, Metcalf, Moody, Sciarino” on the Oehms Classic label. The text of the composition is taken from Dante’s “Paradiso.” The work was performed on the CD by both Singer Pur and London-based The Hilliard Ensemble, one of the world’s premier chamber vocal groups.

“It’s definitely one of the biggest things to ever happen in my life,” Metcalf said of the award. “It’s very gratifying that the CD was recognized and I contributed to it.”

Metcalf, The Hilliard Ensemble and Singer Pur trace their collective roots back a dozen years. In 1994, The Hilliard Ensemble sponsored its first, and because it was overwhelmed with submissions, only international composition competition. Metcalf’s “Music for the Star of the Sea” was named one of the competition’s three winners. Singer Pur was just launching its career at the time and was working with Hilliard Ensemble when Metcalf submitted her winning composition. An ongoing collaboration was instantly born.

Metcalf wrote “Il nome del bel fior” in 1998 and since then, the work has been performed more than 100 times in concerts around the globe.

A member of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music faculty since 2001, Metcalf’s work as a composer has been widely recognized. She earned first-prize honors in 1993 from the International League of Women Composers, was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for study at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague that same year and more recently earned the Aaron Copland Award from the Copland Heritage Association in 2000.

She earned a Ph.D. in music composition from Duke University.