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Monday, October 6, 2008

Composers young and younger

Composers Young and Younger!


Music by three generations of American composers

works by

Elizabeth Bell, Canary Burton, Stephen Feigenbaum,Daniel Haldar & Max Lifchitz

Lisa Hansen, flute; Mioi Takeda, violin; John Pickford Richards, viola;

Bruce Wang, cello; & Max Lifchitz, piano

Sunday, October 12 at 3 PM


Christ & St Stephen’s Church

120 West 69th St (bet Bway & Columbus), NYC

Free Admission. No tickets required.


North/South Consonance, Inc. will inaugurate its 29th consecutive season with a special event scheduled for Sunday, October 12 at 3 PM.

The concert will feature members of the acclaimed North/South Consonance Ensemble performing music by three generations of American composers. It will be held at the auditorium of Christ & St. Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th St) in Manhattan. Admission is free.

Two extremely talented teen-age composers will participate in the concert: Daniel Haldar –- the 17 year old composer from Cleveland, OH – and Stephen Feigenbaum — the 19 year old composer born in Boston and now an undergraduate at Yale University.

Mr. Haldar’s recently completed four movement Sonata for Piano will be heard in New York City for the first time. An ambitious and virtuosic work, its music is both somewhat dissonant and highly evocative. Haldar has studied piano and composition at the Preparatory Division of the Cleveland Institute of Music. A high-school senior, his other interests include mathematics, science and languages. He also serves as captain of his school’s Lincoln-Douglas debate team.

Stephen Feigenbaum will be represented on the program by his Trap for solo viola, a composition that explores “the paradox of being trapped by a sense of freedom.” Born in 1989, Feigenbaum was recently commissioned to write a work for the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra in California. He has won several scholarships and prizes and has also appeared on the popular NPR show “From the Top.”

The concert will mark the 80th birthday of Elizabeth Bell (b. 1948, Cincinnatti, OH) whose River Fantasy for flute, violin, viola and cello will open the second half of the program. A graduate of Wellesley College and The Juilliard School, Ms. Bell resides in Westchester County with her husband and their Siamese cat. The American Record Guide called her “one of our country’s leading composers.” And Fanfare Magazine referred to her as “a fine composer with a vivid, highly entertaining sense of instrumental color.” Ms. Bell is one of the founders of New York Women Composers, Inc. and also served on the Board of Governors of the American Composers Alliance for several years. Her works have been performed throughout the US as well as Armenia, Brazil and Russia. River Fantasy was premiered by the North/South Consonance Ensemble as part of an all Elizabeth Bell concert presented at Merkin Hall in 1993 and eventually recorded on a CD featuring some of her vocal and instrumental works (North/South Recordings 1042).

The music of long time Cape Cod, MA resident Canary Burton (b.1943) will open the concert. Her recently completed piano piece The Broken Record will be heard for the first time. Ms. Burton found inspiration for the work in one of her old jazz tunes as well as quotes from We Shall Overcome. In a manner somewhat similar to Charles Ives’ musical collages, Burton also employs quotes from military tunes and childhood songs. Burton studied jazz at the University of Idaho. Her work has progressed through jazz, pop and sound art into post-modern classical music.

The program will also include some works by Max Lifchitz, the Mexican-born composer and conductor who founded North/South Consonance, Inc. in 1980. A New York City resident since 1966, Mr. Lifchitz studied at Juilliard and Harvard and has taught at Columbia University, the Manhattan School of Music, New School University, Columbus State University and the University at Albany, SUNY. A tireless advocate of today’s composers, Lifchitz appears as conductor or pianist on more than 40 critically acclaimed albums.

Commissioned by the Organization of American States, Lifchitz’s Yellow Ribbons No. 22 (1982) for viola and piano belongs to a series of compositions being written as homage to the former American hostages in Iran. His Transformations No. 2 for solo violin was commissioned by the late Mexican virtuoso Manuel Enriquez. And his Mosaico Latinoamericano for flute and piano is built around folk-tunes from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. The work was written at the request of flutist Lisa Hansen for a concert that took place in Zurich, Switzerland.

Flutist Lisa Hansen graduated from The Juilliard School before accepting the position of principal flutist with the Mexico City Philharmonia. She has performed and recorded with North/South Consonance since her return to New York in 1988. Ms. Hansen is the featured soloist in the recording of Harold Schiffman’s Concertino for Flute and Chamber Orchestra recently released on the North/South Recordings label (N/S R 1045).

Violinist Mioi Takeda studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School and Brooklyn College. Much in demand as chamber and orchestral musician throughout the tri-state area, she performs regularly with The American Symphony Orchestra and the St Luke’s Orchestra.

John Pickford Richards studied at the Eastman School and has performed throughout the US and Europe. He collaborated with Pierre Boulez on a recent performance of Luciano Berio’s Chemins for viola and chamber ensemble at the Luzerne Festival in Switzerland.

Cellist Bruce Wang is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the country, Asia, Europe and Australia. He has also recorded music for many feature films, theater and media projects.

The composers will be on hand to introduce their works and meet with the audience during intermission and after the concert. All participants in the event are available to the press for interviews and may be contacted through our office at (212) 663-7566 or by e-mail at <ns.concerts@att.net>

North/South Consonance’s 2008-09 season is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support comes from the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University in the City of NY; the Music Performance Funds of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians; and from many generous individuals.


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