LSM Newswire

Friday, February 27, 2009

Poul Ruders 60th Birthday Concert and Celebration

On Thursday, March 26, 2009, at 7:30 pm, the Scandinavia House and Bridge Records will present a concert devoted to the music of the Danish composer, Poul Ruders. The concert will take place at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue at 38th Street. Mr. Ruders will be in attendance and will speak about his music and the works on this program. The program features the world premiere of Pages I-X (2008) performed by guitarist David Starobin, and the US premiere of Serenade on the Shores of the Cosmic Ocean, to be performed by Mikko Luoma, accordion and the iO String Quartet. Also on the program are: Regime (1984) played by the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, Star Prelude and Love Fugue (1990) performed by Vassily Primakov, piano; and New Rochelle Suite (2005) played by David Starobin, guitar and Daniel Druckman, percussion.

On the eve of his 60th birthday, Poul Ruders is widely acknowledged to be one of the leading composers of his generation. In the last decade Ruders' operas have been acclaimed in productions in England, the USA, Canada, and Denmark, and his orchestral scores have been commissioned and premiered by many of the world's great orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic. The next two years will see the world premiere of his 3rd Symphony “Dream Catcher” by the Royal Danish Orchestra, and his 4th Symphony “An Organ Symphony” by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Odense Symphony Orchestra. His latest opera, Dancer in the Dark, will have its first production at the Royal Danish Opera, and premieres of new works are scheduled in locales as far flung as Estonia, Munich and Seattle. New recordings are due for release in 2009 on the DaCapo and Bridge labels.

Poul Ruders was born in Ringsted, Denmark on March 27, 1949. His early studies in piano and organ led eventually to studies in orchestration with the Danish composer Karl Aage Rasmussen. Ruders' first compositions date from the mid-60s. Writing about Ruders, the English critic Stephen Johnson states: "He can be gloriously, explosively extrovert one minute- withdrawn, haunted, intently inward-looking the next. Super-abundant high spirits alternate with pained, almost expressionistic lyricism; simplicity and directness with astringent irony." These extremes have defined the Ruders style, but only begin to touch on the rich variety found in his large catalog. The recent opera Kafka's Trial weaves disparate influences including Klezmer music, into a two-hour tapestry of wildly varying tonal shades; the 9/11-influenced Listening Earth for large orchestra, begins with teeming and optimistic orchestral explosions, only to wind down to a spare and devastatingly desolate conclusion; while the popular Concerto in Pieces riffs on a theme by Henry Purcell, and ends with a triumphant dancing fugue. Though not an "easy" composer, Ruders has managed to find a voice that is communicative, varied, recognizable and profound. More than 40 CDs of his music are currently available including his two grand operas (The Handmaid's Tale and Kafka's Trial), and a 400-plus page study of his work (Acoustical Canvases- The Music of Poul Ruders), published in 2007.
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Tickets for the Ruders Birthday Concert are $15, and $10 for ASF members, please call 212 879 9779 for tickets reservations and sales. For further information contact Becky Starobin, 914 654 9270.

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