Hope to see some of you tomorrow at 5 PM at the concert being given at All Saints Church in Princeton. Five world premieres in one show – what joy, what luck!
*All selections composed by Christian B. Carey, unless otherwise noted
Spiritual Variations I & II
Tom Colao, organ
Je suis aimé de la plus belle Text by Cle ment Marot
Sara Noble, soprano
Selections from Nocturnes Composed by Cortlandt Matthews
i. on a particularly clear night
ii. a streetlight manifesto
iii. a Mulder meditation
Jessica Moreno, mezzo-soprano and Sergey Tkachenko, piano
He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven Text by W.B. Yeats
Megan Ihnen, mezzo-soprano and Graeme Burgan, piano
Thomas Cunningham, piano
Megan Ihnen, mezzo-soprano and Sara Noble, soprano
From Blue Symphony Text by John Gould Fletcher
Thomas Cunningham, piano
Ian Good, piano
Sara Noble, soprano and Graeme Burgan, piano
Three Kenyon Settings Text by Jane Kenyon
Let Evening Come
Megan Ihnen, mezzo-soprano and Graeme Burgan, piano
Hymn: Add one more seat to the table Text by Kay Mitchell
*All are invited to join in the singing of this hymn*
CONTEMPORARY UNDERCURRENT OF SONG PROJECT PRESENTS
CHRISTIAN CAREY: A COMPOSER PORTRAIT
PRESS CONTACTS | Alexandra Porter, director; email@example.com
MAY 16, 2016 | For immediate release
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC CONCERT SERIES PRESENTS LOCAL COMPOSER
PRINCETON – May 12, 2016 – Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project (CUSP) is Princeton’s newest concert series dedicated to the elevation of modern art song composition. CUSP closes out their inaugural season with a concert dedicated to the music of Christian B. Carey.
Dr. Carey is an accomplished composer, music critic and Associate Professor of Music Composition, History, and Theory at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Celebrating Dr. Carey’s music and his contribution to the community as a composer and teacher, the concert will feature performances by many of his friends and former students, including six alumni of Westminster Choir College. The performance features emerging artists from across the region, including mezzo-sopranos Megan Ihnen and Jessica Moreno, soprano Sara Noble, composer Cortlandt Matthews, organist Tom Colao, and pianists Ian Good, Thomas Cunningham, Graeme Burgan, and Sergey Tkachenko.
The concert will feature selections from Carey’s works for voice, piano, and organ, including the world premieres of four pieces for solo piano (Solo 2, Reunion, Anniversary, Lullaby), performed by Ian Good and Thomas Cunningham, and the concert premiere of his Lullaby Vocalise for soprano and piano, performed by Sara Noble and Graeme Burgan. The concert will also include Carey’s song cycle “Kenyon Songs,” based on the poetry of Jane Kenyon, performed by Megan Ihnen and Graeme Burgan, and Cortlandt Matthews’ “Nocturnes for Mezzo,” performed by Jessica Moreno and Sergey Tkachenko.
CHRISTIAN CAREY: A COMPOSER PORTRAIT – Saturday, May 28 at 5pm
ARTISTS: Graeme Burgan, Tom Colao, Thomas Cunningham, Ian Good, Megan Ihnen,
Cortlandt Matthews, Jessica Moreno, Sara Noble, Sergey Tkachenko
VENUE: All Saints’ Episcopal Church | 16 All Saints’ Rd, Princeton NJ 08540
TICKETS: Free admission, donations gratefully accepted.
ABOUT CONTEMPORARY UNDERCURRENT OF SONG PROJECT
The Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project creates a platform for modern classical compositions for the voice by supporting both emerging and established performers, composers, and visionaries in the world of contemporary music. Audiences will become familiar with the music of our time – the music being composed and performed all around them, previously unheard and unseen. Young performers are given the chance to create something new through unique programming. Composers can work closely with artists to bring their work to life.
Composer Christian B. Carey is an Associate Professor of Music Composition, History, and Theory at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. His music has been performed by ACME, organist Joseph Arndt, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, C4 Choral Ensemble, Cassatt String Quartet, the choirs at Grace Church (Newark), the Choral Fellows at Harvard’s Memorial Church, pianist Hubert Ho, mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen, percussionist Peter Jarvis, Chamber Players of the League of Composers/ISCM, loadbang, Locrian Chamber Players, pianist Ashlee Mack, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, flutist John McMurtery, New York New Music Ensemble, soprano Sara Noble, singing cellist Jody Redhage, Righteous Girls, and the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. Recordings of his music have appeared on New Focus Records and Perspectives of New Music/Open Space. He has published articles and reviews in Perspectives of New Music, Tempo, Integral, Musical America, Musicworks, Playbill, and Time Out NY. He has a book chapter in Hommage a Elliott Carter, published by Editions Delatour. Christianbcarey.com
Graeme Burgan is a passionate and versatile pianist working within opera, chamber music, musical theatre and jazz. He has performed in collaboration with artists Alan Held, Margaret Cusack, Timothy Bentch, Steven Condy, Robin Massie, Nick Parnell and Samuel Hsu, with composers Morten Lauridsen and Rollo Dilworth, and at events including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Bundaleer Forest Weekend, and Woodend Winter Arts Festival. Graeme has also appeared at the Philadelphia Lieder Society, the Melbourne Recital Center, the Resonate Concert Series at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Friday Musicale in Jacksonville, Florida. Piano teachers have included Samuel Hsu, James Correnti, Graham Williams, JJ Penna, Daniel Beckwith and Dalton Baldwin.
Graeme has worked with the State Opera of South Australia, University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Westminster Opera Theater where he assisted Daniel Beckwith as chorus master. As a chorister, Graeme has performed with the Adelaide Chamber Singers, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, singing under the batons of Carl Crossin, Paul Hillier, Joe Miller, Arvo Volmer, Christoph Eschenbach and Ton Koopman. Graeme has played for the the voice studios of Sharon Sweet, Laura Brooks Rice, Sally Wolf, Scott McCoy, Amy Zorn, Carolann Page, Claudia Catania, Katherine Johnson and Nova Thomas. He is also the director of music at Hilltown Baptist Church.
Tom Colao, tenor, is currently Director of Music and Organist at All Saints’Church, Princeton, New Jersey. Born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Mr. Colao attended the Mannes College of Music in Manhattan, studying voice and choral conducting, before transferring to Westminster Choir College to pursue studies in organ and sacred music. While at Westminster, he sang as a member of Westminster Choir, under the direction of Dr. Joe Miller, in addition to performances with the Choir as both a tenor and organ soloist. He also made frequent appearances conducting various student ensembles. Mr. Colao maintains an active schedule as an accompanist, vocal coach, freelance conductor and recitalist. In addition, he is the composer of several works for both choral and instrumental ensembles.
Thomas Cunningham is artistic director of Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. Founded in 2014, this orchestra for the 21st century is malleable in size, genre and venue and collaborates anywhere, anytime, with anyone. Mr. Cunningham made his New York debut conducting Iolanta for Opera Slavica in 2012. He is on the conducting staff of Voices of Ascension Chorus & Orchestra in New York, NY and the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County in Bucks County, PA, and works regularly with The Princeton Festival, Opera Slavica and The CoOPERAtive program.
A conductor of distinctly broad repertory, recent engagements have included the concertos of Bach, Dvorak and Berg, orchestrating Addi & Jacq’s award-winning songs, and commissioning numerous young composers. Passionate about the American repertory, Mr. Cunningham believes deeply in the underperformed compositions of African American composers, especially William Grant Still and George Walker. He recently completed and premiered a symphonic suite of William Grant Still’s grand opera Troubled Island.
Mr. Cunningham’s previous engagements include Bard SummerScape, Berkshire Choral Festival, Opera Forza, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn and Westminster Opera Theater. He was a finalist in the 2016 International 4×4 Prizes for composers and conductors, held at the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Cunningham counts Tito Muñoz, Kynan Johns, Kenneth Kiesler and Dennis Keene amongst his teachers and mentors. He is a graduate of Westminster Choir College. Thomascunningham.us
Ian Good’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Gordon College Choir, Lyricora, the Westminster Bell Choir, Cape Symphony Orchestra, and various chamber groups and soloists. He has been commissioned by churches and school choirs, including LaGuardia High School in NYC, and his art song “Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard” was a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award competition. Ian holds an M.M. in Composition from Westminster Choir College and currently resides in northern New Jersey. Ianmichaelgood.com
Mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen is a tireless promoter of contemporary classical music for the voice. Megan was praised by the Baltimore Theatre Journal for her “mesmerizing dramatic and musical account of the strange mystic, Mary Magdalen de Pazzi,” in her performance of Salvatore Sciarrino’s one-woman operatic drama, Infinito Nero, with SONAR new music ensemble in February 2014. She was invited as the only voice fellow to Fifth House Ensemble’s Fresh Inc. program in 2013 as well as at the 2012 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA. Her performance of George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children at “Banglewood‟ was called “very good indeed, sharp and fervent” by NewMusicBox. She has been a featured soloist at both SICPP (’14) and MusicX (’11). She returned to Graz, Austria in February for IMPULS 2015. Megan is also the author behind the popular classical voice blog, The Sybaritic Singer. She reviews classical music performances and writes about musical entrepreneurship during her “28 Days to Diva” series. Meganihnen.com
Cortlandt Matthews is a singer and composer currently based on Long Island, New York. Primarily interested in writing vocal music, his choral music has been performed internationally by ensembles small and large, including Westminster Williamson Voices, NOTUS Ensemble of Indiana University, Queens College Vocal Ensemble, Southold Festival Singers, The Incarnation Cathedral Choir and Rho Kapp Men’s Chorale. A founding member of the Same Stream Choir, his music appears on their first record, The Same Stream: The Inaugural Recordings. As a graduate student at Queens College, he has had the pleasure of studying under Jeff Nichols, Bruce Saylor, and James John. He holds a B.M. in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College. Several of his choral compositions are available under the GIA Evoking Sound Choral Series. www.cortlandtmatthews.com
Jessica Moreno is a graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance. She was a member of the Grammy-nominated Williamson Voices and the resident choir of the Choral Music Institute at Oxford. She also sang in the Westminster Choir, which is the resident choir for Spoleto Festival USA. While in Spoleto she performed in the first fully staged production of John Adams’ El Niño. She is originally from Long Island, NY but currently resides in Princeton, NJ.
Sara Noble is a versatile performer whose credits include Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Cousin (Madame Butterfly), Miles (The Turn of the Screw), La Chauve-Souris (L’Enfant et les Sortilèges) and Laurey (Oklahoma!). Ms. Noble served as artist-in-residence with the Continuo Arts Foundation from 2011-2014, where she was the featured soloist for the Schubert Magnificat in C, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
A passionate supporter of new American classical music, Sara has premiered works by Elliot Cless, Martin Sedek, Christian Carey, Blake Henson and Jon Magnussen. In 2013, Sara premiered five original art songs written by the young winners of New Jersey Arts Collective’s PICTURES Composition Competition. She is a graduate of Westminster Choir College and in addition to performing, Sara serves as the Executive Producer for Opera on Tap New York and the Company/Media Manager for the Chautauqua Opera Company. Saranoblearts.com
Sergey Tkachenko is the Choral Director at Moorestown High School as well as the bass Choral Scholar at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Haddon Heights. Sergey is a solo and collaborative pianist. In addition to vocal coaching, he has also accompanied for several private voice studios and recitals. Sergey won first place at the Westminster Choir College piano competition in 2013. He made his orchestral debut as a soloist with the Westminster Community Orchestra in 2014. Singing, playing the piano and conducting are three lifelong pursuits for Sergey. He is also committed to the advancment of music in America. Mr. Tkachenko graduated Westminster Choir College with a BM in Music Education. Sergey would like to thank Dr. Carey for his service to the musical arts. sergeytkachenko.weebly.com
On Monday, May 23rd, with a performance by JACK Quartet at the 92nd Street Y, the New York Philharmonic’s second Biennial begins. Running until June 11th, a plethora of concerts are contained in this year’s offerings. Last week, Music Director Alan Gilbert outlined some of them at an “Insights at the Atrium” event. You can watch a video of it below.
On Tuesday, May 24th, Q2 whets listeners’ appetites for the Biennial with a 24-hour marathon devoted to the NY PHIL. Hosted by composer Phil Kline, it features recordings from the orchestra’s archive and record label. At 7 PM, there will be a live broadcast from National Sawdust of violinist Jennifer Koh playing from her Shared Madness commissioning project.
A few other events that I’m particularly enthused about:
Cheering for the home team, the Orchestra of the League of Composers/ISCM, conducted by Louis Karchin, presents a concert on June 1st at Miller Theatre with works by Huck Hodge, Felipe Lara, Paul Moravec, and Charles Wuorinen.
On June 2-4, a staging of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest will be given as part of the NY PHIL’s Contact! series.
Cellist Jay Campbell curates Ligeti Forward, a series of three concerts on June 3-5, performed by alums of the Lucerne Festival, conducted by Gilbert. Using György Ligeti as a starting point, the concerts incorporate a number of composers who have been influenced by his work, including Unsuk Chin,Marc-André Dalbavie, Gérard Grisey, and Alexandre Lunsqui.
On June 8, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble performs a program that features the NY Premiere of Steven Stucky’s composition for tenor and ensemble The Stars and the Roses. A setting of three Czeslaw Milosz poems, the affirming character of both the words and music of this piece are made even more poignant by the composer’s recent passing. The concert also includes NY premieres of works by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Stephen Hartke.
On June 9th, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, San Francisco Girls Chorus, and Brooklyn Knights join forces on two programs that feature pieces by, among others, Lisa Bielawa, Theo Bleckmann, Philip Glass, Aaron Jay Kernis, Carla Kihlstedt, Nico Muhly, and Caroline Shaw.
There’s more Stucky on the Biennial’s finale on June 11th; a concert given by the Philharmonic features the New York premiere of his Pulitzer prizewinning Second Concerto for Orchestra. Also on the program is the cello-filled Messagesquisse by Pierre Boulez and the U.S. Premiere of Per Nørgård’s Symphony No. 8.
EVENT: Christian Carey Portrait Concert
WHEN: Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 5 PM
WHERE: All Saints Church, 16 All Saints Road, Princeton NJ 08540
Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project and Sara Noble proudly co-present this composer portrait celebrating Christian Carey’s music and his contribution to the community as a composer and teacher. The concert will feature performances by many of his friends and former students.
Free admission, donations graciously accepted
Program: (all music by Christian Carey, unless otherwise noted)
Spiritual variations I & II for organ – Tom Colao
Je suis aime de la plus belle – Sara Noble
Nocturnes for Mezzo, by Cortlandt Matthews – Jessica Moreno and Sergey Tkachenko
He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven – Megan Ihnen and Graeme Burgan
Psalm 103 – Megan Ihnen and Sara Noble
*Anniversary – Thomas Cunningham
*Lullaby – Thomas Cunningham
*Solo 2 – Ian Good
*Reunion – Ian Good
From Blue Symphony – Sara Noble and Graeme Burgan
*Lullaby Vocalise – Sara Noble and Graeme Burgan
Kenyon Songs – Megan Ihnen and Graeme Burgan
Hymn: Add one more seat to the table
* indicates world premiere
Milton Babbitt would have been 100 today. This reflection ran shortly after his passing in 2011.
I’m very saddened to hear of Milton Babbitt’s passing. He was the first composer I ever encountered and the one who’s most fascinated me. Doubtless there will be some articles written this week which more thoroughly critique Babbitt’s aesthetic stance and prognosticate on his legacy (be kind folks!). And there are, of course, many former students and colleagues who had much closer and more extended relationships with Milton than did I. But as a way of remembering him today, I’d like to share a few memories of some of my meetings with Milton.
I first met Milton when I was in high school. He was giving a talk about his piano music at a high school on Long Island (Robert Taub was on hand to demonstrate). Knowing that I had made some fledgling attempts at composing, my mother suggested we go to the talk. It was mind blowing. I’d never experienced music – or discourse – like it.
Hearing his music without any previous exposure left me baffled, but eager to learn more. I went to the local public library, checked out Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music and study scores by Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Ives, and Babbitt (his 2nd Quartet and Philomel – still two of my favorites) – and began to teach myself about Twentieth Century music. I can honestly say that without attending that event, a whole world of music might not have crossed my path.
I later got to hear several of Milton’s lectures when I was an undergraduate student at the Juilliard School. He was also kind enough to look at my scores. Even though I wasn’t writing particularly post-tonal music at that point in time, he didn’t try to “convert” me; on the contrary, he was very kind and constructive in his comments. That was my first clue that the whole “serial tyranny” jeremiad was bunk, at least where Milton was concerned.
Another fond memory comes from the summer of 1999. By that time, I was studying with Charles Wuorinen at Rutgers and was busily honing my twelve tone chops. At the Music X festival in Cincinnati, Bob Thomas, Luke Palmer, and I – being the only burgeoning dodecaphonists among the assembled composers – got to spend a great deal of time with Milton. He gave us lessons, lectured, gave masterclasses, and even went out to eat with us. I remember him getting a sausage and peppers sandwich and a good domestic beer!
After writing about Milton’s music and writings on several occasions for Splendid Magazine, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity in 2006 to interview him for a print feature celebrating his 90th birthday that appeared in Signal to Noise Magazine. We titled it “He Cares if You Listen.” One of the things that I’ve been most glad to write was that long overdue correction!
In the liner notes for a Bridge release, William Anderson wrote that he once heard Milton say, “We transcend nothing.” I remember being profoundly unsettled by that quote, not just because I disagree with it philosophically, but because I hoped that Milton realized how many lives he’d touched. No matter what one’s persuasion in terms of spirituality or worldview, we do transcend our own mortality in this sense: memories of us live on in those we have affected.
Milton’s work as a teacher, eloquence as a writer, and his beautiful music have affected many: multiple generations of scholars, performers and, of course, composers. Our memories of him will live on and not just in our own reflections. They will also live on in the work that we do. In that sense, Milton’s life has been profoundly transcendent.
Thank you Milton, and Requiescat in pace.