History - Performers - Videos - Composition Contest
Concert 4 - June 19, 2020, 7:00 p.m. Program Notes
Festival Booklet (pdf)

Alice Hong: L'oiseau qui entend l'appel du vide
1st Place Composition Contest Winner
Barrie Cooper, violin; Perry Mears, piano

A caged bird dreams of freedom.
Quiet submission turns into hope;
hope turns into power:
It bursts through the door and sings its song of freedom
Drowning the sound of brass against brass as The empty cage swings,
And then, the bird is gone.
The cage was empty - At least, it appeared so. The stillness seemed too still. Something there on the floor of the locked cage: The bird

Brindis de Salas: Consolation (1875)
Daniel Gilbert, violin
Brian Ray, piano

Claudio Brindis de Salas Garrido was a Cuban concert violinist. His father was the violinist and bandleader, Claudio Brindis de Salas. The son surpassed his father, and was a violinist of world renown. In 1864 he toured with his father and his brother José del Rosario in the Cuban cities of Matanzas, Cárdenas, Cienfuegos and Güines; in 1869 to Veracruz, México. He went from México to Paris, to study under Hubert Léonard and Charles Dancla, and gained entry to Conservatoire de Paris, where he won first prize in 1871. He then toured Florence, Turin and Milan, where he played at La Scala. His tours in Europe brought great critical and public enthusiasm. Claudio composed a few works, but he was primarily a concert performer, and to judge from critical notices, one of the best in the world at that time.
René Amengual: Pequena Suite
(Preludio, Courante, Aria, Rag-Time)
Kelly Herrmann, flute
Brian Ray, piano

Chilean composer René Amengual was born in 1911 in Santiago de Chile. At the age of twelve, in 1923 he entered the National Conservatorio, where he studied piano with Rosita Renard and composition with Pedro Humberto Allende (1885-1959). Upon finishing his studies in 1935, Amengual began a career as an educator in the Conservatory, which would be uninterrupted until his death. In 1941, along with various other important Chilean composers, he founded the School of Modern Music. In 1943 Amengual visited the United States on a scholarship that had been provided by the International Institute of Education. While in that country he presented a concert of Chilean music at the Pan American Union in Washington, DC. One year before his death in 1954, Amengual traveled to Europe where he participated in festivals and music congresses.
Astor Piazzolla: Oblivion
Perry Mears, piano

Born in Argentina, raised in the musical melting pot of New York City before returning to his native country, Astor Piazzolla revolutionized the tango as a compositional form, incorporating jazz and classical idioms into what he called nuevo tango. He was also a virtuoso bandoneon player, an Argentine/Uruguayan instrument somewhat similar to an accordion. Piazzolla was spotted playing bandoneon by renowned pianist Artur Rubenstein, who encouraged him to study composition with noted Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera. Ginastera, in turn, persuaded Piazzolla to enter a composition contest, and by winning, he was granted a scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Boulanger quickly convinced Piazzolla to abandon his formal compositions, which she felt lacked originality, and explore his musical roots. He returned to Argentina, formed an octet, and developed his nuevo tango style of composition.
Béla Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances
John McMurtery, flute
Mark Volker, guitar

The Romanian Folk Dances, published in 1915 has proved one of his most popular pieces. The dance tunes used in the six movements were collected by Bartók between 1910 and 1912 and are: a stick dance for young men; a sash dance for couples in which the women hold the men’s belts; a stamping dance performed on the spot, the women placing their hands on the men’s shoulders while the latter stand akimbo; a horn dance; a polka; and a fast dance for couples.
Lili Boulanger: L'un matin de printemps (1918)
Gregory Maytan, violin
Maeve Brophy, piano

Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) was the first woman composer to win the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1912. Her influences were Massenet, Fauré, and Debussy, but her experiments in harmony and instrumental color went beyond her models. She was often ill throughout her short life and was survived by her sister Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979), a composer and conductor who taught many leading American composers, including Leonard Bernstein, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Walter Piston, and Virgil Thompson. All three short pieces in this set are written for either violin or flute and piano, and Boulanger wrote versions of D’un Matin de printemps (“Of a spring morning”) for orchestra and piano trio. D’un Matin de printemps changes mood quickly, while the Nocturne is exquisite and restrained, and the Cortège (“Procession”) is joyous.––Leonard Garrison

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