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Firebrand presents local composers

Posted by Christina Jedra  January 10, 2013 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by The Firebrand Concert Series:  

Firebrand Concert Series will present works by composers with New England Connections on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 7:30pm in Malden, MA. Curated by Composer-in-Residence Oliver Caplan and Artistic Director Diana Golden, the concert will showcase music by local composers chosen through an open call for scores. Composers will participate in a roundtable question-and-answer session with Firebrand artists and the audience and will discuss how their compositional style fits into the context of the classical-contemporary genre. The concert will provide a unique opportunity for audience members to meet the composers and ask everything they’ve ever wanted to know about the compositional process and find out what is new and exciting in the classical music of today.


Firebrand designed this concert in order to highlight classical music as a living art form in our community. All five composers have lived in Massachusetts and four are current state residents. The composers’ local environments shine through in their writing; A Short Drive Through the Berkshires, by Northampton resident Jess Hendrick, and My Elephant Cloud, by Somerville resident Oliver Caplan, were both inspired by nature in New England. And in her work First Praise, Blackstone-native Jessica Rudman was inspired by nature imagery of William Carlos Williams’ poem, “First Praise.”


The compositions of Florie Namir and Peter Van Zandt Lane were influenced by more distant places. Namir’s ISAM Variations uses Sephardic Jewish folk tunes from the Portuguese and Dutch diasphoras, while Peter Van Zandt Lane’s Piano Trio No. 1 (Taijitu) is based on the idea of the unity of opposites central in Taoist philosophy. Both Namir and Van Zandt Lane are Belmont residents who have undertaken Doctoral study at Brandeis University.


To best represent the thriving new music scene that greater Boston has to offer, Caplan and Golden chose to use the instrumentation of the “Pierrot ensemble” for this concert, comprising of flute—Jessica Lizak, clarinet—Margo McGowan, violin—Leah Zelnick, cello—Diana Golden, and piano—Yelena Beriyeva. This ensemble is typical instrumentation for many contemporary chamber music ensembles in the 20th century and today and is named for twentieth century composer Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, which popularized this instrumentation. This is the Malden premiere of all works on the program and the world premiere of A Short Drive Through the Berkshires.


Audience members are welcome to meet the artists at a free reception of New England treats following the concert.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 via www.firebrandconcertseries.com or on the day of the concert at the door for $15. Family and group discounts are available at the door by e-mailing a request to firebrandconcertseries@gmail.com or by calling St. Paul’s Parish Office at (781) 324-9544 during regular business hours.

The remaining concerts of the 2012-2013 Firebrand Season are:

Saturday, March 9, 2013 8pm
Haydn and Dvorak in Bohemia
Exploration of Haydn’s “Gypsy” trio, XV:28 and Dvořák’s "Dumky" trio.


Saturday, April 27, 2013 8pm
String Quartet Masterworks
Features string quartet masterworks by Mendelssohn and Shostakovich as well as a commissioned quartet by Oliver Caplan written for Firebrand Concert Series.

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