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This Week: June 7 – 13

Selected classical and contemporary music events for 7 – 13 JUN 2017
SUNDAY, 11 JUN 2017
CITY OF ANGELS SAXOPHONE QUARTET – Madison-Morgan Chamber Music Festival (Closing Gala): City of Angels Saxophone Quartet. Dinner and concert. ​6:00 Dinner, 7:15 Concert. ​Empire Mills, Banquet Hall (Madison). www.mmcc-arts.org/chamber-music-festival.html

This Week: May 31 – June 6, 2017

Selected classical and contemporary music events for 31 MAY – 6 JUN 2017
THURSDAY, 1 JUN 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Robert Spano, conductor; Twyla Robinson, soprano; Clifton Forbis, tenor; Daniel Sumegi, bass. BULLER: The Songs of Ophelia (World Premiere – Rapido Commission); BRITTEN: “Four Sea Interludes” from Peter Grimes; WAGNER: Die Walküre Act One. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
FRIDAY, 2 JUN 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY BRASS QUINTET – Madison-Morgan Chamber Music Festival: Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet. Outdoor concert, free, no ticket required. 7pm, Madison Town Park (Madison). www.mmcc-arts.org/chamber-music-festival.html
SATURDAY, 3 JUN 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Robert Spano, conductor; Twyla Robinson, soprano; Clifton Forbis, tenor; Daniel Sumegi, bass. BULLER: The Songs of Ophelia (World Premiere – Rapido Commission); BRITTEN: “Four Sea Interludes” from Peter Grimes; WAGNER: Die Walküre Act One. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
SUNDAY, 4 JUN 2017
CHRISTIANIA TRIO – Madison-Morgan Chamber Music Festival: Christiania Trio – David Coucheron, violin; Christopher Rex, cello; Julie Coucheron, piano. 3pm, Burge Plantation (Madison). www.mmcc-arts.org/chamber-music-festival.html

This Week: May 24 – 30, 2017

Selected classical and contemporary music events for 24 MAY – 30 MAY 2017
THURSDAY, 251 MAY 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS – Donald Runnicles, conductor; Christina Smith, flute; Kim-Lillian Strebel, soprano; Matthew Worth, baritone. DEBUSSY: Nocturnes; JOLIVET: Flute Concerto; FAURÉ: Requiem. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
SATURDAY, 27 MAY 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS – Donald Runnicles, conductor; Christina Smith, flute; Kim-Lillian Strebel, soprano; Matthew Worth, baritone. DEBUSSY: Nocturnes; JOLIVET: Flute Concerto; FAURÉ: Requiem. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org

This Week: May 17 -23, 2017

Selected classical and contemporary music events for 17 MAY – 23 MAY 2017
THURSDAY, 1 MAY 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Robert Spano, conductor; Twyla Robinson, soprano; Clifton Forbis, tenor; Daniel Sumegi, bass. BULLER: The Songs of Ophelia (World Premiere – Rapido Commission); BRITTEN: “Four Sea Interludes” from Peter Grimes; WAGNER: Die Walküre Act One. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org

This Week: May 10 – 16, 2017

Selected classical and new music events for 10 MAY – 16 MAY 2017
THURSDAY, 11 MAY 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS – Robert Spano, conductor; David Daniels, Orfeo; Susanna Phillips, Euridice; Janai Brugger, Amore; Daniel Arsham, scenography; James Alexander, stage director. GLUCK: Orfeo ed Euridice. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
SATURDAY, 13 MA^Y 2017
ALBERT SCHWEITZER MEMORIAL ORGAN 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – Organists Ken Cowan, Alan Morrison and Cherry Rhodes. Solo works and duets performed by Cowan and Morrison; MUSSORGKY: Pictures at an Exhibition, transcribed by Jean Guillou and performed by Cherry Rhodes; suite from PROKOFIEV: The Love for Three Oranges, transcribed by Weicheng Zhao (world premiere) featuring all three organists playing simultaneously. 3pm, Spivey Hall. spiveyhall.org
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS – Robert Spano, conductor; David Daniels, Orfeo; Susanna Phillips, Euridice; Janai Brugger, Amore; Daniel Arsham, scenography; James Alexander, stage director. GLUCK: Orfeo ed Euridice. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org

This Week: May 3 – 9, 2017

Selected classical and new music events for 3 May – 9 APR 2017
THURSDAY, 4 MAY 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Nicholas McGegan, conductor. MOZART: Eine kleine Nachtmusik; RAMEAU: Suite from Les Indes galantes; HAYDN: Symphony No. 104 (“London”). 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
FRIDAY, 5 MAY 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Nicholas McGegan, conductor. MOZART: Eine kleine Nachtmusik; COUPERIN: Pièces en concert for Cello and Strings (arr. Bazelaire); HAYDN: Symphony No. 104 (“London”). 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
TURTLE ISLAND QUARTET with CYRUS CHESTNUT – Madison-Morgan Chamber Music Festival: Turtle Island (String) Quartet with jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut. 8pm, Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (Madison). www.mmcc-arts.org/chamber-music-festival.html
SATURDAY, 6 MAY 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Casual Fridays concert. Nicholas McGegan, conductor. MOZART: Eine kleine Nachtmusik; RAMEAU: Suite from Les Indes galantes; HAYDN: Symphony No. 104 (“London”). 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
HECTOR OLIVERA – hector Olivera, organ. Recital selections TBA. 3pm, Spivey Hall. spiveyhall.org
TUESDAY, 9 MAY 2017
ATLANTA CHAMBER PLAYERS Atlanta Chamber Players. BARTÓK: Contrasts; RICHARD PRIOR: World Premiere of piece commissioned by the ACP; TURINA: Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 67; J. STRAUSS: Blue Danube, arranged for piano 4-hands. 7:30pm, New American Shakespeare Tavern. atlantachamberplayers.com

This Week: April 26 – May 2, 2017

Selected classical and new music events for 26 APR – 2 MAY 2017
THURSDAY, 27 APR 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Vasily Petrenko, conductor; Ingrid Filter, piano. R. STRAUSS: Don Juan; MENDELSSOHN: Piano Concerto No. 1; DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 8. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
FRIDAY, 28 APR 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Vasily Petrenko, conductor; Ingrid Filter, piano. R. STRAUSS: Don Juan; MENDELSSOHN: Piano Concerto No. 1; DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 8. 8pm, Morgan Hall, KSU/Bailey Performing Arts Center (Kennesaw). atlantasymphony.org
SATURDAY, 29 APR 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Vasily Petrenko, conductor; Ingrid Filter, piano. R. STRAUSS: Don Juan; MENDELSSOHN: Piano Concerto No. 1; DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 8. 8pm, Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
YEFIM BRONFMAN – Yefim Bronfman, piano. BARTÓK: Suite, Op. 14; SCHUMANN: Humoreske in B-flat major, Op. 20; DEBUSSY: Suite bergamasque; STRAVINSKY: Three Movements from Petrushka. 7:30pm, Spivey Hall. spiveyhall.org
SUNDAY, 30 APR 2017
GEORGIAN CHAMBER PLAYERS – Georgian Chamber Players. SHOSTAKOVICH: 5 Pieces for 2 Violins and Piano (arr. Atovmyan from Shostakovich’s film scores); SHOSTAKOVICH: Piano Quintet in G minor; ARENSKY:
Piano Trio No.1, Op.32. 3pm, Trinity Presbyterian Church. georgianchamberplayers.org

This Week: April 19 – 25, 2017

Selected classical and new music events for 19 APR – 25 APR 2017
WEDNESDAY, 19 APR 2017
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Joseph Young, conductor; Matt Haimovitz, cello. PROKOFIEV: Overture on Hebrew Themes; BLOCH: Schelomo; BERNSTEIN: West Side Story Symphonic Dances; BERNSTEIN: Candide Overture. 6:30 pm, The Temple. atlantasymphony.org
SATURDAY, 22 APR 2017
Atlanta Balalakia Society – Special performance presented by the Kennesaw State University School of Music and KSU Year of Russia featuring the Atlanta Balalaika Society. 8pm, Morgan Hall, Bailey Performance Center. atlantasymphony.org

This Week: April 12 – 18, 2017

Selected classical and new music events for 12 APR – 18 APR 2017
FRIDAY, 14 APR 2017
ARTHUR FAGEN, CHARAE KRUEGER and HELEN HWAYA KIM – Violinist Helen Hwaya Kim, celliast Charae Krueger and pianist Arthur Fagen. 8pm, Morgan Hall, KSU/Bailey Performance Center (Kennesaw). arts.kennesaw.edu

Composer’s Notebook: SoundNOW 2017 kicks off a big week for new music in Atlanta

by Mark Gresham | 6 APR 2017

This is a big week for new music in Atlanta. A lot of things have come together to make it so. The SoundNOW 2017 Festival – an umbrella moniker for a number of independently programmed contemporary music performances – began on Sunday and continues through this coming Sunday. SoundNOW is only in its second year, but making its presence known.

I was able, so far, to attend the first two of these concerts, and fortunate to have one of my own works performed on Monday evening, and also to attend Sunday afternoon’s opening concert. Both were downtown at the 400-seat Kopleff Recital Hall at Georgia State University.

Olivia Kieffer performs excerpts from her "Texture of Activity."

Olivia Kieffer performs excerpts from her “Texture of Activity.”

Sunday’s concert was presented and performed by Terminus Ensemble, which performs music by current or formerly Atlanta-based composers. Olivia Kieffer opened the program with seven excepts from her ”Texture of Activity” (2016) – 55 short minimalist pieces which were originally for toy pianos, but in this instance performed on the hall’s concert grand piano. Kieffer would play four more selections from the book on Monday’s concert, but on a pair of amplified toy pianos, one toy piano per hand as part of neophilia Ensemble’s portion of that concert. On Sunday, though, she had a second piece on the program, “Hot Work,” in a new transcription for alto sax and viola, performed by saxophonist Brandyn Taylor and violist Michael Brooks. Originally for bass clarinet and tenor sax, the combination of viola and alto sax worked surprisingly well – something worth consideration by other composers.

Brooks also gave an impressive performance of “Lattice I,” a well-stenciled three-movement work for solo viola by Terminus co-artistic director Brent Milam, a composer with a background in physics and mathematics, which he readily applies to his compositions. Pianist Ipek Brooks (spouse of violist Michael) performed another work by Milam, “Quiet Spaces,” the third of his “Five Movements Anachronique.”

An Atlanta native who now lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, Lowell Gerard Fuchs was represented by a vocal piece, “The Voices in Maximilian’s Head,” inspired by a true story of a man, diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early twenties, and which ultimately consumes him. Percussionist Brandon Dodge played vibraphone and tuned tom-toms as a fully collaborative part to the musically astute voice of guest soprano Carolyn Balkovetz.

Members of Terminus Ensemble perform Curtis Bryant's "Trio" for flute, cello and marimba.

Members of Terminus Ensemble perform Curtis Bryant’s “Trio” for flute, cello and marimba.

Sunday’s concert concluded with a mellifluous “Trio” for flute, cello and marimba by Curtis Bryant. Brandon Dodge returned to the stage to play the marimba part of the three-movement work, joined by flutist Amy Caputo and cellist Erin Cassel Idnani.

The stage for Monday evening’s concert was shared by neoPhonia ensemble and the Atlanta Chamber Players. The first half was presented by neoPhonia, and as it was partially funded by the GSU Center for Hellenic Studies it was not surprising to see works by living composers of Greek heritage on the program.

The concert opened with “Prosody,” a solo flute work by Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, who is currently on the faculty of the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Performed by flutist Matthieu Clavé, like many post-WWII works for unaccompanied flute, “Prosody” made use of a handful of extended techniques.

Likewise drawn from contemporary Greek repertoire was “Two Songs” 92007) by Thessaloniki-based composer Sotiris Despotis, performed by soprano Kyriaki Ioakeimidou and cellist Daniel Green.

In addition to Kieffer’s aforementioned toy piano pieces, the other work on neoPhonia’s program segment was “She Sings, She Screams” for alto sax and fixed media electronic audio by another Greensboro-based composer, Mark Engebretson, performed by saxophonist Joshua Heaney.

After intermission came the Atlanta Chamber Players – in this instance, violinist Helen Hwaya Kim, clarinetists Ted Gurch and pianist/artistic director Elizabeth Pridgen.

Changing the order of the printed program, Helen Kim and Liz Pridgen opened with “Study: Music, Pink and Blue No. 2” by Alan Fletcher, written for violinist Robert McDuffie and himself as pianist, inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe painting “Music, Pink and Blue No. 2.”

My own work was up next: “Genshi” for E-flat clarinet and violin, performed most splendidly by Helen Kim and Ted Gurch. They had premiered the piece in 2011 as part of the summer Sonic Palooza marathon, held in the Galleria in front of Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center. So I was thrilled to have them perform it in this concert as part of SoundNOW 2107.

The obvious reason for changing the printed order was so as to end the concert with Mark Buller’s “Motion Studies,” the completed chamber work that was one consequence of winning the 2016 Rapido! Composition Competition with what became the work’s challenging final movement, “Regressive Variations.” It was a thrilling performance, especially that final movement. This was the second time I’ve heard he completed “Motion Studies,” the first time was upon its premiere last September. The Rapido! Win also won Buller a chance to write for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. That work, “The Songs of Ophelia,” will be premiered by Robert Spano and the ASO on this season’s subscription series closer, June 1st and 3rd.

SoundNOW 2017 continues through April 9. Check out the SoundNow 2017 event page on Facebook. •

[Photos by mark Gresham.]

Atlanta Chamber Players perform Mark Buller's "Motion Studies."

Atlanta Chamber Players perform Mark Buller’s “Motion Studies.”

Fractured Atlas LogoThis post was made possible in part by funds from Fractured Atlas. Donations supporting the Fractured Atlas “Mark Gresham” project may be made online by clicking the linked logo on the right. Fractured Atlas is a 501(c)(3) public charity; all donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.