World Premiere of Chenonceau by Composer Brian Wilbur Grundstrom
Sunday February 16, 3pm
North/South Consonance, Church of Christ & St Stephen, NYC
New York, NY. – Composer Brian Wilbur Grundstrom’s work Chenonceau will receive its world premiere by North/South Consonance, Max Lifchitz conducting. The concert will be held at Church of Christ and St. Stephen, 120 West 69th Street, New York on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 3pm. Admission is free. The program also includes new orchestral works by Joseph Rubinstein, Harold Schiffman, William Toutant and John Winsor.
Chenonceau, Music for Wind and String Quintets was commissioned by Max Lifchitz and North/South Consonance. The piece is written for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, cello and contrabass. Chenonceau, one of the most magnificent French castles in the Loire Valley, is known for the formal elegance and beauty of its gardens. A visit on a beautiful day last May with the tulips in their prime inspired the piece.
The music starts with one of the composer’s favorite compound meters, which combine groups of varying number of beats. A 4/4 meter consists of eight eighth-notes, which have been re-grouped in a pattern of 3 + 3 + 2. This compound meter propels the piece forward, and can be easily juxtaposed against 4/4. The texture has been varied by using different combinations of the instruments, not using all the instruments at the same time, and by contrasting the winds against the strings. Melodic ideas are passed from one instrument to the next, sometimes by starting with the lowest instrument, and adding in the voices above one at a time, reminiscent of a fugue.
Grundstrom was recently selected by The Commission on the Arts and Humanities in Washington, DC as Outstanding Emerging Artist 2013 at the 28th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards.
Grundstrom is currently creating an original score for an upcoming opera, For Whom the Bell Tolls, based on the book by Ernest Hemingway with libretto by David Dorsen. Taking place during the Spanish civil war, the story roughly reflects Hemingway’s own journey in the role of American Robert Jordan, who, with the help of a local band of guerrillas, is assigned to blow up a bridge as part of a communist attack against the fascists. The opera is being written for full orchestra in two acts with eight singers.
In addition to his work in film music, Grundstrom’s compositions have been performed by SONOS Chamber Orchestra, Shippensburg Festival Orchestra, Trinity Chamber Orchestra, George Washington University Orchestra, NIH Philharmonia, Holyoke Civic Symphony, The Queer Urban Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, Sunderman Woodwind Quintet, Colla Voce and The New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.
More information on Brian Wilbur and his work, sample recordings and photos can be found at www.brianwilbur.com. Press material is available for download at http://www.brianwilbur.com/html/download/pressDownload.asp.
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