On Thursday September 6th at 8 pm, Da Capo Chamber Players, Escher Quartet, flutist Carol Wincenc, pianist Blair McMillen, violinist Emma Steele, violist Dov Scheindlin and guitarist Colin Davin will gather at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Symphony Space to celebrate the work of the American composer Joan Tower on her birthday. Happy Birthday, Joan Tower! is part of the 2012 New York Chamber Music Festival at Symphony Space, and Joan Tower will be in attendance.
This celebration of Ms. Tower’s 74th birthday includes a wide variety of the composer’s works which represent her prolific career spanning over a half-century. Works include the 1989 Concerto for flute performed by flutist Carol Wincenc, the more recent Rising featuring the Escher Quartet and Ms. Wincenc, and Vast Antique Cubes/Throbbing Still, a work for solo piano originally commissioned for the American pianist John Browning, performed by Blair McMillen, who has been described as “new music’s torchbearer” by the New York Times.
Winner of three Grammy awards and the prestigious Grawemeyer award, Ms. Tower has been lauded as “one of the most successful women composers of all time” by the New Yorker. Her works have been praised for their “rhythmic vitality, power, and often raw emotion” by Stereophile. The September concert at Symphony Space is a prelude to Mrs. Tower’s 75th birthday celebration, which will include concerts dedicated to Ms. Tower’s music in New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Santa Fe and other locations in 2013
Happy Birthday, Joan Tower! is on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm, at Peter Jay Sharp Theater in Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street in New York City. Tickets are $20 in advance ($15 for students, seniors and Symphony Space members; $25 on day of show). To purchase tickets, visit the Symphony Space website or call 212-864-5400. Biographies and calendar listing including a full concert program are below.
Joan Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. During a career spanning more than fifty years, she has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Joan Tower is winner of three Grammy awards and the prestigious Grawemeyer award. She has served as composer-in-residence with St. Louis and Pittsburgh Symphonies and Orchestra of St. Lukes. Her works have been commissioned by major ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, including the Emerson, Tokyo, and Muir quartets; soloists Evelyn Glennie, Carol Wincenc, David Shifrin, and John Browning; and the orchestras of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC among others.
Carol Wincenc is one of the most respected and acclaimed flutists performing today. She appears with orchestras worldwide and has premiered works written for her by numerous prominent composers. A prolific recording artist, Wincenc received a 2005 Grammy nomination for her Naxos recording of works by Yehudi Wyner with Richard Stoltzman and other renowned colleagues. She has also recorded Joan Tower's Concerto with the Louisville Orchestra on the d’Note label.
The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its individual sound, unparalleled artistry and unique cohesiveness. The Quartet has performed at prestigious venues and festivals across the United States and abroad, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92nd Street Y and Symphony Space in New York and the Louvre in Paris and Hangzhou Grand Theatre in China. Within months of its inception in 2005, the Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be quartet-in-residence at each artist's summer festival. Recording projects include the complete Zemlinsky quartets for Naxos and the complete Mendelssohn quartets for BIS.
Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most versatile and sought-after young pianists today. The New York Times has praised him as “a brilliant young star,"riveting,” and "prodigiously accomplished and exciting." Recent performance venues include the Moscow Conservatory, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Miller Theatre, and Harvard University. Known for imaginative and daring programming, Mr. McMillen’s repertoire spans from medieval keyboard manuscripts to the 21st-century. Blair McMillen is committed to performing the music of today. He recently gave the U.S. premieres of Frederic Rzewski’s “Dust” and Giacinto Scelsi’s “Un Adieu” in his solo recitals, and he works closely with composers through commissioning new works for the piano.
Happy Birthday, Joan Tower!
74th Birthday Celebration Concert
Featuring flutist Carol Wincenc, the Escher String Quartet, and more
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NY, NY
Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Valentine Trills – Carol Wincenc, flute
String Force – Emma Steele, violin
Vast Antique Cubes/Throbbing Still – Blair McMillen, piano
Rising – Carol Wincenc, flute and the Escher String Quartet
Clocks – Colin Davin, guitar
Wild Purple – Dov Scheindlin, viola
Flute and Piano Concerto – Carol Wincenc, flute and Hsin-Chiao Liao, piano
Petrushskates - Da Capo Chamber Players
Tickets: $20 in advance (Symphony Space members, Students, Seniors $15; Day of Show $25). Contact the Symphony Space box office at 212-864-5400 or visit SymphonySpace.org.