Ken Perlman to Premiere Schiffman's Banjo Concerto on Feb 16 at 3 PM!
North/South Consonance, Inc. continues its 34th season of free-admission concerts on Sunday afternoon February 16 when banjo virtuoso Ken Perlman joins conductor Max Lifchitz and the Grammy nominated North/South Chamber Orchestra for the premiere of Harold Schiffman's Banjo Concerto. The multigenerational program honors Schiffman on the occasion of his 85th birthday while also featuring first performances of works by younger American composers including Brian Wilbur Grundstrom, Joseph Rubinstein, William Toutant and John Winsor. The concert will take place at the intimate and acoustically superior auditorium of Christ & St Stephen's Church (120 West 69th St - bet Bway & Columbus) on Manhattan's Upper West Side. It will start at 3 PM and end at 4:45 PM. No tickets necessary.
Hailed as "the Heifetz of the Banjo" Ken Perlman is the acknowledged master of the 5-string banjo. The Glasgow (UK) Herald noted: "Perlman can make his instrument do more or less anything he wants it to" as his pioneering claw-hammer style picking helps spotlight the power and expressiveness of the wide range of music he performs. Perlman has toured across North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Western Europe and Australia. An acclaimed teacher of folk-music instrumental skills, Perlman has authored widely respected banjo and guitar instruction books and has been on staff at prestigious teaching festivals around the world.
Active as composer, pianist and conductor, Max Lifchitz was awarded first prize in the 1976 International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music held in Holland. Robert Commanday, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle described him as "a young composer of brilliant imagination and a stunning, ultra-sensitive pianist." The New York Times music critic Allan Kozinn praised Mr. Lifchitz for his "clean, measured and sensitive performances" while Anthony Tommasini remarked that he "conducted a strong performance." Payton MacDonald writing for the American Record Guide remarked:"Mr. Lifchitz is as good on the podium as he is behind the piano."
Harold Schiffman (b. 1928 in North Carolina) has been described by the international press as "a most distinguished composer whose well-crafted and communicative music repays repeated hearings." He taught composition at Florida State University from 1959 until 1983 and also directed that institution's New Music Festival. Especially written for Ken Perlman, Schiffman's three-movement Banjo Concerto is cast in a traditional fast-slow-fast pattern. Inspired by Appalachian's melodies, the work's musical language recalls Baroque-era lute music while offering the soloist ample opportunity for technical display.
Since its inception in 1980, North/South Consonance has brought to the attention of the New York City public over 1,000 recent works by composers hailing from throughout the Americas and elsewhere and representing a wide spectrum of aesthetic views. It activities are made possible in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
For the complete concert series schedule please visit