Marsyas Productions Presents EARS OPEN: A FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC Tonight
Marsyas Productions inaugurates The Dina Koston Young Artists Program with Ears Open: A Festival of Contemporary Music tonight at 7:30pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Ears Open features fellows of The Dina Koston Young Artists Program: Third Street Music School Players and Sheer Pluck Guitar Orchestra (comprised of students from Queens College and Sarah Lawrence College) along with Third Street Music School faculty. In addition to a world premiere of The Great Figure by Composer in Residence Harold Meltzer, works by Steve Reich, Phillip Glass, Jacob TV, Leo Brouwer, Dina Koston, Audrey Snyder and Third Street Student Composers will be highlighted.
Serving as the production arm of the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music, Marsyas Productions is proud to facilitate the engaging initiative that is The Dina Koston Young Artists Program. "Choose a good work of music, create a space where young people can work hard to learn the music, and the ensemble skills, and then perfect it all, and through that process, the young players will come to own the music. They will believe in it, and fight for it. That is what The Dina Koston Young Artists Program wishes to put into motion," explains President William Anderson.
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
57th Street & 7th Avenue
New York, NY
Box Office at 57th and Seventh
Subway: N/Q/R to 57th Street; 1/A/B/C/D to 59th Street - Columbus Circle
About Marsyas Productions: Marsyas Productions is the production unit of the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (RSF). Established by composer/pianist Dina Koston, who named the endowment after her husband, psychiatrist Roger Shapiro, the Roger Shapiro Fund is a new fund for the commissioning, performance and recording of contemporary classical music with special emphasis given to music in the Western modernist tradition. www.rogershapirofund.org
About Third Street Music School Settlement: Founded in 1894, Third Street Music School Settlement is the nation's oldest community music school and has been changing lives and its community by providing access to world?class music and arts instruction to students of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of ability or economic circumstances. In fulfillment of its mission, more than 75% of students receive financial aid or participate in tuition-free instruction and low-cost enrichment programs, yet the reputation the School has earned for teaching excellence attracts students, not just from its surrounding neighborhood, but from all over the New York area.
Located on East 11th Street in the heart of the East Village, Third Street offers early childhood programs including a music-centered preschool; after?school, Saturday and summer programs for children and teens; as well as daytime and evening programs for adults. It also provides instruction through more than 20 school & community partnerships and a year?round schedule of free?to?the?public performances. For more information, please visit the school's website: www.thirdstreetmusicschool.org.
Harold Meltzer, Composer-in-Residence: Harold Meltzer was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1966. He graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College, and then from King's College, University of Cambridge and the Yale School of Music. In the midst of his music education he attended Columbia Law School and practiced law for several years. While in graduate school Harold co-founded the ensemble SEQUITUR, and he remains its co-Artistic Director.
Among his recent works are Variations on a Summer Day (2012), commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation for mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger and the Maverick Chamber Players conducted by Alexander Platt; That Obscure Object of Desire (2012), commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation for violinist Scott St. John, violinist Sharon Wei, and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Simon; Kreisleriana (2012), commissioned by the McKim Fund at the Library of Congress for violinist Miranda Cuckson and pianist Blair McMillen; and Aqua (2011-12), commissioned through the award of the Barlow Prize for the Avalon, Lydian, and Pacifica Quartets. Other commissions have come from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and pianist Ursula Oppens, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Meet the Composer, the Barlow Endowment, the American Composers Forum, the Minnesota Commissioning Club, the ASCAP Foundation for the New York Festival of Song, Concert Artists Guild, Symphony Space, Winsor Music, and the National Flute Association.
The first recording devoted to Harold's music, released in 2010 by Naxos on its American Classics label, was named one of the CDs of the year in The New York Times and in Fanfare Magazine and American Record Guide. Among four works on the disc is Brion, a sextet featuring guitar and mandolin that was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Other recognition of his work includes the Rome Prize, the Barlow Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In recent years he has begun again to perform, including as a harpsichord soloist in his concerto Virginal with the American Composers Orchestra and Ensemble X, and as the narrator in his music theater work Sindbad with the Mannes and Peabody Trios, Trio Cavatina, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, Meridian Phase 2, and Sequitur.
Currently Harold teaches at Amherst College, where he is the James E. and Grace W. Valentine Visiting Associate Professor of Music; previously he has taught at Vassar College and Yale University. He has served as resident composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music, Shakespeare & Company, and the Colonial Symphony. He lives with his wife and two children in the East Village of Manhattan. www.haroldmeltzer.com
Dina Koston, Composer/Pianist: At the age of two-and-a-half, Dina Koston began studying piano and music theory with her mother, who was a professional musician. She continued her diverse musical studies at the American Conservatory of Music, including ear-training, harmony, several styles of counterpoint, orchestration, analysis, and composition. She had private studies with Gavin Williamson in harpsichord, with Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Leon Fleisher in piano, and summer courses with Nadia Boulanger and Luciano Berio; and she spent one summer at Darmstadt.
With Leon Fleisher, she co-founded and co-directed The Theater Chamber Players (1968-2003), the first resident chamber ensemble of the Smithsonian Institution, and later, the first resident chamber ensemble of The Kennedy Center. During those years, she concentrated on studying new music and on being a pianist, and she stopped composing, "stopped writing down the music in my head."
The return to composing arose unbidden on a train trip to a memorial service for a founding member of the Theater Chamber Players. Upon hearing this work, In Memory of Jeannette Walters, Leon Fleisher requested a chamber piece that would include piano left-hand. Both of these pieces were then performed at Tanglewood.
Since returning to composing, Ms. Koston has received commissions from The Library of Congress, The Wolf Trap Foundation, The Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center, and The Cygnus Ensemble. The Cygnus Ensemble, as part of its 20th anniversary celebration, presented an entire program of Koston's music in Zankel Hall, New York City, in December 2005. Leon Fleisher has been playing a solo piano work (2-hands) in his recitals since his Carnegie Hall recital in October 2003, and The Raphael Trio has been playing a work of hers from many seasons. She has written a work for 22 solo winds/brass for Robert Levy and the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble. Solo works have been performed on tour by soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julsson, cellist Susan Salm, and guitarist William Anderson.
In addition to many solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and university-level master classes, Ms. Koston has participated in several Marlboro Festivals and written music for theatrical productions at Café La Mama and the Arena Stage. She has taught at the Peabody Conservatory and at Tanglewood.
Ms. Koston's last work, Distant Intervals, was written for the Cygnus Ensemble. It is a musical response to Samuel Beckett's Ohio Impromptu. Distant Intervals was first performed at Ms. Koston's memorial service at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church on August 31, 2009.
Photo Credit: Daniel Lin