Oakland East Bay Symphony Presents World Premiere of Mary Fineman's Song Cycle, IT'S ABOUT LOVE Tonight

Oakland East Bay Symphony Presents World Premiere of Mary Fineman's Song Cycle, IT'S ABOUT LOVE Tonight

The Oakland East Bay Symphony and Music Director/Conductor Michael Morgan will continue their 25th anniversary season with a concert featuring the world premiere of Bay Area composer-pianist-vocalist Mary Fineman's song cycle, It's About Love, featuring guest vocalist Wesla Whitfield, and the Symphony's Young Artist Competition winner Matthew Linaman performing Bloch's Schelomo tonight, February 21, 2014.

, at 8 pm at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. The program will also include Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 7 in D minor and will feature members of Oakland East Bay Symphony's MUSE young musicians program performing Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain with the Symphony. The concert will be preceded by a talk by Oakland Symphony Chorus Music Director Dr. Lynne Morrow at 7 pm. The world premiere of Mary Fineman's It's About Love was commissioned as part of the New Visions/New Vistas Commissioning Project, supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. For more information, .

Composer/pianist/vocalist Mary Fineman says, "It's About Love is a four-song cycle for voice and orchestra that explores different facets of love-love of nature and the sacredness of the everyday; love that endures despite loss, or love of the world. In deciding which pieces of mine to orchestrate for this commission, I knew instinctively that these four songs would lend themselves to the medium. I had often heard a different ending in the song "It's About Love" that wasn't possible for me to play on piano. "Morning Prayer" (also called "Chickadee") had fragments of melodies crying out for instruments. And "I thought I Saw You", though deeply pianistic, had an introduction which seemed to me could be well served, again, by additional instruments.

Each song has a history. The last one in the cycle, "And The World Spins 'Round, 'Round", is a song without words and one of my earliest works. It is particularly dear to me as I simply awoke one morning with the opening 32 bar chorale. Its music is bittersweet, with an interlude that is a glimpse of the equanimity (some may call Heaven) we all seek."

About Mary Fineman

Mary Fineman is an Oakland-based pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Originally from Baltimore, Mary studied music theory with Grace Newsom Cushman, and moved to Montréal to study piano with Philip Cohen and Lauretta Altman. She taught at Concordia University in Montréal and later at Temple Junior College in Texas. She worked as a freelance accompanist for instrumentalists and singers and improvised for dancers for many years.

She started composing, began vocal studies with Cary Sheldon and Marcelle Dronkers, and has been performing her songs and piano pieces ever since. With the opportunity presented by the New Visions/New Vistas Commissioning Project, funded by the James Irvine Foundation, she brings four of her pieces to orchestral life in collaboration with the Oakland East Bay Symphony under Michael Morgan.

Mary is involved in the on-going recording of her more than forty songs and piano pieces, and teaches at her studio in Oakland. Three of the songs being performed by Oakland East Bay Symphony have been recorded on her solo CD "Everyday Secrets." She has kept a journal about her year of orchestration which can be found on her website.

About Matthew Linaman

Matthew Linaman has been Grand Prize Winner of the San Francisco Conservatory, The Oakland East Bay Symphony and the Reno Chamber Orchestra concerto competitions. In 2012, he performed Ernest Bloch'sSchelomo with the SF Conservatory Orchestra under James Feddeck and gave two performances of the Haydn C Major Concerto to sold out audiences with Theodore Kuchar leading the Reno Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Linaman has participated in solo and chamber master classes with Alisa Weilerstein, Matt Haimovitz, Richard Aaron, Norman Fischer and Yehuda Hanani. He has also performed with faculty in chamber ensembles from some of the country's leading conservatories, including Peabody, Oberlin, Manhattan School of Music, Michigan University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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