JACK Quartet, Miranda Cuckson, Vox n Plux and More Perform World Premieres at The Italian Academy Tonight

The Italian Academy hosts the inaugural concert of *The Stefan Wolpe Fund featuring world premieres and works by Charles Wuorinen, Jonathan Dawe, Matthew Greenbaum and William Anderson on Thursday, October 30th at 8pm. Also on the program, a New York premiere for string sextet by Charles Wuorinen. Featured artists: JACK Quartet, pianist Steven Beck, Vox n Plux, violist Miranda Cuckson and cellist Jay Campbell. This concert was produced by Zaidee Parkinson and Alanna Maharajh Stone with generous support from *The Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music.

The concert will be held tonight, October 30, 2014 at 7pm at The Italian Academy, Columbia University
1161 Amsterdam Avenue just south of W. 118th Street New York, NY. Subway: 1 to 116th St. FREE Admission.

About the Italian Academy - Founded in 1991 on the basis of an agreement between Columbia University and the Republic of Italy, the academy sponsors advanced research in all areas relating to Italian history, science and society, presents distinguished examples of Italian culture and art, and promotes academic, cultural and scientific exchange at the highest level. www.italianacademy.columbia.edu

On the Program:

Jonathan Dawe
Concerto for Soft and Hard Fractals
Concerto per fractals dolce e forte FOURTH STRING QUARTET (2014)

featuring JACK Quartet
World Premiere

Charles Wuorinen
Doubletake (2014)
World Premiere
featuring Steven Beck, piano

William Anderson
Eight Rhythms of Djuna Barnes (2014)
World Premiere
featuring Vox n Plux

Matthew Greenbaum
Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes (2014)
World Premiere
featuring Vox n Plux

Charles Wuorinen
Zoe (2012)
New York Premiere
featuring JACK Quartet; Miranda Cuckson, viola; Jay Campbell, cello

Charles Wuorinen
Heart Shadow (2005)
featuring Steven Beck, piano

Notes on the Program:

Jonathan Dawe on Concerto for Soft and Hard Fractals
~Concerto per fractals dolce e forte

"Varied forms of musical growth are cast here in a concerto-grosso (concerto for several instruments) framework in which the players alternate between solo and 'orchestral' roles. It is most notable in these 'soli' episodes where musical fractals mount and develop, exuding their own instrumental characteristics and quirks....by the works conclusion these recursive workings build to patterns that consume the very distinctions between solo and tutti roles that such a genre of 'concerto' so often defines."

Charles Wuorinen on Zoe (2012)

"I wrote ZOE in the fall of 2012 to commemorate a much-loved cat of the same name. She was a complex and sophisticated animal who despite her many achievements never allowed her role as head-of-household to go to her head -- indeed she was hardly aware of it. Because she was so expressive it seemed natural to cast her memorial as a string sextet, in which each of the three pairs of instruments function essentially as a single instrument."

William Anderson on Eight Rhythms of Djuna Barnes (2014)

"Eight Rhythms of Djuna Barnes is dedicated to those who made it happen - Zaidee Parkinson and Alanna Stone. These Djuna Barnes Poems and her poetry in general, start in NYC, but end nowhere and everywhere. Quick comparison - Adalbert Stifter's "Granite" sets the stage for its little story by mentioning places in southern Bohemia that get their names from the plague times. No one thinks about the meanings any more. And so it is with Djuna Barnes. Her prostitute in Seen From the "L" is part of nature:

The frail mosaic on her window
Facing starkly towards the street
Is scribbled there by tipsy sparrows--
Etched there with their rocking feet.
Is fashioned too, by every beat
Of shirt and sheet

Yet the tone of the poems (and these musical settings) is lightened by the meter and rhyme, culminating in the whimsical Pastoral. Djuana Barnes' last poem "Creatures from an Alphabet" was another pastoral. The sweet and the horrible find their final resting places in pastoral scenes, represented by animals and sneaky adjectives. A key to understanding her pastoral epiphany is the short story, A Boy Asks a Question of a Lady, where a vaguely prepubescent boy asks the very fine lady what is spoiling everything for his big brother? It's all over for the brother - he's in love. The lady answers, "Nothing at all, leave it alone....Now see here. Do you ever think of animals?...Just as it is. The calf is born, she lies in the sun; she waits for the end. That is dignity.""

Matthew Greenbaum on Entretiens sur la pluralite? des mondes (2014)

"Entretiens sur la pluralite? des mondes (2014) was commissioned by The Stefan Wolpe Fund for the Vox n Plux trio.

Entretiens sur la pluralite? des mondes (Conversations about the plurality of life on other planets) is a setting of passages from the book of the same name by the 17th century French polymath, Bernard de Fontanelle. Meant as a brief course in astronomy, it takes the form of a charming conversation between Fontanelle and a young aristocratic lady of intelligence and wit.

His speculations about extraterrestrial life were, sadly, not to prove accurate. In retrospect, they take on a certain Borgesian nostalgia.

Bernard de Fontanelle is familiar in the history of music aesthetics for his famous interrogation, "Sonate, que me veux-tu?" ("Sonata, what is it you want of me?]."


Jonathan Dawe, Composer - The highly innovative and conjured world of composer Jonathan Dawe joins Baroque imagery with a modernist mix, cast with dynamic dramatic flair. Cited for his "quirky, fascinating modernist variations on earlier styles" (Time Out) his music involves the recasting of energies and sounds of the past into decisively new expressions, through compositional workings based upon fractal geometry. Recent pieces and productions have been described as "music of such vitality and drama" (New York Times), "a brake-squealing collision of influence" (Boston Globe) and "bound to be provocative." (Time Out) Described as "one of our most talented and distinctive - yet little-known - contemporary composers" (Seen and Heard International), Dawe is the youngest composer to have been commissioned by James Levine and The Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Flowering Arts, a bold fractured transformation of Marc- Antoine Charpentier's Les arts florissants, was hailed in 2005 as a "Powerful Premiere" (Boston Globe). Levine writes, "His take on that earlier music is extraordinary." Boston Herald concluded: "In classical terms Dawe is practically a kid so Levine's interest should be taken very seriously."

Other recent premieres include the operas Cosi? faran tutti (They'll All Do It!) 2012 - a prequel to Mozart's Cosi? fan tutte - and Cracked Orlando: dramma per musica e fractals 2010 both produced at The Italian Academy in New York City. Commissions from The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The American Composers Orchestra, The Italian Academy, The Wharton Center for Performing Arts, The Miro Quartet, The Brentano String Quartet, The Manhattan Sinfonietta, Cygnus Ensemble, The New York New Music Ensemble, New Juilliard Ensemble and The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Awards he has received include two recording grants from The Copland Fund for New Music, a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission (Library of Congress), a NYSCA commission grant, a Fromm Foundation Grant (Harvard University), a Presser Award (Presser Foundation), The Charles Ives Scholarship (American Academy of Arts and Letters), The Bearns Prize (Columbia University), two ASCAP prizes, two BMI awards, the David Cinnamon Prize and the Herbert Ellwel Prize (Oberlin Conservatory.) Jonathan Dawe was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1665 and studied at the Oberlin Conservatory (BM 1987) with Richard Hoffmann and The Juilliard School (MM 1993, DMA 1995) with Milton Babbitt. Upon graduation he joined the graduate faculty of the Juilliard School where he teaches today.

Charles Wuorinen, Composer - Charles Wuorinen is one of the world's leading composers. His many honors include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize. His compositions encompass every form and medium, including works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, soloists, ballet, and stage. Wuorinen has written more than 260 compositions to date. His most recent works include an opera on Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain premiered at the Teatro Real in Madrid in January 2014, a major cultural event worldwide. "Madrid has just seen the biggest audience in its history, local and global, for Charles Wuorinen's Brokeback Mountain." The Australian. Other recent works include Time Regained, for Peter Serkin, James Levine and the MET Opera Orchestra, Eighth Symphony for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Metagong for two pianos and two percussion for the New York New Music Ensemble.

Wuorinen has been described as a "maximalist," writing music luxuriant with events, lyrical and expressive, strikingly dramatic. His works are characterized by powerful harmonies and elegant craftsmanship, offering at once a link to the music of the past and a vision of a rich musical future. Both as composer and performer (conductor and pianist), Wuorinen has worked with some of the finest performers of the current time and his works reflect the great virtuosity of his collaborators. His works have been recorded on nearly a dozen labels including several releases on Naxos, Albany Records (Charles Wuorinen Series) and two releases on John Zorn's Tzadik label. Wuorinen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

William Anderson, Composer & Guitarist - William Anderson, composer, calls himself a post- maximalist, allied with all composers of every stripe, and open to influences from any era of ancient music. He calls this "historical chiaroscuro - linger for any length of time in Perotin/Reich or indy rock, develop through Schoenberg/Wuorinen to land back where we began." Anderson pushes back hard at the notion that music must make a clean break from the past. The post-maximalists are interested in smooth segues from modernist excess, not an abrupt cut-off. "Dinosaurs turning into birds" is the model, and this metaphor acknowledges that for the moment, the modernists are out of fashion. Open to pressure from composers who are teaching people to love new music, the post-maximalist is interested in communicating. Finally, Anderson contends that the heady profusion of compositional techniques that emerged in the last century may be employed without *sounding* like high 20th C. modernism - the techniques will survive the style, and yes, it was a style. In short, no amount of consonance is forbidden to the post-maximalist, no amount of dissonance, likewise. Anderson studied composition with Frank Brickle, who helped refine the post-maximalist ethos. Anderson's music has been heard on NPR's All Things Considered and in live broadcasts in the US, Germany, Denmark. He was a guest on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC.

As a guitarist, Anderson was a YoungArts finalist in the inaugural year of that program (1980). The following year he began playing chamber music at the Tanglewood Festival, and continued there throughout the '80s and into the '90s, working with Gunther Schuller, Louis Krasner, Phyllis Curtain, Yo-Yo Ma, Kent Nagano, and many others. Anderson has performed with many of New York City's finest ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Players, Sequitur, the Group for Contemporary Music, the Da Capo Chamber Players. He now plays solo recitals at guitar festivals and new music festivals in the US and abroad.

Anderson founded the Cygnus Ensemble in 1985. In 2004, Cygnus gave two sold out performances of Jonathan Dawe's first fractalized Baroque opera, Prometheus, at the Guggenheim. Cygnus likewise has many important Wuorinen and Greenbaum works in its repertoire. Cygnus had a residency at the Library of Congress in 2012. In the fall of the same year, Cygnus presented a 2-week sold-out run of a show at the Classic Stage Company called Sounding Beckett. The show interspersed 3 of Beckett's abstract ghost plays with new musical works that were written in response to the plays.

Matthew Greenbaum, Composer - Matthew Greenbaum was born in New York City in 1950. He studied composition with Stefan Wolpe and Mario Davidovsky and holds a Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center.

Greenbaum's awards, fellowships and commissions include the Serge Koussevitzky Music Fund/Library of Congress, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Meet the Composer, the Fromm Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Penn Council on the Arts.

Performances of his works include the Darmstadt Summer Festival, the Leningrad Spring Festival, the Jakarta Festival (Indonesia), Hallische Musiktage, Ensemble SurPlus (Freiburg), Nuova Consonanza (Rome), Ensemble 21 (Odense), the Da Capo Chamber Players, Cygnus, Parnassus, Fred Sherry, Marc-Andre? Hamelin, David Holzman, Stephanie Griffin, the Momenta Quartet, Network for New Music, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Group for Contemporary Music, Orchestra 2001, Christopher Taylor and the Riverside Symphony and the Houston Symphony. His works are published by Tunbridge Music and the American Composers Alliance. Recordings are available from Antes and CRI. An all-Greenbaum recording is available on the Centaur label.

Greenbaum is also a video animation artist. Works in this medium include ROPE AND CHASM for mezzo and video animation, an hour-long setting of excerpts from Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra; AUTOMAT for video animation/electronic music, and BITS AND PIECES, for tenor sax and video animation. Dr. Greenbaum is a professor of composition at Temple University.

JACK Quartet - The JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with "explosive virtuosity" (Boston Globe) and "viscerally exciting performances" (New York Times). David Patrick Stearns (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed their performance as being "among the most stimulating new-music concerts of my experience."

The Washington Post commented, "The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital." Alex Ross (New Yorker) hailed their performance of Iannis Xenakis' complete string quartets as being "exceptional" and "beautifully harsh," and Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times) called their sold-out performances of Georg Friedrich Haas' String Quartet No. 3 In iij. Noct. "mind-blowingly good."

The recipient of New Music USA's 2013 Trailblazer Award, the quartet has performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall (USA), Lincoln Center (USA), Wigmore Hall (United Kingdom), Suntory Hall (Japan), Salle Pleyel (France), Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Netherlands), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Reykjavik Arts Festival (Iceland), Festival Internacional Cervatino (Mexico), Ko?lner Philharmonie (Germany), Donaueschinger Musiktage (Germany), Wittener Tage fu?r neue Kammermusik (Germany), and Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse fu?r Neue Musik (Germany).

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works, leading them to work closely with composers Derek Bermel, Chaya Czernowin, James Dillon, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Vijay Iyer, Gyo?rgy Kurta?g, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino, and John Zorn. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Toby Twining, Georg Friedrich Haas, Simon Holt, Kevin Ernste, and Simon Bainbridge.

JACK has led workshops with young performers and composers at Princeton University, Yale University, Harvard University, New York University, Columbia University, the Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, June in Buffalo, New Music on the Point, and at the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse fu?r Neue Musik. In addition to working with composers and performers, JACK seeks to broaden and diversify the potential audience for new music through educational presentations designed for a variety of ages, backgrounds, and levels of musical experience.

The members of the quartet met while attending the Eastman School of Music and studied closely with the Arditti Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Muir String Quartet and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Steven Beck, Pianist - American pianist Steven Beck continues to garner impressive acclaim for his performances and recordings worldwide. Praised by the New Yorker as "one of the city's finest young pianists", a recent New York concert by Mr. Beck was described as "exemplary" and "deeply satisfying" by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times. Highlights of the 2014-15 season include the premiere of a new piano work by Charles Wuorinen, as well as a new project recording all of Babbitt's vocal music, beginning with the great Solo Requiem. In addition, he will again perform on the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series, and repeat his annual performance of Bach's "Goldberg Variations" on Christmas Eve at the Barge; this has become a New York institution.

In the words of New York Times critic Allan Kozinn, Mr. Beck is "an eloquent and persuasive performer of contemporary works"; he has worked with Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, Henri Dutilleux, Charles Wuorinen, George Crumb, George Perle, and Fred Lerdahl, and performed with ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, the Metropolis Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the Da Capo Chamber Players. He is a member of the Talea Ensemble and the Knights. He is also a member of Quattro Mani, a piano duo specializing in contemporary music.

Mr. Beck's discography includes Peter Lieberson's third piano concerto (for Bridge Records) and a recording of Elliott Carter's "Double Concerto" on Albany Records. The debut CD of his chamber ensemble "Pleasure is the Law" was released on Boston Records in 2009.

Mr. Beck made his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra, and has toured Japan as soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble. Other orchestras with which he has appeared include the New Juilliard Ensemble (under David Robertson) and the Virginia Symphony. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician at Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and Miller Theater, as well as on WNYC; summer appearances have been at the Aspen Music Festival and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. He has performed as a musician with the New York City Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and appeared as an orchestral musician with the New York Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Orchestra, as well as performing with the Pacifica and Manhattan string quartets.

Vox n Plux - Vox n Plux combines guitarists William Anderson and Oren Fader with noted soprano Elizabeth Farnum. Though newly established, Anderson and Fader have been performing and recording with Ms. Farnum for 2 decades, as members of the two-guitar based Cygnus Ensemble. The Trio has been heard in concerts in New York, New Jersey, California, and other states.

Vox n Plux specializes in contemporary music, especially the work of American composers, and also performs music by the early masters (Monteverdi, Dowland, Bach).

Vox n Plux also offers voice paired with other instruments, including classical and electric guitars, mandolin, banjo and theorbo. A list of composers who have written works for the Duo and/or Ms. Farnum reads like a who's who of contemporary composers: Babbitt, Brickle, Bond, Davidovsky, Naito, Rakowski, Wuorinen, and many others.

Ms. Farnum appears as a guest artist on three different recordings featuring the Anderson-Fader Duo: works of Wuorinen (Cygnus "Broken Consort"), Frank Brickle; ('Ab Nou Cor") and Sidney Corbett on the newly released Anderson-Fader disc, "Le Cirque." Ms. Farnum is also a prolific studio artist, and has been featured on over 30 recordings, four of which were nominated for Grammy awards.

She is one of today's most highly sought-after vocalists in the field of modern music. Widely known for her high level of musicianship, versatility and range, she has presented modern works in venues such as Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, London's Institute for Contemporary Art, the American Academy at Rome and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, collaborating with such composers as Samuel Adler, Anthony Braxton, Lucas Foss, Ricky Ian Gordon, John Harbison, Peter Schickele, Charles Wuorinen and John Zorn.

Mr. Anderson and Mr. Fader met while in their teens in New York City, as students of the legendary guitarist David Starobin. Now based in New York City, the Duo has performed with many presenters and organizations, most notably with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Players at Zankel Hall, performing the guitar and mandolin parts in Elliott Carter's Luimen. Anderson and Fader, with Cygnus, were in residence at the Library of Congress in the winter of 2012. Ongoing residencies at the CUNY Graduate Center and Sarah Lawrence College give the Duo an opportunity to work with young composers.

Miranda Cuckson, Violinist & Violist - Violinist and violist Miranda Cuckson is acclaimed for her performances of a wide range of repertoire, from early eras to the most current creations. Praised for her "undeniable musicality" (New York Times), "command of line and naturalness of expression" (Gramophone) and "seemingly inexhaustible arsenal of technical abilities" (AllMusic Guide), she is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician, appearing in major concert halls, as well as at universities, galleries and informal spaces. She performs at such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Miller Theatre, the 92nd Street Y, Guggenheim Museum, Austrian Cultural Forum, Museum of Modern Art, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and the Marlboro, Bard, Lincoln Center, Bridgehampton, Portland and Bodensee festivals.

She has made lauded appearances as soloist with orchestras in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including her recent Carnegie Hall debut in Walter Piston's concerto with the American Symphony Orchestra and Leon Botstein. Her first CD recording was a disk of concertos by Korngold and Ponce with the Czech National Symphony, on Centaur Records. She subsequently made four recital CDs of American music: music by Ralph Shapey, Donald Martino and Ross Lee Finney. Vanguard Classics released her CD with pianist Blair McMillen of music by Michael Hersch, "the wreckage of flowers." Releases this year include a CD comprising Sessions' solo Sonata, Carter's Duo and a duo by Jason Eckardt; and "Melting the Darkness", solo microtonal and electronics pieces by Xenakis, Haas, Bianchi and others. Her Urlicht Audiovisual recording of Luigi Nono's "La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura" for violin and electronics, with Christopher Burns, was named a Best Classical Recording of 2012 by the New York Times. In January 2015, she will be recording her first CD for ECM Records, of sonatas by Barto?k, Schnittke and Lutoslawski.

Miranda has in recent years earned a reputation as one of the foremost performer-interpreters of contemporary music. She has collaborated with such composers as Henri Dutilleux, Elliott Carter, Thomas Ade?s, Salvatore Sciarrino, John Adams, Pierre Boulez, Lee Hyla, Steven Mackey, George Crumb, Michael Hersch, Helmut Lachenmann, Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, Mario Davidovsky, Phillipe Hurel, Derek Bermel, Yehudi Wyner, Georg Friedrich Haas, Jason Eckardt, Tristan Murail, Charles Wuorinen and Sebastian Currier. In 2012, she performed a new work by Harold Meltzer commissioned for her by the McKim Fund, at the Library of Congress in honor of Fritz Kreisler. She is a member of counter)induction and director of the not-for-profit organization Nunc, which she founded in 2007.

Miranda studied at The Juilliard School, where she received her BM, MM and DMA degrees and won the Presser and Richard F. French Awards. Her teachers included Felix Galimir, Robert Mann, Dorothy DeLay, Shirley Givens and Nathan Milstein, and for chamber music, Fred Sherry and the Juilliard String Quartet. She is on the violin faculty at Mannes College the New School for Music.

Jay Campbell, Cellist - Armed with a diverse spectrum of repertoire and eclectic musical interests, cellist Jay Campbell was recently named First Prize winner of the 2012 Concert Artist Guild auditions. He is the recipient of awards from the BMI and ASCAP foundations and has been heard on television, radio broadcasts and in concert halls around the world, including concerto appearances in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kultur und Kongresszentrum-Luzern and the Aspen Music Festival, with conductors Pierre Boulez, Jeffrey Milarsky, Michael Morgan, and others.

Jay made his debut with the New York Philharmonic this past season performing the music of Tan Dun. He has collaborated with an array of artists ranging from composers including Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, Magnus Lindberg and John Adams, to members of Radiohead and Einstu?rzende Neubauten, and has premiered nearly one hundred works to date, including concertos by Chris Rogerson and David Lang. Jay has had the privilege of collaborating with leading ensembles throughout the globe including ICE, Ensemble InterContemporain, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and members of the Arditti, Takacs, Kronos, and Afiara string quartets.

Highlights of the upcoming season include a debut solo CD on CAG Records and chamber works on Tzadik; appearances at Carnegie Hall, National Gallery, Krannert Center, Mondavi Center and the Heidelberg Festival; and the premieres of new works written for Jay by John Zorn, Eric Wubbels, Oscar Bianchi and David Fulmer. Jay began playing the cello at the age of 8 at the Crowden School in Berkeley, CA., and studied with Fred Sherry.

Zaidee Parkinson, Pianist & Producer - Zaidee Parkinson began playing the piano at the age of three and composing at age eight. Her piano studies encompass training from such luminaries as Madame Isabella Vengerova, Madame Rosina Lhevinne and Leon Fleisher. She studied composition with Bohuslav Martin! and later music analysis with Stefan Wolpe.

Zaidee has performed in prestigious venues worldwide and appeared at the Marlboro and Aspen Music Festivals. As Artistic Director and pianist, she curated the much-lauded Song in Music series and gave the New York premieres of Jana?"ek's The Diary of One Who Vanished, Shostakovich's Suite on Verses by Michelangelo, Op. 145 and Martin!'s Sonata, No. 1. Of the Jana?"ek performance, New York Times critic Donal Henahan hailed, "Miss Parkinson played with fearsome commitment from beginning to ecstatic end." Zaidee has evolved as a formidable programming innovator.

The late critic Byron Belt reinforced, "Zaidee Parkinson has offered a program of music for piano and voice of the highest intellectual and musical content. She builds her programs with an eye to thematic and musical relationships that illumine the works offered in very special ways." In this role, she has greatly encouraged the development of emerging young artists.

She has recorded an all-Mozart double album with pianist Earl Wild on the RCA Red Seal label. Also, on the Connoisseur Society label, her interpretations of Jana?"ek and Debussy have elicited exuberant critical praise. Stereophile hails, "Zaidee Parkinson impressed me greatly with her atmospheric characterizations in the first book of Debussy Preludes...The attractiveness of her often gentle playing, warm and full of color, is also heard, but with suitably bittersweet overtones, in the moody disc-mate, Jana?"ek's In the Mist."

Most recently at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, Zaidee presented another intimate concert entitled "Songs by Friends and Family" which featured world premieres by Kenji Bunch, Ned Rorem, Cornelius Dufallo and Jed Distler as well as works by Stefan Wolpe. This season's concert echoes that spirit and of her past Song in Music series by continuing her musical collaboration with those whom she has longstanding, creatively fruitful and personal connections.

Pictured: Jonathan Dawe. Photo by Peter Konerko.


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