The North/South Chamber Orchestra Celebrates Midwinter Fest

The North/South Chamber Orchestra Celebrates Midwinter Fest

The North/South Chamber Orchestra celebrates winter on Sunday afternoon February 25 performing a free-admission concert featuring four listener-friendly works by American composers.

Soprano Elizabeth Farnum will appear as soloist while Max Lifchitz - the ensemble's founder - will be on the podium.

The program will feature recent compositions by Josh Henderson, Ching-Chu Hu, Max Lifchitz and David Maves. The event is part of the Composers Now Festival. It will take place at the intimate and acoustically superior auditorium of Christ & St Stephen's Church (120 West 69th Street) on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The free-admission event will start at 3 PM and end around 4:30 PM. The auditorium is ADA accessible. No tickets or reservations needed.

The composers will be in attendance and will introduce their works to the audience. Composers and performers are available for interviews and media events. They may be contacted through our office.

Since its inception in 1980, the North/South Consonance, Inc. has brought to the attention of the New York City public over 1,000 works by composers hailing from the Americas and elsewhere representing a wide spectrum of aesthetic views. In addition to presenting a yearly concert series in New York City the North/South Chamber Orchestra maintains an active recording schedule. Its 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; Women's Philharmonic Advocacy; the Music Performance Trust Fund; and the generosity of numerous individual donors.

Josh Henderson is a multi-faceted artist active as cross-genre violinist, and composer. A graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory he has composed music for various chamber ensembles as well as for dance and film. He has also served as music director for Damien Escobar (the Emmy winner of Nuttin' But Stringz) and has performed at a number of events across the globe including a performance at the 2013 Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball hosted by Russell Simmons and honoring Barack Obama.

Henderson states that his Dragon Dance is a "showpiece for string orchestra that incorporates funky jams providing the performers with ample opportunity to showcase their virtuosity."

An Iowa City native, Chung-Chu Hu studied at Yale and the University of Michigan and now teaches at Denison University. The press has described his music as "breathtaking, richly textured with incredible tender luminous harmonies." He has written music for several short award-winning films including a soundtrack to Charlie Chaplin's 1925 version of The Gold Rush for symphony orchestra.

Hu explains that "as an Asian-American composer, music of both my cultures are present in Spheres of Influence. The work begins with an anticipatory fanfare growing organically out of a single pitch. The middle section features longing melodies on various instruments representing the eventual parting between a parent and a child. The third section is relaxed, showing the need to "let go" and trust the impact of our influence."

A dynamic figure in America's musical life, Max Lifchitz was born in México City and has lived in New York since 1966. Active as composer, pianist and conductor, he was awarded first prize in the 1976 International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music held in Holland. The San Francisco Chronicle described him as "a stunning, ultra-sensitive pianist" while The New York Times praised Mr. Lifchitz for his "clean, measured and sensitive performances." The American Record Guide referred to him as " of America's finest exponents of contemporary piano music."

Lifchitz's Brightness Aloft is based on the lilting melody Xicochí Conetzintle -- the theme of a 17th century motet written by Gaspar Fernández in México. A beautiful villancico (or Christmas Carol), the text of the motet is in Náhuatl, the language of the Aztecs. A lullaby, its title can be translated as "Sleep, O my Child" obviously referring to baby Jesus.

David Maves served as Composer-in-Residence for the College of Charleston in South Carolina, for over 30 years. His catalogue includes symphonies, concertos and an opera based on Federico García Lorca's Bodas de Sangre (Blood Weddings).

His song cycle The Captive was inspired by John Donne's poem Lovers' Infiniteness. Maves states that the work is envisioned as "....the poet's lover reading the poem aloud with wonder; in awe, deeply moved, and yet perhaps a bit frustrated as conditions pile up as the poet attempts to construct an imaginary but air-tight intellectual edifice within which the lovers are inextricably bound to each other - forever." Soprano Elizabeth Farnum will appear as soloist for this moving work.

Ms. Farnum has been praised for her "lovely soaring soprano, great agility and beautiful tone." She has performed at Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, London's Institute for Contemporary Art, the American Academy at Rome and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Her various interests have led her to performances on Broadway, at the Metropolitan Opera, and to five continents on tour with diverse ensembles, including early music groups Pomerium and the Waverly Consort.

For the complete Winter/Spring concert series schedule please visit
The North/South Chamber Orchestra Celebrates Midwinter Fest

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