Sorrel Hays Rediscovered Comes to DiMenna Center for Classical Music Next Week

The performance is on Tuesday, June 6 @ 8 PM.

By: Jun. 01, 2023
Sorrel Hays Rediscovered Comes to DiMenna Center for Classical Music Next Week

On Tuesday June 6, North/South Consonance, Inc. celebrates the life and work of Sorrel Hays (1941-2020), the multifaceted American composer who resided in New York City during the second half of the 20th century.

The in-person event is scheduled to start at 8 PM and will be held at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music (450 West 37th St; New York, NY 10018).

Registration required for the few remaining seats available. Those wishing to attend should e-mail to reserve a seat.

Tuesday, June 6 @ 8 PM
DiMenna Center for Classical Music
450 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018


The Clearing Way
Halt: To the Bullies of Our Time

Performed by

Kirsten Sollek, contralto
Huizi Zhang, piano
The NY Virtuoso Singers
Max Lifchitz, conductor
The North/South Symphony Orchestra

Born Doris Ernestine Hays in Memphis, Tennessee, Hays adopted her grandmother's family name of Sorrel in 1985. She first studied music at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga before attending for three years the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, Germany. Upon her return to the US she studied with Paul Badura-Skoda and Rudolf Kolisch at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, graduating with a Master of Music degree.

Hays taught at Cornell College in Iowa, and then moved to New York City where she studied with pianist Hilde Somer. In 1971 she won first prize in the Gaudeamus Competition for Interpreters of New Music at Rotterdam and began an international career as a pianist. She became known as one of the world's foremost performers of Henry Cowell's cluster piano music.

Hays served as director of the graduate program in electronic music at Yildiz University, Istanbul and also lectured at many colleges and universities including Vassar and Brooklyn College.

A powerful advocate for gender parity for women in all aspects of music, technology and in cultural institutions, Hays achieved among other gains, the inclusion of women on ASCAP's Standard Awards Panel for the first time, and the addition of female composers to the repertoire of the Rockefeller Foundation's competition for the performance of American music. In the fall of 1976 Sorrel Hays and composer Beth Anderson curated a ground-breaking series of twelve concerts, Meet the Woman Composer, at the New School for Social Research, New York – an early and brilliant assertion that parity in programming is essential.

The evening will introduce New York audiences to four of her orchestral works. Written while living in Germany, Harmony is a delicate work for string orchestra full of innovative sonorities and dynamic nuances.  Characters is a four-movement piano concerto full of effusive rhythms and brilliant textures. Chinese American pianist Huizi Zhang will be the soloist for the occasion.

Two works employing voices and orchestra will also be heard. The Clearing Way subtitled "a chant for nineties," is based on the Nokawa'nik Song of the Temecula Indians in Southern California. Hays organized the lyrics for this work drawing on the Temecula song which is the basis for the women's dance after someone died. Contralto Kirsten Sollek will be the featured soloist for the performance of this work.

Halt: To the Bullies or Our Time is a powerful and dramatic cease and desist shout to those who seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce people perceived as vulnerable. Members of the highly Harold Rosenbaum's NY Virtuoso Singers will join the North/South Symphony Orchestra for this timely performance.

As a bonus, attendees will also be regaled with the opportunity to watch Touch of Touch - one of  Hays' many video creations - during intermission.

For further programming information please visit the North/South Consonance website @

Active since 1980, North/South Consonance, Inc. is devoted to the promotion of music by composers from the Americas and the world. 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; as well as grants from the Music Performance Fund, the BMI Foundation and the generosity of numerous individual donors.
Sorrel Hays Rediscovered Comes to DiMenna Center for Classical Music Next Week

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