North/South Consonance, Inc. Holds New Year's Celebration, 1/4


North/South Consonance, Inc. welcomes the New Year with a special free admission concert scheduled for Tuesday evening January 4, 2011 at the auditorium of Christ & St. Stephen's Church (120 West 69th St) -- between Broadway & Columbus) in Manhattan. Admission is free.

The concert will feature two rarely heard 20th century classics for clarinet and string orchestra by French composers Jean Francaix and Henri Tomasi; as well as a new work for clarinet and bass clarinet by Italian composer Federico Ermirio; and recently completed pieces by New York -based composers Edward Green and Max Lifchitz.

Performers will include clarinetists Arthur Campbell and Rocco Parisi accompanied by the acclaimed North/South Chamber Orchestra under the direction of its founder conductor Max Lifchitz.

All participants in the event are available to the press for interviews and may be contacted through our office at <>

North/South Consonance's 2010-11 season is 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; grants from Columbia University's Ditson Fund and the American Federation of Musicians (Local 802); as well as contributions by many generous individuals.

For further information about all North/South activities including concerts and recordings please visit

About the Performers

Clarinetist Arthur Campbell has toured throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. Praised by Fanfare Magazine for his "exquisite playing" and described by the American Record Guide as a "terrific player" Campbell has premiered numerous works especially written for him by living composers. In great demand as a teacher, Campbell has held master classes at leading universities and conservatories in Canada, Europe, China and the US. A Professor of Music at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, his award-winning recordings are available on the Audite label.

Italian bass clarinetist Rocco Parisi studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena before earning top prizes in various European competitions. He has appeared as soloist throughout Italy and in Germany, France Portugal, Turkey, China and Mexico and has given master-classes for the International Clarinet Association. Luciano Berio invited him to premiere the Sequenza IXc for bass clarinet and also to perform the Italian premiere of Chemins IIc for bass clarinet and orchestra. A professor of clarinet at the Antonio Vivaldi Conservatory, Parisi has recorded for the Taukay, Stradivarius, Nuova Era, Music Media and AOC Classic labels.

Max Lifchitz , composer/conductor, is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Harvard University. He was awarded first prize in the 1976 International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music held in Holland. The New York Times music critic Allan Kozinn praised Mr. Lifchitz for his "clean, measured and sensitive performances" while Anthony Tommasini stated that he "conducted a strong performance." Payton MacDonald, writing for the American Record Guide, remarked, "Mr. Lifchitz is as good on the podium as he is behind the piano."

About the Composers and their Music

The program will open with a performance of the Theme and Variations by the prolific and ever-popular French composer Jean Francaix (1912-1997). Written in 1974 on commission of the Paris Conservatoire, Francaix ‘s appealing composition consists of an impressive set of six variations on an original theme. Cheerful and jazzy in feeling, the work is far from the experimental style evident in so much French music of the 1970's. Originally written for clarinet and piano, the composer arranged for clarinet and strings in 1979.

The Concerto for Clarinet in A and Strings (2008) by the New York based composer Edward Green will be second in the program. A professor at the Manhattan School of Music, Green's two movement work was inspired by Eli Siegel's principles of Aesthetic Realism. In two contrasting movements, Green's work explores conflicting emotions such as pain, yearning and carefree humor eventually concluding in momentous joy.

Henri Tomasi's Concerto for Clarinet (1952) will conclude the first half of the prograM. Tomasi (1901-1971) completed this piece while growing physical problems including deafness forced him to give up his successful professional life as conductor. Written at the request of French virtuoso Ulysse Delecluse, the work gained immediate popularity and is regarded by many critics as a masterpiece. Traditional in spirit and structure, the first movement features a theme that resembles an improvisation on the figure Bach uses in his E Major Partita for solo violin. The second movement is built around a Siciliana -like ostinato bass line. And the third is a brilliant scherzo in 7/8 meter that the composer compares to a "romantic fantasy-escape."

The second half of the program will open with the first performance of Landscapes of a Soul for clarinet and bass clarinet by Italian composer Federico Ermirio (b. 1950). A student of Sergio Lauricella and Godofredo Petrassi, Ermirio's music has garnered numerous prizes in European competitions and has been performed by prestigious ensembles throughout Italy, Europe and South America. His works have been broadcast internationally. Ermirio is director of the Antonio Vivaldi Conservatory in Alessandria. Landscapes of the Soul (2010) is a double concerto for clarinet and bass clarinet in one movement. Especially written for the occasion, the work was completed during in November

The concert will close with a performance of Night Voices No, 16 (2009) for clarinet, strings and percussion by Max Lifchitz, the Mexican-born composer and long time New York resident. The work is a single movement concerto for clarinet, strings and percussion built around the timbric and registral qualities of the solo instrument. The solo part demands the utmost in virtuosity form the performer exploring the outer limits of the range and employing unusual techniques such as flutter-tonguing and singing while playing.