Copland House Launches Spring 2018 Season At Merestead

Copland House Launches Spring 2018 Season At Merestead

Music inspired by transformations - life and loss, vice and virtue, and past and future - will resound throughout Copland House's 9th spring season of acclaimed concerts at Westchester County's magnificent Merestead estate in Mount Kisco, NY.

The three Sunday afternoon concerts at 3pm will feature music by four Pulitzer Prize winners, two rarely-heard major works of one of America's most wildly-imaginative musical creators, and the World Premieres of six new works written especially for Copland House's coveted CULTIVATE emerging composers' institute. A special highlight of the spring season will be a concert celebrating the life and career of renowned flutist-conductor Paul Lustig Dunkel, a Founding Artist of Music from Copland House, who passed away in January.

All of the concerts feature the Founding, Principal, and Guest Artists of the Music from Copland House ensemble, hailed by The New Yorker as "bold, adventurous, and superb." The programs include a post-concert meet-the-artists reception, and brings to Westchester some of today's most innovative and renowned composers to personally introduce their works, and explore their creative processes.

The concerts' ongoing, exclusive focus on America's vibrant musical legacy makes this series unique. As Copland House's Artistic and Executive Director Michael Boriskin noted, "there is literally no other regular chamber music series anywhere like this one, which is built entirely on the dazzling, diverse musical legacy - past and present - of our nation." Copland House's Merestead series has been praised by The New York Times for "all the richness of its offerings."

The concert on March 4, Saints and Sinners, is a musical battle of good and evil. The program features a rare live performance of The Seven Deadly Sins, a brilliant, nuanced, and ironic musical portrayal of the cardinal vices by "one of the most gifted composers of our time ... [who] sought the untried, the innovative, and the telling new approach" (Perspectives in New Music). William Albright was a beloved, wildly-imaginative composer and revered professor whose untimely death at 53, followed a hard-lived life and career that were brilliant, meteoric, chaotic, mercurial, and influential, cut short a major creative legacy. The holy virtues make their appearance in songs by such American masters as Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Hall Johnson, Hale Smith, Virgil Thomson, Leonard Bernstein, and others, performed by an audience favorite, the celebrated baritone James Martin.

The change of seasons often reflects the cycles of our lives. At Copland House, this was never more true than this year, with the recent passing of beloved friend and inimitable colleague, Paul Lustig Dunkel. Rustles of Spring - A Celebration of Paul Lustig Dunkel on April 15 salutes one of America's foremost flutists who left a major legacy at Copland House, throughout Westchester, and beyond. As Music from Copland House's Founding Flutist, he was a key pillar of the ensemble, played many of its concerts and traveled countless miles with the group, was featured on all of its initial CDs, and helped build and shape a performing group that went on to gain national and global prominence. As Founder and longtime Music Director of the Westchester Philharmonic, he changed the face and sound of music in the County, and left an indelible impact here. And as co-founder and longtime Resident Conductor of the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, he earned a rightful place for himself in U.S. music history. This program features the work of three composers who symbolized Paul's love of, and devotion to, the music of our time. As an up-and-coming musician, he was directly involved with a group of other young flutists who banded together in the 1960s to commission Aaron Copland's now-classic Duo for Flute and Piano. Almost a half-century later, he joined with Copland House to commission and premiere Pierre Jalbert's Crossings, inspired by the migration of the composer's French- Canadian ancestors. And William Albright's Rustles of Spring, inspired by life, loss, love, renewal, and growth, represented exactly the kind of formidable artistic intellect and challenging, substantial creative voice he loved.

Bringing the season to a cutting-edge, unpredictable close on June 10 at 3pm is CULTIVATE 2018 is the place to discover tomorrow's masters today. The program features the World Premieres of six brand-new works created especially for Copland House's flagship, annual emerging composers' institute. The stellar 2018 Fellows are: Carlos Bandera, Ethan Braun, Theo Chandler, Annika Socolofsky, Phil Taylor, Liliya Ugay (who is CULTIVATE's Nashville Symphony ComposerLab Fellow, in connection with Copland House's collaboration with the orchestra's young composer initiative). CULTIVATE is the culmination of an intensive, weeklong, all-scholarship creative workshop and mentoring program, that has become a coveted destination for America's most gifted composers at the start of their professional careers. (Supported by the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund, BMI Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund, Jandon Foundation, and John G. Strugar.)

Single tickets are popularly-priced at $25, ($20 for Friends of Copland House, and $10 for students with ID). A subscription to all three spring concerts is $69 ($54 for Friends). For more ticket and subscription information, contact Copland House at (914) 788-4659 or office@coplandhouse.org, or visit www.coplandhouse.org.

The Merestead estate is located at 455 Byram Lake Road, Mount Kisco, near Exits 33 and 34 off the Saw Mill Parkway and Exit 4 off Interstate 684, and only minutes from the Mount Kisco Metro-North station.

Copland House is an award-winning creative center for American music based at Aaron Copland's National Historic Landmark home in Cortlandt Manor. Inaugurated in 1998, Copland House is the only composer's home in the U.S. devoted to nurturing and renewing America's rich musical heritage through a broad range of public, educational, and musical activities, and to fostering greater public awareness and appreciation of our nation's composers and their work. Its three core programmatic pillars are built upon multi-faceted composer support, live and recorded performances, and in-school and on-site educational activities. Major support for Copland House's 2017-18 Merestead concerts comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, ArtsWestchester, Ruth M. Knight Foundation, Westchester Community Foundation, and Friends of Copland House.

Music from Copland House (MCH) occupies a special place on the musical scene as this country's only wide-ranging American repertory ensemble, journeying across 150 years of the rich musical landscape of the U.S. Hailed by The New York Times for performances that are "all exuberance and bright sunshine" and "illuminate essential truths about the music," MCH has been engaged by Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre, the Caramoor, Cape Cod, Bard, and Ecstatic Music Festivals, NPR, the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art, European Broadcasting Union, and other leading concert presenters. The ensemble records for the Arabesque, Koch International, and Copland House Blend labels, and is regularly featured on Copland House's popular main-stage concert series at Merestead. Inspired by Copland's peerless, lifelong advocacy of American composers, MCH also presents a wide variety of educational and community outreach activities. MCH concerts feature the ensemble's much-admired Founding, Principal, and Guest Artists.

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