North/South Consonance's 30th Anniversary Gala Held 3/8

North/South Consonance, Inc. celebrates its 30th consecutive season of advocacy on behalf of music by living composers with a special chamber orchestra concert at New York City's Merkin Concert Hall (129 West 67th St) on Monday, March 8, 2010 at 8 PM.

Distinguished guest artists including clarinetist Arthur Campbell; harpist Megan Levin; and pianist Helen Lin will join the GRAMMY nominated North/South Chamber Orchestra conducted by its founder Max Lifchitz for the special event. The program will include recent works especially written for the occasion by American composers Elizabeth Bell, Edward Green, Max Lifchitz, Hilary Tann and Stephen Yip.

Admission is free. First come first serve. Tickets may be picked up at the Merkin Concert Hall box office after 7 PM the evening of the concert.

Meet 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." Mr. Campbell has premiered numerous works written for him by living composers. In great demand as a teacher, Campbell has held master classes at leading universities, conservatories and festivals in Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Turkey, Estonia, Lithuania, China, Canada and the US. A Professor of Music at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, his award-winning recordings are available on the Audite and Gasparo labels.

Megan Levin, harpist, studied at Rice University and the Oberlin Conservatory before receiving a Fulbright grant to perfect her craft at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France. She was awarded first place in the 2006 Anne Adams Awards competition and the 2007 American String Teacher's Association Solo Harp Competition. The Cleveland Plain dealer described her as a "champion of swirling delicacy....playing with tonal beauty and grace." A participant in the 2008 Elliott Carter Festival at Tanglewood, Levin can be heard on several albums including the GRAMMY Award-winning album Los Super Seven. She is featured in Martha McPhee's book Girls: Ordinary Girls and Their Extraordinary Pursuits.

Pianist Helen Lin graduated from the Manhattan School of Music where her mentors included Seymour Lipkin and Peter Serkin. In her native Taiwan, Ms. Lin was the winner of the Young Concert Artists Series performing a solo concert at the National Concert Hall. In addition to touring extensively in Taiwan she has appeared as soloist with the Kaohsiung Symphony on two different occasions. Colin Clarke, reviewing her recording of Marilyn Ziffrin's Piano Concertino for Fanfare Magazine wrote: Lin plays with crystal clarity and real rhythmic verve."

Active as conductor, pianist and composer, Max Lifchitz was born in Mexico City and has resided in New York City since 1966. Described by the American Record Guide magazine as "a consummate musician .....one of America's finest exponents of contemporary piano music," Mr. Lifchitz has released 9 highly praised compact disc albums featuring piano music by composers from the Americas and appears as collaborative artist or conductor on many more. A graduate of The Juilliard School and Harvard University, Mr. Lifchitz has appeared as soloist and recitalist throughout the US, Europe and Latin America and won first prize in the 1976 International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music held in Holland. Robert Commanday, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle described him as "a young composer of brilliant imagination and a stunning, ultra-sensitive pianist." 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."

Since 1980, NORTH/SOUTH CONSONANCE has garnered widespread praise for its eloquent performances of music by composers of our time. This adventurous ensemble has brought to the attention of the New York public over 900 different works by emerging and established composers from every corner of the world.

The press has favorably acknowledged the many attractive CD albums issued by NORTH/SOUTH RECORDINGS. "Enthusiastic performances...enough to express the boiling power of the music" is how The Philadelphia Inquirer greeted North/South Recordings No. 1003. The Washington Post declared that N/S R No. 1004 contains "intriguing instrumental works, works that span the emotions from pain to ecstasy." Fanfare Magazine remarked as follows on the recently released Carnaval/Carnival (N/S R 1028): "Recorded within days of the September 11 attack, the performances all glow."

About the Composers and their works:

Elizabeth Bell was praised by the American Record Guide as "one of our country's leading composers." Fanfare Magazine referred to her as "a fine composer whose instrumental music is particularly striking." Written in 1993, Bell's Andromeda for piano, strings and percussion is a dramatic single movement work inspired by the story of Andromeda, the Nubian princess who was put under a curse by Poseidon for being more beautiful than his Nereid maidens. And of Perseus, who rescued her, fell in love with her and married her. Pianist Helen Lin will be the featured soloist in this performance of the work.

Edward Green is the composer-in-residence at Imagery Film, Ltd. He recently scored the animated short Thomas Comma by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ken Kimmelman. A Fulbright Senior Specialist (CIES) in the field of American music, Green has been a professor at the Manhattan School of Music since the mid-1980's teaching composition, film scoring, songwriting and also courses in world music. In two contrasting movements, Green's Concerto for Clarinet (in A) and Strings is based on the philosophy of Eli Siegel's Aesthetic Realism: "the resolution of conflict in self is like the making one of opposites in art." While the first movement of the work explores emotions such as pain and yearning, the second movement is carefree and humorous. Clarinetist Arthur Campbell will perform the solo part in the premiere of the work.s

Max Lifchitz's Night Voices No. 16 is a single movement concerto for clarinet, strings and percussion. While at the outset of the work the clarinet leads the musical discourse through its complex and demanding passages, the ensemble gradually gains in prominence eventually achieving parity with the soloist. At the composition's conclusion the soloist and ensemble reach a point of equilibrium by exchanging of musical materials. Written during the month of Janaury, 2010 the work is dedicated to the victims of the devastating earthquake that stroke Haiti on January 12. Arthur Campbell will be the featured soloist.

Welsh-born Hilary Tann lives in the foothills of the Adirondacks in Upstate New York where she is the John Howard Payne Professor of Music at Union College. Her music is influenced by her love of Wales and her strong identification with the natural world. Scored for string orchestra, the music for The Walls of Morlais Castle was conceived when the composer was teaching at Nanjing Normal University in China. Concerning its title, the composer writes: "Morlais Castle is a seemingly haphazard pile of rocks near my first home in Wales. At one point a protruding piece of was is evident. The rhythmical placement of stones in the partial wall lies in contrast to the boulder-strewn surrounding landscape. The composition was inspired by this contrast and also the implied contrast between hustle and bustle of the foirmer castle andits present bleak appearance where the ruin is practically indistinguishable form the natural contours of the high moorland."

Originally from Hong Kong, Stephen Yip has resided in Houston, Texas since 1995. A graduate of Rice University he has participated in many festivals and new music seminars throughout the US, Europe and Asia. A recording of his work Shun was recently released on the North/South Recordings label featuring flutist Lisa Hansen and the North/South Chamber Orchestra. Especially written for the occasion, Spirit Labyrinth II is a virtuosic work for harp and strings. The composer compares the three contrasting but interrelated sections of the work as "a symbolic pilgrimage where a wayfarer (or listener) enters an ancient single path labyrinth seeking divine guidance and finds his way out refreshed and empowered by the spirit." Harpist Megan Levin will be the featured soloist for the premiere of the work.

The soloists and composers participating in the program are available for interviews and other media related events. They may be contacted through our office at (212) 663-7566 or via e-mail at <ns.concerts@att.net>

North/South Consonance's 2009-10 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. Additional support comes from the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University in the City of NY; the Zethus Fund for Contemporary Music; the Music Performance Funds of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians; and contributions from many generous individuals.

For further information about North/South Consonance activities, including upcoming concerts and recordings, please visit http://www.northsouthmusic.org/ 

To stream and/or download the more than fifty albums comprised in North/South Recordings catalogue please visit http://www.classicsonline/North_South_Recordings/

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