Barney Frank to Perform with Philly's COFE Ensemble

Running October 6-8, 2017, Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS (COFE) will launch its third season with a program exploring the synthesis of classical music and jazz - called "third stream music" - including a performance of Gunther Schuller's 1962 classic "Journey into Jazz," narrated by liberal icon Barney Frank, and the premiere of a composition for jazz quintet and string orchestra by drummer Gabriel Globus-Hoenich.

Third stream music is a term coined by the multifaceted American musician Gunther Schuller (1925-2015) to describe works that combine elements of jazz and contemporary classical art music. His "Journey into Jazz," which premiered in May 1962 with the composer conducting the National Symphony Orchestra, is a perfect example of that term. With lyrics by Nat Hentoff, then a columnist at The Village Voice, the work captures the spirit of the times as it tells the story of a young boy who discovers jazz. The role of the narrator will be performed by Barney Frank, who gained national recognition as the first openly gay member of Congress and has continued to advocate for progressive causes since his retirement from Congress in 2013.

"I look forward to helping present this important piece," said Barney Frank. "Having just ended one career, I am happy to make my debut in another branch of public performance-although this one probably won't last 45 years!"

Complementing the Schuller piece will be a brand-new example of third stream music composed by Gabriel Globus-Hoenich, a drummer who has been featured with Philly Pops and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

In keeping with COFE's mission, these 20th and 21st century pieces will be presented alongside early works of W.A. Mozart, including the Piano Concerto No. 12 with pianist Andrew Hauze and the remarkable Symphony No. 29, written when Mozart was only 18.

"This program is a tribute to the extraordinary artistic results young composers can accomplish," said COFE's artistic director and founder James Freeman. "Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS is thrilled to bring to our audiences a program filled with such youthful vigor and intensity."

A half-hour discussion with Rep. Frank and the musicians will precede each concert.


Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS presents:

A Journey into Jazz, with Barney Frank

- James Freeman, Conductor

W.A. Mozart, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Major (No. 12)

- Andrew Hauze, piano

- Heidi Jacob, Associate Conductor

Gunther Schuller, Journey into Jazz

- Barney Frank, narrator

- Rittenhouse Jazz Quintet

Gabriel Globus-Hoenich, new commissioned work for jazz quintet and string orchestra

W.A. Mozart, Symphony in A Major (No. 29)


Friday, October 6 at 8pm, Lang Concert Hall, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

Saturday, October 7 at 3pm, Roberts Hall, Haverford College, Haverford, PA

Sunday, October 8 at 3pm, Perelman Theatre, Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA

Admission to the Swarthmore and Haverford concerts is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for the Kimmel Center may be purchased in advance; regular admission $20, seniors $15, students $10.


Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS (COFE) presents informal concerts combining premieres of new commissioned works by Philadelphia-area composers with early works by W.A. Mozart. During a pre-concert discussion, composers, performers, and renowned guest soloists speak about their own development as artists in the light of the early career of Mozart. His development as a musician is uniquely traceable through his music as well as through the voluminous surviving correspondence with his family.

COFE's orchestra combines a core of superb Philadelphia freelance players with a small and select group of advanced student string players from Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges. Participating students have the opportunity to work directly with composers on challenging new repertoire and to collaborate with eminent soloists and some of Philadelphia's best professional musicians.

James Freeman, formerly the Artistic Director/Conductor/Founder of Philadelphia's Orchestra 2001, is COFE's Artistic Director and Founder. He is Professor Emeritus of Music at Swarthmore College and was trained at Harvard University, Tanglewood, and Vienna's Akademie für Musik.

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