Kaplan Concert Hall
Towson University Center for the Arts
4400 Osler Drive
Baljinder Sekhon's Gradient 2.0 with saxophonist Doug O'Connor
Tan Dun's Elegy; Snow in June, with cellist Cecylia Barczk
Ivan Trevino's Almaty
Directed by Dr. Michelle Humpheys
Center for the Arts, 3066
7700 Osler Drive
Towson, MD 21204
21st Century Saxophone Spectrum
The saxophone has established itself as an exciting voice in new concert music, inspiring composers and audiences alike with its wide range of character: it is percussive and yet lyrical, voluptuous yet delicate, and it conveys all the intimacy, nuance, variety, and power of the human voice. In this program, saxophonist Doug O’Connor (Astral Artist, DMA 2012, Eastman School of Music) and pianist Liz Ames (DMA 2013, Arizona State University) present two new works by composers Gregory Wanamaker (Professor of Composition, Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam) and Baljinder Sekhon (PhD 2013, Eastman School of Music) for alto saxophone and piano, in addition to other contrasting 21st century repertoire. This program explores the variety of emotional connection offered by chamber music for saxophone and piano. The program title refers to a spectrum, “A band of colors, as seen in a rainbow, produced by separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength.”
Wanamaker’s new work, of Light and Shadows, is an example in itself of playing with light through sound. His modern take on bluesy-ness and saxophone virtuosity is contrasted against Sekhon’s calculated, architecturally rhythmic and percussive approach to the instrument. These works are supported by the popular Press Release, by David Lang, as well as the Soprano Saxophone Concerto, by John Mackey, an evocative work in five movements inspired by popular dance rhythms and jazz.
Doug O’Connor and Liz Ames met as a result of the commissions which created the first premiere, Light and Shadows, by Greg Wanamaker. O’Connor has long been a proponent of presenting new music in concert, and pianist Liz Ames has been the leader of various consortia to commission new works for saxophone and piano. In fact, both performers are responsible for organizing the consortia which funded the respective new works on the program. Their enthusiasm and broad experience for the genre is infectious, and it translates to audiences through innovative and exciting performances. Praised for his “seamless technique” and “sumptuous lyricism” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), O’Connor’s performances have thrilled audiences across the USA, Europe, and Asia, including appearances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. He has appeared at World Saxophone Congress XV in Bangkok, where he gave the world-première performance of Christian Lauba’s 15th etude, Worksong; in addition, he was recently featured with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra performing the world-première of Baljinder Sekhon’s saxophone concerto, The Offering. His mastery of extended techniques and diverse musical background have given his playing a unique and personal voice, a voice which these and other composers have responded to by writing him new and ambitious works for the saxophone. The repertoire on 21st Century Saxophone Spectrum is rounded out with standard and accessible works, which introduce a new perspective and interesting program for this duo combination.
$15 Regular / $10 Seniors / $5 Student & Faculty
Sun20Nov20162:00pm School of Music Concert Hall University of South Florida 4202 East Fowler Ave Tampa, FL 33620 The University of South Florida Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro William Wiedrich, continues its spectacular season on November 20, 2 p.m., in the USF Concert Hall, with a magnetic program with something for every musical taste. Opening with Mozart's masterful Symphony No. 39, the orchestra will then feature the US premiere of composer Baljinder Singh-Sekhon's "The Offering", Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, featuring saxophonist Doug O'Connor, (US Army Band, "Pershing's Own") who originally premiered the work with the Thailand Philharmonic. Meet the conductor, composer, and soloist at a pre-concert talk on stage at 1:30. The USFSO closes the program with Ottorino Respighi's beautiful and stirring "Pines of Rome". Baljinder Sekhon, The Offering (2011) Baljinder Sekhon is one of the most promising young composers of his generation. He studied at Eastman School of Music and is currently a visiting professor of composition at the University of South Florida. He has received commissions from all over the world and his works have been performed on four continents. He describes his new saxophone concerto as follows: “The Offering was composed for saxophonist Doug O’Connor and The Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra. In essence, the three movements express a journey dealing with identity, transformation, and celebration. The first two movements are for alto saxophone and the third is for soprano saxophone. The opening movement, “Abandon Yourself,” is in three sections: an opening section which is ostinato-based and presents a progression of the five pitch collections that drive the piece, a second section which mixes and shuffles the material from the previous section as if a puzzle is constantly being constructed and deconstructed, and the third section which presents the previous motives in syncopated fragments that come to an abrupt end. The second movement, “Turn to Ash,” employs a variety of extended techniques throughout the orchestra in order to develop and transform the overall timbre of the orchestra. It is built from an augmented (stretched-out) reiteration of the last section of movement I. The movement slowly deteriorates as the previous motives and pitch material appear in “crumbled” versions and the lethargic musical characters are created from timbres and motives that seem to have fallen apart. The identity of the piece, as established in the first movement, seems to have vaporized by the end of the second movement. Together, the first two movements express one long-range idea that deals with grappling with one’s troubles and imperfections while attempting to hold on to positive traits; something that ultimately ends by completely leaving behind its identity. The result, as the titles suggest, is a complete liberation of self and the third movement is a celebration of the resulting enlightenment. “Acquire Majesty” is an upbeat resolution to the previous struggles and the saxophonist, playing soprano, expresses a triumphant feeling through lyrical, soaring, and dance-like motives. As the title suggest, this piece is about offering one’s self to the world and, eventually, receiving grace and gratification. Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching inspired the narrative of this piece, along with the movement titles and general feeling.” Click here for more information