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Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Music Presents ‘OWU : NOW’
A Three-Concert Festival Celebrating The Music of Our Time

February 4, 2008

The Carpe Diem String Quartet
DELAWARE, OHIO – Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Music will present OWU : NOW, a three-concert festival celebrating The Music of Our Time. The festival will run Feb. 15-17, with all performances at 8 p.m. in Jemison Auditorium of Sanborn Hall, 23 Elizabeth St. Admission for all performances is free, and all are open to the public.

The three-concert festival will feature 26 musicians—OWU Music Faculty members joined by some of the finest professional musicians in central Ohio—16 works, and three world premiere performances. The works—all written since 1970—range from traditional to experimental, jazz and blues to avant-garde and electronic, and will present a mix of Eastern, Middle-Eastern, Latin and Western sounds and styles. Works by American composers including George Crumb, Morton Gould, David Noon, and Lori Laitman are prominently featured. OWU : NOW celebrates The Music of Our Time multidirectionally—retrospectively looking back at the music composed during the past generation and brazenly looking forward at the music being composed today. Surprise, shock, and intrigue promise a memorable three-evening extravaganza not to be missed.

The opening concert on Feb. 15Mystic Illusions & All That Jazz—will feature trumpeter Larry Griffin performing Ron Caviani’s A and O? for Trumpet and Tape; pianist Mariko Kaneda performing HyeKyung Lee’s mystical A Suite for Solo Piano; percussionists Kimberley Burdett, Greg Lyons, David Wolf and flautist Kimberlee Goodman performing George Crumb’s An Idyll for the Misbegotten for Flute and Percussion Trio; and Anthony Fesmire, guitar, Scott Gold, bass and Shane Willis, drums performing three works for jazz trio—Nirvana’s Come as You Are by Kurt Cobain and Climbing and Motherhood and Anthony Fesmire.

The Feb. 16 evening concert—World Premieres & Celebrations—will feature two WORLD PREMIERE performances. Pianist Cameron Bennett will perform the world premiere of David Noon’s Piano Sonata No. 2. Noon, one this country’s most prolific composers, has had his works performed on numerous occasions in central Ohio by the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, including a recent performance of Buxtehude: Adagio & Allegro, a remarkable re-composition of works by the German organ master. Mezzo soprano Marilyn Nims, with Bennett at the piano, will perform Selections from Canciones de Valldemosa by Antón García Abril. The Columbus Horn Group, featuring hornist’s Tiffany Rice-Damicone, Travis Damicone, Jed Hacker, Jennifer Kirby and Heidi Wick, will perform The Casbah of Tetouan, A Tone Poem for 5 Horns by Kerry Turner. Clarinetist Nancy Gamso and flautist Emily Butterfield will perform Daniel Dorff’s Three Romances; Gamso and Butterfield will then be joined by Brad Walsh, oboe, Jeremy Odette, horn, and Melinda Odette, bassoon, and perform as the Favorable Winds Woodwind Quintet—with the world premiere performance of Adriana Verdie de Vas Romero’s Celebrations and Aires Tropicales by the incredible Paquito D’Rivera. Eight-time Grammy Award winner, D’Rivera’s works often reveal his widespread and eclectic musical interests, ranging from Afro-Cuban rhythms and melodies, including influences encountered in his many travels, and back to his classical origins. Tom Strini of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, “…Cuban Paquito D' Rivera has a foot in the classical world and a foot in the jazz world—and each foot is atop its respective world.”

The festival will close with Black Angels on Feb. 17 Apr. 15 (rescheduled due to illness). The Carpe Diem String Quartet, violinists Charles Wetherbee, Wei You; violist Korine Fujiwara; and cellist Wendy Morton, will perform the world premiere of Songs Without Words by Bruce Wolosoff and George Crumb’s incredible Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land—both works for electric string quartet. Carpe Diem String Quartet has captured the imagination of audiences, the respect of critics, and is becoming one of the most versatile ensembles of its generation. The quartet has earned critical acclaim with innovative programs, electrifying performances, and a passion for audience engagement. George Crumb’s Black Angels was conceived as a kind of parable on our troubled contemporary world. The work is probably the only quartet to have been inspired by the Vietnam War and draws from an arsenal of sounds including shouting, chanting, whistling, whispering, gongs, maracas, and crystal glasses. The score bears two inscriptions: in tempore belli (in time of war) and “Finished on Friday the Thirteenth, March, 1970.” Crumb himself wrote about the work, “Things were turned upside down. There were terrifying things in the air … they found their way into Black Angels.” This promises to be a performance to remember! Wolosoff’s Songs without Words are a collection of short movements for amplified string quartet in small classical forms, the rhythmic characteristics of each movement drawn from the vernacular of indigenous American forms such as rock, jazz, and blues. The concert will also feature mezzo soprano Marilyn Nims and the Duvall Trio—pianist Cameron Bennett, violinist Korine Fujiwara and cellist Wendy Morton—performing Lori Laitman’s Daughters, and clarinetist Nancy Gamso and double bassist John Pellegrino performing Morton Gould’s Benny’s Gig, originally composed for the “king of swing,” clarinetist Benny Goodman.

For more information about OWU : NOW, contact the Department of Music at (740) 368-3700, musicd@owu.edu, or music.owu.edu.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 40 states and 45 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.