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Ohio Wesleyan Department of Music Presents OWU·//·NOW
Three-Concert Festival Celebrates ‘The Music of Our Time

February 9, 2009

Jason Bahr
Photos courtesy of OWU Department of Music
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 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Feb. 19-21, with all performances at 8 p.m. in Jemison Auditorium of Sanborn Hall, located on the OWU campus at 23 Elizabeth St. Admission for all performances is free, and all are open to the public.

The three-concert festival will feature 19 performing musicians—OWU music faculty members joined by some of the finest professional musicians in central Ohio—16 works, five world premieres, and five Ohio and regional premieres. The works range from traditional to experimental, jazz and blues to electronic, and will present a mix of European and Americana sounds and styles. Works by American composers including Peter Schickele (and his alter-ego P.D.Q. Bach), Jonathan Leshnoff, Jason Bahr, and Don Freund are prominently featured.

OWU•//•NOW celebrates The Music of Our Time multidirectionally—retrospectively looking back at music composed during the past generation and brazenly looking forward at music being composed today. Surprise, shock, and intrigue promise a memorable three-evening extravaganza not to be missed.

Cameron Bennett
Photos courtesy of OWU Department of Music
The opening concert on Feb. 19—Step up to the Bahr—will feature the music of OWU’s professor of composition, Jason Bahr, D.M. Bahr’s works have received more than 180 combined performances in 29 states and eight countries. He has received awards and grants from the Fromm Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Northridge Composition Prize, Renee B. Fischer Piano Competition, Kubik International Prize, ASCAP, SCI, and Cambridge Madrigal Singers.

The Feb. 19 program includes three world premieres: Nancy Gamso, flute, performing Bahr’s Pixie; soprano Christine Hiester and pianist Mariko Kaneda performing Bahr’s Canticles; and pianist Cameron Bennett performing Bahr’s Three Preludes—Pontius Prelude, Mt. Moriah Prelude, and White Hall Prelude. Ohio and regional premieres include baritone Daryl Yoder and pianist Mariko Kaneda performing Bahr’s Moppet Songs and Kim Goodman, flute, performing Bahr’s The Four Humors. Also on the program are percussionists Kimberley Burdett and David Wolf performing Eckhard Kopetzki’s Circle of Iceand Brett Burleson, guitar, Scott Gold, bass, and Shane Willis, drums, performing a Jazz Suite—Burleson’s own Head Above Water and two works by Brian Casey—Wanderers Around Jupiter and Lorica.

Carpe Diem String Quartet
Photos courtesy of OWU Department of Music
The Feb. 20 concert—A Night of Firsts—will feature one world premiere and three Ohio and regional premieres. Pianist Cameron Bennett will perform English composer Malcolm Lipkin’s Piano Sonata No. 4. Lipkin came to prominence when his First Violin Sonata was premiered in London in 1958 by Yfrah Neaman and Howard Ferguson. The work has since enjoyed more than 100 performances worldwide. The performance of the Piano Sonata No. 4, revised in 1987 by the composer, will be an Ohio and regional premiere. Other Ohio and regional premieres on the program include trumpeter Larry Griffin performing Ron Caviani’s A and O? for Trumpet and Tape and mezzo soprano Marilyn Nims and pianist Mariko Kaneda performing Don Freund’s November Songs.
Marilyn Nims
Photos courtesy of OWU Department of Music
The world premiere on the Feb. 20 program is Jonathan Leshnoff’s Edelmann Quartet performed by the Carpe Diem String Quartet. Leshnoff was named by the Baltimore Sun as a 2006 “artist to watch,” and his works have been performed and are currently programmed both internationally and nationally. Leshnoff is composer-in-residence of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. His music has been lauded by the Kansas City Star as “a diaphanous orchestral fabric of beautiful transparency,” by the Memphis Commercial Appeal as “a fluid, thoughtful work, superbly textured and unafraid to be intellectual,” and by the Baltimore Sun as “remarkably assured, cohesively constructed and radiantly lyrical.” He is currently an associate professor of music at Towson University. Carpe Diem—the ensemble-in-residence at Ohio Wesleyan—is an exciting group that has captured the imagination of audiences, the respect of critics, and is becoming one of the most versatile ensembles of its generation. Carpe Diem has earned critical acclaim with innovative programs, electrifying performances, and strong audience engagement.

The festival will close Feb. 21 with Schickele Mix. Peter Schickele will be the host and MC for this concert, and the repertoire performed will be both by Schickele and his alter-ego P.D.Q. Bach. The Carpe Diem String Quartet—violinists Charles Wetherbee and John Ewing, violist Korine Fujiwara, and cellist Diego Fainguersch—together with pianist Cameron Bennett will perform Schickele’s Piano Quintet No. 2. Clarinetist Nancy Gamso will be joined by violinist Charles Wetherbee, cellist Pei-An Chao and pianist Cameron Bennett in Schickele’s Clarinet Quartet. Gamso also will perform on flute with Kim Goodman, flute, David Wolf, tambourine, and Tony Zilincik, tuba, on P.D.Q. Bach’s Trio (sic) Sonata. The concert also will feature mezzo soprano Marilyn Nims and pianist Cameron Bennett performing Schickele’s Two Songs on Elizabethan Lyrics and the Madame Peep Aria from P.D.Q. Bach’s opera Oedepus Tex.

Peter Schickele
Photos courtesy of OWU Department of Music
Composer, musician, author, satirist—Peter Schickele is internationally recognized as one of the most versatile artists in the field of music. His works number well in excess of 100 for symphony orchestras, choral groups, chamber ensembles, voice, movies, and television, placing him among the most prolific American composers. His commissions are numerous and varied, ranging from works for the National Symphony and the Minnesota Opera to compositions for distinguished instrumentalists and singers. Schickele’s SYMPHONY NO. 1 “Songlines” was premiered by the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin, and has since been played by the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and other orchestras around the country. In his well-known role as perpetrator of the now-classic P.D.Q. Bach, Schickele is acknowledged as one of the great satirists of the 20th century.

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 47 states and 50 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.