(3/23/2006) Illuminating Bolcom — a two-week festival of composer William Bolcom’s creative genius
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katryn Conlin, 612-547-1459
Minneapolis (March 23, 2006) — In a year to be highlighted by American vocal masterpieces, VocalEssence will crown its 2006-2007 concert season with Illuminating Bolcom, a two-week festival in April 2007 celebrating the music of one of the United States’ greatest living composers: William Bolcom.
"Because of his amazing output in a compositional career that spans decades, his far-reaching and wide-ranging interests in every conceivable musical style, his open heart and adventurous spirit, VocalEssence is very pleased to bring William Bolcom to the Twin Cities for a festival of his music. We are connecting the forces of many of Minnesota’s leading arts and educational institutions to make this festival a reality," says VocalEssence Artistic Director Philip Brunelle, adding, "Illuminating Bolcom will be a panoramic experience of Bolcom’s creative genius."
Bolcom’s musical oeuvre will be explored in events ranging from an intimate song recital to the ambitious staging of the monumental Songs of Innocence and of Experience (just honored with four Grammy Awards); from an organ recital featuring David Higgs to a Minnesota Orchestra concert conducted by Edo de Waart; from a cabaret evening to a live radio broadcast.
Among the artistic partners and venues already involved in producing the two-week festival are VocalEssence, Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Public Radio, The Schubert Club, The Fitzgerald Theater and Orchestra Hall. Tickets for the various Illuminating Bolcom events will go on sale later this spring and summer.
A preliminary schedule of events follows. For additional press information, contact Katryn Conlin, VocalEssence Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-547-1459.
Illuminating Bolcom: Tentative schedule of events
~All programs and artists subject to change~
Illuminating Bolcom: Cabaret with the Composer
Saturday, April 21, 2007, 8 pm
The Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul
Tickets: $20, $25, $29; for information, call 651-290-1221.
Minnesota Public Radio and VocalEssence present a showcase of William Bolcom’s cabaret songs with the composer himself at the piano featuring Twin Cities favorites Maria Jette, Bradley Greenwald and Vern Sutton, among others. To be recorded by Minnesota Public Radio for regional broadcast later during the festival.
Illuminating Bolcom: Art Songs for a Sunday Morning
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Minneapolis Institute of the Arts
No ticket required.
Minnesota Opera Resident Artists present a Sunday morning recital of Bolcom’s art songs.
Illuminating Bolcom: Gospel Preludes for Organ — featuring David Higgs
Sunday, April 22, 2007, 4 pm
Benson Great Hall,Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, Minneapolis
Tickets: $20 adults, $10 students; for information, call 612-624-2345.
VocalEssence presents a concert by David Higgs, Chair of the Organ and Historical Keyboards Department and Professor of Organ at Eastman School of Music. He will give a recital of Bolcom’s Gospel Preludes and the audience will be invited to join in singing the gospel hymns before each prelude. Co-sponsored by American Public Media’s Pipedreams.
Illuminating Bolcom: Vocal Masterclass with Bolcom & Morris
Monday, April 23, 2007 (afternoon, time to be announced)
Minnesota Opera Center, Minneapolis
Singers from the Minnesota Opera Resident Artists Program work with William Bolcom and his musical partner mezzo-soprano Joan Morris on a variety of songs in a public masterclass.
Tuesday, April 24—Friday, April 27, 2007
Additional public appearances to be developed, including:
• Composer-to-composer forums with the University of Minnesota School of Music, Augsburg College, Hamline University and several additional area colleges. Coordinated with composer Randall Davidson and the American Composers Forum.
• A live broadcast event from The Forum, Minnesota Public Radio’s new 120-seat studio.
• A Schubert Club Courtroom Concert (Thursday, April 27 over the noon hour).
Illuminating Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Saturday, April 28, 2007, 8 pm
Sunday, April 29, 2007, 2 pm
Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis
Ticket prices to be announced. For information, call 612-371-5656 or 1-800-292-4141
VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers, Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Boychoir, soloists, orchestra and Philip Brunelle, conductor
Philip Brunelle and a veritable host of Minnesota musicians representing all musical genres will bring William Bolcom’s kaleidoscopic song cycle, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, to life at Orchestra Hall. Over 400 musicians will be involved, not only scores of classical and choral artists, but also musicians from the rock, blues, bluegrass and folk music community.
Setting all 46 poems from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, this work emerged over the course of 25 years of the composer’s life and received its world premiere in Stuttgart in 1984. Its mammoth scale has resulted in relatively few performances over the past 20 years, notwithstanding extraordinary reviews. The New York Times called Songs of Innocence and of Experience "a masterpiece of our time and place — gigantically ambitious"; the Chicago Tribune said the work is "one of the finest and most important new American works of the decade"; and The Boston Globe heralded it as "the greatest achievement of synthesis in American music since Porgy and Bess."
The 2004 recording by Leonard Slatkin and the University of Michigan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Choirs, Musical Society and soloists was just honored with four 2005 Grammy Awards: Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance, Best Classical Contemporary Composition and Producer of the Year, Classical.
In Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Blake’s poems were accompanied by his own original illustrations. His multidimensional approach inspired VocalEssence to consider further avenues for illuminating Bolcom’s musical masterpiece.
William Blake: Dossier Exhibit at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Coinciding with Illuminating Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and of Experience, beginning in early 2007 The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will have on display a dossier exhibition featuring rare works on paper by William Blake, including "Book of Job," ";The Grave," and the very important monoprint "Nebuchadnezzar."
Illuminating Bolcom: Minnesota Orchestra Performance
Thursday, May 3, 2007, 11 am, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis
Thursday, May 3, 2007, 7:30 pm, College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota
Friday, May 4, 2007, 8 pm, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis
Saturday, May 5, 2007, 8 pm, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis
Minnesota Orchestra; Edo de Waart, conductor; Jorja Fleezanis, violin
Tickets: 612-371-5656 or 1-800-292-4141
In the final concerts associated with the festival, Bolcom’s Commedia, for (almost) Eighteenth-Century Orchestra will be partnered with works of Bernstein and Kurt Weill.
Illuminating Bolcom: Artistic Partners and Venues
As of March 9, 2006
• American Composers Forum
• American Public Media’s Pipedreams
• Augsburg College
• The Fitzgerald Theater
• Minneapolis Institute of Arts
• Minnesota Boychoir
• Minnesota Chorale
• Minnesota Opera Center
• Minnesota Opera Resident Artists Program
• Minnesota Orchestra
• Minnesota Public Radio
• Orchestra Hall
• The Schubert Club
• University of Minnesota School of Music
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