David Schiff has received a commission for a new clarinet concerto from Chamber Music Northwest and its director, clarinetist David Shifrin. Written in the style of a Baroque aria, it will premiere this July 6th at the Chamber Music Northwest Festival in Portland. Contemporaneously, the composer’s retirement from Reed College was celebrated over the course of a three-concert retrospective of his music held in his honor this Spring. Described by Schiff as, “a combination of pieces I wanted to hear again and people I wanted to work with again,” the concert series puts a brilliant capstone on the career of Oregon’s best-known composer.
Time’s Arrow Festival of New York presented a partly-staged premiere of Laura Schwendinger’s new opera, Artemisia. The New York Times review stated: "Artemisia…fits in big themes set to music of quivering intensity…idea and form, image and projection, sight and gaze also find nuanced and intelligent treatment." The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble of San Francisco premieres the complete, fully-staged opera on June 1st and 2nd of this year. Video and more about the opera are featured in this story.
“This massively dark work for flute and orchestra, finally available in a reduction for flute and piano, needs almost no description - just a listen. It's dark. It's lush. It's beautiful, and we've been waiting on it for years. That's all that really needs to be said.” -Simon Berry. Featured in Carolyn Nussbaum Music Company’s Best Releases of 2018 for Flute and Piano is Igor Shcherbakov’s Concerto for Flute. The Concerto is among the composer's most poignant and beloved works. Written in memory of fellow composer Oleg Kyva, the piece has enjoyed performances in Switzerland, Poland, and Shcherbakov's home country of Ukraine. This first-ever publication of the piano reduction and solo flute part makes this concerto available to flutists for recital and competitions. Recording, perusal score, Shcherbakov recent publications and full Best Releases list in the full article.
Reza Vali’s works Ashoob: Calligraphy No. 14 for santoor (Persian hammer dulcimer) and string quartet, as well as Ormavi: String Quartet No. 4 were performed by the Persian santoor master Dr. Dariush Saghafi, and the Cuatro Puntos Ensemble during the concert events “Sounds of Persia” on April 10-15, 2019 in Hartford, Glastonbury, Enfield, and Willimantic, CT. These performances are an example of a very active concert season for the composer.
Donald Crockett was in residence at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo from March 19 - 24 doing masterclasses, composition lessons and rehearsals. The residency culminated in a chamber music concert, featuring three of the composer’s works on March 24: Whistling in the Dark, Wet Ink, and mickey finn. Crockett also received a New Music USA commission for the SAKURA cello quintet to premiere a new major work during the 2019-20 season. The outstanding young ensemble will premiere the work (title TBA) on the Closing Gala concert of the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Disney Hall, Los Angeles on March 22, 2020. More performance, video, and recent publications news in this issue.