New Music Festival will include several premieres

Staff report


A variety of contemporary music — ranging from solo piano, instrumental chamber music, and string orchestra — will be heard at the Dana School of Music’s 30th annual New Music Festival, which begins Friday and runs through May 1.

Public performances will include the Gala Festival Concert at 8 p.m. April 30 in Bliss Recital Hall; a Music at Noon concert the same day at the Butler Institute of American Art; and a solo piano recital by Holly Roadfeldt at 8 p.m. May 1 in Bliss Recital Hall.

All events are free and open to the public. For information, call 330-941-3636.

Guest artists include composer and Youngstown State University alumnus Lars Brondum, pianist Holly Roadfeldt and composer Kathy Henkel.

On April 30, the Festival Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Robert Rollin, will premiere Brondum’s Variations for String Orchestra, written specially for the group. This work is based on a Swedish folk tune.

Henkel’s work “Passing Doble,” written for the Festival Orchestra, will also have its first performance. Henkel wrote the piece as a memorial for two younger friends who both died suddenly and unexpectedly. She presented it to the Festival Chamber Orchestra as a gift.

Senior English horn player Rachel Swanson will play selections from Henkel’s Moorland Sketches with accompaniment by the Howard String Quartet, a group of Dana alumni.

In addition, the group will present Gwyneth Rollin’s “Impressions,” a collection of short descriptive string orchestra movements. Robert Rollin’s Suite from the Secret Annex, incidental music to the play by John Ballantyne, will also be played. Ballantyne commissioned it for the Oakland Center for the Arts premiere of his play, which focused on Anne Frank and the Dutch people who hid her during the Nazi Occupation.

The concert will also include Korean songs performed by Dana faculty soprano Misook Yun. Local composer and New Music Guild board member Richard Zacharias’ “Too Far to Walk, So Savor the Ride: String Quartet No. 3” will be premiered by a group of YSU alumni and students.

Brondum is an associate professor at Skorde University near Stockholm. He is a performer of live electronics, a theorist, and a guitarist with many international performances. His works explore the interactions of acoustic and electronic instruments, and written and improvised styles. He composes and plays with several contemporary groups including ReSurge, a professional mixed chamber ensemble.

Roadfeldt has toured the United States, Europe and Asia both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, and was a guest previously at YSU as part of duoARtia, a professional piano duo team. Her solo recital on May 1 will feature works by living composers, including Dan Perttu, Kirk O’Riodan, Tony Donofrio, Joan Tower and Robert Rollin.

Henkel was principal guest composer at the Dana New Music Festival last year. She composes in a variety of styles often featuring double-reed instruments.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.