Concert 1: A Spectrum of America
October 10, 2018
7:30 pm
Naperville
Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College
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Program

Jennifer Higdon | Piano Trio  (violin/cello/piano)
Seth Boustead | Three for Zhou B  (flute/clarinet/violin/cello)
Valerie Coleman | Portraits of Langston  (flute/clarinet/piano/reader)
Aaron Copland trans. Kirk | Appalachian Spring   (flute/clarinet/violin/cello/piano)
Jennifer Higdon | Smash  (flute/clarinet/violin/cello/piano)

Picosa Artists

Jennie Oh Brown | flute
Andrea R. DiOrio | clarinet
Elizabeth Brausa Brathwaite | violin
Paula Kosower | cello
Kuang-Hao Huang | piano
Jonathon Kirk | Composer-in-Residence

The opening concert of Picosa’s fifth season celebrates the diversity of our great country with works by American composers.  Seth Boustead’s Three for Zhou B is a celebration of the art of Chinese-American contemporary artists, The Zhou Brothers – ShanZuo and DaHuang Zhou, with this vibrant work for flute, clarinet, violin, and cello.  Audiences will be able to study the works of art that inspired Boustead’s beautiful piece.  Valerie Coleman, an accomplished flutist, composer, and founding member of the Imani Winds, created Portraits of Langston, an exquisite setting of poetry by Langston Hughes, who was an African-American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri.  Poems will be recited during the performance by Tony Kresl, LRC Director at Highlands Elementary in Naperville.

The remaining works on the program are by two particularly celebrated American composers.  Aaron Copland, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, became known as the “Dean of American Music”.  Audiences have embraced Copland’s music and love its quintessentially Americana musical style with his depiction of American landscapes and culture. This remarkable setting of Appalachian Spring was created by Picosa’s Composer-in-Residence Jonathon Kirk.

Pulitzer Prize winning contemporary American composer Jennifer Higdon has created two works that can only described as bright and bold with electrifying musical colors.  Her String Trio for violin, cello, and piano, and Smash for full ensemble are a high energy romp from start to finish.   In a recent conversation, she shared,

“I grew up on rock and roll.  My dad was an artist who worked from home, so I didn’t grow up around classical music.  I often think that probably means that my brain is wired to make musical changes at a different speed.  What a composer hears when they’re growing up, that’s kind of their entire sound world as they go through life.  My childhood was filled with music that is quite different than the world I work in now.  I feel like in some way that had to have filtered through… the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, and early reggae… All the late 60s folk rock like Peter, Paul and Mary.  Right now, I’m listening to Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Ella [Fitzgerald].”

We hope you join us for this event in the beautiful Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College.  Be sure to stay afterwards for our Meet the Musicians Gourmet Dessert Reception in the lobby!