March 15-16: 'Six and 6ix'
UD's Master Players Concert Series to present 6ixwire Project
2:29 p.m., March 1, 2013--The University of Delaware Master Players Concert Series (MPCS) will present 6ixwire Project in a concert titled “Six and 6ix,” featuring the world premiere of six compositions, at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, in the Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts.
A world-renowned ensemble in residence, 6ixwire Project was founded by Xiang Gao, Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music and director of the Master Players series.
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Supported by a grant awarded by the Delaware Division of the Arts, composers from many countries were commissioned to compose for the UD audience, and the concert will feature premiere performances of their works.
6ixwire Project will perform showpieces to balance the program, as well as its own work 6ixthsense, which was composed in memory of the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Featured composers include UD faculty composer Jennifer M. Barker, University of Michigan faculty composer Kristin Kuster, University of Florida faculty composer Paul Richards, Sichuan (China) Conservatory faculty composer Changqun Ao, and UD graduate violin student David Brown, with an Irish fiddling style composition.
Gao said the concert promises to be “a memorable experience of human creativity with many layers of colorful sound and rich cultures of the world.”
The composers will appear on stage both nights to share with the audience the insights and inspiration of their creations.
The two events will most likely sell out soon as the Gore Recital Hall only seats 200, so those interested in attending are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance.
MPCS tickets cost $25 for the general public; $20 for senior adults, UD faculty, staff and alumni; and $10 for students with ID. Tickets are available at the REP box office in the Roselle Center for the Arts, telephone 302-831-2204.
A rehearsal hosted by Barker will be held on Thursday, March 14, from 3-5:30 p.m. in the Gore Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.
The March concerts follow a successful “Mostly Mozart II” concert, and will be followed by an “iMusic 6: Languages of the World” concert on April 19-20.
Gao has said this will be the “most organic and powerful iMusic ever,” with the event designed to promote the inner connection between the music of many regions of the world and the languages spoken in those regions. The concert will also promote foreign language education and celebrate the 90th anniversary of the nationally acclaimed UD study abroad program.
The multimedia event will be hosted by Shuhan Wang, former deputy director of the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland and education associate for world languages and international education for the Delaware State Department of Education.
6ixwire features the erhu, or Chinese violin, and the Western violin, and was founded by Gao and Cathy Yang. The ensemble’s repertoire covers original and arranged compositions of many styles of music ranging from Western classical, contemporary classical, folk, to pop and funk jazz. They successfully bring the Eastern and Western cultures together in creative concert productions for the international audience today.
Among the orchestras that 6ixwire Project members have solo performed with in recent seasons are the Detroit Symphony; the Czech Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony-National Orchestra of Sweden, the Estonia National Symphony, the Mexico State Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, Aspen Music Festival orchestras, and the Knoxville Symphony, among others.
As established performing artists, 6ixwire Project is frequently featured on China's CCTV's live concerts for more than one billion TV audience worldwide. In 2010, 6ixwire Project successfully premiered Sleep Now, O Earth, the theme song composed by Gao for the U.S. celebration concert of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. In May of 2011, 6ixwire Project was the feature ensemble for the Washington National Opera hosted under the patronage of world famous opera sensation Placido Domingo and Zhang Yesui, Chinese ambassador to the U.S.
Yang is an international concert soloist and has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, among other major concert halls in the U.S. Besides her frequent concert appearances in China, in 2005, she appeared as an erhu and guzheng soloist in Nike Morris's Wheel of Life in Johannesburg, South Africa and the West End's Peacock Theater in London. The Chinese Government has chosen Yang many times as a Chinese cultural ambassador to perform in Vienna, Frankfurt, Munich, Los Angeles and other cities.
Recognized as one of the world's most successful multifaceted artists of his generation from China, Gao is also a founding member of China Magpie Ensemble who has participated in many Silk Road project concert events. He has solo performed for many world leaders, including Chinese President Hu JinTao and the visiting King Carlos I of Spain. In 2007, the Stradivari Society in Chicago selected Gao to be a recipient of world famous Stradivarius violins for his international solo concerts. Gao is also the founding artistic director of the Master Players Concert Series and the China Music Foundation (USA).
Changqun Ao is considered to be one of China’s leading composers of his generation and was awarded lifetime funding by the Chinese government. He has served as the chairperson of the department of composition, and two terms as the president of Sichuan Conservatory of Music, one of China’s top three music conservatories.
Over the past 20 years, Ao has produced more than 100 major works, and his acclaimed compositions featuring many of today’s leading Tibetan vocalists make him an expert on Tibetan music.
Jennifer Margaret Barker’s compositions have been hailed by critics in North America, Europe and Asia as “extraordinarily moving” and “soul-stirring.” She has received commissions and performances from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, and the Bearsden Choir with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion ensembles.
She was invited to compose a work for The 2002 American Liszt Society National Conference, and her compositional work is featured on the Distant Voices Touring Theatre September Echoes production. In January 2011, her youth string orchestra work, Suilean a’ Chloinne, was presented at the Conductors Guild Conference.
Barker is a professor of music theory and composition at UD, and is co-chair of New Music Delaware and co-artistic director/founder of Still Breathing, the UD contemporary music ensemble.
David Brown, a UD graduate student violinist, is an active composer of both “classical” and traditional-style Celtic music. Recent performances include premiers by Philadelphia’s Network for New Music, New York City’s LINK Ensemble, and the West Chester University Chamber Orchestra.
Current projects include commissions by astrophotographer David N. Hockenberry, and the Chamber Orchestra of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc), Romania, where he will travel in May to premier his new work for violin, mezzo-soprano and orchestra.
As a winner of the 2012 University of Delaware Concerto Competition, he will perform Tzigane by Ravel with the UD Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 17, in Mitchell Hall.
Kristin Kuster “writes commandingly for the orchestra,” and her music “has an invitingly tart edge,” according to The New York Times. Her music takes inspiration from architectural space, the weather, and mythology. Recent CD releases include Two Jades with Gao and the University of Michigan Symphony Band, and Breath Beneath with the Prism Saxophone Quartet.
Kuster’s music has received support from such organizations as the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Sons of Norway, American Composers Orchestra, the League of American Orchestras, Meet The Composer, the Jerome Foundation, the American Composers Forum, American Opera Projects, the National Flute Association and the Argosy Foundation.
Paul Richards, a composer, has been engaged with music since childhood, including forays into various popular styles, the Western canon, and Jewish sacred and secular music through his father, a cantor. He has been recognized in numerous competitions, including the St. Mary’s College/Kaplan Foundation Commission Competition and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Fresh Ink 2002 Florida Composers’ Competition. Other honors and awards include special distinction in the 2006 ASCAP Rudolph Nissim Prize and finalist in the 2006 American Composers Orchestra Whitaker Reading Sessions.
Esme Allen-Creighton, a Canadian violist who teaches at UD and is a member of the Serafin String Quartet, is finishing doctoral work at the University of Montreal. She began studies on the viola at the Royal Conservatory program and continued her studies in New York, completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. She was the featured soloist of both the 2006 International and 2009 Canadian viola congresses.
Upcoming projects include performances with the Taagart-Grycky Duo, New Music Delaware's Schwantner Festival, local concerts and a residency at Dickinson College with the Serafin String Quartet, and master classes at the University of Toronto and at University of North Carolina.
Harvey Price is an assistant professor of music at UD, where he has been teaching since 1979. At UD he directs the percussion and marimba ensembles and the internationally acclaimed Delaware Steel, and performs with the faculty jazz ensemble. Price keeps busy as a jazz vibist, steel drummer, and jazz drummer and most recently performed with Branford Marsalis and Elvis Costello. With Delaware Steel he has toured, performed and conducted clinics in Germany, Israel, Sweden, and Greece, and performed with the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta.
Howard Watkins is a frequent associate of some of the world’s leading musicians both on the concert stage and as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. He has performed in numerous recitals and concerts throughout the Americas, Europe, Russia, Israel, and the Far East. Watkins has given recitals and concerts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Spivey Hall, Kennedy Center, the Pierpont Morgan Library, Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the three stages of Carnegie Hall.
Student performers who will be featured include Meredith Bates, cello; Carolyn Brown, flute; David Matthew Brown, violin and percussion; and Andrew Gentzsch, violin.