Music on the Edge will pack three grande occasions into one venti event: a concert in honor of Pittsburgh violinist, composer, and octogenarian Eugene Phillips, an introduction to 2008 Franz Lehar Composer-in-Residence David Felder, and a world premiere of a new composition for flute and piano by Music on the Edge codirector Eric Moe. Those in attendance will have the chance to visit with all the composers after the concert.
Eugene Phillips is an institution in Pittsburgh. The son of a Pittsburgh violin maker, he performed for many years with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and taught violin at Carnegie Mellon University. Phillips’ compositions include works for chamber ensembles, orchestra, and voice, and his many performances include the premiere of Phillips’ Prelude, Adagio, and Toccata by Andre Previn and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Phillips has passed on the family legacy to sons Danny and Todd (violinists of the Orion String Quartet) and daughter Amy, a vocalist.
MOTE’s homagé to Phillips features a family theme as Danny and Todd and daughters-in-law Catherine Cho (violin and viola) and Tara Helen O’Connor (flute) return to Pittsburgh to help celebrate Phillips’ achievements. The works programmed display Phillips’ well known wit. Trio for Three and Duo for Two both require the performers to switch from higher instruments to lower for successive movements, violin to viola, for instance, or piccolo to flute.
This year’s Franz Lehar Composer-in-Residence, David Felder, has long been recognized as a leader in his generation of American composers. His works have been featured at many of the leading international festivals for new music including Holland, Huddersfield, Darmstadt, Ars Electronica, Brussels, ISCM, North American New Music, Aspen, Music Factory, Bourges, Vienna Modern, IRCAM, Agora, and many others.
For this program Felder will introduce Partial [Dist]res[s]toration, commissioned jointly by the Fromm Foundation and the New York New Music Ensemble and Coleccion Nocturna, commissioned by William Powell and Zino Carto. Both works are for chamber ensemble and live electronics.
Currently, Felder is Professor of Composition at SUNY Buffalo, where he has held the Birge-Cary Chair in Composition since 1992, and has been Artistic Director of the “June in Buffalo” Festival from 1985 to the present. His works are published by Theodore Presser, and a first full CD of his works was released to international acclaim (including “disc of the year” in chamber music from both the American Record Guide, and BBC Music Magazine).
Tara Helen O’Connor will add to the festivities by premiering a composition by Eric Moe which she commissioned, Moe’s All Sensation is Already Memory for flute and piano. The composer will join her at the piano.
The concert takes place on Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 8 p.m. in Bellefield Hall Auditorium (315 S. Bellefield Avenue). Tickets purchased in advance through ProArts are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors, Call 412-394-3353 or visit www.proartstickets.org. Service fees apply. Tickets at the door are $15 and $10. Pitt students are admitted free with ID.