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Enjoy a Musical Feast


'A Musical Feast' at the Burchfield Penny

The season-opening “A Musical Feast” concert on Friday, November14 at 8pm in the Burchfield Penny Art Center on the Buffalo State Campus, will feature a pair of mainstream works for violin and piano by Beethoven and Szymanowski, performed by violinist David Colwell and pianist Dmitri Novgorodsky, and more contemporary works for two alto saxophones, performed by Wildy Zumwalt and Diane Hunger, as well as a work for vibraphone, performed by Tom Kolor.

Canadian born violinist David Colwell, who will be making his ‘A Musical Feast’ debut, is an assistant professor of violin at the Fredonia School of Music. He studied with Peter Oundjian and Ani Kavafian at the Yale University School of Music, where he earned his PhD in 2009. Pianist Dmitri Novgorodsky, born into a musical family in Odessa in the Ukraine, is also an assistant professor at Fredonia. He is a graduate of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory where he won the Gold Medal of the National Festival of the Arts, and he has a Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale.

Colwell and Novgorodsky will perform Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat, Op. 12, No. 3, the most forward looking of the works in Beethoven’s first, early set of three sonatas for violin and piano from 1798. They will also offer a rare, local performance of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski’s 1915 exquisitely exotic Myths: Three Poems for Violin and Piano, Opus 30. Szymanowski’s use of varied playing techniques produces a rich palette of subtle shades, allowing the enchantingly expressive Myths to range in emotional shades from lyricism to ecstasy. Bartók studied Szymanowski’s compositions for violin in depth and they also impressed Prokofiev, who after he listened to Myths immediately asked the great Polish violin virtuoso Paweł Kochanski, who had premiered the work, for advice on his own first violin concerto.

Wildy Zumwalt and Diane Hunger, who are also both on the faculty at Fredonia, tour internationally as the cutting-edge saxophone duo “Klang Par2”. They will perform Födelsedag Musik, composed in 1987, by Erland von Bloch for the great classical saxophone virtuoso Sigurd Raschér, on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Other selections include Shift, by the young American composer Michael Lanci and One Movement for Solo Saxophone, by Fredonia student Charles Terranova, a work that won this year’s Fredonia Composition Competition.

Rounding out the eclectic program, UB assistant professor of percussion Tom Kolor will begin the concert by performing another exotically tinged work, François-Bernard Mâche’s Phénix. Composed for vibraphone, the piece references the ancient Greek myth of the Phoenix, a long-lived bird that is forever reborn from the ashes of its predecessor.

Tickets: $20 general/$10 students/Burchfield Penney members

Phone: 878-6011, during gallery hours or visit:

The BPO Rite of Spring, at last

Last year, the greatest disappointment about the generally well thought out Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s season to many longtime BPO devotees, was the inexplicable omission of a centenary celebration performance of Igor Stravinsky’s epochal ballet music for The Rite of Spring. The premiere of that work on 29 May 1913 occurred at the then just completed Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, which was a very early example of the new, reinforced architecturally simple style of concrete building that had recently gained its European foothold in Berlin, a style that was roundly attacked in France. Of course, the events of that night which by popular agreement may well have been “the first night” of the entire 20th century, have long since passed beyond history and into the realm of myth. Many individuals who would soon become the inter-war leaders on the international cultural scene, weighed in as to exactly how that evening went, with some of them seemingly not bothered by the fact that they were, apparently, not even present for the event.

Be that as it may, the BPO and its creatively innovative music director, JoAnn Falleta, are more than making amends, since they will perform not only Stravinsky’s music for The Rite of Spring, but also the fully staged ballet with the Richmond Ballet on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:30pm on at the Center for the Arts on the UB North Campus in Amherst. This performance will mark the Western New York debut of the Richmond Ballet, the state ballet of Virginia. It features choreography by Salvatore Aiello, who died of pneumonia at the young age of 51, just two years after the 1993 premiere. In his vision of the historic ballet, Aiello invented his own primitive society to explore the myth of earth and life, imagining a chosen group of women pampered, protected and prepared for the ultimate offering to the gods. The fluid movement of the dancers builds with the music to the final shattering scene.

Tickets: $47-67; Students, with ID, any school, $27. Information:

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