Pitt’s acclaimed contemporary music series, Music on the Edge, will present three piano recitals on September 20, 29, and October 5. Billed as the Powerhouse Pianists Festival, each concert will feature two leading proponents of contemporary piano music in programs covering the full spectrum of the modern repertoire.
All recitals in the Powerhouse Pianists Festival take place at Pitt’s Bellefield Hall Auditorium at 8 p.m. (315 S. Bellefield Avenue, just across from Heinz Chapel). 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.
Thursday, September 20, Donald Berman and Blair McMillen
Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most versatile and sought-after young pianists today. Hailed by The New York Times as “brilliant” and “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” he has given concerto appearances in Alice Tully Hall, was chosen soloist on a tour of Japan with the Juilliard Orchestra, and frequently performs recitals of imaginative and daring programming. Equally at home in both new and traditional repertoire, recent venues include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Moscow Conservatory, Miller Theatre, CalArts, and the Minsk Conservatory (Belarus), to name only a few. In the 2005–06 season, he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist under the baton of David Robertson. McMillen's playing has been broadcast on CBS-Sunday Morning, NPR, Fuji-TV (Japan), WQXR, and WNYC.
Blair McMillen’s portion of the program will comprise Reliquary by (Pitt Alumna and current Princeton Professor Barbara White), Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Yta 2, Spells (Thinking of Jelly Roll Morton) by Frederic Rzewski, and Action Music by Giacinto Scelsi.
Donald Berman is a champion of new works by living composers, overlooked music by 20th-century masters, and recitals that link classical and modern repertoires. His recent CDs The Unknown Ives volumes 1 & 2, and The Uncovered Ruggles on New World Records have been internationally acclaimed. He is the Artistic Director for the American Academy in Rome Concert Series, and has presented recitals, lectures, and masterclasses recently in Israel, Italy, and throughout the United States. He has performed to critical acclaim in New York City at Miller Theater, Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. Other recent work has ranged from Mozart concertos with the Columbus Symphony to American music retrospectives, to recitals linking Haydn and Schubert with new music, called "thrillingly clear" (The New York Times). He is a prizewinner of the 1991 Schubert International Competition and a member of the Dinosaur Annex New Music Ensemble since 1987.
Berman’s program for Music on the Edge will include brand new pieces by Su Lian Tan (U-Don Rock) and two etudes by David Rakowski, Etude #71 Chase for piano and celesta, and Etude #72 Dorian Blue, as well as several pieces by Pitt composer Eric Moe: Dance of the Honey Monkey, and Where Branched Thoughts Murmur in the Wind . Moe’s Hey Mr. Drummachine Man for piano and boombox and Mark Wingate’s When Brahma Sleeps include live electronics which Berman will perform from the stage.
Saturday, September 29: Stephen Gosling and Margaret Kampmeier
Pianist Stephen Gosling is a ubiquitous presence on the New York new music scene, and has also performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia. His playing has been hailed as “brilliant,” “electric,” and “luminous and poised” ( The New York Times), possessing “utter clarity and conviction” (The Washington Post), and “extraordinary virtuosity” (The Houston Chronicle).
A native of Sheffield, England, Gosling relocated to New York in 1989 to begin studies with Oxana Yablonskaya at The Juilliard School. Upon graduation from the Bachelor of Music program in 1993, he was awarded the Mennin Prize for Outstanding Leadership and Excellence in Music. Earlier that year he performed John Corigliano's Piano Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Juilliard Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall, and gave the European premiere of Paul Schoenfield's Four Parables with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic under Lukas Foss.
Gosling’s Music on the the Edge recital features Bagatelle by George Tsontakis, Andrew Byrne’s Dragnet, Star Prelude & Love Fugue by Poul Ruders, John Psathas’ Jettatura, and several etudes by Gyorgy Ligeti.
Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle summed up Margaret Kampmeier’s impact on contemporary music when he wrote, “Envy any composer who secures her services – here is an artist with astounding technique, dramatic intensity and clarity of purpose.” Kampmeier enjoys a varied career as a soloist, collaborative artist and educator. She is a founding member of the Naumburg award-winning New Millennium Ensemble, and performs regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Kampmeier has appeared often with the Kronos Quartet, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Saratoga Chamber Players, Richardson Chamber Players, Peter Schickele, and many new music ensembles including Sequitur, Newband, Speculum Musicae, and Musician’s Accord. She teaches at Princeton University and the College Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase, and has presented forums on the music of women composers and contemporary techniques. As a recording artist, Ms. Kampmeier can be heard on the Albany, Centaur, CRI, Koch, Nonesuch, Bridge and Deutsche Gramophon labels.
Margaret Kampmeier’s performance will include music by Ruth Crawford, Shulamit Ran, and Pitt faculty composer Amy Williams.”
Friday, October 5: Marilyn Nonken and Kathleen Supové
Marilyn Nonken has emerged as one of the most gifted young musicians dedicated to the modern and contemporary repertoires. Upon her 1993 New York debut, she was heralded as “a determined protector of important music” (The New York Times). Recognized as “one of the greatest interpreters of new music” (American Record Guide), and she regularly is named “Best of the Year” by some of the nation's leading critics (The Boston Globe, 1997-2002, and Washington Post, 2005).
Nonken's performances have been presented by Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, IRCAM, Theâtre Bouffe du Nord, the ABC (Australia), Guggenheim Museum, the Rockefeller Foundation, Kettle's Yard, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Menil Collection/DaCamera of Houston, Smithsonian Institution, Miller Theatre, Phillips Collection, Logos, and universities and conservatories around the world.
Composers who have written for Marilyn Nonken include Milton Babbitt, Mario Davidovsky, Chris Dench, Pascal Dusapin, Jason Eckardt, Michael Finnissy, and Tristan Murail, as well as a host of emerging American voices. She plays with Ensemble 21 (the New Music group of which she is Artistic Director and a co-founder). A highlight of her 2007-2008 season is the premiere and recording of David Rakowski’s Piano Concerto, written for her, with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
For her program at Pitt, Nonken will present passing bells: night by Chris Dench, Drew Baker’s National Anthem, and Territoires de l'Oubli, by Tristan Murail.
Kathleen Supové is one of America's most acclaimed and versatile contemporary music pianists, known for continually redefining what it means to be a pianist/keyboardist/performance artist in today's world. In addition to her compelling virtuosity, she is also known for her boundary-breaking ways of transcending the wall between performer and audience. After winning top prizes in the Gaudeamus International Competition for Interpretation of Contemporary Music, she began her career as a guest artist at the prestigious Darmstadt Festival in Germany. Since then, Supové has presented multimedia events dubbed The Exploding Piano, in which she has championed the music of countless contemporary composers, most notably Frederic Rzewski, Louis Andriessen, Terry Riley, Chinary Ung, Giacinto Scelsi, Iannis Xenakis, John Adams, and Alvin Curran. Supove is also a strong advocate for younger composers such as Randall Woolf, David Lang, Nick Didkovsky, Eve Beglarian, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and many others. She is also involved in commissioning projects with even younger, emerging composers such as the iconoclastic Michael Gatonska, singer/performance artist Corey Dargel, composer/video v.j. Peter Kirn, and Gameboy composer Bubblyfish. Besides being a soloist, Kathleen is a member of Patrick Grant Group, Dr. Nerve, twisted tutu, and the resident ensemble of The Kitchen, Kitchen House Blend. She is also a member and founder of the consortium, Exploding Music.
Supové's contribution to the Music on the Edge piano extravaganza will include multimedia piano works by Jacob Ter Veldhuis, and Neil Rolnick.
Codirected by Pitt faculty composers Eric Moe and Mathew Rosenblum, Music on the Edge is devoted to the performance of contemporary music by outstanding artists.