University of Pittsburgh

Music on the Edge: Music of Burr Van Nostrand

February 22, 2014 - 8:00pm
Detail from Burr Van Nostrand's graphic score for Voyage in a White Building 1

Music on the Edge has gathered an all-star lineup of performers to present three works by the underappreciated avant-garde composer Burr Van Nostrand. The program takes place on Saturday, February 22, 8 p.m. at Bellefield Hall Auditorium on the University of Pittsburgh Campus.

Burr Van Nostrand combines detailed graphic notation with conventional notation in his compositions. Because of the difficulty of his works, they received very few performances. While he received a good deal recognition in the 1970s, including a four-year residency at Gaudeamus Foundation and several awards, his work had since fallen into obscurity. Happily, that situation has been changing in recent years. Due to the efforts of NEC student Jason Belcher and pianist/composer Anthony Coleman, a New World Records recording of Van Nostrands’s music has sparked renewed interest in his work; Music on the Edge codirector Mathew Rosenblum has also played a significant role in that trend.  Rosenblum provided extensive liner notes for that CD and has been one of the main catalysts for the Pittsburgh concert that seeks to build on the success of the recording project.  

Three stalwarts of Pittsburgh’s contemporary music scene will bring Van Nostrand’s Fantasy Manual for Urban Survival to life. The trio will comprise flutist Lindsey Goodman, best known locally for her stellar performances with Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Attack Theatre Music Director Dave Eggar on cello, and Pitt faculty composer Eric Moe on the piano.

Many of the same artists who participated in the landmark New World recording will reprise their performances in Pittsburgh. Pianist/conductor Anthony Coleman will lead the New England Conservatory Chamber Ensemble in Van Nostrand’s Voyage in a White Building 1 and violinist Paul Severtson will perform Phaedra Antinomaes.

Tickets for the Music of Burr Van Nostrand are available through the University of Pittsburgh Stages Box Office, by calling 412-624-7529, or visiting music.pitt.edu/tickets. Tickets in advance: general admission is $15; students and seniors are $10. At the door: general admission is $20; students and seniors are $15. Pitt students are free with valid ID.

Music on the Edge will present two additional events featuring Anthony Coleman. Coleman will give a free lecture about his music on Friday, February 21, 4 p.m. at Pitt’s Music Building. In addition, Coleman will perform a solo piano concert on Friday, February 21 at 8 p.m. at First Unitarian Church in Shadyside. Admission is $10 at the door. Anthony Coleman’s solo performance is copresented by Music on the Edge and the Consortium. Bassist Jason Ajemian will open the evening.

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