Thanks to everyone who came out to last weekend’s concert at the white house. We had a great time and heard some wonderful performances. In case you missed it, we’d like to share this video of excerpts from the performance.
Thanks again for listening. We hope to see you next time. Check back here for information about our upcoming performances.
Mark your calendars for our next concert: Music for Saxophone and Electronics, Oct. 5, 7:30pm at the white house (2000 South Summerlin Ave.).
We are proud to invite the Orlando-area community to our annual Composers Salon concert on Sunday, September 7, 7:30pm at the Orlando White House (2000 S Summerlin Ave.). Admission is free, though guests are encouraged to bring a bottle of wine to share. Donations are welcome to support the group. Come join this exciting group of local artists as they present a truly unique concert experience.
Salon concerts have long been a tradition in classical music. This performance will include vibrant, modern works from composers working in a diverse array of styles and media. The composers featured in this concert are all local to central Florida, including Larry Adams, Ramy Adly, Eric Brook, John Chapman, Stan Cording, Charles Griffin, David MacDonald, David Nielsen, and Ina Smith.
The Heisler / Yeh Duo is coming to the Orlando white house on Sunday, November 24th at 7:30pm. Their concert will feature music by local composers such as Thad Anderson, Scott Dickinson, Robby Elfman, Keith Lay, David Nielsen, Sun Mi Ro, and Justin White.
The Heisler / Yeh Duo is an award winning chamber ensemble devoted to the creation and promotion of contemporary for the saxophone and piano. Saxophonist Jeffrey Heisler and pianist I-Chen Yeh have performed throughout the world and have worked with notable composers such as Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Steven Stucky, David Gillingham, Marc Mellits, Andrea Reinkemeyer, Jeff Weston and Timothy Stulman to create new repertoire for this ensemble. Recent concert appearances include performances at (le) poisson rouge (NYC), the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Yamaha Performing Artist Center (Taipei, Taiwan), the Taiwan National Concert Hall, New Music Festivals at Bowling Green State University, Ball State University, Kent State University, and Manchester University, and many other Universities and Conservatories throughout the United States. The Heisler / Yeh Duo is a major proponent for new music, however frequently perform transcriptions, masterpieces of the classical repertoire, and stylized popular music as well.
A native of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, award-winning pianist I-Chen Yeh enjoys an international career as a solo and collaborative performer. Among her significant accomplishments include competition prizes throughout Taiwan, Japan, and the United States. A performer devoted to contemporary music, Yeh’s solo and collaborative performances strive to highlight a new and exciting repertory. Her passion for new music has led to collaborations with notable composers such as Steven Stucky, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, David Rakowski, Greg Sandow, and Andres Carrizo. Yeh has appeared at many world renowned music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, the Bowdoin Music Festival, Bowling Green State University’s New Music and Art Festivals, Eastern Music Festival, the Internationale Wiener Musik Seminar, and the Threshold Electroacoustic Festival. Yeh holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM), the Eastman School of Music (MM), and Bowling Green State University (DMA). Her primary teachers include Laura Melton, Angela Cheng, and Thomas Schumacher. In addition, she is a member of several professional chamber music ensembles, including the Heisler/Yeh Duo with saxophonist, Jeffrey Heisler, the Primary Colors Trio (saxophone, piano, and percussion), and an exciting new piano duo with pianist Jiung Yoon. Currently, Dr. Yeh is on the piano faculties of Bowling Green State University (OH) and Oakland University (MI) and teaches her own private studio (Dr. Yeh’s Piano Studio). http://ichenyeh.weebly.com
Award winning saxophonist, Jeffrey Heisler, has recently been appointed to the faculty of Oakland University (professor of saxophone / associate director of bands). He holds degrees from Bowling Green State University (D.M.A. and M.M.) and Central Michigan University (B.M.E.). Among his many significant accomplishments is a 1st prize gold medal at the 2005 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Outstanding Classical Soloist in Downbeat Magazine’s Music Awards. An advocate of contemporary music, Heisler has worked with several Pulitzer-Prize winning composers such as Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Steve Reich on transcriptions of their works for the saxophone. In 2007, he collaborated with electronic music composer Morton Subotnick in creating a new version of his In Two Worlds for alto saxophone and interactive computer (MAX/MSP). In 2008, he gave the North American premiere of Luciano Berio’s Recit (Chemins VII) for alto saxophone and orchestra and performed the world premieres of his composer approved transcriptions of Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint, Chen Yi’s Monologue, and Louis Andriessen’s Elegy. In addition, he presented the American premiere Entfuhrung by Karlheinz Stockhausen and in 2009, premiered Double Image, a concerto for saxophone(s) and wind ensemble by David R. Gillingham. Prior to his appointment at Oakland University, Heisler served on the faculties of Kent State University and Wayne State University. http://jeffheisler.weebly.com
The best of Central Florida’s contemporary classical music was highlighted on Sunday evening with passion and style. The location: Benoit Glazer’s downtown Orlando home, also known as ‘Timucua White House,’ where leading avant-garde, jazz and contemporary classical music acts from around the country perform almost every weekend to small, though dedicated circles of followers who have helped turned the Glazer home auditorium into a shrine of sorts for this rather esoteric kind of performing arts scene.
But it need not always be that way, since the audience for new classical music in Orlando is on the rise — virtually every seat in the house was taken — and organizations that promote and foster this kind of music in the area certainly exist. The concert was presented by the Central Florida Composers Forum, and performed by the string quartet from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. With a program made solely of pieces by eight local composers, all in attendance, and the talented quartet from Orlando’s premier orchestra, this was truly a celebration of local talent unlike anything else done before.
Glazer’s piece The Eve of Evil — a dark, yet deeply touching foreboding of the war with the Middle East that followed the September 11 attacks — had the Cirque du Soleil musician join the quartet on trumpet. The augmented ensemble also featured his children Camille and Jean-Marie, on cello and viola, respectively, and wife Élaine Corriveau on piano. The composition includes dissonant passages intermingled with touching triadic bliss. The structure consists of repetition of the main segments, underlining the contrast between them. The composer employs jazz elements, fugal passages and a clear homage to Le Sacre du printemps, toward the end.
“There’s a bit of rock and roll, a bit of Bartók and a lot of chickens,” said Danny McIntyre of his Dance of the Fearless Chickens. The piece was an inviting change of mood, with clucking and rolling from a quartet that seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the audience.
Full Sail’s Keith Lay presented the still unborn about the dead, for soprano, piano and quartet. Lay’s composition finds beauty in a somber mood and succeeds exceedingly at that. Soprano Julie Batman helped to beat the time while carefully belting the words by Nichita Stanescu, with piano accompaniment by Jamila Tekalli.
Also from Full Sail, composer Tim Stulman introduced his piece Two Tigers, Two Mice and a Strawberry, a saxophone arrangement of which was performed a week prior by the all-saxophone h2 quartet. With his programmatic Tracks of the North Woods, Eric Brook sought to paint a musical picture of an outdoor scene, with thrills along the way.
One of the best pieces featured was Karen Van Duyne’s For Four Strings. The functional simplicity of the title belies the scope of the music and imagination of the lone female composer of the event. The exciting piece, influence by Elliot Carter, strays from conventional harmony and finds peace, order and beauty in an unusual sound world. Each of the four strings has a clearly defined line and plays a role along the piece, with the viola representing a kind of longing or searching for something elusive. It is frequently interrupted by the other instruments, though, and struggles to find serenity until the composition comes to a close.
Thad Anderson’s piece for quartet and electronics Through-Line provided another interesting change of pace. Anderson, from the University of Central Florida, started the pre-recorded track, to which the strings played for the duration of the piece. Flutist Nora Lee Garcia had a difficult part to fulfill, playing over the often loud and dense atmosphere of unison strings and the electronics track. The composer succeeds with this piece in coordinating dynamics and phrasing, to create a flowing soundscape between the acoustic instruments and the waxing and waning track that pulsates beneath them.
The closing piece, titled set fire to have light, brought out the naked acoustic force of the string quartet. As with most of the pieces of the evening, first violinist Rimma Bergeron-Langlois played the main melody line, supported by second violinist Alexander Stevens. Furtive glances from Stevens at the Orlando Philharmonic concertmaster kept the group in sync and tight throughout. On the low register, viola player Mauricio Céspedes and cellist David Bjella rounded off this excellent ensemble. Charles Griffin’s closing piece had them play forte unisons toward the end, closing the concert with an air of triumph.
The Timucua White House is a place like no other in the Central Florida area, and for local aficionados of contemporary art music, it is the place to be. The last few concerts have been captured on video, along with post-event interviews, for an upcoming documentary on Benoit Glazer’s legacy to the music community of Orlando, made possible by dedicated organizations like the Central Florida Composers Forum, The Civic Minded Five and the Accidental Music Festival.
It is unfortunate that this could only be a one-off event, given the potential that this amazing program had and the evident success, at least in terms of attendance and support for local talent. My hope is that this event will not go unnoticed by the well-established classical music organizations in Orlando, as well as by emerging ones; the way to the future is in the music of the present.
New Score Chamber Orchestra is putting on a concert on May 19. If you’re available, please come and hear some wonderful new music and show your support for a terrific organization. Below is the concert information, which can also be found on their Facebook page.
Our Kickstarter Campaign has officially started! Please consider making a donation and forwarding the below link to friends and colleagues via email, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platform that you’re a part of.
Thomas Thorspecken is an illustrator and journalist working in and around Orlando, and his blog has become an ongoing chronicle that really speaks to the character of the city amongst the non-tourists and natives. We were fortunate enough for him to sketch our concert at the White House, and here is the result. Do support this Orlando institution by visiting his website and considering buying a sketch. Many thanks, Thor!