Concert Announcements

Notices about upcoming concerts that include my music.

Will Daniels premieres Phase Variations at Timucua Arts Foundation in back-to-back October 1, 2021 concerts

PRELUDES AND SERENADES — New Music for Piano 

Friday, October 1, 2021 – Timucua Arts Foundation
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
at 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM
Tickets $20/$10 students, veterans, Timucua & CFCF members

Pianists Will Daniels, Rose Grace, and Barry Snyder perform a striking and stimulating program of new music by local composers.
Join us for the Central Florida Composers’ Forum’s fall concert, which will present new music for piano by local composers. Pianists Will Daniels, Rose Grace, and Barry Snyder perform a striking and stimulating program of music by ChanJi Kim, Keith Lay, Troy Gifford, Stan Cording, Charlie Griffin, Jamie Wehr, Erik Branch, and Alex Burtzos.

There are two performances of this program, one at 7 PM and one at 8:30 PM.

Tickets available at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/preludes-and-serenades-new-music-for-piano-in-person-tickets-166806656199 (to attend in person)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/preludes-and-serenades-new-music-for-piano-live-stream-tickets-169003145959 (for the livestream)

Phase Variations is a five-movement set of variations for solo piano that uses as its theme Steve Reich’s classic and seminal 1967 minimalist masterpiece for two pianos, Piano Phase. This was Reich’s experiment with replicating a bug/feature of tape recorders whereby slight differences in the play speed mechanisms between two machines would incrementally create phasing between them over time. The germinal material of Reich’s Piano Phase is a stark twelve-note motive that, in the original, is played in unison rhythm by two pianists that are then asked to phase apart just like two tape recorders would do. This is “process” music at its finest. 

In Phase Variations, the Reich theme emerges by the end of the first variation. Each subsequent variation dresses the theme in different ways, as variations do, and ends with a process-derived variation of my own. The finale, which follows the fourth variation without break, is a toccata whose rhythmic patterning is based on the famous Fibonacci sequence. This is a growth pattern seen in nature based on a series in which each number is the sum of the previous two numbers.


Fernwood String Quartet premieres Billings Portraits at the Dr. Phillips Center January 23, 2021 at 7 and 8:30pm

The international musicians of the Fernwood String Quartet perform a program of world-premieres by acclaimed composers working in Central Florida. The program promises to be a buffet of styles and moods from some of the best known composers living and working in the Orlando area. Alex Burtzos’s OMAHA (all the things you could be you are you were) is a piece about memories – their creation, retention, and ultimate dissolution. Troy Gifford’s Lumina is a lyrical and gorgeous serenade. Charlie Griffin’s Billing’s Portrait pays tribute to the father of the American choral tradition in a set that reimagines three of William Billings’ best known pieces, including the fiery Let Tyrants Shake. These and other new and refreshing works will be brought to perfect life in a way that only the masterful Fernwood Quartet can.

Personnel:

Julia Gessinger, violin
Andreas Volmer, violin
Daniel Cortes, viola
Hanrich Claassen, cello

Program:

Five Miniatures, Austin Ashe
OMAHA, Alex Burtzos
Gigue, Stan Cording
Shock of Waking, Jim Croson
Lumina, Troy Gifford
Minimalist Madness, Joseph Gray
Billings Portrait, Charlie Griffin
Unfortunately Not A Samba, Jamie Wehr

There will be two performances on that day: One at 7pm, and one at 9pm.

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The concerts will take place at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. Designed to seat 300, the Pugh will be rearranged with just 82 seats in a cabaret-style setup, with tables in the front and additional seating in the back. This socially distanced seating and the rest of the Dr. Phillips Center’s extensive COVID protocol offer you the safest indoor arts experience possible.

James Madison University Percussion Ensemble performs The Persistence of Past Chemistries on February 7, 2020

The James Madison University School of Music presents the JMU Percussion Ensemble (Casey Cangelosi, director) on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 8 pm at The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.

Program:
Chain by Kazunori Miyake; Away Without Leave by Bob Becker; Inventions on a Motive by Michael Colgrass; Departures by Emmanuel Séjourné; The Persistence of Past Chemistries by Charles Griffin; Ogoun Badagris by Christopher Rouse; Earth and The Great Weather by John Luther Adams; and Beneath by Caleb Pickering.

Story of a Horse premieres at The Abbey in Orlando, January 29

Wednesday, January 29.
The Abbey – 100 S. Eola Drive, Suite 100, Orlando FL
Show starts at 7:30pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$15 in advance, $20 at the door

What happens when six composers from the Central Florida Composers Forum collaborate with six storytellers from the Orlando Weekly “Best of 2019” Orlando Story Club on a predetermined theme? The result is “Joyland,” a one-of-a-kind and first-of-its kind event in Central Florida, produced by the Downtown Arts District. Storytellers will perform compelling personal experiences accompanied by original scores by local composers. The stories and styles are as diverse as our city.

The pairs are as follows: Bobby Wesley with Mark Piszczek; Jesse James with Charlie Griffin; Logan Anderson with Erik Branch; Madeline Potts with Paul Austin Sanders; Daniele Ziss with Alex Burtzos; and Aquanza Cadogan with Holly Cordero.

The storytellers will perform with live music by players drawn from the local Alterity Chamber Orchestra, a group known for its dedication to performing contemporary music at the highest levels: Tina Edelstein, flute; Beatriz Ramirez, oboe; Jessica Speak, clarinet; Kathy Thomas, horn; and Christian Eberle, bassoon.

Steve Siegel performs Between Islands at Western State Colorado University, November 3

Steve Siegel will perform my Between Islands at Western State Colorado University on November 3 at 2pm.  During the performance, students from the Art Department will create a collaborative painting to the music. 

Between Islands – for trumpet and electronic score is an expression of the experience of separation from loved ones long gone. According to Griffin, “The experience of losing a truly loved person is profoundly sad at the beginning and for a long time. But the quality of that loss gradually transforms. It becomes part of who we are. And with that realization comes a sense of serenity because the people we loved and lost are clearly residing within us.”

Venus & the Radio – August 8 @ Timucua

Venus & the Radio
Thursday, August 8 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 7pm. Concert: 7:30.
Tickets are $10.

While Orlando has begun to gain recognition for its arts community, not much has been said about the lines and boundaries drawn between artistic disciplines. When it comes to music and literature, The Central Florida Composers Forum, in collaboration with local literary publisher Burrow Press, aim to blur those boundaries and inspire future collaborations with their upcoming event, “Venus & the Radio.”

This one-of-a-kind event will feature two prominent Florida authors reading excerpts from their newest books (published by Burrow Press) in collaboration with four Orlando-based members of the Central Florida Composers Forum.

Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley will perform Florida-inspired work from her collection Venus in Retrograde with accompaniment from composers Mark Piszczek and Timothy Stulman. Piszczek’s interactive approach will incorporate Lilley reading live with Piszczek on soprano saxophone and pre-recorded audio electronically manipulated by sound artist Jared Silvia. Stulman will do real-time audio processing of Lilley’s performance, combined with a pre-recorded audioscape.

Shane Hinton will perform excerpts from Radio Dark, a surreal post-apocalyptic novel set in Florida. Composers Holly Cordero and Charlie Griffin will provide an underscore in the manner of classic radio plays.

“This event is a great opportunity to not only illustrate the variety of talent in Orlando,” says Burrow Press publisher Ryan Rivas, “but also to acknowledge that art isn’t created in a vacuum. And especially to show how one art form can and does inspire others.”

A Q&A and book signing will follow the performance.  

Melbourne Community Orchestra performs my Frontispiece June 12 & 13, 2019

On June 12 & 13, at 6:30pm, at the Melbourne Auditorium (625 E Hibiscus Blvd, Melbourne, FL), the Melbourne Community Orchestra will perform my Frontispiece on J.S. Bach’s Prelude in G major, a 4+-minute work that features as part of it J.S. Bach’s solo cello Prelude in G major. The work was commissioned by the Orlando Philharmonic in 2018. The piece presents the prelude in its entirety at the center of it and is fully orchestrated, with countermelodies, and an introduction and closing based on the main Bach motive. The orchestra is the exact same instrumentation as Brahms’s Symphony #1: double winds, four horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings, with the added solo cello. The Bach Prelude exhibits that special magic that he’s so famous for amongst composers, particularly the outlining of chord structures and polyphonic lines within the solo cello part. He also, once G major is established, takes a kaleidoscopic detour away from the home key before returning to the spectacularly sunny opening motive. I tried to capture the various tonal worlds and motives that Bach crafts in the original and amplify them with my orchestration.

Duo Gastesi-Bezerra perform From the Faraway Nearby at Connecticut’s The New Britain Museum of American Art, May 26, 2019

The Duo Gastesi-Bezerra will perform my From the Faraway Nearby, scored for piano-4-hands at Connecticut’s New Britain Museum of American Art on May 26, 2019, at 3pm. With over a decade of experience playing together, the American Record Guide bills them as “a strong combination, playing very well together . . . often indistinguishable.” Gastesi, a native of Basque Country, has performed throughout Europe and the United States, and Bezerra, a native of Brazil, is a distinguished Fulbright Scholar.

Guitarist Robert Phillips commissioned, recorded, and now presents my Samba Variations on May 17, 2019

Internationally noted classical guitarist Robert Phillips will be giving a concert of new music at the Timucua Arts Foundation White House on May 17 at 7:30 PM. The centerpiece of the concert will be a set of six dances written for Robert by Central Florida based composers. Those composers include Jorge Morel,  Benoit Glazer, Charles Griffin, Troy Gifford, Howard Buss, and Rex Willis. In addition, Phillips will play a set of Nocturnes composed for him by British composer John W. Powell.

Phillips recently recorded the pieces that comprise this program. The works are in dance rhythms ranging from waltzes to rumbas and incorporating elements of Afro-Cuban music, Flamenco, and Brazilian dance rhythms. They are to be performed as a set along with a prelude by Robert under the title of The Orange Blossom Dances. These important new works will be released by MSR Classics.

Robert has brought his brilliant interpretations to a diverse range of venues – from traditional concert halls including New York’s prestigious Town Hall, and Lincoln Center to jazz nightclubs. His performance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was sold out. In addition to the standard repertory, Robert performs his own compositions, and has premiered works by three-time Pulitzer nominee, Frank Brazinski, Eric Ross, Alfred Giusto, and Meyer Kupferman, as well as a concerto written for him by three-time Grammy winner, Michael Colina. The works by Kupferman and Colina were written for him.

Robert’s recordings include Guitarre Nouveau on TPL records and Lo Mestre, the Music of Miguel Llobet on Centaur records, as well as his self-re-released two volume set, Great Themes and Variations for Classic Guitar (originally released by Mel Bay as a companion to his anthology.) Robert also recently recorded several Spanish songs with Chinese coloratura soprano Shudong Braamse on her Global Music Awards Gold Medal winning album, Sueños De España (Navona Records).

Robert spent the summer of 2017 in Spain participating as a teacher, ensemble coach, and performer in the Chamber Art Madrid music festival. Phillips performed some of the newly commissioned works at this festival. He will be at the festival again in the summer of 2019.
The Timucua Arts Foundation is located at 2000 S Summerlin Ave. Orlando, Florida 32806. The concert begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online here.