The Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra launches its 2022 summer concert season in partnership with the Central Florida Composers Forum, (CF2) with each concert featuring a premiere by a local composer member of CF2. The first concert of the series is called To There From Here, and features my Looking Up in Perfect Silence at the Stars, an 18-minute work for 18-piece chamber orchestra, along with David Wilborn‘s Rhapsody for Bass Trombone and Chamber Orchestra (featuring the composer on bass trombone), and Kyle Throw‘s Myth and Dreams.
The concert will take place at Harriet’s Orlando Ballet Centre (600 N Lake Formosa Drive in Orlando) on June 18 at 7pm. Tickets are $25 and are available here.
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.
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.
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.
Julia Gessinger, violin Andreas Volmer, violin Daniel Cortes, viola Hanrich Claassen, cello
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.