Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer featured at New Frontiers music project at UW

New Frontiers, a Laramie contemporary music project, presents a week of concerts Sept. 20-25, at the University of Wyoming.

The music project features a variety of guest artists including Pulitzer Prize-winner for composition, Jennifer Higdon. She, along with other invited guests, will hold artists in residence status during next week's events. Public concerts are scheduled along with rehearsals with UW music faculty and students.

Higdon is one of the most performed living American composers working today, says Anne Guzzo, New Frontiers director and UW Department of Music assistant professor. Higdon's list of commissioners range from the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Tokyo String Quartet, The President's Own Marine Band (United States Marine Band) and to such artists as Hilary Hahn.

Higdon received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her violin concerto. The committee cited Higdon's work as a "deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity." She also has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters (two awards), the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

She received a Grammy Award this year for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her percussion concerto. Higdon is currently the Rock Chair in Composition at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Other artists in residence include DuoSolo, featuring Michael Kirkendoll and Mary Fukushima Kirkendoll; Canadian composer Emily Doolittle; and Boulder/Denver's innovative Telling Stories, presenting readings and

classical music together.UW faculty and student performers also are involved in the New Frontiers project. New chamber music performed by UW faculty will be presented along with large ensembles such as the UW Wind Symphony directed by Bob Belser; the Collegiate Chorale, directed Nicole Lamartine; and the UW Chamber Orchestra, directed by James Przygocki, featuring faculty soloists Blake McGee, clarinet; and Katrina Zook, mezzo-soprano.

All concerts are open to the public; most events are free. The schedule:

-- Monday, Sept. 20: Micro-Concert: New Chamber Music, 7:30 p.m., performed by UW faculty members, featuring Emily Doolittle. Fine Arts Concert Hall. Tickets are available from the UW Box Office at (307) 766-6666 and are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

-- Wed. Sept. 22: DuoSolo (New Frontiers Artists in residence Michael and Mary Kirkendoll), UW Art Museum in the gallery, 7:30 p.m., featuring Eminent Composer-in-Residence, Jennifer Higdon's Rapid Fire. Free.

-- Thurs. Sept. 23: Innovators: UW Wind Symphony, conducted by Bob Belser 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Concert Hall, . Free.

-- Friday, Sept. 24: Macro-Concert: Chamber Orchestra and Collegiate Choir, 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Concert Hall. Conductors James Pryzgocki and Nicole Lamartine present works by Eminent Composer-in-Residence, Jennifer Higdon. Featuring faculty soloists, Blake McGee, clarinet; and Katrina Zook, mezzo-soprano performing works by Higdon and Guzzo. Free.

-- Sat. Sept. 25: Telling Stories show, Rush Hour, at UW Art Museum in the gallery, 3 p.m. Readings and classical music from Telling Stories, directed by Jennie Dorris. Also, a performance of Higdon's Dash by UW faculty members. Free.

FMI: Guzzo at (307) 766-5109, e-mail or visit the Web site at

Photo: Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon will be artist in residence during the New Frontier events.