Five College New Music Festival Returns to UMass Amherst in September

Five College New Music Festival, September 6—8, Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass Amherst 


AMHERST (MASS.) - From September 6 to 8, the UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance will host the 2019 Five College New Music Festival, featuring four concert programs of music by Five College faculty composers, as well as world premieres, electro-acoustic works and pieces by modern masters from the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Festival includes nearly 50 performers and composers, primarily current and former Five College faculty but also current students and community musicians. Returning as organizers of the Festival are Elizabeth Chang, professor, UMass, Salvatore Macchia, professor, department chair, UMass; and Eric W. Sawyer, professor, Amherst College. All four concerts will take place in Bezanson Recital Hall in the UMass Fine Arts Center, and are free and open to the public.

This year’s Festival will feature works by Five College composers David Sanford (Mount Holyoke College), Daniel Warner (Hampshire College), Salvatore Macchia (UMass), Felipe Salles (UMass), Eric Sawyer (Amherst College), Kate Soper (Smith College) and Lewis Spratlan (Amherst College, emeritus). Saturday's “An Afternoon of Premieres” will feature works by Five College Alumni Adam Har-Zvi (UMass), Edward Jacobs (UMass), Dylan Schneider (Amherst College) and Victor Zheng (UMass), as well as Jee Seo’s “On Fever,” the winning piece from the festival's composition competition. (Jee Seo will be in attendance at the performance.)

"The Five College New Music Festival is a celebration of the tremendous diversity and variety of the classical new music scene and also of the accomplishments of our composition and performance faculties,” commented Macchia. “This year's festival includes not only a broad overview of works by current and past Five College professors of composition and some of our former students, but also celebrates the leading role women composers play in contemporary music culture.”   

The schedule of the 2019 festival is as follows:

Friday, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. – Five College Composers’ Concert

Composers: Daniel Warner, David Sanford, Eric Sawyer, Kate Soper and Salvatore Macchia

Saturday, Sept. 7, 2 p.m. – An Afternoon of Premieres

Violin duos by Felipe Salles, Dylan Schneider, Adam Har-Zvi and Victor Zheng, and a saxophone duo by Neal Endicott, plus competition-winning piece by Jee Seo 

Saturday, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m. – American Connections

Composers: Jennifer Higdon, Francine Trester, Ryan Truesdell, Yehudi Wyner, Edward Jacobs, Lewis Spratlan

Sunday, Sept. 8, 3 p.m. – New Sounds from the Old World

Composers: Oliver Knussen, Kalevi Aho, Helen Grime, and Alfred Schnittke 

Five College Faculty Performers and Composers: 

Amherst College: Performers: Junko Watanabe, soprano; Sarah Briggs, violin; Wayne Smith, cello; Jacqueline DeVoe, flute; Anthony Brackett, clarinet; Darryl Harper, clarinet (department chair); Hiromi Fukuda, piano. Composers: Eric Sawyer, Lewis Spratlan (emeritus) 

Mount Holyoke College: Performers: Michael Brignolo, clarinet; Deborah Gilwood, piano;

   Tian Hui Ng, conductor. Composer: David Sanford 

Smith College: Performers: Joel Pitchon, violin; Ronald Gorevic, viola; Marie-Volcy Pelletier, cello; Charles Huang, oboe; Lynn Sussman, clarinet; Judith Gordon, piano; Jiayan Sun, piano. Composer: Kate Soper 

Hampshire College: Daniel Warner, composer 

University of Massachusetts: Performers: William Hite, tenor; Elizabeth Chang, violin; Salvatore Macchia, double bass; Cobus du Toit, flute; Jonathan Hulting-Cohen, saxophone; Rémy Taghavi, bassoon; Joshua Michal, horn; Steve Felix, trumpet; Greg Spiridopoulos, trombone; John Bottomley, tuba; Ayano Kataoka, percussion; Benjamin Tibbetts, piano (alumnus); Nadine Shank, piano; Morihiko Nakahara, conductor. Composers: Adam Har-Zvi (alumnus), Edward Jacobs (alumnus), Salvatore Macchia, Felipe Salles, Victor Zheng (alumnus) 

Sponsors of the 2019 New Music Festival are: Five Colleges, Inc., UMass Amherst Department of Music & Dance, and the Music Departments of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke & Smith Colleges. 

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