Dana New Music Festival 29 Offers a Variety of Performers and Styles
This season’s Dana New Music Festival XXIX, running from April 29 to May 1, brings a wide variety of performers ranging from soloists and small ensembles to the Festival Chamber Orchestra, and the YSU Wind Ensemble. Featured guest artists are the Sobieski family (Dorota Sobieska, soprano; Jacek Sobieski, piano Wanda Sobieska, violin; Aleksandra Sobieska, soprano; and Julian Sobieski, bass), who will present contemporary Polish music selections. Performances will include the Gala Festival Concert 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 at St. Columba Cathedral; the YSU Wind Ensemble 8 p.m. concert Monday, April 29 at Stambaugh Auditorium; and a noon hour recital Wednesday, May 1 at the Butler Museum of American Art.
The Sobieski Family
The Sobieski family has been prominent in the area for many years. Jacek Sobieski is the fourth generation of a Polish family of musicians and musicologists. He served for almost two decades as Music Director of the National Theater in Warsaw, where he composed music for over ten productions and was awarded The Honorary Man of Merit in Culture by the ministry of Culture and Art in Poland. Since 1988 he has resided in the U.S. and is currently Music Director of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish in Boardman, Ohio. In 1995, he and his wife Dorota founded Opera Circle and Jacek has musically directed and conducted many of its productions. Soprano Dorota Sobieska has performed a variety of operatic roles often in bel canto style, and is also a recitalist. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University with a dissertation on poetry, music, and the philosophy of art. Their daughter Wanda has studied violin at the Cincinnati Conservatory and is a free-lance violinist/violist in the Cleveland area. Julian Sobieski and Aleksandra Sobieska are both active in the Opera Circle productions. Wanda and Jacek will be featured on the Wednesday noon hour recital at the Butler Institute of American Art. Jacek, Dorota and the rest of the family will appear on the Wednesday evening program at St. Columba Cathedral.
New Music Society
On the Wednesday evening concert, the Festival Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Robert Rollin will premiere senior composition major Samantha Hogan’s Eclectic Images, a colorful suite of four descriptive pieces. A movement of the late Tim Webb’s Samson Suite will be played as a memorial to the composer who lost his life last fall. The composition was written for the Festival Chamber Orchestra and premiered several years ago. Tim earned his Masters degree from Dana and served as a member of the New Music Guild, Inc., a community advisory board to the New Music Society. He was also choir and music director at St. Edward’s Church. A movement from graduating senior Carol Ann Smolka’s Images of Helen Keller will be played. Carol is going on to graduate school in Composition.
Dana Faculty member Robert Rollin’s Pearls Variations for violin and string orchestra will be premiered with Dana alumnus Ethan Howard as soloist. The composition is an intermingling of a traditional Yiddish folk song, original counterpoint, and accompaniment material. Richard Zacharias, a local composer and member of the New Music Guild, Inc., will hear premieres of revised versions of his Duet No. Two performed by Stephen Kline, horn and Maria Fesz, cello, and his All Right, Time to Go for Natalie Sahyoun, violin and Alison Morris, piano.
Dana School of Music
Wednesday’s evening show will also feature Graduate Sean Baran’s performance of Olivier Messiaen’s “La Verbe” from La Nativité de Seigneur, a collection of nine meditations for organ reflecting the birth of Christ. Sean graduated summa cum laude from Dana School of Music and is completing his Masters in Music Performance studying both piano and organ.
Several other chamber works will also be presented. Yanda Zhu, a graduate student from Guang Zhou, China, will have two premieres. Christopher Nutter, clarinet, and Jerry Rezanka, piano will perform his Playful Dolphins; and violinists Marianne Salaj and Natalie Sahyoun also pianist Jerry Rezenka will play Nutter’s Cat Tango. Samantha Hogan’s Desert Clocks for sopranos, oboe, and piano will also be premiered.
Monday evening, 8:00 p.m., April 29, the YSU Wind Ensemble, directed by Stephen Gage, will present a concert which features two major works by contemporary composers: Perry Goldstein’s Abundant Air and Carter Pann’s Symphony No. 1. Perry Goldstein is on the State University of New York, Stony Brook faculty. His composition is for saxophone quartet and wind ensemble and is in a concerto grosso style with jazz influences. A student saxophone quartet will be the featured solo group. Carter Pann is on the University of Colorado, Boulder faculty and has visited YSU as a guest. His Symphony No. 1 is receiving many performances this year.
All events except the Wind Ensemble Concert are free and open to the public.