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May 8, 2013

U of M School of Music Presents Professor James Dillon's "Book of Elements" Performed by Pianist Noriko Kawai on May 15, 2013

Noriko Kawai.jpgU of M School of Music will present composer and U of M professor James Dillon's Book of Elements, a five-volume piano solo, performed by pianist Noriko Kawai on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall (2128 4th St. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455). This event is free and open to the public.

Kawai performed The Book of Elements, which has been described by BBC Music Magazine as "rich" and "utterly riveting," at the UK Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Royal College of Music in London, and the Alicante Summer Festival in Spain. In 2003, she recorded a CD of Elements.

"To play all volumes in one go is a quite a tour de force," says Kawai, who premiered volume 2 in Germany. "It's about 90 minutes without any intermission."

But daunting as it is, Kawai savors the challenge; once she starts, she says, time ceases to exist and the music takes over. "What I like about Dillon's piano music is, despite his vast knowledge of the keyboard literature, his language remains unique, outrageous, elegant, exasperating, funny, and helplessly beautiful," she says.

When asked what he wanted people to leave with after attending the May 15 concert, Dillon, who started composing at about the age of seven or eight, replied: "The only thing one can hope for is that an audience has an open and curious mind, nothing else. And actually, what they'd leave with, I don't want to have any control over whatsoever. The concert contains all the things that one demands of a concert, which is essentially a kind of musical magic."

"The Book of Elements a five-part essay in continuity versus discontinuity and concentrated substance for solo piano that amounts, I think, to be the most significant contribution to the pianist's repertoire since Gy├Ârgy Ligeti's Etudes."
--Tom Service, The Guardian

Read The Guardian's Guide to James Dillon's music: http://bit.ly/16xXjZS

May 7, 2013

Faculty member David Baldwin at International Trumpet Guild Conference

baldwinDavid.jpgDavid Baldwin (trumpet) will attend the International Trumpet Guild Conference, June 11-15, 2013 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Baldwin has two CDs issued by this organization that feature his interpretation of the etudes of Theo Charlier, Reginaldo Caffarelli, Jean Baptise Arban, and Marcel Bitsch. Baldwin was a founding member of the International Trumpet Guild and has been Secretary and a long-time Board Member.

Student News: Laura Hynes at SongFest, Christa Saeger awarded Finlandia Foundation National Grant

Laura_Hynes_color_cropped_small8e665d.jpgLaura Hynes (D.M.A candidate, voice, student of Adriana Zabala) was awarded the National Association of Teachers of Singing scholarship to attend SongFest as part of the Mentor Program this summer in Los Angeles, CA. Hynes will be mentored by faculty at SongFest, including Margo Garrett, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, School of Music alumna Libby Larsen, Jake Heggie, Rudolf Piernay, John Musto, and Suzanne Mentzer, among others. Photo by Brooks Peterson.

SaegerChrista.jpgChrista Saeger (D.M.A. candidate, cello, student of Tanya Remenikova) was recently awarded the prestigious Finlandia Foundation National Grant to continue her research on unknown works for cello by Finnish composers in Europe this summer 2013. She has also been nominated for the FFN's Performer of the Year program by the Finlandia Foundation-Twin Cities Chapter.