NYFOS/Juilliard Offer Free Jan. 13 Concert of Barber, Berlin, Bernstein, Blitzstein and Others

Classic Arts Features   NYFOS/Juilliard Offer Free Jan. 13 Concert of Barber, Berlin, Bernstein, Blitzstein and Others
NY Festival of Song's annual collaboration with Juilliard comes in the form of a Jan. 13 concert entitled Killer B's _ American Song From Amy Beach to the Beach Boys. The song list consists entirely of work by composers whose last names end with the letter B.


Alumni of the joint program have already begun to participate in NYFOS's mainstage concerts alongside more seasoned artists, while also taking their place in opera houses and concert halls around the world.

NYFOS Directors Steven Blier and Michael Barrett are enthusiastic about the NYFOS/Juilliard collaboration: "We are having a wonderful experience working on this crazy, eclectic program. The students are all deeply involved, researching new songs, looking for spoken material as a bridge between numbers (all by authors whose names begin with the letter B), suggesting repertoire, discussing program order, and writing program notes. They have responded with tremendous creativity, and best of all, they're teaching us a thing or two as they chart a new, surprising path."

The artists in Killer B's will be Catherine Hancock and Meredith Lustig, sopranos; Carla Jablonski and Naomi O'Connell, mezzo-sopranos; Carlton Ford and Timothy McDevitt, baritones; Adrian Rosas, bass-baritone; and New York Festival of Song directors Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, pianists/hosts. Choreography is by Jeanne Slater.

Tickets for the event, at Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater, are free and available beginning Monday, January 4 at The Juilliard School box office (in person only), 155 West 65th Street in Manhattan. Box office hours are 11 AM to 6 PM Monday-Friday: 212-721-6500.



Ernst Bacon (1898 _ 1990) composed more than 250 songs over his career. He incorporated many American popular and folkloric idioms, and set poetry by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and other seminal poets to music.

Samuel Barber (1910 _ 1981) Probably most famous for his Adagio for Strings, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's vocal music includes Knoxville: Summer Of 1915, Dover Beach, The Hermit Songs, and the operas Vanessa and Antony and Cleopatra.

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867 _ 1944) was the first successful American female composer of large-scale works. Most of her compositions and performances were under the name Mrs. H.H.A. Beach. Besides her songs, she wrote symphonies, chamber music, choral works and piano concertos.

Eubie Blake (1887 _ 1983) composed ragtime, jazz, and popular music. With collaborator Noble Sissle, he wrote the Broadway musical Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African-Americans. Blake's compositions also included the hits Love Will Find A Way, Memories of You, and I'm Just Wild About Harry.

The Beach Boys gained fame for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a southern California youth culture of cars, surfing, and romance. Early successes included Surfer Girl and I Get Around, and beginning with the album Pet Sounds, they became more artistically innovative, earning critical praise and influencing many later musicians.

Irving Berlin (1888 _ 1989) One of American music's greatest songwriters, he wrote music and lyrics for such classic Broadway shows as Annie Get Your Gun and As Thousands Cheer, and his many near-anthem songs include White Christmas, God Bless America and Alexander's Ragtime Band.

Leonard Bernstein (1918 _ 1990), conductor, composer and pianist, "One of the most prodigally talented and successful musicians in American history (New York Times)," wrote classic musicals (West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide), as well as operas, symphonies, masses, and vivid shorter instrumental works.

Marc Blitzstein (1905 _ 1964) is best known for his politically-themed musical The Cradle Will Rock and for his off-Broadway translation/adaptation of the Brecht/Weill The Threepenny Opera. His works also include the opera Regina, an adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes, and the Broadway musical Juno, based on Sean O'Casey's play Juno and the Paycock.

The Bobs, a quartet of acoustic singers, all with "Bob" as part of their names, composes witty and original material. Their albums include Get Your Monkey Off My Dog, My, I'm Large and Shut Up and Sing.

William Bolcom (b. 1938). The Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer has created instrumental concertos, songs and the operas A View From the Bridge, McTeague, A Wedding, as well as the comic one-act Lucrezia, which received its world premiere with NYFOS in 2008.

Paul Bowles (1910 _ 1999) was an author and composer most famous for his novel The Sheltering Sky. He wrote chamber music and incidental music for the stage, and a 1955 opera, Yerma. He was also a pioneer in North African ethnomusicology, making some of the first recordings of traditional Moroccan music.

Charles Brown (1922 _ 1999), a blues pianist, singer and composer, created an ultra-mellow jazz-inflected genre with his Drifting Blues and Get Yourself Another Fool and All My Life, and influenced later artists such as Ray Charles.

Jason Robert Brown (b. 1970), often cited as one of the "New School" of theatrical composers, fuses pop-rock stylings with theatrical lyrics. His score for the 1999 musical Parade won a Tony Award, and his songs for Broadway's Urban Cowboy were nominated for a Tony.

Harry T. Burleigh (1866 _1949) was an African-American classical composer, arranger, and singer. He was the first black composer to influence the development of a characteristically American music and he helped to make black music available to classically-trained artists by introducing them to the music and by arranging Negro spirituals in a more classical form.


NYFOS's upcoming concerts Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center include: The Voluptuous Muse (February 16 and 18) a survey of the last vestiges of lush tonality and decadent Romanticism at the dawn of the 20th century; and The Newest Deal (May 4 and 6) featuring recent American works, including the premiere of the Harold Meltzer song cycle Beautiful Ohio, created for and performed by tenor Paul Appleby. In March, NYFOS will offer The Sweetest Path, a program celebrating the first great flowering of French art song; it is the second annual collaboration between NYFOS and the Caramoor Vocal Rising Stars program, and it will have two performances: March 13 in the Music Room at Caramoor, and March 16 at Merkin Hall.

Visit www.nyfos.org

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