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Ussachevsky Memorial Electronic Festival Celebrates 20 Years

Vladimir Ussachevsky '35

Vladimir Ussachevsky '35

This year marks the 20th Annual Ussachevsky Festival, and festival director Tom Flaherty says he has “included music of several composers from the first concerts in the early 1990s, including the earliest piece ever programmed on the series--Messiaen’s 1937 ‘Fetes des belles eaux,’ to be joined by several new pieces hot off the toner.” The festival runs Friday, February 3 through Saturday, February 4 with two evening concerts and a lecture/demonstration at Pomona College. All the events are free and open to the public.

The festival kicks off at 8 p.m. on Friday with a concert in Lyman Hall featuring faculty artists: pianists Genevieve Feiwen Lee and Aron Kallay, violist Cynthia Fogg, cellist Tom Flaherty, Pomona College organist William Peterson and, making a guest visit, two robots built by the department’s music technologist Barry Werger. Selections to be performed include music by visiting composer Benjamin Broening, along with selections by Frances White, Nina Young, HyeKyung Lee and others.

Saturday’s activities start at 3 p.m. with a lecture/demonstration in Lyman Hall by Broening entitled” Music, Technology, and Humans.” In this program, Broening will take a look at how he implements electronics in his music. Broening is an active composer of orchestral, choral, chamber and electroacoustic music. In the past few seasons his music has been performed in Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Estonia, Romania, Ukraine, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England, Scotland, Canada and across the United States. Recent works include a multi-movement work for Zeitgeist, a sextet for Ensemble U: (Estonia); two works for clarinet and electronics for Arthur Campbell and choral/instrumental works for the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia; the James River Singers, as well as pieces for pianist Daniel Koppelman and eighth blackbird. His works can be heard on the Innova, Centaur and SEAMUS labels. A recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Estonia, Broening has also received recognition and awards from the American Composers Forum, Virginia Commission for the Arts, ACS/Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Presser Music Foundation, as well as a teaching award from the University of Richmond.

Saturday evening’s 8 p.m. performance, held in Bridges Hall of Music, features special guest performer keyboardist/composer Eric Moe, Pomona College Music Department faculty artists Genevieve Feiwen Lee, piano; Tom Flaherty, cello; and Gary Bovyer, clarinet. Also on the program are students William Appleton, Kevin Guan, Hannah Hudson, Hannah Weymant-Steele and Scott Jespersen performing on ondes Martenots (an early electronic musical instrument), and the Pomona College Band, conducted by Graydon Beeks, This concert features music by Moe, Broening, Frank Stemper, Frederick Lesemann and Olivier Messiaen.

The Ussachevsky Festival is named for Vladimir Ussachevsky ’35 (1911-1990). He was a pioneer in the field of electronic music and co-founder of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York. Among his early compositions was his Jubilee Cantata (1937), performed by the Pomona College Choir and Orchestra to celebrate the College’s 50th anniversary. In 1988, he was commissioned to write To the Young, in commemoration of Pomona’s 100th anniversary. He left a bequest to the College to support activities in the field of electronic music. This annual series of concerts and some of the equipment are made possible by this gift.

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Ussachevsky Memorial Festival
Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building, Pomona College, 340 N. College Ave, Claremont, CA 91711
Bridges Hall of Music, Pomona College, 150 E. 4th St, Claremont, CA 91711
Free admission

Concert Programs

Friday, February 3, 2012 - 
Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building

A veil barely seen .............................. Frances White

Marimbella ....................................... HyeKyung Lee

Dark Wood ......................................... Benjamin Broening

Lamentation Alphabet: Aleph ............. Broening

Under the Weather*............................ Tom Flaherty

Tari Tidak Cepat*............................... Barry Werger-Gottesman / Bill Alves

Kolokol .............................................. Nina Young

Saturday, February 4, 2012
 - Bridges Hall of Music

Agua ................................................ Frank Stemper

Nocturne/Doubles............................... Broening

Arioso/Doubles ................................... Broening

The Sun Beats the Mountain Like a Drum.......Eric Moe

Mermaids*......................................... Barry Schrader

L’entracte quotidien.......................... Frederick Lesemann

Fétes des Belles Eaux............................ Olivier Messiaen

 

* premieres 

Programs subject to change.