Walden Chamber Players to Play Works by Local Composers During Concert at the Clark May 11

For Immediate Release

April 23, 2008

Three works by local composers Sheila Silver, Alice Spatz, and Larry Wallach will be featured during a concert by the Walden Chamber Players at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, May 11 at 3 pm. A pre-concert talk will be held at 2 pm. Tickets are $15 ($10 for Clark members, free for seniors, students, and children). For tickets, call the Walden Chamber Players at 866-393-2927.

Silver, Spatz, and Wallach created works specifically for the Walden Chamber Players. Called “The Berkshire Composers Project,” the works, Azim’s Dance by Silver, Meditations on Peace by Spatz, and Forest Music II by Wallach, are each scored for oboe, violin, viola, cello, and harp. The afternoon’s program also includes Duo for Cello and Harp (1984) by Isang Yun, String Trio (1984) by Alfred Schnittke, and Elliott Carter’s “Immer Neu” from Trilogy for Oboe and Harp (1992).

There will be a pre-concert discussion by the three composers and the artistic director of the Walden Chamber Players. The 2 pm panel discussion is made possible by a grant from the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire.

Composer Silver, of Spencertown, NY, is professor of music at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. She has worked with Erhard Karkoschka and Gyorgy Ligeti and studied with Arthur Berger, Harold Shapero, and Seymour Shifrin. Her opera, The Thief of Love, A Lyric-Comic Opera in Three Acts, was featured in New York City Opera’s Showcasing American Composers, May 2000, and received its fully staged world premiere in March 2001, by the Stony Brook Opera. A film of that production was recently released on DVD to critical acclaim, following its New York City premiere screening at Makor sponsored by American Opera Projects.

Spatz, of Lanesborough, MA, currently teaches double bass and music theory and composition at the Berkshire Music School. She earned her MFA at Bennington College, and studied with Vivian Fine. She has composed for chamber ensembles, concert band, orchestra, chorus, music theater, voice and solo instruments. Her works have been performed throughout the US, Canada, Germany and in Vienna, Austria. She is the recipient of many commissions and awards from the American Music Center, ASCAP, ASTA, Mass Cultural Council, and Meet the Composer. She composes for and performs with Wintergreen, a traditional and contemporary folk trio, with which she sings and plays mandolin and bass.

Wallach is currently the Livingston Hall Chair in Music at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He received his A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. from Columbia University, where he studied music composition, piano performance, and musicology. He founded the baroque chamber ensemble, the Italian Connection, in which he performs on harpsichord. He is founding board member of the Berkshire Bach Society and performs with them regularly on harpsichord and organ. As a pianist, he collaborates on chamber music performances with numerous area musicians. Since 1995, he has been on the staffs of early music weeks at World Fellowship Center, New Hampshire, and Camp Pinewoods, Massachusetts, as pianist and harpsichordist.

The Walden Chamber Players is comprised of 12 artists in various combinations of string, piano, and wind ensembles. Five of them, violinist Joel Pitchon, violist Christof Huebner, cellist Ashima Scripp, oboist Laura Ahlbeck, and harpist Franziska Huhn will perform at the Clark. Founded in 1997, the group presents educational curricula and concerts in a format that highlights the belief that music is the human experience translated into sound. Their concerts present new concepts of a classical concert both in content and presentation. Programs consist of rarely heard classical work and contemporary compositions, paired with the use of multi-media.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November 1 through May 31. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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