Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NEXUS Opens Centennial Season @ Maverick

Maverick Concerts, the oldest continuous professional summer chamber music festival in America, announces the opening of its 100th season on Saturday, June 27, at 8:00 pm, with a concert by NEXUS, the masterful percussion group, who did a great album with the late flutist Paul Horn.

The program features the premiere of Peter Schickele's Percussion Sonata No. 3, "Maverick." Mr. Schickele will be in attendance for the premiere of his work, which was commissioned by Garry and Diane Kvistad and the Woodstock Chimes Fund for the Centenary of the Maverick Concerts.

All Maverick concerts are held in the historic concert hall, 120 Maverick Road, Woodstock, N.Y. 12498. The hall was hand-built in 1916 in a woodland glade just two miles from the center of town.

In addition to the Schickele premiere, the program includes "Sky Ghost" (with special guest performers Amy Fradon and Kirsti Gholson), by NEXUS member Russell Hartenberger, as well as his Persian Songs, arrangements by the renowned classical Iranian singer/instrumentalist Sepideh Raissadat. Also on the program are ragtime tunes for xylophone by the late Woodstock composer/xylophonist George Hamilton Green arranged by NEXUS member Bob Becker.

NEXUS and Ms. Raissadat will be giving a free concert for young people on the same day, Sat., June 27, at 11:00 a.m.

Mr. Schickele's Third Percussion Sonata is a work in three movements, with a lively toccata, a quiet romanza, and a finale titled "Vaudeville." "Sky Ghost" is from Hartenberger's composition Invisible Proverb, which, along with Schickele's Percus sion Sonata No. 2, is on the NEXUS album Drumtalker. Persian Songs is an arrangement of music by Reza Ghassemi, an enormously popular and influential expatriate Iranian musician and novelist.

The New York Times has called NEXUS "the high priests of the percussion world." Steve Reich declared them "probably the most acclaimed percussion group on earth." NEXUS is in the Percussion Hall of Fame (along with Ringo Starr) and tours extensively. In the four decades since its founding, the group has participated in international festivals, at the Kennedy Center, at the BBC Proms, and in Carnegie Hall. The group is made up of four master percussionists internationally revered for their virtuosity, innovation, and extraordinary music-making. NEXUS's famed collaborations with Paul Horn, the Canadian Brass, the Kronos Quartet, and others have created repertoire ranging from novelty ragtime and haunting African rhythms through award-winning improvised film music and ground-breaking compositions.

Composer, musician, author, parodist Peter Schickele is internationally recognized as one of the most versatile musical artists in the world. He has composed more than 100 works, for symphony orchestras, choral groups, chamber ensembles, and voice. John Rockwell of The New York Times has described him as having "a leading role in the ever-more-prominent school of American composers who unselfconsciously blend all levels of American music."

His commissions for distinguished instrumentalists and singers are numerous and varied, and include works for the National Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Minnesota Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Audubon and Lark String Quartets, the Minnesota Orchestral Association, and many others. Mr. Schickele has created music for feature films, documentaries, television programs and commercials, and B roadway theater, including Oh! Calcutta! Besides composing music under his own name, Mr. Schickele has developed an elaborate parodic persona built around his "studies" of P.D.Q. Bach, the fictional "youngest and the oddest of the twenty-odd children" of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Sepideh Raissadat, a key figure in the new generation of classical Persian song interpreters, is the most famous vocalist in Iran, a country that does not permit solo public performances by women. Her fame is all the more extraordinary in that her music is accessible in her native country only by way of pirated recordings. Ms. Raissadat has given concerts in Europe and North America under the auspices of the Vatican, UNESCO, the BBC, and Voice of America. NEXUS and Sepideh have collaborated on several concerts in Canada and the United States, and their recording of Persian Songs will be released soon.

For additional details, including a schedule of concerts, ticket prices, and seating information, visit www.maverickconcerts.org or call Maverick's recorded message line at 845-679-8217.

Maverick Concerts, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The concerts are made possible in part with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; support from the County of Ulster's Ulster County Cultural Services & Promotions Fund, administered by Arts Mid-Hudson; the Maverick Concerts Endowment Fund; Friends of Maverick; the towns of Woodstock and Hurley; loca l businesses; individual donors; and other public and private foundations. Yamaha is the Official Piano of Maverick Concerts. The C7X grand piano in the Maverick Concert Hall is a generous loan from Yamaha Artists Services.

Next up at Maverick
Sunday, June 28, 4 pm
The Shanghai Quartet
Ran Dank, piano
A re-creation of a concert from Maverick's first season.
Haydn: String Quartet No. 66 in D Major, Op. 77, No. 1
Max Bruch: Kol Nidrei, Op. 47, for cello and piano
Robert Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44

The Following Weekend
Friday, July 3
Simone Dinnerstein, piano

Saturday, July 4
11 am: Young People's Concert with Elizabeth Mitchell & Family
6pm: Adam Tendler, piano

Sunday, July 5
Frederic Hand, guitar
Paula Robison, flute

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