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June in Buffalo to celebrate 40th anniversary with sparkle aplenty

By PATRICIA DONOVAN

Published May 14, 2015

David Felder celebrates his 30th year as artistic director. Photo: Nancy J. Parisi

June in Buffalo, UB’s pioneering — and much imitated — festival and performance institute for new music, will celebrate its 40th anniversary May 29 to June 7 in a spectacular fashion, honoring its history, founder Morton Feldman, 30-year artistic director David Felder and the world-class members of its composition and performance faculty, many of whom have helped to define the spirit and excitement of the festival for decades.

The weeklong program will include master classes, seminars, lectures and 15 concerts, including those that will feature:

  • “Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux,” Felder’s masterwork for two solo voices, electronics and a 35-piece orchestra composed of Ensemble Signal and the Slee Sinfonietta.
  • A solo recital by Irvine Arditti, the phenomenal and charismatic champion of new music, of work by members of this year’s composition faculty, accompanied by internationally acclaimed UB faculty pianist Eric Huebner.
  • A Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performance of “On Time and the Instrumental Factor,” the complex work by Feldman said to “explore an atmosphere of suspended time, with the instruments acting like an orchestra of tolling bells.”

The festival also will present performances of additional work by Felder and by members of the festival composition faculty:

  • Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wuorinen, Bernard Rands, Steven Stucky and Roger Reynolds, and Pulitzer nominee Augusta Read Thomas.
  • Multiple award-winning composer, conductor and flutist Harvey Sollberger.
  • Brian Ferneyhough, winner of the $220,000 Siemens Music Prize for lifetime achievement.
  • Martin Bresnick, the highly influential composer of music “lit from within by a literate and indomitable humanism.”

In addition to those cited above, the festival will include performances by such outstanding artists as the New York New Music Ensemble, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Talujon Percussion Ensemble, soprano Heather Buck, bass vocalist Ethan Herschenfeld and Brad Lubman, director of Ensemble Signal.

The second iteration of the June in Buffalo Performance Institute, with Huebner as director, brings superb, emerging performers from around the world to study and perform alongside distinguished performing artists, among them Jonathan Golove, Tom Kolor, Jean Kopperud, Jon Nelson, Yuki Numata-Resnick and Huebner — all UB faculty members.

Institute participants will perform throughout the week in festival concerts and composer workshops.

READER COMMENT

I was an undergraduate trombone major at UB from fall 1973 until May 1978. I thought that the June in Buffalo festival of new music was already happening when I arrived in Buffalo. However, it must have been that the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts was bringing in composers and avant garde performers prior to 1975.

 

The Center for the Creative and Performing Arts and June in Buffalo and the presence of so many great composers and performers made my education as a musician particularly rich! I went on to be a professional trombonist and was principal trombonist in the Santa Monica Symphony, the Japanese Orchestra of Los Angeles, the Korean Orchestra of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Friedens Orchester (in Stuttgart, Germany) and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in Israel before deciding to become an attorney. I also performed with and wrote music for an avant garde quartet in Los Angeles and ensembles in Stuttgart.

 

I am still playing. I perform with the Nu Haven Kapelye (a large Klezmer Orchestra), The Spies of the Balkans (a quartet of saxophone, trombone, double bass and drums that crosses jazz, funk and Klezmer music), Sliders (5 trombones, piano, bass and drums performing original jazz and pop arrangements) and the Beth El Synagogue Orchestra (West Hartford).

 

Isaiah D. Cooper