Yael Weiss to premiere Prelude to a Sonata in October

The pianist Yael Weiss will be performing the world premiere of my Prelude to a Sonata on October 10 at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. The piece is one of a series of pieces that Yael asked composer friends to write for her, each piece to be used as a prelude to a Beethoven sonata, translating its materials into a contemporary sound. My piece is designed as a prelude to one of my favorites, the “Pastorale” Sonata, op. 28. When I told her, Yael said that she had hoped I would chose this particular piece, but that, wanting to give me freedom to choose whatever I liked, she had restrained herself from mentioning it. It seemed like an encouraging serendipity.

Yael will be performing it at a few more concerts throughout the month, and there will likely be a performance in Israel in March. Here are the currently scheduled dates:

October 10th: Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas
October 16th: Glema Mahr Center for the Arts in Madisonville, Kentucky
October 27th: Carl Broman Concert Series in Staunton, Virginia

DePaul Opera Theatre to produce Twelfth Night in October

DePaul University’s Opera Theatre will be presenting the Chicago premiere of my opera Twelfth Night on October 31 of this year. The opera, based on Shakespeare’s play, was commissioned by Long Leaf Opera in North Carolina and premiered in October 2005.

For the Chicago performance Steven Mosteller will conduct and Elizabeth Margolius will direct. For tickets and more information, please visit http://events.depaul.edu/event/depaul_opera_theatre_2750

Kind words from Helen Callus

Violist Helen Callus recently performed and recorded my piece Lament Amid Silence. She had this to say about the work:

The profoundly expressive work by composer Joel Feigin “Lament Amid Silence” is one of the most beautiful and dramatic pieces in the literature for the viola. The wonderful addition of the 6 viola ensemble to accompany the solo violist makes this a unique and much needed addition to our under represented literature. I believe that any important work such as this deserves the attention of all viola lovers alike and I know will share with us the rewards of working and hearing such an inspiring piece.
—Helen Callus

Her recording of the piece, made with her students at UC Santa Barbara, is available from MSR Classics and on the recordings page of this site.

Performances and discussion in Japan

Some of my music will be presented on Sunday, May 20 at Kanack Hall in Yokohama, Japan. This Zen in Music concert is presented as part of a meeting of the Japan Institute of Rhythm.

The event will feature violinist Junko Ando and pianist Daidouji Rentarou performing Gently Flowing, Sonata for Violin and Piano (2010). I will perform the first and third of my Four Meditations from Dogen (1994). Music by composer Kouichi Kiriyama will also be presented.

On May 19, I’ll take part in a panel discussion on “Schoenberg in America” presented by the Musicological Society of Japan. It will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Art Hall of Meiji-Gakuin University of Tokyo.

Performance of “Song on Loving-Kindness”

My piece “Song on Loving-Kindness”, with a text adapted by Jaime Manrique and myself, based on the Pali “Loving-Kindness Sutra” (“Metta Sutta”), will be performed on Saturday, April 14 at 4 PM by the New Century Voices in the program “New Songs for a New Season”, directed by Katherine Saxon. The performance will take place at the Student Affairs and Administrative Services Building Foyer and outdoor staircase on the UC Santa Barbara campus, and admission is free. This performance is part of the 2012 UCSB Primavera Festival, on which I’m a featured composer.

Performances in Porto and Santa Barbara

Echoes from the Holocaust for oboe, viola and piano will be performed by Ensemble I & D on February 11 at the Hard Club Cultural Animation Centre, Mercado Ferreira Borges in Porto, Portugal. This performance is part of the Intercontinental #2 project, which involves the Composition Department of Portugal’s ESMAE School of Music and Performing Arts and the Composition Department of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Lament for viola ensemble will be performed by Helen Callus and accompanying violists on February 26 and 27 at Karl Geiringer Hall on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. This is part of the New Works for Viola Festival. Lament is 3 interconnected works – Lament for solo viola, Ghosts for 6 violas and Lament with Ghosts for solo viola with complement of 6 violas.

Visit to Sichuan Conservatory

I presented Variations on a Theme of Arnold Schoenberg – An American Composer’s View on November 24 at Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, China.

During my visit to the school, I also offered a master class for composition students and took part in two informal classes in the practical application of Schoenberg’s “Theory of Harmony” in progression writing.

Sichuan Conservatory is one of the main music conservatories in China, with some 14,000 music students. More about them is at http//www.sccm.cn/english/index.asp.

Fromm Music Foundation commission

The Fromm Music Foundation of Harvard University awarded Joel Feigin a commission to write a work for piano and chamber concerto for the American-Israeli pianist Yael Weiss. The premiere was held on Thursday, September 30, 2010, 8:00 PM

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Yael Weiss, Piano
Indiana University New Music Ensemble
David Dzubay, Conductor
Auer Hall, Jacobs School of Music
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Award for Five Ecstatic Poems of Kabir

Five Ecstatic Poems of Kabir has been awarded 1st prize in the Third Millennium Ensemble Composers’ Competition as well as Third Millennium’s Cheryl A. Spector Prize for the best piece by a GLBT composer.

A recording of the piece is available on my CD Transience, available on iTunes and from North/South Recordings.