I’m pleased to announce that my new opera, Outcast at the Gate, has been selected for the Center for Contemporary Opera’s Development Series. An hour-long excerpt will be performed in a workshop setting at New York’s Symphony Space on June 14. Tickets and information are available at symphonyspace.org/events/vp-cco-presents-outcast-at-the-gate-in-workshop.
Outcast at the Gate is a drama about refugees: a blind old man, supported by his daughter, seeking food and shelter. It is also a drama of redemption: the old man is “stained to the core of his existence,” and at the same time somehow innocent: he is Oedipus, former king of Thebes, who has unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. The end will reveal him as a prophet, blind, but leading his daughters and the King of his new homeland to a miraculous appointment with the waiting Gods.
I am grateful to conductor and CCO artistic director Sara Jobin for her work to make this happen, and to creative team, lead by stage director Sara Erde, pianist and coach Brent Funderburk, and stage manager Tracey Woolley. The cast includes singers Aaron Theno, Kristina Bachrach, Anna Laurenzo, David Gordon, and Eric McKeever.
On May 2 at 7:30 pm, The Elaris Duo (Larisa Elisha, violin, and Steven Elisha, cello) will perform a benefit concert of my music, along with pieces by Schulhoff and Kodaly in New York. All of the proceeds from the concert will go to Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit set up after the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Sandy Hook Promise’s mission is national — to protect children from gun violence so no other parent experiences the loss of their child by engaging and empowering parents and communities with targeted prevention programs in the areas of mental wellness early-identification & intervention, social & emotional development and firearm safety & security. More information on their programs is available at SandyHookPromise.org.
As for the concert, I will be joining the Elaris Duo on piano to perform a special preview of my piece An Offering: For The Families of Newtown.They will be premiering Shifting Spirits, for violin and cello, and I will also perform some of my piano works.
The concert is at the DiMenna Center For Classical Music. Tickets are available now at brownpapertickets.com/event/1434131.
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.
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.