Hey! Tomorrow I leave for Europe! I’m again returning as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival 2019 in the beautiful Italian Alps of Vipiteno, Italy (Sterzing) on July 5-19, 2019. I’ll be premiering three new clarinet works at Orfeo 2019: two World Premieres and a European Premiere. Below is information on the premieres, including program notes and performing venue information (with pictures!).
Filtrò poi una luce (2010) for clarinet & piano by Andrea Ferrante (European Premiere)
Semplicemente (2019) for clarinet & piano by Andrea Ferrante (World Premiere)
Michael Dean, clarinet
Dena Kay Jones, piano
Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 20:30 (8:30 pm)
Chiesa di Santa Margherita, Vipiteno, Italy
Andrea Ferrante‘s music is performed throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas and published by Videoradio and RAI Trade Labels, Edizioni Carrara (BG) and Edizioni Simeoli (NA). From 1996 to 1999 he served as the Editorial Director of the Neopoiesis Editrice, winning the important “Diego Fabbri” prize sponsored by RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Sicilian Etnomusical Research Association “Alberto Favara” and of the “Neopoiesis” Contemporary Music Association in Palermo. In 2000, Andrea Ferrante won the MIUR competition sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities, and Research (MUIR) and began teaching Elements of Composition in Music Education. He currently teaches at the Conservatorio di Musica di Stato “Arcangelo Corelli” in Messina, and serves as the Coordinator of the Education program at the Conservatorio di Musica “Antonio Scontrino” in Trapani.
Filtrò poi una luce (“filtering of the light”). Commenting on the meaning of the title, Ferrante said, “As when [in] the morning a ray of sun enters from the window of your room… softly.” Filtrò poi una luce was originally composed for viola and piano. Ferrante arranged Filtrò for Michael Dean, who premiered the clarinet and piano version in February of 2011 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA. On his 2011 tour of Arizona, California and Nevada, Michael Dean premiered a new version of Filtrò for clarinet and CD – this was also arranged for Dean by the composer. Michael Dean’s 2013 CD release, Mysteries, features the clarinet and CD version of Filtrò poi una luce – available on Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon.com, CDBaby.com and similar vendors.
Semplicemente. Notes from the composer (in original Italian): Semplicemente è solo un percorso, anzi, il percorso… non c’è uno “start”, ogni cosa è stata già predisposta, strutturata. E’ il piacere del viaggio in sé che non tiene conto nemmeno di uno “stop”, di una destinazione. Il gesto sonoro è sempre in cerca di un tactus che di tanto in tanto viene offerto da uno o dall’altro viaggiatore. Il passo si arricchisce così di attese e di aspettative, di rimandi e di sottintesi che solo il tempo “a la valse” risolve ma in toni di delicata e tenue nostalgia. Nostalgia di un viaggio mai iniziato, nostalgia di un viaggio mai concluso.
Notes from the composer (English translation): Semplicemente is simply a path, indeed, the path … there is no “start,” everything has already been prepared and structured. It is the pleasure of the journey itself that does not even take into account a “stop,” a destination. The sound gesture is always in search of a tactus which is occasionally offered by one or the other traveler. The passage is enriched with expectations, references, and subtleties that only the “a la valse” section solves, but in tones of delicate and soft nostalgia. Nostalgia for a journey that has never begun, nostalgia for a journey that has never ended.
Blues in C (2019) for clarinet and piano by Faina Lushtak (World Premiere)
Michael Dean, clarinet
Faina Lushtak, piano
Saturday, July 13, 2019, 20:30 (8:30 pm)
Chiesa di Spirito Santo, Vipiteno, Italy
Steinway Artist Faina Lushtak was born and raised in the Soviet Union. She began her piano and composition studies at the age of six, taught by her mother, Evgenia Lushtak. She went on to study at the Stoliarsky School for Musically Gifted Children in Odessa under the tutelage of Eleonora Levinson, followed by the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she was taught by Genrietta Mirvis, Yakov Zak and Tikhon Khrennikov, and earned degrees in piano performance and composition. She was a faculty member at the Moscow Conservatory, performing throughout the Soviet Union until immigrating to the United States in 1978. Ms. Lushtak’s performances have inspired audiences in Russia, Western Europe, Canada and the United States. Her performances have earned widespread critical acclaim. At her debut at Alice Tully Hall, The New York Times wrote, “The qualities she prizes most are clarity of line and transparency of texture. Incisive clarity remained her hallmark.” Ms. Lushtak has made frequent guest artist appearances and conducted master classes at university campuses. She has also been a guest artist and judge at international competitions and festivals. Her compositions have been published by Willis Music and Boosey & Hawkes. Ms. Lushtak is the Downman Professor of Music at Tulane University, where she heads the piano division.
Blues in C was originally written for the saxophone. It was commissioned by one of Faina Lushtak’s piano students, Olivia Gilbert, who was also a saxophonist. This version was rewritten for Michael Dean on clarinet after a reading session on it at Orfeo 2018. This reworked version of Blues in C features a new middle section. The composer says that Blues in C is about “sadness, loneliness, and hope.”
The Chiesa di Santo Spirito (Church of the Holy Spirit) was built in 1399. It is the oldest gothic church in Vipiteno Italy (Sterzing). In the nave are late Gothic-style frescos (1402) of the South Tyrolien painter Hans von Bruneck.