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Friday December 3rd


Composition professors to showcase various styles

When Dr. Allen Anderson became a faculty member of the UNC Music Department in 1996, he was the only composition professor on staff.

Now Anderson is one of four talented faculty composers, all of whom are having their original compositions performed tonight in Hill Hall Auditorium.

The other faculty composers are Lee Weisert, Stefan Litwin, and Stephen Anderson.

Stephen Anderson said the music department has slowly brought in several composers to teach in the department.

“It used to just be Allen. Then I came along. Then Stefan, and then Lee. I think it was really inevitable that a concert would come together,” Stephen said.

“Allen Anderson realized that we had reached a critical mass of composers on the faculty,” Weisert said. “Now we’ve got enough to join forces.”

Stephen said the differences in compositional style among each faculty member are stark and will make for an interesting and exciting concert.

“We’re very different, and I think that’s a strength for the department,” Stephen said.

“Casting Ecstatic” and “Autographia” are both by Allen Anderson and feature a solo string instrument.

Freshman Kenan Scholar Kevin Zheng will be playing violin on “Casting Ecstatic” and Wendy Richman, a professional violist, will be playing “Autographia.”

Professor Weisert’s contribution to the program is titled “Any thing that Is strang,” and was inspired by a letter written by 17th century botanist Tradescant the Elder.

“It’s a list of bizarre objects from the natural world that he wanted to include in his museum, which he was making for a patron,” Weisert said.

The piece features alto saxophone professor Matt McClure, who will be playing over digitally processed recordings he and Weisert created.

“Correspondence,” is a piece for piano and percussion written by Stephen while he was in the University of North Texas graduate program. He will be performing it with percussionist Juan Alamo.

“North Texas was just relentless — in the jazz area especially. It was really an exhausting experience, I wanted to write a piece that reflected my life at the time,” Stephen said.

Concluding the concert will be two pieces by Litwin. The first, titled “Allende, 11. September 1973,” is based on the text of a farewell speech given by Salvador Allende to the Chilean people on the day of the Chilean coup d’etat, Litwin said.

The piece will feature Christa van Alstine and Ashley Bathgate on the clarinet and cello, respectively, with Litwin reciting Allende’s speech while playing piano.

“Two Aphorisms by Karl Kraus,” is Litwin’s second piece, which he will perform alongside UNC voice professor Melissa Martin.

The piece features text by Austrian writer Karl Kraus, Litwin said.

“They are very funny texts — I made sort of Schoenberg-ian songs out of them. Each song is only about 50 seconds, but still very complex,” he said.

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