Frog Went a’ Courtin’ in Denver

Posted on May 8th, 2013 by jondavid

The “Alpines” of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Chorus will be singing my arrangement of Frog Went a’ Courtin’ this Saturday, May 11, at 2PM. It’s a mostly Lydian setting of this upbeat folk tune…in which all the protagonists die at the end (!). Juliane Dowell conducts. Concert is at the University of Denver’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 E. Iliff Ave. Hope some Denver-area friends can make it out! More info here: http://www.rmchildrenschoir.org/from-the-world-over-concerts-may-11-2013/

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St. John’s Dance, March 16 in Salem, MA

Posted on March 6th, 2013 by jondavid

My next performance is the world premiere of my first purely instrumental work in eons. St. John’s Dance is an 11-minute work for alto saxophone and piano, commissioned by saxophonist David Wozniak. The title refers to the medieval phenomenon of “dancing mania”, in which large groups of people would spontaneously break into frenetic dancing for hours at a time until they would collapse. Reportedly, some participants would strip naked, attack spectators, or dance so intensely that they fatally injured themselves. The explanations behind “choreomania”, as it’s also known, run the gamut from religious cults to poisoning by ergot, a fungus on grain that caused hallucinations (and worse) in epidemic proportions. Or perhaps it was all just medieval flashmobs! My piece moves breathlessly and schizophrenically through much of its duration, making great demands on both performers, with wide use of extended techniques in the sax.

Details: David Wozniak, alto saxophone; Liz Ames, piano. Saturday, March 16 at 3:30 PM as part of the 2013 North American Saxophone Alliance Region 8 Conference. The location is the Recital Hall in Salem State University’s Central Campus Building, Salem, Massachusetts. I hope to see some of my Boston friends there!

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Könnyek, Almák és Kövek debuts (on tape) in Slovakia

Posted on September 15th, 2012 by jondavid

The piece (title is Hungarian for “Tears, Apples and Stones”) was written for Zsuzsanna Ardó’s eponymous sculpture installation running from September 2 through October 2, 2012 at the At Home Gallery/Synagogue Šamorín, Slovakia. (Šamorín is an ethnic Hungarian city on the north bank of the Danube). The work is a vocalise (no consonants), setting 3 Hungarian vowel sounds. The installation explores the religious-political history of the building, and my piece uses a popular Jewish High Holidays melody as an elaborated cantus firmus. Thanks to recording vocalists Amy Bartram, Melissa Bybee, and Karen Siegel, as well as Chris Baum who prepared the singers. There are a couple photos and a description here: http://www.athomegallery.org/ More information on the artist, Zsuzsanna Ardó, can be found at her website: www.ardo.org

http://www.zsu.f2s.com

Venice, Todi

Posted on May 19th, 2012 by jondavid

Just had the breathtaking and humbling experience of performing my own work one floor above the tomb of the monk (Jacopone) who wrote the work’s text! Euro premiere of my Stabat Mater in Santa Maria Fortunato, Todi, Italy, with Kristina Boerger and the Carroll University Concert Choir. Really touched by the tremendous commitment and love the MD and singers have shown my work.     Two days ago sang mass at St. Mark’s in Venice! It’s been a pretty heady several days. Not to mention the food, which has been mostly extraordinary everywhere I’ve gone. Amazing seafood (raw and otherwise) in an outer district of Venice; wild boar, mushroom flan, coffee semifreddo last night, a charcuterie platter with smoked goose breast and lardo, black truffle pasta tonight in Todi.

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  • By Jennifer Jakubowski, May 31, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    It was wonderful singing and traveling with you! Singing your piece is going to be a highlight of my life for a long time to come. Thank you and don’t be a stranger!

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Slew of upcoming premieres…

Posted on May 13th, 2012 by jondavid

Finally got sleep last night after a long day of jet lag. Assisted by ear plugs to defend against the celebrating bands of Borussia Dortmund supporters outside the window. They just won the German Cup.

In Germany and Italy until the 25th, so I’m disappointed to miss two of the following premieres of my work over the next several weeks (times all eastern). (Please contact me at jonathandavidmusic.com, via Facebook, or on my blog for more details.):

May 12, 11AM: Little Drops of Water (premiere), Marble Collegiate Church Cherub Choir (live streaming at www.marblechurch.org). Yes, 3-to 5-year-olds!

May 19-23: Stabat Mater (European premiere): Todi, Collevalenza, Siena, Florence

May 19, 7:30PM: Ask Me No More (premiere), Young Men’s Ensemble of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, Roulette Theatre, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn.

May 30, 7:30PM and June 2, 8PM: The Hounds of Spring (premiere), C4 and Fireworks Ensemble, Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., NYC (5/30); Theatre at MMAC, 248 West 60th St., NYC (6/2)

June 2, 7PM and June 3, 5PM: Evening Song (Look off, dear love…) (west coast premiere), Cascadian Chorale,  St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 8398 NE 12th St., Medina, WA (6/2); Nordstrom Recital Hall, Harmony Hill Retreat Center, 7362 E State Route 106, Union, WA (6/3)

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Premieres this Weekend

Posted on April 27th, 2012 by jondavid

Well, this is last-minute, but I’ve got performances of my work this Friday through Sunday evenings. I’m in Wisconsin right now for the premiere of my Stabat Mater which the wonderful Kristina Boerger and her gorgeous choir at Carroll University commissioned from me. The 11-minute a cappella work sets 8 of the text’s 20 verses. Extensive use of silences and “broken” textures interrupt lyrical passages to convey this famous and devastating poem. In May the choir will tour the work in Italy as part of a larger program featuring other settings of the Stabat Mater. The premiere will be at 8PM at the Shattuck Music Center, 218 N. East Ave., Waukesha, WI. More info here: http://www.carrollu.edu/newsevents/newsdetail.asp?id=1838

Back in NYC, on Friday and Sunday, the 27th and 29th, at 9:30PM, baritone Daniel Neer and harpist Alyssa Reit will premiere my song Gitchee Gumee. The poem takes the perspective of a ship’s deckhand, and follows his upbringing in the Great Lakes region to his ultimate death aboard the doomed Edmund Fitzgerald. The song is part of a unique program for baritone and harp entitled “Narkissos” which will include staging and multi-media elements, and features 7 world premieres. Both concerts begin at 9:30PM at The Tank, 151 West 46th St., 8th floor, NYC. More details are at http://danielneer.com/narkissos/

Well, this is last-minute, but I’ve got performances of my work this Friday through Sunday evenings. I’m in Wisconsin right now for the premiere of my Stabat Mater which the wonderful Kristina Boerger and her gorgeous choir at Carroll University commissioned from me. The 11-minute a cappella work sets 8 of the text’s 20 verses. Extensive use of silences and “broken” textures interrupt lyrical passages to convey this famous and devastating poem. In May the choir will tour the work in Italy as part of a larger program featuring other settings of the Stabat Mater. The premiere will be at 8PM at the Shattuck Music Center, 218 N. East Ave., Waukesha, WI. More info here: http://www.carrollu.edu/newsevents/newsdetail.asp?id=1838

Back in NYC, on Friday and Sunday, the 27th and 29th, at 9:30PM, baritone Daniel Neer and harpist Alyssa Reit will premiere my song Gitchee Gumee. The poem takes the perspective of a ship’s deckhand, and follows his upbringing in the Great Lakes region to his ultimate death aboard the doomed Edmund Fitzgerald. The song is part of a unique program for baritone and harp entitled “Narkissos” which will include staging and multi-media elements, and features 7 world premieres. Both concerts begin at 9:30PM at The Tank, 151 West 46th St., 8th floor, NYC. More details are at http://danielneer.com/narkissos/

http://jonathandavidmusic.com/blog/wp-login.php

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Cantaria premieres A Shepherd’s Nativity, Dec. 15

Posted on December 7th, 2011 by jondavid

If you’re in the western North Carolina area on Dec. 15th, please come hear the premiere of my carol, A Shepherd’s Nativity (Sweet Light), by Cantaria, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Asheville. The setting, which features an English horn soloist, is of an innovative 17th-century text by Richard Crashaw. The program also features Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. December 15, 8PM, Cathedral of All Souls, Biltmore Village, Asheville, NC. Tickets, $15 at the door.
http://cantariaasheville.org/christmas_concert_2011_tickets.htm

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Premiere of The Tightened String: An Elegy for 9/11. Dec. 11, 3PM

Posted on November 30th, 2011 by jondavid

I hope you can join me for the premiere of The Tightened String: An Elegy for 9/11 on Sunday, December 11, 3PM at the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch, 552 West End Avenue @87th Street. The music, by me, and text, by acclaimed poet David Brendan Hopes, were both commissioned by the Central City Chorus for the occasion of this 9/11 memorial concert entitled “Remembrance and Reflections.” Scored for solo treble quartet, mixed chorus and prepared piano, the music explores the great dualities and journey of emotions of Hopes’ rich and profoundly moving text. Music Director Phillip Cheah will conduct the program, which also features Barber’s Agnus Dei (the vocal setting of his famous Adagio for Strings) and the two-piano version of Brahms’ German Requiem.

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Seven premieres!

Posted on November 2nd, 2011 by jondavid

Hello,

Better late than never to announce highlights of my 2011-12 season, chief among them seven world premieres, including  four commissioned works :

October 23, 2011, NYC
Azrael, song for soprano and piano, commissioned by Jay Barksdale to honor the 10th anniversary of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Foundation, performed by Barksdale and soprano Beth Wladis.

December 11, 2011, NYC
The Tightened String, 9/11 memorial work for mixed chorus, treble quartet, and prepared piano, commissioned by the Central City Chorus, to a newly written poem by David Brendan Hopes

December 15, 2011, Asheville, NC
A Shepherd’s Nativity (Sweet Light), for men’s chorus and English horn, to be performed by Cantaria, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Asheville

[Early 2012, NYC]
Ask Me No More, for men’s chorus a cappella, to be performed by the Young Men’s Chorus of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy

April 21, 2012, Waukesha, WI
Stabat Mater, for mixed chorus a cappella, commissioned by Carroll University (followed by Italian tour in May)

April 27, 2012, NYC
Gitchee Gumee, song for baritone and harp, commissioned by Daniel Neer (who also authored the text), to be accompanied by Alyssa Reit

May 31, 2012, NYC
The Hounds of Spring, for mixed chorus, electric guitar, bass and drums, to be performed by C4 and members of the Fireworks Ensemble

More details to follow!

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C4 performs excerpts from Fish

Posted on May 24th, 2011 by jondavid

C4, the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, will be performing excerpts from my choral cycle, Fish, for women’s chorus and alto saxophone, on June 2 and 4 in NYC. The work, composed in 2007 for the New York Treble Singers, enlists the unusual medium of fish to muse on creation, sex and the afterlife. More information below. Look for me in the alto section!

“One Foot In Eden: Music of Nature and the Seasons”
with guest artist, David Wozniak, alto saxophone

Featuring the world premiere of the cycle Four Bright Seasons, by Joseph N. Rubinstein. Also works by Olli Kortekangas, Nicholas Maw, Karin Rehnqvist, Martha Sullivan (premiere), Timothy Takach, Veljo Tormis, and George Tsontakis

Thursday, June 2 at 8:00PM
Church for All Nations
417 West 57th Street, NYC
(Just west of 9th Avenue)

and

Matinee Performance
Saturday, June 4 at 4:00PM
Norwegian Seamen’s Church
317 East 52nd Street, NYC
(Between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Admission $10, at the door only

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