New Music Central – Lawrence Axelrod (USA)
4 March 2019 - Chemistry
For this University of Canterbury School of Music New Music Central concert, pianist Lawrence Axelrod will present a programme where each of the pieces have something to do with the concept of “journey”.
Journey can be an indistinct marker, as in Nathan Lincoln-De Cusatis’ The Map’s Void Spaces and Samuel Holloway’s Terrain Vague. For others, it is a life-encompassing movement, as in George Crumb’s Processional and Leoš Janáček’s On An Overgrown Path. For Eve de Castro-Robinson, the journey can be an intimate one in the form of Chat and for Ken Steen it can be an annoying one in the form of Driving Me Crazy. It can also be the ear-opening result of foreign travel, as in Axelrod’s Journey/Dream.
A recent review in Opera News stated Axelrod was “a … composer whose fresh and distinctive music deserves to be more widely known”. At once a composer, pianist and conductor, Axelrod’s musical activities have taken him around the United States, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Axelrod has had works done by Quintet Attacca, The Chicago Composers Orchestra, Palomar, Ensemble Dal Niente, Pinotage, and The Lincoln Trio in recent seasons.
Most recently, Brown Line, a sort-of scherzo, was premiered by the Chicago Composers Orchestra in January 2018. Fits and Starts was premiered by the renowned woodwind group Quintet Attacca in October 2016. Two of his Brandenburg Fantasias were premiered by the Chicago Composers Orchestra in November 2014.
His music will be included in the Sound of Silent Film Festival in Chicago presented by Access Contemporary Music in April 2018, following inclusion in an earlier similar project in 2012, which was performed both in Chicago and New York’s Symphony Space.
A CD of solo and small chamber works was released in the northern hemisphere autumn of 2003. A CD featuring Axelrod’s six Brandenburg Fantasias, compositions using the instrumentation from Bach’s famous works, was released in October 2013 on the Innova label, garnering significant attention, and was considered for Grammy nomination.
The Heart Revived, a new recording, featuring works for soloists and chamber orchestra and solo piano, was released in August 2016, garnering an excellent review and critic’s choice in Opera News.
Axelrod has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council, Chorus America, Meet the Composer and Arts International for the performances of his works.
He is a founder and current member of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium. and was a member of CUBE Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. He has taught a highly successful opera appreciation class in Santa Fe in New Mexico each summer for 15 years, which has become a springboard for leading cultural travel trips. His teaching experience also includes music theory at Columbia College in Missouri.
Date: Monday 4 March 2019
Time: 7.00pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Recital Room, University of Canterbury Arts at the Arts Centre, Chemistry building, 3 Hereford St, Christchurch.