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UAlbany to Host SUNY-Wide Music Symposium, Jan. 29-31

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 22, 2015) -- The University at Albany’s Department of Music and Theatre will host a symphony of composers and performers from across the SUNY system during the New Music and Culture symposium, January 29-31 at the Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus. The event will feature nine free public concerts featuring music by nearly 30 composers as performed by The Buffalo Ensemble, the Stony Brook Contemporary Players and the New York City-based North/South Consonance Ensemble. Distinguished soloists will include soprano Martha Herr – the American singer residing in Brazil; baritone Joseph Han; Canadian violinist and Stony Brook alumna Claudia Schaer; oboist Karen Hosmer; trumpeter Allyson Keyser; French hornist Ann Ellsworth; percussion virtuoso Tom Kolor; guitarists James Budinich and Zane Merritt; and pianists Mark Evans and Eric Heubner. The complete schedule is available.

Violinist Claudia Schaer

Violinist Claudia Schaer

 “This is a collaborative effort designed to showcase the superb accomplishments of composers and performers active throughout the SUNY system,” said UAlbany professor and pianist Max Lifchitz, who organized the symposium. “Music by faculty and student composers from throughout New York State will be expertly performed by musicians who are faculty members, alumni or students at various SUNY institutions.”

In addition to several recent works employing new technologies, there will be a local preview of innovative electronic instruments such as the Soundplane (performed by William Pfaff) and the Theremin Cello (performed by Jonathan Golove).

Augusta Read Thomas, the former composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony, will serve as Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and will give the keynote address on January 30 at 1:15 p.m. She will discuss and provide examples of her recent works and also will talk about the relationship among composers, musical institutions and the public.

Joel Chadabe, founder of Intelligent Music, New Music World and UAlbany faculty emeritus, will give the second keynote address on January 31 at 11 a.m. His lecture will focus on the impact of recent technological innovations on music making.

This is the first time the University at Albany is hosting the event which was initially held at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2009 and then at Stony Brook University in 2011. Planning began a year ago and has involved faculty members and administrators at numerous institutions.

Funding for the symposium was provided by the SUNY System Administration Conversations in the Discipline Program; Office of the UAlbany Vice President for Research; College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office; Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program; North/South Consonance, Inc.; as well as public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts.

All events are free and open to the public.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.