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UAlbany’s Festival of Contemporary Music

UAlbany's Percussion Ensemble will take part on the annual Festival of Contemporary Music on March 7.

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 7, 2016) -- As part of the annual University Percussion Ensemble and the Youth Percussion Ensembles, the University at Albany's Department of Music and Theatre will host young composer Brandon Zhou, a senior at Bethlehem Central High School, to perform this evening at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.

The featured work will be a premiere performance of "Mutagenesis" written by Zhou for nine percussion players and performed by the Empire State Youth Percussion Ensemble.

Zhou has excelled on both cello and piano, and has recently turned to composing music as well as performing it. His orchestral work "Earth, the Grounded Element," was performed by the Youth Orchestra as an "8th movement" of Holst’s The Planets this past October. He has also composed works for solo piano, violin and piano, a string quartet and a work for two pianos and percussion.

"Mutagenesis" was inspired by Varèse’s landmark work Ionisation. It uses a vast array of percussion instruments, both pitched and unpitched, in ways that utilize their varying colors and textures in ever-changing combinations.

The Youth Ensemble will also perform the John Beck Concerto for Drum Set and Percussion Ensemble featuring Jim Stagnitti, a senior at Niskayuna High School on the drum kit.

Joining the Youth Ensemble will be the two Repertory Percussion Ensembles, also part of the Youth Orchestra’s vast program, and the University Percussion Ensemble from the University at Albany.

On the program will be "Moto No Refle" by senior faculty member and composer Rob Bridge (Onondaga Community College); "War Dance" by Williams College’s David Kechley; "Extremes" by Rochester composer, educator and percussionist David Mancini; a theater piece by David Punto; works by Neil Daughtrey and John Martinson; and "Suite Popular Brasileira" by renowned Brazilian composer Ney Rosauro.

Tickets are still available and may be purchased through the Performing Arts Center Box Office by calling (518) 442-3997.

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