On Tuesday, April 16 at 8 pm on New York Now, Q2 Music and host Suzanne Farrin present an exclusive stream of the Juilliard School's annual composers' competition concert. Featuring the Juilliard Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jeffrey Milarsky, the concert offers four world premieres from current student composers.
The evening opened with the 2013 Arthur Friedman Composition Prize-winning Relic by Paul Frucht, a second-year master of music degree composition student originally from Danbury, Connecticut. For the program notes, Frucht writes that his piece was an effort to "make the triad itself sound as though it has a place in the 21st century" and to "pay homage to sonority, a relic and cornerstone of harmony, filtered through my own contemporary voice."
Margarita at the Ball by Russian-born Yuri Boguinia, a third-year bachelor of music degree in composition student, concluded the first half. Piano soloist Maxwell Foster joined the orchestra for this work whose evocative program notes included the lines, "Live satin butterflies swooped up and down above the dancing hordes; flowers fluttered down from the ceilings. Whenever the electricity went off, myriad glowworms lit up in the tops of the columns, and will-o’-the wisps floated in the air."
The second half opened with The Illusionist, by Stefan Cwik, a master of music degree candidate and winner of the 2011 Juilliard Orchestral Composition Competition, who describes the work as "a tone poem for orchestra that is meant to illustrate the theatrical prowess and awe of a master illusionist."
The final work is an orchestral suite extracted from the two-act ballet, The Nectar, by Chinese-born composer-pianist and third-year bachelor of music degree student Peng-Peng Gong. Based on a fairy tale by novelist He Shu-kun, the story tells the tale of "a schoolboy who befriends a honeycomb after rescuing a honeybee from an insect's lab, and how his miniature friends were later killed in order to protect him from their rival species."
Paul Frucht: Relic
Yuri Boguinia: Margarita at the Ball
Stefan Cwik: The Illusionist
Peng-Peng Gong: The Nectar, Suite No. 1: "City Scenes"; "Dance of the Boy"; "The Blue-Eyed Awakening"; "Pas de Deux"; "Dance of the Killers"