Four World Premieres by Juilliard Student Composers

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Tuesday, April 15 at 8 pm on New York Now: Q2 Music and host Charlotte Mundy present an exclusive webcast of the Juilliard School's 2014 composers' competition winners. Featuring the Juilliard Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jeffrey Milarsky, the concert offers four world premieres from current student composers.

Since 1991, the annual composers competition has served as a showcase for world premieres from current Juilliard students, as chosen by a panel of distinguished, outside composers. Conductor Jeffrey Milarsky – recent recipient of Columbia University's prestigious Ditson Conductor's Award for contributions to American music - has spearheaded the concert since its inception. 

This year features Reminiscence and Oblivion, the Arthur Friedman Prize-winning orchestral work by Chinese-born doctoral student Shen Yiwen. Shen dedicated the work to his aunt Song Weijie, as an elegy to mourn her untimely passing in March 2013 at the age of 46.

Japanese composer Sayo Kosugi – currently pursuing her master of music in composition – describes the process of composing her work Lilac Nova for violin and orchestra as a "feeling of something subtle and mysterious. It was also something that had an incredible inner energy and power. I felt a sense of universe and space, and it centered on the color lilac." Juilliard violinist Alex Shiozaki is the soloist. 

Rondeaux is the first work composed in New York City by current master's candidate in music and native of France, Alexander Liebermann. "For emphasizing the contrast between New York and the village where my family is from, I decided to use two French Medieval poems by Alain Chartier and Charles d’Orléans, which are part of the essence of modern French poetry," Liebermann explains. "One – and maybe the most essential objectives of this composition – is to create a pass to that mysterious time and atmosphere. The orchestration of Rondeaux allowed me to make these landscapes more colorful."

Ross S. Griffey's This Side of Paradise takes its title from the 1920 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald of the same name. A current candidate for master of music and a student of Samuel Adler, Griffey cautions that he "did not attempt to depict the events of the novel musically. Rather, just as Samuel Barber captured the wit and levity that are the essence of Richard Sheridan’s play in his Overture to The School for Scandal, so did I aim to convey the youthful energy and romantic spirit of Fitzgerald’s work in my own overture." 


Complete Program:

Shen Yiwen: Reminiscence and Oblivion

Sayo Kosugi: Lilac Nova

Alexander Liebermann: Rondeaux

Ross S. Griffey: This Side of Paradise