Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music hosts the New Music Festival, featuring a Gala Festival Concert at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 30, in Bliss Recital Hall.
Also planned is a Music at Noon concert at 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 30 in the Butler Institute of American Art, and a solo piano recital of contemporary works featuring Holly Roadfeldt at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 1 in Bliss Recital Hall.
Both events are free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Wick Avenue deck for a nominal fee. More information is available by calling the Dana School of Music at 330-941-3636.
Guest artists at the New Music Festival include composer and YSU alumnus Lars Bröndum, pianist Holly Roadfeldt and composer Kathy Henkel.
On Wednesday, April 30, the Festival Chamber Orchestra premieres Bröndum’s Variations for String Orchestra, based on a Swedish folk tune. Henkel’s work Passing Doble, written for the Festival Orchestra, will also have its first performance. Henkel wrote the piece as a memorial for two younger Los Angeles friends who both died suddenly and unexpectedly. She presented it to the Festival Chamber Orchestra as a gift. Senior English horn player Rachel Swanson will play selections from Henkel’s Moorland Sketches with accompaniment by the Howard String Quartet, a group of Dana alumni.
In addition, the group presents Gwyneth Rollin’s Impressions, a collection of short descriptive string orchestra movements. Robert Rollin’s Suite from the Secrete Annex, incidental music to the play by John Ballantine, will also be played. Ballantine commissioned it for the Oakland Center premiere of his play, which focused on Anne Frank and the Dutch people who hid her during the Nazi Occupation.
The concert will also include Korean songs performed by Dana faculty soprano Misook Yun. Local composer and New Music Guild Inc. board member Richard Zacharias’ Too Far to Walk, So Savor the Ride: String Quartet No. 3 will be premiered by a group of YSU alumni and students.
Principal Guest Composer Lars Bröndum, a YSU alumnus, serves as an associate professor at Skörde University near Stockholm. After completing a master’s degree at YSU, Bröndum earned doctorate in Composition from the University of Pittsburgh.
Guest pianist Roadfeldt has toured the United States, Europe and Asia both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, and was a guest previously at YSU as part of duoARtia, a professional piano duo team. She holds degrees from Eastman, Indiana University, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her solo recital on Thursday, May 1 features works by living composers including Dan Perttu, Kirk O’Riodan, Tony Donofrio, Joan Tower, and Robert Rollin.
California composer Kathy Henkel holds degrees from UCLA and California State University at Northridge and has worked in Los Angeles as a scriptwriter-producer at KUSC-FM (the statewide PBS classical radio station), as program annotator for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and various chamber music groups, writer of liner notes for Pro Piano Records in New York, pre-concert lecturer for chamber recitals and school outreach programs, and is owner of the Sign of the Silver Birch Music Publishing Company.