A pioneer in the use of computers in performance, beginning in the late 1970s, Neil Rolnick’s music has been performed around the world, and appears on 16 CD’s.
Though much of Rolnick’s work connects music and technology, his music has always been highly melodic and accessible. Whether working with electronic sounds, chamber ensembles, orchestra, improvisation, or multimedia, his music has been characterized by critics as “sophisticated,” “hummable and engaging,” and as having “good senses of showmanship and humor.”
From 1981-2013 Rolnick was a Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he was founding director of the iEAR Studios.
Since 2005 Neil Rolnick has written three large-scale works for piano and computer. On Tuesday, February 18th – a concert at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall will feature the upstate premiere of the third of these pieces - "Dynamic RAM & Concert Grand", commissioned by the Fromm Foundation for Bang On A Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow.
The evening will also include the previous two works, each played by the pianist who commissioned it. Kathleen Supove will play "Digits" (2005) and Bob Gluck will play "Faith" (2009). Rolnick will perform the computer part for all three pieces.
Duke Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century. His songs—he wrote more than 1500 of them—have been recorded by a who’s who of popular music, from Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett to Steely Dan.
The grandson of a slave, he dropped out of high school to become one of the world’s most famous musicians, a showman of incomparable suavity who was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as in the nightclubs where he honed his style. Many of his compositions, like “Mood Indigo” and “Sophisticated Lady,” remain beloved standards.
In Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, Terry Teachout, drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, jazz musician, and author of Pops, an acclaimed biography of Louis Armstrong, reveals the many layers of a man as unique and complex as the music he created.
As we mentioned earlier, Stéphane Denève will be conducting a Bernstein Extravaganza tomorrow night here at SPAC. And Jamie Bernstein will take part in a tribute to her father, Leonard Bernstein, which will feature members of the New York City Ballet.
The program will include the composer’s “Suite” from “Fancy Free,” and “Something’s Coming” and “Symphonic Dances” from “West Side Story.”
Jamie Bernstein frequently works with symphonies as a narrator, and she helped develop a school concert program for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Collaborating with Michael Barrett, who worked as an assistant conductor with Leonard Bernstein, she developed a program about her father’s music.
The Saratoga Race Course is 150 years old and the track is being celebrated throughout the city this season and tonight, the party comes here to SPAC.
Keith Lockhart will conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in a series of “horse” related pieces. "Serenade" by Richard Danielpour is receiving its world premiere performance tonight here at SPAC. The work pays tribute to other aspects of Saratoga, in addition to racing. Over the course of three movements, it visits the arts scene, the mineral waters, and, finally, the track.
SPAC's commission of Danielpour's "Serenade" was underwritten by Charles and Candace Wait and happens to coincide with Danielpour's 30th anniversary of visiting Saratoga. Charles Wait is the Chairman of Saratoga 150.
The film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, released last year, stars Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy, a young girl living in a southern Louisiana bayou with her father and with the weight of the universe on her small determined shoulders. The film was directed by Benh Zeitlin and adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious. The score is by Zeitlin and Dan Romer.
This gorgeous and fantastical film was distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures and was nominated for 4 Academy Awards. The film’s aforementioned star, Quvenzhané Wallis, is the youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Actress in a motion picture. Zeitlin was nominated for Best Director - for this, his first full-length feature film; and he and Alibar were nominated for best adapted screenplay. The film was also nominated for Best Picture.
This Saturday, August 10th, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA will present a screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild with live score performed by Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin, and the Wordless Music Orchestra. This is one of only two scheduled live-score presentations of the film - the first occurring on the 8th at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park.
Jason Robert Brown’s first musical, Songs for a New World played off-Broadway in 1995 and has since been seen in more than two hundred productions around the world. He won the Tony Award for Best Original Score in 1999 for Parade and won Drama Desk Awards in 2002 for Best Music and Best Lyrics for The Last Five Years - which has been adapted for film by Richard LaGravenese and produced by Lucky Monkey Pictures, Sh-K-Boom Records, and Grand Peaks Entertainment.
Jason is the composer and lyricist of the new musical adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County. The book is by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman and it's directed by Tony winner Bartlett Sher.
This Friday at 10pm, The Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival will host R WE WHO R WE - an ongoing collaboration by composer-performers Ted Hearne and Philip White. A tribute and commentary to both classic and ephemeral artists of the pop landscape, R WE WHO R WE uses pop music like graffiti uses public space, exploiting the tension between theft and tribute.
Composer, conductor, and performer Ted Hearne joins us. He attended Manhattan School of Music and Yale School of Music, and has studied with Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, David Lang, Nils Vigeland and Julia Wolfe.