Musica Nova, Eastman’s contemporary music ensemble, will be performing their third concert of the season this Monday at 8 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall. The concert, conducted by the ensemble’s music director, Brad Lubman, will include performances of works by two Eastman composition students, Chappel Kingsland and Hannah Lash, as well as a piece by professional composer Randy Woolf.
This concert is a particularly special event because both of the student-written pieces will be world premieres. All three composers will be present to hear their works performed at the concert.
Since its formation, Musica Nova has been dedicated to familiarizing audiences with contemporary music by performing diverse programs that include music that is both fun and challenging for performers and audiences alike.
Monday’s concert should prove to be no exception. Lubman is very enthusiastic about this program and feels that the pieces are popular with the performers as well. “Everyone is really enjoying working on these pieces,” he said. The piece by Woolf is titled “Chaotic Regime.” Lubman describes it as “very clever and lots of fun.” The piece is scored for a chamber orchestra of 15 musicians.
The Lash piece, “Venus,” has an unconventional orchestration. It is scored for seven timpanists, two altos and a harp. Hannah said, “My goal in composing this piece was to create a sound-world which was uniquely and completely saturated with the timpani sound, with which I am fascinated.
“I thought more and more about this sound-world, and where it might lead in the course of my piece. I felt that the alti and harp, rather than the antithesis of the timpani sound, were the result of timpani sound-saturationl.”
Lubman calls “Venus” “very interesting and provocative.”
The final work of the program is a new piece by Kingsland. Lubman describes the piece as being “extraordinarily colorful.” The piece is scored for a small orchestra of nine players ? three strings, three woodwinds and three brass instruments. Lubman also says that the piece is “very diverse in its sense of style.” The piece is written in five movements, each one with a different character. Many different styles of music are incorporated into this piece, including the last movement, which is based on various styles of dance music and even includes some hints at pop music. Lubman calls Kingsland’s piece, “total fun.”
A Musica Nova concert usually guarantees a good musical experience. The musicians are all extremely talented and share a passion for contemporary music that is evident in their playing. As Lubman said, “these young professionals bring technical prowess and enormous enthusiasm to rehearsals and concerts.”
The atmosphere of the performance is relaxed from that of most “classical” ensembles. The musicians display a more laid-back persona but their music making is always intense and exciting.
In the past, audiences have reacted favorably to the Musica Nova attitude. The mixture of Musica Nova’s approach to the music and their virtuosity in performance, along with the excitement of hearing new pieces, is what makes their concerts so enjoyable.
Excited for the performance of her piece, Lash has “attended the rehearsals for Venus, and [feels] that the performers are excellent and Brad Lubman, the conductor, is fabulous. I am very happy to have my piece being played by Musica Nova ? it is truly an honor.”
Musica Nova’s audiences generally consist of contemporary music enthusiasts, faculty and some students, many of those being composition students. However, Lubman feels that this performance has something to offer to everyone. When asked what potential audience members should expect from this concert, Lubman replied, “[they can expect] a great time. The concert is not too long and offers great diversity with very compelling pieces.”
With two world premieres by Eastman composers and the talent of the musicians, Monday’s concert will be a welcome oasis from pre-Thanksgiving Break chaos.