UA School Of Music To Host 50th Anniversary Of S.E. Composers League

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The School of Music at The University of Alabama will welcome some of America’s brightest musical composers and performers, while celebrating the history of the Southeastern Composers League April 5-7 at the Moody Moody Building on the UA campus.

The public is invited to attend a number of free concerts, which have been scheduled during the three-day celebration honoring the organization that traces its beginning to The University of Alabama.

From 1950-1970, UA’s School of Music and the College of Arts and Sciences sponsored an annual Composers’ Forum. Initially the Forum concerned itself with readings and performances of music in all genres, but beginning in the early 1960s it alternated years devoted to orchestral music with years devoted to smaller ensemble and solo works. At that time the Forum also initiated a series of commissions of compositions to be premiered by the Cadek Quartet, the University’s string quartet-in-residence.

The Forum, which was designated in 1952 as the Southeastern Regional Composers Forum, and ultimately the Regional Composers Forum, was founded in 1950 by Gurney Kennedy and Paul Newell, then faculty members of the department of music. The venture solicited and received the support of the department’s entire faculty, whose student ensembles also were enlisted to rehearse and perform works by composers living in the 11 designated states of the Southeast: Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

According to Dr. Marvin Johnson, associate professor in the School of Music and coordinator of the anniversary celebration, the return of the Composers League to The University of Alabama is a special event for the School, as well as the public at large.

“The Southeastern Composer’s League is one of America’s oldest and most resilient organizations of composers, and that group traces its roots and birth to The University of Alabama,” said Johnson.

“The University and West Alabama community should embrace the return of the League, if only for a few days, and the traditions and hundreds of original pieces of works that have been introduced to the world of music. Further, we are quite pleased that the public will have an outstanding opportunity to sample the works of some of these talented composers, as a series of free concerts will be open to the public. We welcome the people of Alabama to join in a celebration that recognizes the past and future of musical composition at its finest.”

The event will also mark the introduction of Sir Harrison Birtwistle, the School of Music’s Endowed Chairholder in Music Composition for the 2000-01 academic year. The music of Birtwistle has attracted international conductors including Pierre Boulez, Elgar Howarth, Peter Eötvös, Oliver Knussen, Sir Simon Rattle, Christoph von Dohnanyi and Daniel Barenboim.

He has received commissions from leading performing organizations, and his music has been featured in major festivals and concert series including the BBC

Proms, Salzburg Festival, Holland Festival, Stockholm New Music, Wien Modern, Wittener Tage, the South Bank Centre in London and the Konzerthaus in Vienna.

Birtwistle has received many honors including the 1986 Grawemeyer Award, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1986, a British knighthood in 1988, and the Siemens Prize in 1995.

He is currently director of composition at the Royal College of Music in London, the Henry Purcell Professor of Composition at King’s College London, and Composer in Residence with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the South Bank Centre.

SOUTHEASTERN COMPOSERS LEAGUE FREE CONCERT SCHEDULE

Free and Open to the Public
CONCERT I
Thursday, April 5
10:30 a.m.
Recital Hall
CONCERT II
Thursday, April 5
2 p.m.
Concert Hall

CONCERT III
Thursday, April 5
4 p.m.
Concert Hall
CONCERT IV
Thursday, April 5
7:30 p.m.
Concert Hall

CONCERT V
Friday, April 6
2 p.m.
Concert Hall

CONCERT VI (The Founders Concert)
Friday, April 6
4 p.m.
Concert Hall

CONCERT VII
Friday, April 6
7:30 p.m.
Concert Hall

Paper Session and Live Computer Demonstration
Saturday, April 7
10 a.m.
Choral/Opera Room

CONCERT VIII (Electronic Music) Saturday, April 7
11 a.m..
Recital Hall

CONCERT IX
Saturday, April 7
2:30 p.m
Concert Hall

CONCERT X
Saturday, April 7
4:30 p.m.
Concert Hall

CONCERT XI
Saturday, April 7
7:30 p.m.
Concert Hall

Source

Dr. Marvin Johnson, 205/348-6604

Contact

Lance M. Skelly, UA Office of Media Relations, 205/348-3782

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.