Story posted June 09, 2010
It was a big deal for the five Bowdoin students who performed "Round Robin", a new composition by Bowdoin Professor of Music Emeritus Elliott Schwartz.
The internationally renowned composer wrote the work just for them.
The members of the Bowdoin New Music Ensemble — Abriel Ferreira '10, trumpet; Olivia Madrid '10, clarinet; Katie Cushing '10, piano; Peter McLaughlin '10, percussion; Akiva Zamcheck, guitar '11 — gave the work its premier performance at the Portland Conservatory of Music in April 2010.
In May, it was performed again in Bowdoin's Studzinski Recital Hall.
Now these five musicians are hitting the Big Time. On Saturday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m., the quintet will perform a two-movement work called Collage Concertante — of which "Round Robin" is one part — at Symphony Space in New York City, where it will cap the prestigious American Composers Alliance Summer Festival.
The first movement, "Birthday Tribute," is a miniature neo-Romantic piano concerto that honors the bicentennials of Chopin and Schumann. "The entire fabric draws upon quotations — musical and otherwise — from Robert, Clara, Frederic and George," notes Schwartz. "In both movements, the instrumental timbres are combined with a recorded sound track, words spoken by the players, and quotations from pre-existent music."
"Round Robin" is influenced by the model of a Baroque concerto grosso. "In this movement the pianist becomes a bit player, with the other four ensemble members taking turns as soloists," says Schwartz. "This format gave rise to the title 'Round Robin,' which in turn led me to use pre-existing materials related to robins, with sources ranging from the 13th-century Adam de la Halle to Edward MacDowell to English folk song to Al Jolson."
Symphony Space is located at 2537 Broadway in New York. Visit the American Composers Alliance Summer Festival website for more information.