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Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
Patricia Spencer, flute, is joined by Kimberly Kahan, soprano; Linda Hall, piano; Stephen Hammer, oboe; Marcus Parris, conductor; Melissa Sweet, flute; Joy Plaisted and Melanie Richeson, harps; and Daniel Wohl, reciter
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—“Words and Flutes,” a thematic flute chamber music program at Bard College, is presented by flutist Patricia Spencer and friends—soprano Kimberly Kahan, pianist Linda Hall, oboist Stephen Hammer, conductor Marcus Parris, flutist Melissa Sweet, harpists Joy Plaisted and Melanie Richeson, and Daniel Wohl, reciter—on Tuesday, June 13. Free and open to the public, the program begins at 8:00 p.m. in Bard Hall. “At the heart of the program is Claude Debussy’s evocative Chansons de Bilitis, a recitation of 12 poems by Pierre Louys, with two flutes, two harps, and celeste. Continuing the juxtaposition of flute with words, Stan Link’s alto flute and tape piece, In Ida’s Mirror, combines highly charged verbal fragments with voice-like alto flute responses,” explains Spencer. “Albert Roussel’s Deux poèmes de Ronsard and Harry Freedman’s Toccata (with very complex words: ‘da ba da ba da ba da ba’), both for soprano and flute, are performed by Spencer and soprano Kimberly Kahan.” Completing the program are three “conversational” pieces: Louise Talma’s Conversations (for flute and piano, written for Spencer); Robert Martin’s From the Green Mountains (for flute and oboe); and Aaron Copland’s Duo for Flute and Piano, which opens with a recitative for the flute. This recital is the opening event for a five-day seminar led by Spencer that is devoted to the study of present-day flute repertoire. The exploration of old and new repertoire is one of the primary pursuits of the seminar—to hear today’s works with an ear to their connection to the musical languages of the past. Seminar participants perform a free closing recital in Bard Hall on Saturday, June 17, at 8:00 p.m. No reservations are necessary; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information, call 845-758-6822. # About the Artists Pianist Linda Hall pursued her undergraduate studies at the Oberlin Conservatory and the Salzburg Mozarteum. She holds a graduate degree in piano performance from The Juilliard School. Hall coaches singers and performs with singers and instrumentalists throughout the United States and abroad. She is assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera; in recent seasons she has prepared the casts for Corigliano’s Ghosts of Versailles and Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, Death in Venice, and Billy Budd, among others. Hall recently appeared on stage at the Metropolitan Opera, as the pianist in the party scene in the premiere and subsequent performances of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby. She can be heard in recordingswith cellist Jascha Silberstein on the Musical Heritage Society label, and with flutist Patricia Spencer on two Neuma Records CDs, featuring works by Boulez, Talma, Jaffe, and Shatin. Stephen Hammer enjoys an eclectic career teaching and playing oboes and recorders of all periods. He is principal oboist of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Concert Royal, the Bach Ensemble, and the New York Collegium, of which he was also a cofounder and artistic director, and performs with the Metropolitan Opera, Aston Magna, the Calliope Renaissance Band, and at music festivals around the world. His more than 150 solo, chamber, and orchestral recordings appear on Decca, l’Oiseau-Lyre, and other labels. Hammer teaches at Bard College and the Longy School of Music, as well as participating in courses and master classes at other leading schools of music, and collaborates with both Jonathan Bosworth and Joel Robinson in building replicas of historical oboes and shawms. He lives in Tivoli, N.Y. Lyric soprano Kimberly Kahan is a native of Louisville, Kentucky; she now resides in New York City and the Hudson Valley. After graduating from Indiana University at Bloomington, she quickly established herself in such leading roles as Mimi in La Bohème, Countess Almavia in Le nozze di Figaro, and Micaela in Carmen, which she performed in Tel Aviv. She sang in the premier of Kyle Gann’s opera, Cinderella’s Bad Magic, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. A favorite of European audiences, Kahan has appeared in concert in such cities as Helsinki, Copenhagen, Nice, Naples, Istanbul, and Athens. Equally comfortable in oratorio, she has performed as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mass in C Major, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Magnificat, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, as well as in the Requiems of Brahms, Fauré, Mozart, and Verdi. Harpist Joy Plaisted receved a masters degree from The Juilliard School of Music. She has performed with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the New York Harp Ensemble, the Reykjavik Youth Symphony, and the off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks, among other theatrical and orchestral productions. Her concerts have taken her to Japan, China, Hong Kong, France, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. Plaisted received a bachelor of music degree from the University of Minnesota and did graduate studies at the Geneva Conservatory. Her teachers include Nancy Allen, Catherine Meyer-Eisenhoffer, Pierre Jamet and Frances G. Miller. Marcus J Parris, Bard '06, was born in worcester, Massachusetts, and began piano, and trumpet lessons at the age of six with his father, Erick Parris, who has been a major and consistent musical influence in his life. From 2001 until 2005, he studied orchestral conducting with Maestro Harold Farberman, first as a private student then as a scholarship in the conducting program at Bard College. Parris was recently appointed principal conductor of the Highland Opera Company in Newburg, New York, and is founder and music director of Virtuosi International. He has also appeared as a guest conductor with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the Atlantic Union College Chamber Orchestra. In January of 2006, Parris, along with several other young conductors shared the podium with Maestro Kurt Masur in a concert with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra. In the fall of 2004, Parris began private composition lessons with Joan Tower; since then, his pieces, Sunday (2004), for solo piano, and Reconciliations (2005), for mixed quintet, were performed by Blair McMillen, and the DaCapo Chamber Players, respectively. Impala (2006), for full orchestra, was recently performed by the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Leon Botstein. Patricia Spencer is flutist with the Naumburg Award–winning Da Capo Chamber Players, performing with them in international festivals as well as in a high-profile annual concert series in New York City. In August 2005 she performed the Boulez Sonatine, with pianist Linda Hall, for the Bard Music Festiva and in August 2004, as soloist in Joan Tower’s Flute Concerto (with Ransom Wilson conducting), she received a standing ovation from flutists attending the National Flute Association Convention. Spencer has appeared in solo performances at the Moscow Alternativa Festival and the ICMC in Beijing, China, as well as throughout the United States. She has recorded for the Bridge, GM Recordings, New World, CRI, Innova, and Neuma labels. An exciting repertoire of pieces has been written for her, including the title work of one of her solo CDs, Narcissus and Kairos (new works by Thea Musgrave and Judith Shatin) on Neuma Records. In May 2005, Spencer was honored, by the League of Composers/International Society for Contemporary Music, for a distinguished career in performance across a broad range of repertoire and for her commitment to new music. She teaches flute and chamber music at Bard College and Hofstra University. Flutist Melissa Sweet began her studies with John Oberbrunner at Syracuse University and she later studied at the Eastman School of Music with Joseph Mariano. Her subsequent teachers have included Claude Monteux, Murray Panitz, John Solum, and Patricia Spencer. She was chosen to be a participant in several of Robert Willoughby’s master classes at the University of New Hampshire and Patricia Spencer’s Now and Present Flute Seminar at Bard College. Active as a chamber musician, Sweet has played in several ensembles including the Woodstock Chamber Players, Flutations, and Le Grande Ecurie (on baroque flute); at present she performs with guitarist Gregory Dinger in the duo Cantilena and with clarinetist Tony Penz and pianist Jean Russak in Wind Song, a flute, clarinet and piano trio. Her orchestral experience includes principal flutist with the Hudson Valley Opera Company and, currently, with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. Sweet maintains an active teaching studio at her home in Saugerties, where she teaches students at all levels. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Ulster County Community College and SUNY New Paltz. Daniel Wohl was born in Paris, France, where he started playing piano at a young age. At 18 he moved to the United States to attend university where he began by studying philosophy and then composition with Joan Tower at Bard College. His music has been performed by the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Lunaire Quartet, St Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and the American Symphony Orchestra among others. Wohl is the recipient of several awards and scholarships and is currently studying with Bright Sheng and William Bolcolm at the University of Michigan where he has just completed the first year of his masters degree.

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This event was last updated on 06-14-2006