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The Bard Music Department Presents "Close Encounters With a Flute"

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Flutist Patricia Spencer presents a recital tiltled “Close Encounters With a Flute,” on Friday, June 12 at 8 p.m. The program features with a wide-ranging repertoire including works for flute accompanied by electronic music and well-loved classics by Teleman and Prokofiev. The performance takes place in Bard Hall and is free and open to the public; no reservations are necessary.

Spencer, an internationally known flutist and member of the acclaimed Da Capo Chamber Players, will be joined by Christopher Oldfather, piano; Frederick Hammond, harpsichord; and guest composer Lydia Ayers, flute. The program includes: Arthur Kreiger, Close Encounters (for flute and electronic sounds); Tania León, Alma; Sergei Prokofiev, Sonata, Op. 94; Georg Philipp Telemann, Sonata in E Minor; Lydia  Ayers, The Chalky Desert Where Nothing Grows (for flute and electronic sounds); and Lydia Ayers, Wild Herons (for two flutes).

The recital is the opening event in a five-day seminar devoted to the study of present-day flute repertoire. The exploration of connections between old and new repertoire is one of the primary pursuits of the seminar. Seminar participants include faculty, graduate, and undergraduate flutists from colleges and universities in Georgia, Nebraska, Florida, New Jersey, and other states. 

A second recital, performed by seminar participants, will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 8 p.m. at Bard Hall. For more information about these programs, call 845-758-6822.

About the Performers:

Flutist Patricia Spencer’s career has included concerto performances – particularly the world premiere of Shulamit Ran’s Voices at the NFA Convention in Columbus, and Joan Tower’s FluteConcerto, for which she received a standing ovation at the Nashville NFA Convention as well as dozens of chamber music CDs and two solo CDs. The Now and Present Flute and Narcissus and Kairos (both on Neuma Records) were each greeted with rave reviews from Fanfare and The American Record Guide. She is a member of the internationally renowned Da Capo Chamber Players (Naumburg award winners), and has been a guest artist with the Colorado Quartet, SO Percussion, ModernWorks, and many other ensembles. Spencer appeared recently with the Avalon String Quartet as guest artist in Mario Davidovsky’s stunning Quartetto and other works, for the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society. Other highlights in her wide-ranging career have included a performance of the Boulez Sonatine for the Bard Music Festival and recital performances in Moscow and Beijing, among others. Recent New York Times reviews have cited her “passionate, warm-blooded performance” of the Berio Sequenza (June 2008) and noted that she “negotiated swirling figures and multiphonics deftly” in Tania León’s Alma (September 2008). Spencer teaches flute and chamber music at Bard College and Hofstra University.


Lydia Ayers is a Hong Kong-based freelance composer who plays flutes from a variety of cultural traditions. She has worked with extended vocal and flute techniques, including quarter tones, multiphonics, and other unusual flute timbres. Working in Csound, she is creating Indonesian, Native American, Australian, and Chinese computer instrument designs. She has extensively researched and composed with microtonal tuning systems, especially unlimited just intonation. She also uses a 75-tone Indian/Partch scale on the “Woodstock Gamelan,” a tubular percussion instrument built to her specifications by Woodstock Percussion. She has modeled the Woodstock Gamelan and other gamelan instruments using Csound, and authored Cooking with Csound: Woodwind and Brass Recipes, a CD-ROM package which gives synthesis designs for wind instruments. She has played gamelan at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University.


Frederick Hammond received his B.A and Ph.D. at Yale University, and has received fellowships from the American Academy, Villa I Tatti, and Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation for Venetian Studies. He is music director emeritus of the Clarion Music Society and author of two books on Girolamo Frescobaldi, including Music and Spectacle in Baroque Rome, and numerous articles. He is coeditor of Ambiente Barocco, the exhibition catalogue of the Bard Graduate Center. He has performed at the Smithsonian Institution, Lincoln Center, and the Nakamichi Festival, among others, and has recorded for Nonesuch, ABC Westminster, and Decca. Hammond is Irma Brandeis Professor of Romance Cultures and Music History at Bard College.


Born in Cuba, Tania León is highly regarded as a composer and conductor and also recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and adviser to arts organizations. León’s Ácana for orchestra was jointly commissioned and premiered by Orpheus at Carnegie Hall and by the Purchase College Orchestra. Other recent premieres include Estampas, commissioned by the Chicago a capella; Alma, for flute and piano, commissioned by Marya Martin; and Atwood Songs for soprano and piano with text by Margaret Atwood, commissioned by the Eastman School of Music and Syracuse University. In March 2008 León served as U.S. Artistic Ambassador of American Culture in Madrid, Spain. In April, she held a composer/conductor residency at the Beijing Central Conservatory. Recent awards include a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fromm Music Foundation commission in 2005. She was named Distinguished Professor of the City University of New York in 2006. Her honors include the New York Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and honorary doctorate degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin, and Purchase College.


A composer for more than 40 years, Arthur Kreiger’s catalogue contains pieces for orchestra, chorus, mixed chamber ensembles, solo instruments and the electronic medium. The sound world of the electronic medium, in particular, continues to fascinate him. Kreiger began his studies at the University of Connecticut and went on to complete his DMA with distinction at Columbia University. In addition to the 1993 Brandeis Award, the composer’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize as well as commissions from the Fromm and Koussevitzky Foundations and The National Endowment for the Arts. Kreiger’s music appears on Odyssey, Spectrum, New World Records, Finnadar, CRI, Neuma, Capstone, SEAMUS, and Context. His music is published by C. F. Peters, the Association for the Promotion New Music, American Composers Editions, and Calabrese Brothers Music. Kreiger’s most recent project is a CD presenting nine of his compositions, entitled Meeting Places, the disc features highly acclaimed performances by the New York New Music Ensemble and the Juilliard Percussion Quartet. Each work in the collection contains an electronic component. A recent review in Fanfare cites “music of tremendous craft, charm, and even beauty…Give it a listen.”


Christopher Oldfather has devoted himself to the performance of 20th-century music for more than 30 years. He has participated in innumerable world-premiere performances, in every possible combination of instruments, in cities all over America. He has been a member of Boston’s Collage New Music since 1979, New York City’s Parnassus since 1997, appears regularly in Chicago, and, as a collaborator, has joined singers and instrumentalists of all kinds in recitals throughout the United States. In 1986 he made his recital debut in Carnegie Recital Hall. Since then he has pursued a career as a freelance musician. Oldfather has worked on every sort of keyboard ever made, including, of all things, the Chromelodeon. He is widely known for his expertise on the harpsichord, and is one of the leading interpreters of 20th century works for that instrument. As soloist he has appeared with the MET Chamber Players, the San Francisco Symphony, and Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Germany. His recording of Elliott Carter’s violin-piano Duo with Robert Mann was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1990. Recently he has collaborated with the conductor Robert Craft, and can be heard on several of his recordings.


High resolution photographs are available at

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This event was last updated on 06-03-2009