Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

Internationally known flutist Patricia Spencer, member of the Da Capo Chamber Players and visiting associate professor of music at Bard, will perform at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, at Bard Hall. This is the opening recital of the annual "Now and Present Flute" seminar at Bard College and is free and open to the public. Spencer will be joined by pianist Linda Hall and guitarist William Zito.

The program, "Russian and American Flute Music," features two works collected during Spencer's recent trips to Russia, where she performed at the Moscow Forum festival and at Moscow's Alternativa Festival. Kirill Umansky's "Short Variations" for solo flute is based on the story of Icarus flying too close to the sun. Anton Viskov's "Pastorale and Capriccio" will receive its world premiere.

Two recent works by Joan Tower, Asher B. Edelman Professor of Music at Bard, and David Lang, a founding composer of the group Bang on a Can, will be juxtaposed with the Russian pieces. Tower's "Snow Dreams," for flute and guitar, abounds in aural images of serene, sculpted drifts, dancing snowflakes, and powerful wind-driven snow. Lang's "Thorn" features an ever-shifting, dancelike rhythmic pattern. Two classics will complete the program—one American, Lukas Foss's delightful "Three American Pieces," and one Russian, Prokofiev's Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 94.

The "Now and Present Flute" seminar with Patricia Spencer is presented every June by the Bard College Music Program. Flutists from across the country and from diverse backgrounds (including college students, public school music teachers, adult amateurs, and professionals) join in playing contemporary flute repertoire with Spencer.

For further information about the recitals and flute seminar, call Bard College at 845-758-6822, or Alfred Sweet at 845-246-6195.

"Patricia Spencer's presence was striking and her playing was extraordinary in its control over minutiae of dynamics, pitch, and timbre, particularly in relationship to the complex, fluid electronic environment that surrounded her. The performance was the tour de force of technique, emotion, and spirituality that the piece requires; it will stand as one of the highlights of the musical season," wrote Richard Dyer in the Boston Globe. Spencer's recital in Moscow for the Alternativa Festival (October 2002) was a highlight in a career devoted to new music. Her premiere of Shulamit Ran's flute concerto, Voices, at the 2000 National Flute Association convention, also was highly acclaimed. In April 2003, Spencer performed in Moscow again, with the Da Capo Chamber Players, at the Moscow Forum festival. For the Sonic Boom Festival in the fall of 2001, she premiered solo flute works by Louis Karchin and Eugene Lee.

As a soloist and with the Da Capo Chamber Players, Spencer has performed throughout the United States and abroad, including solo performances at the 1999 International Computer Music Conference in Beijing. An exciting repertoire of pieces has been written for her, including works from her solo CD, Thea Musgrave's Narcissus and Judith Shatin's Kairos (Neuma Records). An earlier CD, with pianist Linda Hall, features Boulez's Sonatine plus works by Carter, Perle, Korde, Talma, Martirano, Kreiger, and Jaffe. Both CDs received rave reviews from Fanfare and the American Record Guide. Spencer has received awards for her solo recordings and commissioning projects from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. As a recitalist and as a Da Capo member, she has commissioned more than 80 solo, duo, and chamber works for flute.

A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Robert Willoughby, Spencer also has studied with Marcel Moyse, John Wummer, and Josef Marx. She teaches flute and chamber music at Bard College and Hofstra University.

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This event was last updated on 06-11-2003