Season 5: 2018-2019
September 11, 2018: Viva NOLA: Composition in New Orleans at 300
Versipel New Music kicks off its fifth season with an evening commemorating New Orleans’ Tricentennial! From the burgeoning opera and symphony orchestra scene of the city’s earliest days to the eclectic and peripatetic scene of today, New Orleans has always been a welcoming home to classical music. Over the years, New Orleans has grown as a hub for contemporary classical music with many vibrant composers living and composing in the city. Such artists as Ben Stonaker, Maxwell Dulaney, Courtney Bryan, Jeff Albert, Anna Walton and Tucker Fuller have contributed their music to the rich musical tapestry of the city. As a free-spirited city with its unique convergence of cultures and eclectic traditions in music and in art, New Orleans wields a strong influence on its artists and composers. Whether they are native New Orleanians or transplants, the city undeniably leaves its imprint on the minds and music of its composers. By featuring music of today with works by “legacy composers” from turn-of-the-century New Orleans such as Clara Gottchalk Peterson and Edmond Dede, we want our audience to explore the idea of what present-day classical music is in our unique city and to think about the three hundred year journey from whence it came.
October 14, 2018: Visiting Artist: Craig Hultgren, cello and electronics
Versipel New Music welcomes visiting cellist Craig Hultgren performing a program of works for solo cello and solo cello with electronics. The program will feature music by Todd Gabriel, Alan Schmitz, Shawn Crouch and Versipel’s own Kari Besharse and Philip Schuessler and improvisation by Craig Hultgren.
Cellist Craig Hultgren remains active in new music, the newly creative arts, and the avant-garde. Recently leaving Birmingham after more than 30 years as a member of the Alabama Symphony, he now resides outside of Decorah, Iowa as the farmer-cellist. The New York Classical Review commented that he, “…played with impressive poise and sensitivity…” for Dorothy Hindman’s 2016 chamber music retrospective at Carnegie Hall. At this point, almost 300 works have been created for him. A recipient of two Artist Fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he was a member for many years of Thámyris, a contemporary chamber music ensemble in Atlanta. He is a founding member of Luna Nova, a new music ensemble with a large repertoire of performances available as podcast downloads on iTunes. Hultgren is featured in three solo CD recordings including The Electro-Acoustic Cello Book on Living Artist Recordings. For ten years, he produced the Hultgren Solo Cello Works Biennial, an international competition that highlighted the best new compositions for the instrument.
December 2, 2018: Versipel Collective: Winter Night
Ahhhh, winter in New Orleans. Don’t you just wish it would snow? (Nope). Come and enjoy a concert featuring works that will invoke the imagery and feelings of winter without actually having to walk or drive in it alongside several new modern arrangements of medieval chants and carols in honor of the holiday season. This show will feature Winternacht by Hans Abrahamsen, December 1952 by Earl Brown, a chamber arrangement of Perotin’s famous Viderunt Omnes (a Christmas blast from the 12th century) You might want to bring your coats for this one, it’s going to get chilly :).
March 14, 2019: Visiting Artist: Byrne:Kozar:Duo
April 4, 2019: Visiting Artist: Nouveau Classical Project
The Nouveau Classical Project (NCP) is a New York-based contemporary classical music ensemble that is “bringing a refreshing edge to the widely conservative genre” (VICE). It began by collaborating with fashion designers for its concerts and has expanded to creating multidisciplinary performances. Its mission is to engage new audiences and show that classical music is a living, breathing art form.
May 12, 2019: Versipel Collective: Story and Motion
Join the Versipel Collective for our season finale concert on May 12, for a collection of works that unite music, story, and motion.
This evening, we explore works that purposefully incorporate the ideas of story and motion through their inception and performance. Tom Johnson’s Bedtime Stories playfully and humorously unfolds several bedtime stories through music performed on clarinet with narration. The Collective will be joined by mezzo-soprano Brindley McWhorter for a special performance of Louisiana-based composer Monica Pearce’s breathtakingly expressive Leda Songs – a work that evokes the myth of Leda from the angles of three different poets. Moon Young Ha’s work Fairy Tale expresses the elusive, universal, and ephemeral importance of story. The Versipel Collective will be joined by dancer Rebecca Allen on composer John Cage’s Variations III and IV – a collaborative work that explores the connection between music and motion in real time. The concert will also feature a performance of Luciano Berio’s virtuosic Sequenza X, performed by trumpeter Shane Courville.