Sunday, February 26, 2017 - 7:00pm
1707 16th Street Vero Beach, FL 32960
BABCOCK Event Horizon (Southeast US Premiere)
FUCHS “Glacier,” Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra
HOLST The Planets
D.J Sparr, guitar
Back by popular demand, your Space Coast Symphony Orchestra will present “The Planets in HD,” a celebration of space exploration. The concert opens up with the Southeast US Premiere of an atmospheric and engaging work by Bruce Babcock, Event Horizon Following, the SCSO present one of Collins’ favorite collaborators, award-winning composer, Kenneth Fuchs. Guitarist and composer, D.J. Sparr will perform Fuchs’ powerful Glacier (Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra). Glacier is cast in the form of a five-movement virtuoso concerto inspired by the sweeping panoramic vistas of Montana. Each movement is based on my aural conception of the natural elements found in Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park: stone, water, vapor, ice, and the famous scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road in northwest Montana. In 2014, your SCSO dazzled audiences with Gustav Holst’s epic work, The Planets. Experience a profound new approach to Holst’s symphonic powerhouse, The Planets, live with HD images from NASA projected on the big screen. On a screen over the stage you’ll see the latest stunning images from the Mars Rovers and past probe missions Magellan, Voyager, and Galileo. In cooperation with NASA, The Planets in HD adds a spectacular visual element to Gustav Holst’s cosmic masterpiece.
Kenneth Fuchs has composed music for orchestra, band, chorus, and various chamber ensembles. With Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, Fuchs created three chamber musicals, The Great Nebula in Orion, A Betrothal, and Brontosaurus, which were originally presented by Circle Repertory Company in New York City. His music has been performed in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
The London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, has recorded four discs of Fuchs’s music for Naxos American Classics. The first, released in August 2005, was nominated for two GRAMMY® Awards (“Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra” and “Producer of the Year, Classical”). Read about recording the first LSO disc here. The second disc, which features music for horn, was released in January 2008. See photos from the recording sessions here. Following the release of this disc, MusicWeb International stated in February 2008, “Fuchs’s distinctive voice is evident from the outset, and his flair for orchestral colours and sheer lyricism shine through.” The third disc, recorded in August 2011 at London’s historic Abbey Road Studios, was released in August 2012. Following the release of this disc, BBC Music Magazine stated, “Kenneth Fuchs writes tonal orchestral music of great imagination. He’s a master of orchestral writing.” The disc was included in the 2012 GRAMMY® Award nominations for the category “Producer of the Year, Classical.” The fourth disc, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in August 2013, featuring baritone Roderick Williams in a program of vocal music based on texts by Don DeLillo, John Updike, and William Blake, was released in August 2014. Gramophone magazine featured the disc in its Awards Issue (October 2014), stating, “Fuchs claims his own expressive warmth and colour…. The performances are exemplary, from baritone Roderick Williams’s commanding artistry to the bold, fresh playing of the London Symphony Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta’s sensitive direction.”
Fuchs’s latest disc of chamber music, released by Naxos in April 2013, includes Falling Canons (Christopher O’Riley, piano), Falling Trio (Trio21), and String Quartet No. 5 “American” (Delray String Quartet). The disc has received outstanding reviews in print and at online sources, including Fanfare magazine, Gramophone magazine, and MusicWeb International. The highly successful disc Kenneth Fuchs: String Quartets 2, 3, 4, performed by the American String Quartet, was released by Albany Records. Following the release of this disc, American Record Guide stated quite simply, “String quartet recordings don’t get much better than this.”
Fuchs has received numerous commissions to write for orchestra, band, and chamber groups. His music has achieved significant recognition through global media exposure. Gramophone magazine created the video blog “A session report – with photos – from Abbey Road for Kenneth Fuchs’s new Naxos album” for its website. SiriusXM Satellite Radio has showcased Fuchs’s music on its “Symphony Hall” and “Pops” channels during “Music Discovery Week” and on the programs “Ask a Musician,” “Composers Roundtable,” and “JoAnn Falletta – Rediscovering Holst and Discovering Hailstork and Fuchs.”
Kenneth Fuchs serves as Professor of Composition at the University of Connecticut. He received his bachelor of music degree in composition from the University of Miami (cum laude) and his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in composition from The Juilliard School. Fuchs’s composition teachers include Milton Babbitt, David Del Tredici, David Diamond, Vincent Persichetti, and Alfred Reed. His music is published by the Hal Leonard Corporation, Edward B. Marks Music Company, Theodore Presser Company, and Yelton Rhodes Music, and it has been recorded by Albany, Cala, and Naxos Records.
D.J. Sparr merges art-concert craft with influences from music he performed as a young guitarist. For the performance of Sparr’s BMI/Boudleax Bryant Fund Commission for eighth blackbird, the Albuquerque Tribune wrote: “… in the sextet’s piece ‘The Glam Seduction,’ the 1980s rock music of Eddie Van Halen meets the instrumentation of Niccolo Paganini. … The result: Paganini on coke.”J. Sparr recently completed his tenure as the 2011-2014 Young American Composer-in-Residence with the California Symphony where his works were premiered by Nicholas McGegan, Donato Cabrera, and Robert Treviño. He was also involved in educational programs in the schools and community at large, visiting local schools to discuss the ideas and changes surrounding the commissions and to work with music students. His first work, Optima Vota: Overture-Fantasia received rave reviews. “It spouts streams of colors, which keep rising up like Old Faithful at Yellowstone…The piece shimmers and moves in waves, turns iridescent and wondrous. There’s something about it that evokes the exhilaration of childhood: sparklers on the Fourth of July, that sort of thing. It grows, pulses, leaps to its pop-Romantic apex and ends like a lullaby.” – San Jose Mercury News.
Recent world premieres have been performed by Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera (HGOco), the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, and Amsterdam’s Hexnut. Sparr’s music has been commissioned and performed by groups such as the Albany Symphony, the Berkshire Symphony, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Band, the League of Composers’ Orchestra, the Los Angeles “Debut” Orchestra, New Music Detroit, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the University of Washington, the Verge Ensemble, Wet Ink and Yale University.
D.J. was awarded the $10,000 grand prize in the orchestra category of the BMG/Williams College National Young Composers Competition and was an alternate for the 1998-99 Rome Prize. He received BMI Student Composer Awards in 1995 and 2000 and has received awards and recognition from the American Music Center, the Composers’ Guild, Eastman School of Music, George Washington University, New York Youth Symphony, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
An accomplished electric guitarist, Sparr has appeared as a soloist alongside conductors such as Marin Alsop, Joana Carneiro, Neil Gittleman, and Joachim Jousse. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times says,“D. J. Sparr was a terrific soloist.” and the Santa Cruz Sentinel writes, “Soloist D.J. Sparr wowed an enthusiastic audience…Sparr’s guitar sang in a near-human voice.” He has performed electric guitar concertos with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Italy, the Alabama Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival of New Music, and the Great Noise Ensemble. As a chamber musician, he has appeared with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, eighth blackbird, The Firebird Ensemble, and New Music Raleigh. D. J. is a sponsored artist of JHS Guitars in Vantaa, Finland; he plays the JHS Rocktor (D. J. Sparr signature model). D. J. sponsored composer Armando Bajolo’s successful application for a Fromm Foundation commission from Harvard University to write “Little Black Book” for solo electric guitar.
D.J. is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM) and the University of Michigan (MM, DMA). His principal teachers include Michael Daugherty, William Bolcom, Sydney Hodkinson, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner and Augusta Read Thomas. He studied with John Harbison at the Aspen Music Festival and the Oregon Bach Festival and was an Associate Artist-in-Residence under Aaron Jay Kernis at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Sparr was the composer-in-residence for the Richmond Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement Department (2009-11); and has been a faculty member at the Walden School for Musicians. A native of Baltimore, Md., he lives in the Wild West with his wife Kimberly and their two dogs, Lloyd and Nannette.
Successful in both film and television, and the concert hall, Bruce is known for vibrant, sonorous, expressive pieces that immerse audience and performers alike in an inclusive and exuberant celebration of the musical art. Eleven of these musicians are featured on Bruce's latest CD album "Time, Still," on the Navona label of Parma Recordings. Five of the pieces on this album were commissions and two were winners in international competitions.
Bruce holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). While at CSUN, Bruce’s “Impasse” was performed for Aaron Copland during his 1975 residency. Copland’s comments on the piece, recorded for posterity, include “an impression of musicality which is very pleasant, indeed ... a convincing sense of an overall mood...knows what he wants ... sure of what he's doing.”
Bruce’s mentors in Hollywood included Hugo Friedhofer, Paul Glass and Earle Hagen. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series in 1992, one of eight total Emmy nominations in a ten-year period, as well as eight TV/Film awards from BMI. He has also collaborated as an orchestrator and conductor with some of the biggest names in film scoring, including James Newton Howard, Michael Kamen, and Christopher Young.
In the concert music world, Bruce’s “Pacific Serenades Trio,” for clarinet, viola and piano, was commissioned by Mark Carlson’s Pacific Serenades series, and was premiered by that organization in 2004. He was chosen by Artistic Director Daniel Kepl to be composer in residence at the 2005 Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival, where he was featured in three newly commissioned works. The Donald Brinegar Singers premiered Bruce’s “Night Songs,” on poems of Sara Teasdale, in 2006.
“SpringScape” was the winning piece in the Debussy Trio 2006 Composition Competition. “This Is What I Know” - Four Poems of Dorothy Parker, commissioned by UCLA Professor of Voice Juliana Gondek, was one of the winners in the 2011 Boston Metro Opera Contemporary American Festival Competition, and was performed in Boston in conjunction with “Opera Conference America 2011.”
“All Unto Me,” inspired by and dedicated to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was performed with the Archbishop in attendance in 2011. “Be Still,” for a cappella choir, received its European premiere in November 2013 by the Haga Motettkör of Göteborg, Sweden, Mikael Carlsson, Music Director.