Bernard Rands Featured as Composer-in-Residence at June in Buffalo Festival

June 4, 2009: The music of Bernard Rands continues to see performances across the country and around the globe. In May, Southern Illinois University's Chamber Choir performed selections from the composer's Grammy Award winning Canti d'Amor on tour throughout China at Beijing, Xian Jiaotong and Shanghai universities. This month, Rands' music is featured at the June in Buffalo Festival, where Rands serves as Composer-in-Residence, and at the Sarasota Music Festival.

A performance of Rands' the receding mist... by the Washington, DC based Verge Ensemble kicks off these concerts beginning on June 4 at the June in Buffalo Festival on the campus of SUNY Buffalo. The following evening features a performance of Rands' Memo 7, a demanding solo work for mezzo-soprano. Performed by mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, Memo 7, a work in a series of eight solo instrumental compositions, is accompanied on the same concert with "now again" - fragments from Sappho, performed by the Slee Sinfonietta of the University of Buffalo, conducted by Brad Lubman. Composed in 2006, "now again..." received its premiere by Philadelphia's Network for New Music Ensemble. As David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote at the time of the composition's premiere:

The piece had a wonderful strangeness and mystery...with a diverse instrumentation deftly employing effects from alto flute, muted trumpet, and two non-soloist singers answering and commenting upon the main text. You longed for an instant encore. As with all great pieces, so much was implied by so little.

Rounding out the performances at June in Buffalo is the Buffalo Philharmonic under the direction of JoAnn Falletta performing London Serenade on June 7. A work that explores alternate juxtapositions of musical materials suggested by the terms calmo and agitato, London Serenade has no connections to a geographical location, despite its title. Rather, it was composed as a gift to, and acknowledgment of, the 60th birthday of Edwin London: composer, conductor, extraordinary musician and Rands' close friend for over three decades. The work received its premiere performance at a concert celebrating London's birthday, given by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony of which he is founder.

Next month, Rands' chamber work, Scherzi for clarinet, piano, violin and cello is performed on June 12 as part of the Sarasota Orchestra's Festival Concert Series at the Sarasota Opera House.

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