New Music Series Premieres New Works

Lily Martis

The Kent State University New Music Series will continue this Saturday, March 1 and features the work of contemporary, up-and-coming artists, as well as some of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music’s own faculty members and the New Music Ensemble.


            The Kent State University New Music Series is a four-part series that strives to showcase a wide range of music from no earlier than the 20th century. As the third performance of the 2013-2014 New Music Series, the concert will be presented in the Carl F.W. Ludwig Recital Hall on Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m. with free admission to all.


            This concert will feature the world premiere of Anthony Donofrio’s “Broken.” Donofrio is the Artistic Advisor and Co-Director to the Series and music term instructor in the School of Music at Kent State.


            When describing the piece, Donofrio said, “The image I had in my mind was the image of a light bulb breaking or exploding in slow motion.”


            Donofrio wrote “Broken” specifically for Alex Sellers, a guest artist, who will perform “Broken” on alto saxophone.


            “This is me experimenting with creating different sounds,” Donofrio said. “I’m asking him to play impossible things, and that’s the fun part.”


            This piece utilizes all parts of the saxophone with “its back and forth between actually playing the saxophone and using it as a percussion instrument,” Sellers said. “It’s compelling because there is so much going on.”


            The world premiere of John Sokol’s “Vermillion” will be performed by the duo Patchwork, which is comprised of Saxophonist Noa Even, also a Kent State music term instructor, and Stephen Klunk, a guest artist percussionist.


            Faculty guest artists Diane McCloskey, flute, and Raquel Teare, piano, will perform “Legacy” by Jennifer Higdon, a Pulitzer Prize winning American composer. Pianist H. Gerrey Noh, a faculty guest artist, in “Obsession” by Japanese composer Makoto Shinohara, will accompany oboist Toshiyasu Fujita.


            The New Music Ensemble, conducted by Frank Wiley, will also perform two compositions, the first being “Bubble: Rainbow (spirit level)” by American composer Augusta Read Thomas. This piece will incorporate soprano Alanna Furst, a first year graduate student, into the ensemble.


            “This piece is very interesting in that all seven people are really on their own,” Donofrio said. “There are a lot of soloist parts in the ensemble to create a particular sound object.”


            The program will close with Andriessen’s “Workers Union,” which will be performed by the entire New Music Ensemble. “Workers Union” is only rhythm, contour and dynamics, making it unique in that the musicians interpret the pitches with freedom.


            “The rhythms are so difficult, but the result is one that is very pungent and very unusual,” Wiley said.


            The New Music Ensemble is made up of both undergraduate and graduate musicians, and “for many of our students, this is their first experience with contemporary music and to see how a composer is working today,” Donofrio said. “It projects a different light on classical music and really expands the horizons of our ensemble and our audience.”


For more information regarding the New Music Ensemble, visit


Contact Lily Martis at [email protected].