New College and Hermitage Artist Retreat Announce Collaboration

October 29, 2008 – New College of Florida (Sarasota) and The  Hermitage Artist Retreat (Manasota Key) have announced a first-time collaboration in which Hermitage composers-in-residence will offer free community discussions on the New College campus in 2008 and 2009.
The first of four Meet the Composer presentations will be held on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 7 pm in the College Hall music room.  Composer Daniel Levy will talk about scenes from his opera-theater work, The Martian Chronicles, based on Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi classic (as adapted by Elizabeth Margid). He will also discuss three award-winning short films he has scored for Columbia University Film School writer/directors.
The remaining Meet the Composer discussions for 2009 are: Nico Muhly, February 10; Wang Jie, March 17; and Mandy Fang (Fang Man), April 21.  All sessions will take place at 7 pm at College Hall on the New College campus.  No reservations are necessary, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
“New College is the perfect partner for the new music being created at the Hermitage because the College is creating the audience and interest in the music of today and tomorrow,” stated Hermitage Executive Director Bruce Rodgers, referring to the College’s ground-breaking contemporary music series, New Music New College. “Community is important to us, which is why these ‘give backs’ play such a key role in our mission.”
The Hermitage Artist Retreat nurtures creativity in mid-career writers, painters, poets, playwrights, composers, translators, sculptors, and artists working in digital media.  All Hermitage artists are nominated by a national artist selection committee and are invited to work in its serene and historic beachfront setting. Each artist is also asked to perform two services to the community to share their work and themselves with the Southwest Florida community.
“This joint project between New College and The Hermitage Artist Retreat is very exciting, to say the least,” said Stephen Miles, associate professor of music at New College of Florida and director of New Music New College. “When I told my students that Nico Muhly would be coming to Sarasota for a residency and would be giving a presentation on our campus, they couldn’t believe it!  Nico Muhly is one of the hottest composers around.  Daniel Levy, another outstanding composer, visited our campus last year and gave a composition master class that had a big impact on our students.  So the students are looking forward to his return visit, and they can’t wait to meet Wang Jie and Mandy Fang.
“With this composer-in-residence program, The Hermitage Artist Retreat is making a major contribution to local awareness of contemporary music in all its diversity,” continued Miles.  “This nicely complements the mission of New Music New College, which is about expanding learning opportunities for New College students while bringing contemporary music to Sarasota audiences.  Contemporary music is alive and well in our town!”

Bios of the artists follow.

Daniel Levy (Nov 18):  Theater and film composer Daniel Levy grew up in rural Ohio, playing jazz and popular music for celebrations of all stripes. A graduate of the music composition program at Miami University, he moved to New York in 1986, and has since composed music for over 40 NYC and regional theatrical productions and concerts presented at Manhattan Ensemble Theater, La MaMa, Dance Theater Workshop, HERE Arts Center, BAX, New Dramatists, Cucaracha, the York Theater, Shakespeare & Co.  His opera The Singing (with playwright Lenora Champagne) won the prestigious Richard Rogers Award in 1999. His latest opera-theater work The Martian Chronicles was presented August 7-11 2008 at Fordham University Lincoln Center. In 2006, Daniel outed himself as a film composer, completing scores for 4 award-winning short films with graduate students at Columbia University and preparing scores for veteran Hollywood film composer Marcelo Zarvos on The Good Shepard, The Air I Breathe, Ira and Abby, You Kill Me, and Trainwreck. Daniel’s work has received support from the Richard Rogers Foundation, Loewe Foundation, Henson Foundation, Harburg Foundation, Jerome Foundation, New Dramatists, Goethe Institute, Vanden Heuvel Foundation and Meet The Composer.  BM Miami University, Music Composition, MFA NYU/Tisch Musical Theater Writing. Member: Manhattan Producers Alliance; Teaching Artist: Lincoln Center Institute, Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and Musicians For Harmony. Website: www.daniellevymusic.com.
Nico Muhly (February 10): Born in Vermont in 1981 and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Muhly attended Columbia University and the Juilliard School, where he studied composition under Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano.  Muhly’s works have been premiered by the Chicago Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Orchestra, the Boston Pops, Clare College Choir, and New York’s Saint Thomas Church Choir, among others, and in 2005, with designer/illustrator Maira Kalman, he created a song cycle on Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style that premiered in the New York Public Library.  Film credits include his scores for Choking Man (2006) and Joshua (2007), and he has worked extensively with Philip Glass for numerous film and stage projects.  He has also lent his skills as performer, arranger and conductor to such musicians as Björk, and Antony of Antony and the Johnsons.  Speaks Volumes (2007), a disc of Muhly’s chamber music with electronics, has received high acclaim in the international press, and in the months leading up to its American release, he was invited to present concerts of his work at both Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and the Whitney Museum.  His second disc, Mothertongue, was released in July of 2008.  He currently lives in New York City.
Wang Jie (March 17):  At the forefront of a new wave of Asian composers, Wang Jie was born and raised in Shanghai during the economic expansion which followed the Cultural Revolution. Her music is richly orchestrated, rhythmically vibrant, and always imbued with the sensibility of her heritage.  The New York Times calls Jie’s work “introspective” and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review described it as “scrupulously crafted composition that embraces both Chinese and Western modern classical expression.”  Beginning with her first public performance as a pianist at age five, Jie’s musical talent was cultivated by some of China’s most distinguished composers.  In 2000 she moved to the United States to begin composition studies at the Manhattan School of Music, where she received her Master’s degree in composition, graduating with honors in May 2007.  Wang Jie is a composer of the Artist Diploma program at the Curtis Institute of Music, and currently studies with Richard Danielpour. Her career highlights include the curtain raiser for the Museum of Modern Arts “Summer-Gardens;” VOX by New York City Opera; Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Modern Music Festival; and a recent nomination for the 2009 Berlin Prize.
Mandy Fang (Fang Man) (April 21):  Born in China, Fang Man –Mandy Fang is the Americanized version of her name– is currently a freelance composer living in New York City. Her original concert music has been performed by outstanding orchestras and ensembles, including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Orchestre National de Lorraine (France), Minnesota Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Festival Chamber Orchestra, Music From China Ensemble, and Cassatt String Quartet, among others. In 2007, she won the 3rd prize of the Toru Takemitsu Award for her work Aqua In Memoriam Toru Takemitsu for large orchestra, which was premiered by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra under Chikara Iwamura in Japan. In October, Ambush From Ten Sides for Guitar and Live Electronics was premiered at Espace de Projection IRCAM- Centre Pompidou. She was named the winner of the Underwood New Music Readings by the American Composers Orchestra (ACO) in 2006 with a commission from ACO for composing a clarinet concerto, which will be premiered at the Carnegie Hall in February 2009.  She is currently working on a commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association for a new work for chamber orchestra with electronics, which will be conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at Walt Disney Hall in April 2009. Fang Man has appeared at many music festivals and workshops, such as the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Centre Acanthes (France), June in Buffalo Festival, Bowdoin Summer Festival, Minnesota Orchestra Reading and Composers Institute. She is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University, where her primary teachers are Steven Stucky and Roberto Sierra. She has also studied with Samuel Adler, Qigang Chen, George Crumb, Marc-Andre Dalbavie, Pascal Dusapin, Du Ming-xin, David Felder, Brian Ferneyhough, Mauro Lanza, Mikhail Malt, Yan Marez, Tristan Murail, Aaron Jay Kernis, Wolfgang Rihm, Alessando Solbiati, Richard Toensing, Michael Theodore and Ye Xiao-gang.
For more information contact: Aimee Chouinard, Media Relations Coordinator, New College of Florida, 941-487-4152 or achouinard@ncf.edu (photos available)
Bruce Rodgers, Executive Director, Hermitage Artist Retreat, 941-475-2098 or director@hermitage-fl.org

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