by Mike Telin
The music of birds has served as inspiration for composers since the beginning of time. In 2016, Classical-music.com, the official website of BBC Music Magazine, honored their 50,000 Twitter followers by naming the six best compositions inspired by birdsong. The list included Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, Respighi’s Gli uccelli (The Birds), Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, Elgar’s Owls, and Messiaen’s Le merle noir (The blackbird). Also on that list is Jonathan Harvey’s Bird Concerto with Pianosong.
On Friday, April 6 at 8:00 pm in Warner Concert Hall, pianist Ursula Oppens will join the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble for a performance of Harvey’s colorful work which features the sounds of 40 Californian birds, including the indigo bunting, orchard oriole, and the golden crowned sparrow. Under the direction of Timothy Weiss, the program also includes Christopher Stark’s True North, Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint, Jesse Jones’ Snippet Variations, and Lee Hyla’s Polish Folk Songs. The concert will be streamed here. Oppens will also present a master class on Wednesday, April 4 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Conservatory’s Bibbins Hall, room 224. Both events are free. [Read more…]