by Daniel Hathaway
Last week at Baldwin Wallace University, Christopher Theofanidis joined a distinguished list of composers — including such names as William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Witold Lutoslawski and Krzysztof Penderecki — whose music has been gathered into a week-long Focus Festival to be rehearsed, discussed and performed by BW students and faculty. Begun in 1984 by Loris Chobanian and Elinore Barber, the festival was revived this year by BW composer-in-residence Clint Needham, who chose Theofanidis as the person to celebrate.
The festival culminated in a Friday evening concert by student chamber ensembles, a Saturday evening concert by the Motet Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra and a Sunday afternoon concert by faculty chamber ensembles. I “attended” the Saturday concert via BW’s new streaming service — along with fifty-some fellow viewers — and heard the Sunday performance live.
Unlike some of the thornier composers in Focus Festival history, Christopher Theofanidis makes friends quite easily through his music — a remarkable trait because there’s nothing facile or consciously ingratiating about his musical style. [Read more…]