by Daniel Hathaway
This Saturday evening’s concert by the Kent New Music Ensemble on April 28 at 7:30 pm in Ludwig Recital Hall will mark the end of an era at the University. Composer Frank Wiley, who founded the group in 1980 and now co-directs it with saxophonist Noa Even, is retiring from the KSU faculty at the end of the current academic year after nearly four decades — but not to a life of shuffleboard and crossword puzzles. When I asked him in a recent telephone conversation what he’d do first thing the morning after he retires, he didn’t have to think. “I’ll probably be composing,” he said.
Wiley has a long list of promised pieces in his inbox. “I’ve got a violin concerto I’m going to be writing for Jameson Cooper, a wind ensemble piece for Jesse Leyva, a percussion quartet for Michael Burritt and his Eastman percussion ensemble, a flute and clarinet duet, and the second version of a piece we’re going to perform on Saturday night,” he said. “That’ll keep me busy.”