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News from the Hilltop

February 26, 2009

Virtuoso duo “Prophet Birds” to perform a world premiere of composition by Samuel Adams at Birmingham-Southern College

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The world premiere of “Aves Nostradamus” by young composer Samuel Adams will be offered in the first-ever joint concert alongside the music of his father, Pulitzer Prize winner John Adams. The performance will be March 9 in Hill Recital Hall on the campus of Birmingham-Southern at 7:30 p.m. The concert is open to the public, and admission is free.

Australian pianist Lisa Moore returns to Birmingham-Southern for the recital of avian-inspired duos for violin and piano with violinist Karen Bentley Pollick. The duo will also perform “Bird as Prophet” by Yale composer Martin Bresnick, “Road Movies” by John Adams, “Elapsed Time” by Paul Dresher, and “Sonata for Violin and Piano” by Leoŝ Janáček.

Samuel Adams is an award-winning composer, pianist, and contrabassist from Berkeley, Calif., who studied composition at Stanford University. He currently attends The Yale School of Music where he is pursuing a master's in composition.

John Adams, born and raised in New England and educated at Harvard, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Music for “Transmigration of Souls” written for the New York Philharmonic to mark the first anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. His opera “Doctor Atomic” had its New York premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in October 2008. His other stage work includes two nativity oratorios commissioned to celebrate the 250th birthday of Mozart. His recently released autobiography “Hallelujah Junction” was named one of the “most notable books of 2008” by The New York Times.

Moore, an Australian-American performer who is based in New York City, has been crowned “New York's queen of avant-garde piano” by “The New Yorker” magazine. The New York Times claims “her energy is illuminating” and “The American Record Guide” writes “her concerts are legendary.” She collaborates with a large and diverse range of musicians and artists including Steve Reich and Bang on a Can and has released four solo CDs and 30 collaborative discs. She currently teaches at Wesleyan University and the Yale-Norfolk New Music Workshop Summer Festival.

Pollick, a native of Palo Alto, Calif., has performed as a violinist with Dresher's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble since 1999. She performs a wide range of solo repertoire and styles on violin, viola, piano, and Norwegian hardangerfele and has several recordings of original music. Along with choreographer Teri Weksler, who is an adjunct instructor at BSC, and percussionist John Scalici, Pollick is a recipient of a Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham 2008 Interdisciplinary Grant to Individual Artists. The premiere of their original work will be at Birmingham-Southern on May 2.

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