NEC Saxophone Ensemble & Quartet: Schuller, Trester, & Pierné
Tonight’s concert honors the birthday of Gunther Schuller, born November 22, 1925.
Watch Live Stream from Jordan Hall:
- Saxophone Ensemble
- Saxophone Quartet
- Kenneth Radnofsky, Director
- Joseph Bozich, Guest Conductor
- Megan Dillon, Alto Saxophone soloist
Gunther Schuller/Bozich | "Arioso" from Concerto for Alto Saxophone
The version for Saxophone and ensemble of saxes is a homogenous setting, much as a string orchestra. Tonight is the first performance in that setting, with many thanks to the arranger, Joseph Bozich.
Gunther was indefatigable, a 24/7 ally to all who approached music with hard work, musical honesty and integrity. Charles Peltz was Gunther’s greatest advocate in the last 10-15 years of Gunther’s life, and we formed the Gunther Schuller Society with John Heiss and son George Schuller to carry on and support that tradition in the future, as well as to preserve Gunther’s legacy. Please visit the website: Guntherschullersociety.org Happy Birthday Gunther! We miss you.
– Kenneth Radnofsky
"I wrote my Saxophone Concerto in 1983 at the instigation of Kenneth Radnofsky, in honor of his teacher, Joseph Allard, who was active in New York (at The Juilliard School), in Boston (at New England Conservatory), and at many other music schools. He was the superb, inspiring mentor of hundreds of clarinetists and saxophonists. I first heard of Joe Allard when he played with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, and I have known him personally since the mid-1940s. The deep respect and love that all his students have for him is evidenced by their collective commission of the Concerto.
It is in three contrasting movements, of which the second, Arioso, is for saxophone and strings only. This movement carries the further markings Molto adagio-Quasi recitativo-Sempre flessibile, and it exploits the lyric character of the saxophone."
— Gunther Schuller
Kenneth Radnofsky and the Pittsburgh Symphony gave the first performance of the Concerto on January 18, 1984, under the direction of Gunther Schuller.
About Megan Dillon
Megan Dillon is a saxophonist and music theorist in the Boston area. After graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy, she studied at Texas Tech University where she achieved a bachelor's degree in music theory with a minor in French. She then went on to study under Kenneth Radnofsky and Roger Graybill at New England Conservatory, earning two master's degrees in saxophone performance and music theory, with a concentration in music-in-education. She currently works as a Teaching Assistant for NEC’s saxophone studio, music theory, and Music-In-Education department and is a member of the Huntington Quartet. She is continuing her studies at NEC towards a Doctorate of Music in Saxophone Performance. She is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance and has performed at NASA regional conferences, the World Saxophone Congress, and premiered many works by new composers.
About Joseph Bozich
Conductor, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Bozich currently serves as artistic advisor and associate conductor to the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO). In 2019-20, he served as teaching fellow and assistant to the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and was a teaching fellow for the Harvard Italian Opera Conducting Intensive. 2019-20 engagements included guest conducting the HUST Symphony Orchestra (Wuhan, China) and serving as assistant conductor and chorus master at the Pittsburgh Festival Opera. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by Departure Duo, the Sinta Quartet, and Latitude 49. Bozich holds a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan.Artists
- Megan Dillon, alto saxophone soloist
Francine Trester | Red Sox Blue Sax (2005)
Outta the Park!
"...and the Moon turned Red..."
Johnny Damon's Hair
But I'm Really a Mets Fan
Red Sox Blue Sax was composed for the Radnofsky Saxophone Quartet and was supported by a grant to Composers in Red Sneakers from the Fromm Foundation. The Radnofsky Quartet premiered the work as part of a CRS concert program.
Written in 2005, the movements all refer in some way to the Red Sox and their world series win earlier that year (October 2004). The individual cadenzas in the first movement may be heard as if each player were taking a turn at bat – until the last hits it “Outta the Park!” The second movement, “…and the Moon turned Red…” refers to the eerie lunar eclipse that transpired during the final game. The third movement, “Johnny Damon’s Hair,” is a bit tongue-in-cheek in its homage to the flowing locks of one of the star players, while the last movement perhaps reveals the composer’s true allegiances…
About Francine Trester
Francine Trester is Professor of Composition at Berklee College of Music. Her An Oman Odyssey was commissioned by the Mirror Visions Ensemble and premiered at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center. The cycle was also performed at the Louvre, Paris and in Glasgow. Her opera, Keepers of the Ligh,t was commissioned by and premiered at the Nahant Music Festival. Recent projects also include Shelter Music Boston’s commissioning of Florence Comes Home, Trester's chamber opera based on the life of composer Florence Price, and several works composed for guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan. The Bach, Beethoven and Brahms Society premiered her orchestral version of Street Views at Faneuil Hall, with soloists Kenneth Radnofsky and Elmira Darvarova, and the piano trio version of this piece was performed with pianist Thomas Weaver. Trester is currently composing A Walk in Her Shoes for Boston Landmarks Orchestra. This piece commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment and will be premiered by Landmarks at the Hatch Shell in this coming summer. www.francinetrester.com
Gabriel Pierné | Introduction et variations sur une ronde populaire
Gabriel Pierne’sIntroduction and Variations on a Popular Round was written in 1934 for the Marcel Mule Quartet, one of the first and still finest original works for saxophone quartet.