Ensemble ACJW returns for fall residency, concert
Skidmore welcomes Ensemble ACJW back to campus Friday, Oct. 18, when the college’s Music Department presents “Carnegie Hall Premieres: A Concert by Ensemble ACJW” at 8 p.m. in Arthur Zankel Music Center. A pre-concert talk by composer Andy Akiho will begin at 7 p.m.
Ensemble ACJW, an inspirational collective of young music professionals, will conclude its 10th Skidmore residency with a concert that features four new works, a classical war horse, and a fresh take on antiquity.
The opening set — Monteverdi’s Four Madrigals arranged by Raymond Mase —pairs Monteverdi's revolutionary musical ideas with the captivating sonic capabilities of a modern brass ensemble. Jumping about 400 years to the present, the ensemble will perform the world premiere of Akiho's Speaking Tree, written after a late-night stroll and an encounter with an intriguing tree in the Princeton Cemetery. Following intermission, three short fanfares composed by fellows of Ensemble ACJW — originally written for and premiered on WQXR's The Brothers Balliett radio show — will be presented. The evening will close with Dvořák's G-Major String Quintet, which references the folk music of the composer’s childhood—a departure from his youthful scores in the German fashion. This coming-of-age piece is one of the first compositions to showcase his mature style.
Described as "mold-breaking" and "vital" by The New York Times, Andy Akiho is an eclectic composer and performer whose interests run from steel pan to traditional classical music. His rhythmic compositions touch a wide spectrum of listeners and continue to increase in recognition. His 2011 debut CD No One to Know One on Innova Records features innovative compositions that pose intricate rhythms and exotic timbres around his primary instrument, the steel pan. His compositions have been heard in venues as various as John Zorn's the Stone, Jazz at Lincoln Center, MIT's Kresge Auditorium, Mass MoCA, Chicago MCA, and the St. James Theater (Port of Spain, Trinidad).
Musicians of Ensemble ACJW are fellows of The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The two-year program provides the finest young musicians with performance opportunities at Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School, advanced musical training, intensive teaching instruction, and the skills necessary for careers combining musical excellence with education, community engagement, and advocacy. This year’s ACJW fellows and guests are composer Akiho; Laura Weiner, horn; Tom Bergeron, trumpet; Caleb Hudson, trumpet; Stephen Dunn (Skidmore alum), trombone; Dan Peck, tuba; Ian Sullivan, percussion; Clara Lyon, violin; Grace Park, violin; Megan Griffin, viola; Alice Yoo, cello; and Tony Flynt, bass.
Academy fellows work in partnership with specific New York City public school music teachers in a variety of grade levels in areas such as interactive performance, instrumental teaching, creative learning projects, and general music knowledge, depending on the specific needs of each school. A partnership with Skidmore College that began in 2007 brings performances and educational events to the Saratoga Springs community. This fall’s residency includes educational presentations in numerous classes, lessons for students, and interactive performances across campus. There will also be a contra dance at the Spa at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, that will feature music by Skidmore traditional music students and the fellows of ACJW.
Skidmore’s Department of Music and Office of the Dean of Special Programs are sponsors of the concert. The Ensemble ACJW residency is made possible by the generous support of Beverly Sanders Payne ’59 and David B. Payne.
Admission for the Oct. 18 ACJW performance is free for students and children, $8 adults, and $5 seniors and Skidmore community. For advance reservations please click here or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-5321 for more information. The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired. For more information, please click here.