New Music Café to Feature Student and Faculty Performances

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — As part of its New Music Series, Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Music will present a New Music Café, featuring student and faculty performances and original compositions. The recital will take place on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. in Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Director of the New Music Series and Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor of Composition and Theory David Vayo, and Nancy Pounds, adjunct instructor and accompanist in the School of Music, will perform selections from Jatékók (Games). The multi-volume collection of piano pieces is composed by György Kurtág, Hungary's most internationally-esteemed living composer, and features pieces for piano four-hands (two people at the same piano).

The program will also feature three original compositions by John Orfe, a new School of Music faculty member. Orfe’s works include: “What Wondrous Love is This;” “Waxwing,” after Nabokov’s “Pale Fire;” and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8, Op. 65, Movement 3: Allegro non troppo. Orfe will perform “Waxwing” and the Shostakovich transcription on solo piano. Professor of Music Bill West will solo in the opening hymn arrangement, which takes the familiar minor pentatonic Appalachian folk tune and recasts it in the manner of a Balinese gamelan.

Student violinists Daria Dodonova ’21 and accounting and music double major Sam Biemer ’21 will join Michael Minarcek, adjunct instructor of percussion, in performing Peter Garland’s Matachin Dances. A U.S. composer who lived for many years among Native Americans in the United States and Mexico, Garland blends European and Native American elements and commemorates events in Spanish and Latin American history in his works.

The program will also feature a performance of John Cage's revolutionary 4'33" in which the pianist makes no sounds, so that the music is whatever the audience hears around them.

By Vi Kakares ’20