This Wednesday evening, March 22, Stern College for Women (SCW) will present its annual concert of new music initiated and organized by Chair of Music Dr. David Glaser.
The concert aims to increase the public profile of Yeshiva University, by introducing its students and the wider public to new music that highlights the contributions of Jewish composers to twentieth and twenty-first century compositions. The concerts are taking place with the generous support of Marjorie Blenden, who set up an endowment for the Music Department in honor of her mother, Beatrice Diener.
Wednesday’s concert will take place at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., starting at 7:30 pm. The program includes More Venerable Canons (Matthew Greenbaum, 2013); String Quartet No. 5 (David Glaser, 2022); Synchronisms No. 9 for Violin and Electronic Sounds (Mario Davidovsky, 1988); and Stringsongs (Meredith Monk, 2005).
The concert is being performed by members of the Momenta Quartet, the SCW New Music Ensemble-in-Residence, as part of their annual concert emphasizing the contribution of Jewish composers to modern music.
“In 1970, Mario Davidovsky was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Synchronisms No. 6 for Piano and Electronic Sound,” explains Prof. Glaser. “By 1972, the piece had been recorded and released on Turnabout Records. This recording was my introduction to Mario’s music. By the second or third hearing, I decided that I had to study with him. It took a while, but eventually I did. His insights, about music and about how to live an ethical life, had a profound impact on me.
String Quartet No. 5 represents a departure in some respects from my earlier works. It is more concentrated and intense, with a greater focus on gesture and texture. The piece is in one movement, with several clearly defined sections. It opens with a series of intense gestures and many rapid shifts of texture and sonority. This kaleidoscopic section ends with a long pause. The music that follows is slower, if only briefly, and then takes up ideas similar to those of the first part, with the difference that more time is spent with individual ideas.
Momenta’s enthusiasm and artistry have been a continuing source of inspiration for me. I am grateful for our ongoing, very fruitful collaboration.”
Tickets to this week’s concert may be purchased through the Center for Jewish History website (link), but they are also available at the door: $10 general admission, $5 for non-YU students/seniors, and free for YU faculty and students.
Upcoming concerts by Dr. Glaser, including a world premiere: April 17, May 6 and May 7. Details to follow.