featuring Kendall Williams in Pan in Motion
presented by American Composers Orchestra
Wednesday, October 29, 7:30pm
Frederick Loewe Theatre NYU | 35 W 4th St.
FREE admission but reservations highly recommended at http://kendallwilliams.eventbrite.com.
American Composers Orchestra: www.americancomposers.org
New York, NY – American Composers Orchestra (ACO) will present Composers OutFront! Kendall Williams: Pan in Motion (steel pan, composer) on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 7:30pm at Frederick Loewe Theatre at NYU (35 W. 4th St.). ACO’s Composers OutFront! series puts composers on the stage, bringing audiences closer to the creative process. Pan in Motion features works for steel drums (or pans) by Williams. His pieces display the versatility of the steel pan, an instrument born out of Trinidad and Tobago, which is one of the newest acoustical instruments to be incorporated into Caribbean, contemporary classical, and expressive jazz movements. The concert will include three steel pan bands – the NYU Steel Band performing the world premiere of Kendall Williams’ Rehearsals, plus calypsonian Lord Nelson’s Ah Goin’ an Party Tonight adapted by Williams; Crossfire Steel Orchestra in Big in De Dance, a calypso tune by Brian Griffith arranged by Williams which promotes women and their changing role, plus Williams’ Afro Confusion and Misconception; and Brooklyn Steel Orchestra performing Williams’ Midnight Breeze. Minerva Johnson and Kendall Williams will also perform Williams’ duo, 4 Sticks, a Trumpet, and a Mute.
Kendall Williams is ACO’s Van Lier Emerging Composer Fellow for 2013-2014. The fellowship is made possible by the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund and Musical Arts Fund of the New York Community Trust. The Fellowship offers a comprehensive and multi-faceted program that helps equip emerging composers with the full range of professional skills and tools necessary for building a successful career as a composer of orchestral music. Young composers have the opportunity to work with ACO artistic and administrative leadership to hone their professional skills; participate in planning, educational activities and performances; serve as liaison with student composers, and enhance their professional careers by immersing themselves in the professional environment of ACO, over the course of an entire season. The fellowship is designed to provide a career-development bridge between a young composer’s training at the University or Conservatory and the world of the professional orchestra. This concert represents the culmination of Williams’ fellowship.
Kendall Williams, composer-performer
Having been born around the Trinidadian culture, Kendall Williams has adopted the country’s national instrument, the steel pan. From as early as the age of four, Williams made efforts to mimic his parents as they displayed their talents in a Miami-based steel band. It wasn’t long before his efforts turned into a reality as he developed his skills and passion for the instrument. As he got older his passion brought out a connection to music and he was able to perform with large, world-renowned steel bands in Trinidad and Tobago as well as bands in the New York based scene for years and counting. He took things a step further when he graduated from Florida Memorial University with a B.A. in Music under the direction of Dr. Dawn Batson, with his main instrument being the steel pan. He continued to further his studies at NYU Steinhardt, where he pursued a Masters of Music Degree in Music Theory & Composition, studying with Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, and Rich Shemaria. There he was also active in the NYU Steel band under the leadership of Josh Quillen. As he moved closer to graduating, his goals included composing and arranging music that can further showcase the steel pan for the virtuous instrument it is, while bringing his unique style to more conventional instruments. Now that he has graduated he aggressively pursues a career as a composer, arranger, and advocate for the steel pan instrument. He works to open peoples’ minds to the possibilities steel pan can offer the world by showing the instrument’s tremendous versatility.
Now in its 38th season, American Composers Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation of music by American composers. ACO makes the creation of new opportunities for American composers and new American orchestral music its central purpose. Through concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues, recordings, internet and radio broadcasts, educational programs, New Music Readings, and commissions, ACO identifies today’s brightest emerging composers, champions prominent established composers as well as those lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting geographic, stylistic, and temporal diversity. ACO also serves as an incubator of ideas, research, and talent, as a catalyst for growth and change among orchestras, and as an advocate for American composers and their music.
To date, ACO has performed music by more than 700 American composers, including nearly 300 world premieres and newly commissioned works. Among the orchestra’s innovative programs have been SONiC: Sounds of a New Century, a nine-day citywide festival in New York of music by more than 100 composers age 40 and under; Sonidos de las Américas, six annual festivals devoted to Latin American composers and their music; Coming to America, a program immersing audiences in the ongoing evolution of American music through the work of immigrant composers; Orchestra Tech, a long-term initiative to integrate new digital technologies in the symphony orchestra; Improvise!, a festival devoted to the exploration of improvisation and the orchestra; coLABoratory: Playing It UNsafe, a new laboratory for the research and development of experimental new works for orchestra; and Orchestra Underground, ACO’s entrepreneurial cutting-edge orchestral ensemble that embraces new technology, eclectic instruments, influences, and spatial orientation of the orchestra, new experiments in the concert format, and multimedia and multi-disciplinary collaborations.
Composer development has been at the core of ACO’s mission since its founding. In addition to its annual Underwood New Music Readings and Commission, ACO also provides a range of additional educational and professional development activities, including composer residencies and fellowships. In 2008, ACO launched EarShot, a multi-institutional network that assists orchestras around the country in mounting new music readings. Recent and upcoming Earshot programs have included the Detroit, Berkeley, La Jolla, Nashville, Memphis, Colorado, San Diego Symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, New York Youth Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information visit www.EarShotnetwork.org. The Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, launched in 2010, supports jazz artists who desire to write for the symphony.
Among the honors ACO has received are special awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and from BMI recognizing the orchestra’s outstanding contribution to American music. ASCAP has awarded its annual prize for adventurous programming to ACO 36 times, singling out ACO as “the orchestra that has done the most for American music in the United States.” ACO received the inaugural MetLife Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, and a proclamation from the New York City Council. ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records, InstantEncore.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. ACO’s digital albums include Playing It UNsafe (March 2011), Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1 (February 2012), Orchestra Underground: X10D (June 2012), and Orchestra Underground: Tech & Techno (July 2014). ACO has also released Orchestra Underground: A-V, a groundbreaking album of multimedia works available for free streaming at www.vimeo.com/channels/orchestraunderground. More information about American Composers Orchestra is available online at www.americancomposers.org.
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This press release is available online at www.americancomposers.org/press
Support for American Composers Orchestra is provided by The Achelis Foundation, The Herb Alpert Foundation, American Express Foundation, The Amphion Foundation Inc., ASCAP, The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, The Bay and Paul Foundations, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, BMI, BMI Foundation, The Booth Ferris Foundation, Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Fromm Music Foundation, Fund for the City of New York, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Jephson Educational Trust, Jerome Foundation, John and Evelyn Kossak Foundation, the estate of Dorothy Lander, Louis Vuitton, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Open Society Foundations, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Taproot Foundation, Virgil Thomson Foundation and the Paul Underwood Charitable Trust. ACO programs are also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts
and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
american composers orchestra
Derek Bermel, Artistic Director | George Manahan, Music Director
Dennis Russell Davies, Conductor Laureate | Robert Beaser, Artistic Advisor Laureate
244 West 54th Street, Suite 805
New York, NY 10019-5515
Phone: 212.977.8495 | Fax: 212.977.8995 | Web: www.americancomposers.org