department of music

Fine Arts Center, Suite E, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

music@uri.edu401.874.2431 or 401.874.5955

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Fall 2016 Faculty Notes

A quick survey of URI Music Faculty currently featured in print and on the web:

Professor Manabu Takasawa is captured in the cover story for the Division of Research and Economic Development’s current Momentum Magazine .

Professor George Kent, music Alum Andrew Howell and Professor Emeritus Ward Abusamara are prominently featured in the URI Alumni Magazine QuadAngles

Congratulations to Susan Thomas, Music Department Senior Lecturer in flute performance and music technology, selected as a University Big Thinker for her vast contributions to the cultural life of Rhode Isand!

Congratulations to Adam Levin, Artist/Teacher in Guitar, for the recent release of his latest recording on the Naxos label: 21st Century Spanish Guitar, Volume 2. This is the second volume of a planned four-volume series presenting new Spanish works for solo guitar, commissioned as part of Adam’s residency in Spain.
Scene Magazine called Volume 1 “one of the essential collections of solo instrumental performance released in the past 50 years”, and MusicWeb International selected it as a “Recording of the Year.”

For more information, see the Naxos website.

Adam Levin founded the Kithara Project, and performs world wide, both as a soloist and as a member of Duo Sonidos.

Kirsten Volness, URI Music Faculty in Composition and Theory is one of our busiest collaborators, giving performances with URI English Professor Mary Capello in a program on “Words and Mood“, collaborating with the Art Department in a performance/reception with the multimedia artist Blevin Blectum at her Main Gallery opening on November 30 – all this while managing her award winning new music ensemble and concert series Verdant Vibes in Providence.

University of Rhode Island Music Faculty are active performers and teachers in community cultural organizations throughout the state and nationally. The department maintains a calendar listing of faculty performance on its website, accessible here, and find some highlights below:

On November 20, the Chorus of Westerly gave two performances of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Hodie, under the baton of URI Music Alum Andrew Howell, with URI Faculty members Audrey Cardany, Margaret Frazier, Cathryn Cummings, Jane Murray, Susan Thomas, Eliot Porter and Theodore Mook on the performer roster. URI Big Thinker Susan Thomas, in addition to her prominent role as Principal Flutist of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, supplemented her very busy performance schedule with a stint at PPac with the touring Broadway productions of Wicked and The King and I. Jane Murray holds the English Horn chair at the RI Philharmonic, and along with bassist Eliot Porter, they make up the permanent roster of this prominent Rhode Island cultural icon.

URI Music Professor Mark Conley will help prepare a performance of the Mozambique “Moni wa mtendere” (Greetings of Peace) for “Meet in the Middle”, a brainchild of the choral directors from the Barrington, North Smithfield and Providence Central High Schools. The members of these three choirs will prepare a joint concert at the Statehouse in December, rehearsing at each other’s locations.

Professor Conley will also join forces with the Warwick Symphony Orchestra, the URI Concert Choir and the RI Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and perform three concerts across the state (Woonsocket, Warwick and Kingston). The RIACDA hs formed an honors choir of singers hand-picked from participating high-schools to join with the URI Concert Choir in selections from the Handel’s Messiah and the world premiere of a work by Providence College composer Micheal Kregler, Now Winter Nights.

Dr. Brian Cardany, the Associate Director of Bands at URI, is the conductor of the American Band , a symphonic band of adult musicians from Connecticut and Rhode Island, and one of the oldest continuously active bands in the United States. In his almost non-existant free-time, he also conducts the South County Chamber Orchestra in Narragansett. Dr. Cardany will be bringing the American Band to URI on February 26.

URI Music Professor Vilde Aaslid will be offering a Special Presentation: World Music – Two Fiddles on April 25, together with special guest Kazakh virtuoso, Aizhan Tuleubayeva. Dr. Aaslid is an accomplished performer on the traditional Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, and will be presenting a program featuring it, alongside Aizhan Tuleubayeva’s traditional Kazakh fiddle, the Kobyz.

This Spring, Theodore Mook, Artist/Teacher in Cello is giving the World Premiere performance of a work by composer Daniel Rothman at the Four Seasons Arts series in Berkeley, California, and reprising the performance at the legendary venue for experimental music, Roulette, in New York City. Daniel Rothman’s work will be based on the James Baldwin political text, Nothing Personal, making it Mook’s third premiere performance of works inspired by social and political events in as many years. The two other works, both recorded separately on New World Records, are In Our Name, by composer Annea Lockwood, based on texts by Guantanamo detainees, and Words Fail Me, by composer Lois V Vierk, a reaction to the events of 9/11.
Mook is an active proponent of contemporary music, and has performed at the Library of Congress, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the American Academy in Rome and at festivals and concert-series around the world.

See some of his recordings of American Music are listed at the Digital Recorded Archive of American Music

This Spring, URI Music Professor Manabu Takasawa is inviting Professors Yoshihiro Kanno and Noriko Ohtake for a two-week residency as part of the URI Distinguished Visiting Arts Program funded by the Provost’s Office. Manabu will be performing with them at a concert in the Fine Arts Center, in addition to several lectures and workshops.

As a collaborative artist, pianist Manabu Takasawa is planning a European tour with Kristen Stoner, Associate Professor of Flute at University of Florida. The pair previously toured in Paris and Dublin. Dr. Takasawa has also performed with professors from various institutions including: Noriko Ohtake at Sagami Women’s University in Japan, Slawomir Dobrazanski at Kansas State University, Rebecca Leuchak at Roger Williams University, as well as Shuann Chai, a concert pianist based in the Netherlands.

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