Weekend concerts at Bates College feature classical, computer-generated music

New music by a Bates faculty member and an afternoon of music for violin and piano highlight the performance offerings at Bates College on the second weekend of May.

William Matthews, the Alice Swanson Esty Professor of Music, offers a concert of his own compositions at 8 p.m. Friday, May 7.

Another Matthews composition appears on a program offered by violinist Mary Jo Carlsen, of the Colby College faculty, and pianist Frank Glazer, Bates artist in residence, at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9. The pair will also perform music by Mozart and Brahms.

Both concerts are open to the public at no charge and take place in Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. For more information, please call 207-786-6135.

Titled “Voicescapes,” Matthews’ program consists of music composed with computer and created from vocal texts and the sounds of nature. The four compositions are “Island” (1989), adapting sounds collected on Islesboro, Maine; “The 89 Camels of Hadji Ali” (2003), from a musical-theater work about the 19th-century U.S. Army Camel Corps in Arizona; “Von Amy mit Liebe” (2004), a song based on a text by Richard Wagner; and “Rilke Remix Redux, mit Ralf” (2002-2004) settings of Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Sonnets of Orpheus,” read by Portland soprano Christina Astrachan and others.

Carlsen, an applied music associate at Colby, and Glazer, arguably Maine’s best-known pianist, will collaborate on Mozart’s Sonata in A (K. 526) and Brahms’ Sonata in D minor (Op. 108). Carlsen will perform “Ballade,” a piece for solo violin and narrator, from Matthews’ “89 Camels.”

Matthews has been on the Bates faculty for 26 years and was named the first Alice Swanson Esty professor of music in 1997. A flutist as well as an accomplished composer, his more-than 60 works include solo instrumental, vocal, chamber, orchestral, choral and theatrical music. Matthews has received several national awards and commissions for his work and teaches jazz and popular music as well as composition.

Carlsen is a recitalist in New England on violin, viola and Baroque violin, performing music from the Renaissance through the 21st century. She performs with the Portland Symphony, Portland Opera Repertory Theater, the Bangor Symphony and as a member of the Carlsen/Tschanz Duo. At Colby since 1985, she teaches violin, coaches chamber music and is concertmaster of the Colby Symphony.

Glazer, a resident artist at Bates College since 1980, is an artist of international stature who taught at the Eastman School of Music for 15 years before retiring to Maine with his wife, Ruth, in 1980. A student of pianist Artur Schnabel in the 1930s and ’40s, Glazer is one of the few remaining proteges of that great musician. Glazer’s long career includes numerous recordings, his own television program in the 1950s and countless solo recitals and ensemble performances around the world.

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