UNT Wind Symphony premieres alumnus' concerto April 12

Monday, March 26, 2012

What: University of North Texas Wind Symphony presents the world premiere of alumnus Steven Bryant's Concerto for Piano, Orchestral Winds and Percussion, featuring Regents Professor Pamela Mia Paul

When: 7:30 p.m. April 12 (Thursday)

Where: Murchison Performing Arts Center's Winspear Performance Hall, located along the north side of Interstate 35E at North Texas Boulevard

Cost: $8 - $10

Contact: 940-369-7802 or www.theMPAC.com

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Acclaimed pianist Pamela Mia Paul, a Regents Professor at the University of North Texas College of Music, will perform the world premiere of award-winning alumnus Steven Bryant's Concerto for Piano, Orchestral Winds and Percussion with the UNT Wind Symphony.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 12 (Thursday) in the Murchison Performing Arts Center's Winspear Performance Hall, located along the north side of Interstate 35E at North Texas Boulevard. Tickets are available by calling 940-369-7802 or visiting www.theMPAC.com.

"It's wonderful to bring a piece to life, and it's incredibly exciting for a classical performer to work with a living composer," said Paul, who commissioned the piece. "It's a beautifully crafted piece in two movements. The first part starts slowly and gradually builds up in momentum, gets to a big peak and then very quietly goes back to the way it began. The second movement is very jazzy and percussive with lively, beautiful colors."

Bryant said he worked with a descending set of five dyads -- or two-note chords -- that are used to build the music in both movements. Bryant, who earned a master of music degree in composition from UNT in 1996, studied with Cindy McTee, recently retired Regents Professor of composition, and credits her with contributing to his success as a composer.

"In addition to her excellent insights into viewing and experiencing time in music, she was a stickler for the detailed preparation of the score and parts," Bryant said. "Her tutelage was equal parts musical and practical, and I believe this has been significant to my sustained career as a freelance composer."

Bryant plans to attend the premiere performance, as well as an April 13 recording session for the composition.

"It's always a pleasure and an honor when my alma mater performs my music, especially since the musicians are of such a high caliber," Bryant said.

Also at the April 12 concert, the Wind Symphony will perform Frank Ticheli's Songs of Love and Life featuring guest soloist Patty Goble, Brett Dietz's Saisei, Michael Gandolfi's Flourishes and Meditations on a Renaissance Theme and Francisco Jose Martinez Gallego's La Concepcion 1910.


About Steven Bryant

Steven Bryant is an active composer and conductor with a varied catalog, including works for wind ensemble, orchestra, electronic and electro-acoustic creations, chamber music, and music for the web.

Bryant's music has been performed by numerous ensembles across North America, Europe, and East Asia. He is a three-time winner of the National Band Association's William D. Revelli Composition Award: in 2010 for Ecstatic Waters, in 2008 for Suite Dreams, and in 2007 for his work Radiant Joy. His first orchestral work, Loose Id for Orchestra, hailed by celebrated composer Samuel Adler as "orchestrated like a virtuoso," was premiered by The Juilliard Symphony and is featured on a CD release by the Bowling Green Philharmonia on Albany Records. Alchemy in Silent Spaces, a new large-scale work commissioned by James DePreist and The Juilliard School was premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra in May 2006. Since its 2008 premiere, his seminal work for large ensemble and electronics Ecstatic Waters has become the most performed work of its kind in the world.

Other notable commissions have come from cellist Caroline Stinson (Lark Quartet), pianist Pamela Mia Paul (UNT), the Amherst Saxophone Quartet (funded by the American Composers Jerome Composers Commissioning Program), the University of Texas - Austin Wind Ensemble, the US Air Force Band of Mid-America, the Japanese Wind Ensemble Conductors Conference, and the Calgary Stampede Band, as well as many others. Recordings include multiple releases by Eugene Corporon and the UNT Wind Symphony, the Ron Hufstader and the El Paso Wind Symphony, William Berz and the Rutgers University Wind Ensemble, and Thomas Leslie and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Wind Orchestra. Steven has also created a recomposition of the Iggy Pop and the Stooges song, "Real Cool Time," for the independent Italian record label, Snowdonia, as well as music for portions of the Virtual Space Tour at space.com.

Bryant is a founding member of the composer-consortium BCM International: four stylistically-diverse composers from across the country. BCM's music has generated a following of thousands around the world and two recordings: "BCM Saves the World" (2002, Mark Custom Records) and "BCM Men of Industry" (2004, BCM Records).

He studied composition with John Corigliano at The Juilliard School, Cindy McTee at UNT, and Francis McBeth at Ouachita University. He resides in Durham, N.C.


About Pamela Mia Paul

Pamela Mia Paul has performed throughout the U.S., and in Europe, the People's Republic of China, South Korea and Turkey, both as soloist and as chamber musician. She is an internationally sought-after pedagogue whose students hold teaching positions throughout the United States and Asia, and who have participated in and won competitions including the Nina Widemann Competition and the Naumburg International Piano Competition. Ms. Paul has commissioned and premiered works for the piano; Robert Beaser's Piano Concerto, which was written for her, had its world premiere in the U.S., with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin, and in Europe with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic under the baton of American conductor Richard Dufallo. The Beaser Concerto had its New York premiere in 1992 at Carnegie Hall, with Dennis Russell Davies conducting the American Composer's Orchestra.

Paul has received critical acclaim for her appearances with orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, where her interpretations of both standard repertoire and twentieth-century piano concertos have garnered consistent critical praise.

Paul's European orchestral appearances include the Vienna ORF Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Berlin Stadskapelle, and the Dutch Radio Symphony; her U.S orchestral appearances include those with the New York Philharmonic, symphonies of Detroit, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Houston, American Composers Orchestra, Boston Pops, New York Pops, the Minnesota Orchestra, and Caramoor Festival Orchestra.

In both orchestral performances and recitals, Paul has appeared in world's major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, and the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam.

As a chamber musician, she has been an invited guest artist at the Salzburg and Bregenz Festivals in Austria, Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and at Music Mountain in Connecticut. Quartets with which she has performed include Cassatt, Penderecki, Borromeo, Chester, Orlando, Leontovich, Miro, DaPonte and St. Petersburg.

Summer programs at which Paul has taught include the Prague International Master Classes, The Institute for Strings, and the Vienna International Piano Academy. She has presented master classes in Europe, the People's Republic of China, Turkey, South Korea, and throughout the U.S.

She received doctor of musical arts, master of music and bachelor of music degrees from the Juilliard School. She is currently Regents Professor of Piano at the University of North Texas and is a Steinway artist.


About the UNT College of Music

The UNT College of Music is one of the largest and most respected comprehensive music schools in the country. About 1,600 music students attend UNT each year, participating in more than 40 widely varied ensembles and pursuing specialized studies in performance, composition, music education or music scholarship. UNT faculty members and students have made appearances on the world's finest stages and have produced numerous recordings, many receiving Grammy awards and nominations. Distinguished UNT alumni can be found around the globe, in top music ensembles, opera companies, universities and schools.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108