Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kucera 80th Birthday Tribute

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m., guitarist Dr. Stanley Alexandrowicz will be performing at Goucher College in Baltimore with members of the Music Department Faculty in a program dedicated to the 80th birthday celebration of Czech composer Vaclav Kucera. On the program will also be a world premiere of mine, a fantasy for solo guitar called In Perilous Seas that Stanley commissioned from me last year.

Stanley is a great performer, a former student of Manuel Barrueco, a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and an Albany recording artist. I've known him since the mid-80s and he has always been a relentless explorer of the guitar literature, turning up scores and composers that have, in turn, become major influences on me and others of his contemporaries.

Kucera is a great example. A remarkably original and inspired composer, he is not well known in this country and I would know nothing of him were it not for Stanley's research. Of Kucera's works, the birthday program will present a U.S. premiere, with a string orchestra conducted by Goucher's ensembles director Elisa Koehler, of the Concierto Imaginativo „Homenaje a Salvador DalĂ­” and the Maryland premiere of his solo Diario: Omaggio a Che Guevara. The program will also include work by Ernst Bacon, Brian Fenelly and Eric Sessler.

Stanley will be repeating elements of this program at the Composers Voice concert Nov. 29 at the Jan Hus Church in New York in the last week of November and I'll post information on that concert as it approaches.


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