Ricardo Lorenz receives commission from the University of Oregon to compose work for two world-renown flutists: Grammy-Award winning, University of Oregon faculty Molly Barth and revered Venezuelan flutist Luis Julio Toro. In addition to having long standing solo careers, Molly Barth is a founding member of the nationally acclaimed sextet Eight Blackbird and Luis Julio Toro has traveled all around the world with his virtuoso contemporary folk ensemble Gurrufio. Lorenz and Toro have collaborated many times in the past. They both met Molly Barth for the first time in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the 2007 National Flute Association’s convention where a new trio by the composer (a NFA commission) was premiered. Lorenz’s new commissioned work is scheduled to receive North and South American premieres by the recently formed duo during the 2010-2011 season.
Ricardo Lorenz will spend five weeks in residency at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. As a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Lorenz will work during April and May 2010 on a new concerto for viola and orchestra. The concerto is loosely based on a group of songs by the late singer songwriter Victor Jara, one of the first casualties of Chile’s 1973 military coup. Lorenz is composing this concerto for Roberto Díaz, former principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and current President of the Curtis Institute of Music.
Founded by composer Edward MacDowell and his wife Marian in 1907, MacDowell Colony is the oldest and most prestigious artist residency in the U.S. Writers, poets, playwrights, visual artists, and composers are supported during four to eight weeks while in residence at the MacDowell Colony. Among the many works created at the colony are Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Aaron Copland’s ballet Billy the Kid, and Leonard Bernstein’s multi-genre cantata Mass. Over 61 works done at the Colony have been awarded Pulitzer Prizes over the past one hundred years.
Link to the Library of Congress online exhibit
“A Century of Creativity: The MacDowell Colony 1907-2007”
En Tren Va Changó (Destination Macondo). Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Raphael Jiménez, conductor. Included in a CD titled “Destinations: Orchestral Works from Latin American Composers.” Navona Records, US, 2009.
Several performances of Ricardo Lorenz’s concerto for maracas and orchestra are scheduled for the 2009-2010 season in cities across the US and Mexico. Premiered ten years ago and titled Pataruco, this first-ever concerto for maracas will be performed in Oregon and Nevada by percussionist Terry Longshore (http://www.terrylongshore.com) with the Rogue Valley Symphony and the Carson City Symphony respectively. Almost simultaneously, Mexican percussionist Ricardo Gallardo will performed the concerto with the Michoacan Symphony in Mexico City and Morelia. Pataruco was premiered in March 1999 by the Chicago Sinfonietta and percussionist Ed Harrison, to whom the work was dedicated. Since then, the work has been heard in many cities across the globe: from Juneau, Alaska, to Prague, to Bello Horinzonte, Brazil. A recording of Pataruco with the Czech National Symphony and Ed Harrison was released in 2001 by Albany Records.
By invitation of the University of Florida Bands, Ricardo Lorenz visited the Gainesville campus on September 29-October 2, 2009 to attend the official premiere of El Muro, a work for wind symphony commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and the University of Florida Bands. The work was premiered on October 1st by the UF Wind Symphony conducted by David Waybright. While at University of Florida, Lorenz met with graduate students in the Band and Music Composition programs, as well as with Composition Faculty Paul Richards and Paul Koonce. Lorenz also had a chance to tour the brand new Steinbrenner Band Building, a $10-million state-of-the-art facility suitable for rehearsals, performances, and recordings.
What stands between composing music and the world feels like a void that I simultaneously crave and loathe. On the one hand, I seek those moments when I am alone and self-absorbed over a score in progress. On the other hand, I reject the thought of being a loafer, oblivious of my surroundings, because in the end it is all about making a connection; it is about being in tune with the world.
What I mean is that composing music, like any other art, requires knowing when to immerse oneself into a vacuum and when to surface out of it. It requires negotiating between the oblivious attitude of childhood and the tenacity of someone running for government office. While it requires a marathon runner’s resolve and discipline to bring projects to completion, composing also relies heavily upon the creativity inherent in the act of loafing. Being idle can cause surprisingly original and spontaneous music to emerge.
Inside of the void I care only about musical flow, elegance of gesture, rhythmic intricacy, and unexpected harmonic shifts. Outside of the void I strive to evoke human drama through music, often fantasizing that I can be an agent of change or that, in the least, my compositions are imaginary solutions to real problems, as Claude Levi Strauss described culture’s role in society.
Ricardo Lorenz’s Rumba Sinfónica will receive its twentieth performance at the historic Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra.
On October 24, 2009 Tiempo Libre and The Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Carl Topilow will perform Rumba Sinfónica at Cleveland’s Severance Hall. One of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, Severance Hall underwent a major, $36-million restoration and expansion in 2000. This landmark building was one of the most modern, up-to-date concert facilities in America when it opened in 1931 as The Cleveland Orchestra’s permanent home.
Ricardo Lorenz’s Rumba Sinfónica has toured many cities in North America since its premiere by the Minnesota Orchestra in fall 2007. The work has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” as well as in Symphony Magazine and on the Big Ten Network. Other orchestras performing Rumba Sinfónica during the 2009-2010 season include Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Hartford, North Carolina, and San Diego symphonies as well as the Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County.
Link to NPR story
After fulfilling a commission from the National Flute Association in 2007, Ricardo Lorenz was the 2008 recipient of the American Bandmasters Association/University of Florida Commission Award. The award, funded by a grant from the University of Florida band program, includes a commission honorarium to create a major artistic work for wind band. After a preview performance at the 2009 CBDNA conference, the ten-minute work, titled El Muro , is scheduled to be premiered this upcoming October 1st by the University of Florida Wind Symphony conducted by David Waybright. El Muro is Spanish for “the wall,” and Lorenz describes the work as a collection of tightly woven Latin American riffs in reaction to how he feels about walls, whether these exist in reality or in people’s minds.
El Muro. University of Florida Wind Symphony, David Waybright, cond. Gainesville, Florida.
10.15 & 17.09
Pataruco: Concerto for Maracas and Orchestra. Orquesta Sinfónica de Michoacán; Ricardo Gallardo, percussion; Eduardo Sánchez Zúber, cond. Morelia, Mexico.
Pataruco: Concerto for Maracas and Orchestra. Orquesta Sinfónica de Michoacán; Ricardo Gallardo, percussion; Eduardo Sánchez Zúber, cond. Sala Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico City, Mexico.
Rumba Sinfónica. Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra; Carl Topilow, cond. Severence Hall, Cleveland, Ohio.
El Muro. Columbus State University Wind Symphony; Rob Rumbelow, cond. Columbus, Georgia.
Pataruco: Concerto for Maracas and Orchestra. Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra. Terry Longshore, percussion; Martin Majkut, cond. Ashland, Oregon.
Jaromiluna. Jennifer Curtis, violin; Megan Levin, harp. Festival Internacional de Música Clasica Contemporánea. Lima, Peru.
El Muro. Columbus State University Wind Symphony; Rob Rumbelow, cond. GMEA Convention, Savannah, Georgia.
Rumba Sinfónica. Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra; Constantine Kitsopoulos, cond.; Civic Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
El Muro. University of Georgia Wind Symphony; John Lynch, cond.; neXt Festival of Contemporary Music. Athens, Georgia.
Rumba Sinfónica. Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County; Manny Capote, cond.; Crest Theater, Delray Beach, Florida.
Pataruco: Concerto for Maracas and Orchestra. Carson City Symphony Orchestra. Terry Longshore, percussion; David Bugli, cond.; Bob Boldrick Theater, Carson City, Nevada.
El Muro. University of Georgia Wind Symphony; John Lynch, cond.; North American Saxophone Allience Biennial Conference. Athens, Georgia.
El Muro. The Crane School of Music (SUNY) Wind Symphony; Brian Doyle, cond. Potsdam, New York.
Piedra en la Piedra. Jenny Hanson, flute; Scotty Horey, percussion. Ultan Recital Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
El Muro. University of North Texas Wind Symphony; Eugene Corporon, cond. Denton, Texas.
Perfiles Sospechosos. Marissa Olin, flute; with Callum Hall, Remi Hamel, and Ty Forquer. Hart Recital Hall, MSU, East Lansing, Michigan.
Piedra en la Piedra. Marissa Olin, flute; Sam Gould, percussion. Hart Recital Hall, MSU, East Lansing, Michigan.
Piedra en la Piedra. Jenny Hanson, flute; Scotty Horey, percussion. Marimba 2o10 International Festival. Ted Mann Concert Hall. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Salsa Inglesa. Peter von Wienhart (students of), piano. Musikhochschule, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany.
Rumba Sinfónica. Hartford Symphony Orchestra; cond. TBD. Hartford, Connecticut.
Rumba Sinfónica. North Carolina Symphony; cond, TBD. Koka Booth Amphitheater, Regency Park, Cary, North Carolina.
Puente Trans-Arabico. Orlando Cotto, percussion; Dali String Quartet. Meadowlark Music Festival, Sheldon Art Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Puente Trans-Arabico. Orlando Cotto, percussion; Dali String Quartet. Cottonwood Festival, Brickyard Park, Hastings, Nebraska.
Pataruco: Concerto for Maracas and Orchestra. Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ed Harrison, percussion; Allen Tinkham, cond.; Jay Pritzker Pavillion; Millennium Park; Chicago, Illinois.
Puente Trans-Arabico. Orlando Cotto, percussion; Dali String Quartet. VII Annual Dalí Quartet Camp and Festival; North Wales, Pennsylvania.
Links from MSUToday on TV
The second half of the concert felt more convincing than the first. After Mr. Giorgetti’s “Dialogue” came the Venezuelan-American composer Ricardo Lorenz’s “Compass Points,” the most successful piece on Sunday’s program. Each of the work’s three sections was written in a different location and reflects the composer’s state of mind and circumstances at the time. The first movement, composed in Umbria, Italy, offered a sultry canvas with passionate violin interludes. The second — both melancholy and defiant, with languid clarinet riffs — was written in Bloomington, Ind., as a tribute to the pianist and composer Robert Avalon. The frenzied, driven dance rhythms of “Scherzarengue,” the last movement, evoke a busy period in the composer’s life when he moved to East Lansing, Mich.
Ricardo Lorenz’s first composition, written at age 12, was extremely simple. “Just two chords, jumping back and forth,” he says with a laugh. “I got such a kick out of it.” Now, after more than 25 years as a composer, Venezuelan-born Lorenz, PhD’99, not only creates large-scale works for multi-instrument groups, but he also harmonizes two musical worlds: classical and Latin American.
Get down. Listen up. Get down. How’s that for a history of Western music in six words? It’s also a neat preview of Michigan State University composer Ricardo Lorenz’ massive Latinsymphonic collision piece “Rumba Sinfonica.”
For years, two men dreamed of a taboo liaison between full symphony orchestra and Latin dance machine: Lorenz and Jorge Gomez, founder of Grammy-winning Latin combo Tiempo Libre.
Their dream comes alive Thursday night, when plugged-in, seven-piece Tiempo Libre joins the unplugged, seventy-or-so-piece MSU Symphony for a postmodern music party where people listen up AND get down.
Commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and The University of Florida for premiere by the University of Florida Wind Symphony conducted by David Waybright, October 1st, 2009. The Michigan State University Wind Symphony previewed the work at the CBDNA Conference held at The University of Texas-Austin, March 28, 2008.
Approx. duration: 10 minutes.
4343 – 4 sax- 6431(2 Euph.) – timp, 4 perc., pn plus backstage quintet (cl, a. sax, tbn, bass, perc.)