The Ritz Theater and La Bella Strings, in association with the Bardavon, will welcome Esopus Musicalia and Frederic Hand on Saturday, November 20 at 8 pm. The concert is a part of the 2010-11 Tom Humphrey Guitar Series.
A Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning composer, Frederic Hand is one of the most versatile guitarists today. Frederic’s performing style and concert programs feature his own works, which have brought him acclaim as both a Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning television composer and recording artist. Of his compositions for guitar, Alexandre Lagoya has written, “His knowledge of the instrument enables him to achieve effects which are absolutely remarkable. Frederic possesses a magnificent talent which touches me profoundly.” Noted for his unique performances of early music, he is also the creator and director of Jazzantiqua, a group The New York Times has described as “scintillating and brilliant.” Frederic arranged and performed the theme from the Academy Award-winning film, Kramer vs. Kramer, which led to the best-selling recording Baroque and on the Street (CBS). Most recently, his composition Prayer, recorded by John Williams, was nominated for a Grammy award. Hand’s recordings include Jazzantiqua and Heart’s Song on Music Masters, and Trilogy, an album of solo guitar music released by the Musical Heritage Society. He has performed as a guest artist with the Mostly Mozart Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, New York Philharmonic, Waverly Consort, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, among others. Frederic, who has been the appointed guitarist and lutenist with the Metropolitan Opera since 1986, was chosen to perform in the Metropolitan Opera’s inaugural chamber music series at Carnegie Hall in 1999. He has performed onstage with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, conducted by James Levine. Frederic’s original scoring for television includes Sesame Street, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light, for which he was awarded an Emmy. Over one dozen volumes of his original compositions and arrangements are published worldwide through G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, Cherry Lane and Mel Bay. Frederic is currently Chairman of the Classical Guitar Department at the SUNY Purchase and he also serves on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music and Bennington College.
Esopus Musicalia is a chamber ensemble who provides an intimate, transformative chamber music experience, linking history and music. Nadège Foofat, Esopus Musicalia’s Director and Conductor, is a Saugerties resident. She is the creator of Esopus Musicalia, and is active as a conductor, violinist and violist. She received her Master’s Degree in Music from Yale University in 2006, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from The Juilliard School in 2000. Nadège acts as the liaison for Esopus Musicalia between the composer, the music, the players, the audience, and the press. She has performed in many notable venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and has been recognized for her work with modern repertoire. She received a diploma for conducting from the European American Musical Alliance from the École Normale de Musique in Paris in July of 2009 and was a recipient of a 2009 grant for conducting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Dr. Randy Angiel, Esopus Musicalia’s Historian, is a native of Woodstock, New York. His interests include music history, diplomatic history and the link between technology and society. He has taught as Adjunct History Professor and Associate Professor of Information Technology at SUNY and has also been a private consultant in emerging and mobile technologies for 15 years. Randy was recently a panelist at the SUNY & the Promise of Public Higher Education in America – A Scholarly Conference on SUNY’s 60th Anniversary, in April 2009, and authored a report for the 2008 New York State Commission on Higher Education, entitled “Learning in the Empire State: Gutenberg, Marconi and Google.”
Frederic Hand and Esopus Musicalia will explore the private lives of composers during the November 20 performance and the theme will be Priests, Warlocks and Spirits. The private lives of Antonio Vivaldi, Frederick Delius, Peter Warlock (Philip Heseltine) and Leo Sowerby included personal interests that spanned the gamut from clergy (Vivaldi) to the occult (Warlock). Betwixt the two extremes lies Delius, who was heavily influenced by African-American Spirituals while working in a back country grapefruit plantation in Florida in the mid-1880s. Their personalities, personal experiences, fetishes, afflictions, and spirituality drove their musical idioms throughout their careers. Spanning a time from the 1660s through the 1960′s, this event will enlighten the audience through discourse and performance, to the lives and works of these composers.
“Mr. Hand produced a strikingly clean and penetrating tone. Making a strong impression with his musicianship on each instrument, he played unerringly, with all the verve and spirit that one could ask.” —The New York Times
Hand is an extraordinary player. His speed seems to have no limit. He plays with intelligence and finesse, and every aspect of the line and individual sound is lovingly shaped.” —Milwaukee Journal
Classical guitar recitals don’t get much better than this. Frederic Hand is a tremendously skilled and expressive guitarist. But what makes him unique is that he is also one of today’s most fascinating composers, able to weave together a variety of influences, from jazz to Dowland to the avant-garde.” —Guitar Review
“Hand’s technique is second to none. His technical prowess is dazzling and he possesses a strong lyrical sense achieved through a variety of tonal colors.” —Kansas City Star
The Tom Humphrey Guitar Series serves to honor the memory of the legendary Hudson Valley-based luthier who passed away in 2008. The idea for the concerts came from Tom Humphrey just two months before his death. In a series of meetings with Chris Silva of the Bardavon, Richard Cocco, Jr. of La Bella Strings and Tricia Haggerty Wenz of the Ritz Theater and Safe Harbors of the Hudson, Humphrey laid the ground work for a guitar series at the Ritz which kicked off its first two seasons with performances by Odair Assad, Pete Seeger, Bucky Pizzarelli, Larry Coryell, and others.
The concert will be held in the Ritz Theater Lobby at 107 Broadway in Newburgh, and tickets can be purchased through TicketWeb or (866) 468-7619, or by contacting the Ritz Theater Box Office at (845) 784-1199 or . All tickets are $25 and include a reception with the musicians immediately following the concert. Seating is limited.