Thursday, February 13, 2014

COMPOSER/CONDUCTOR IANNACCONE FEATURED AS 2014 GRETCHEN FRENCH VISITING ARTIST

Award-winning composer and conductor Anthony Iannaccone has been selected for the 2014 Gretchen French Visiting Artist Series in Music at Ashland University.  Dr. Iannaccone will visit Ashland University on February 25 and 26 to present lectures about his music and conduct two concerts performing his original compositions. All of the events featuring Dr. Iannaccone are free and open to the public.

The residency begins on Tuesday, February 25 at 1:40 p.m. in Room 303 of the Center for the Arts with Dr, Iannaccone's lecture focusing on a selection of his original compositions.  At 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall, the Ashland University Faculty Chamber Ensemble will perform a recital featuring music by Composer Iannaccone. The recital program will include: 
  • Trio for flute, clarinet and piano with guest artist Denise Krain, flute; Thomas Reed, clarinet; Susan Gregg, piano  
  • Toccata Fanfares for brass ensemble with a faculty/student ensemble including Scott Garlock and Mike Metcalf 
  • Night Song for euphonium and piano with Scott Garlock  
  • Remembrance for saxophone and piano with Thomas Reed 
  • Various songs with soprano Stephanie Sikora 
On Wednesday, February 26 at 2 p.m. in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts, Dr. Iannaccone will continue his visit with his second lecture which will focus on contemporary Classical music.  At 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre, his visit at Ashland University will conclude with him conducting some of his pieces at a concert by the Ashland University Choir and Concert Band. The concert program will be selected from Iannaccone’s pieces including:

With the Ashland University Concert Band:
After a Gentle Rain (conducted by Dr. Iannaccone)
Plymouth Trilogy 
Psalms for a Great Country 
Scherzo

With the Ashland University Choir: 
The Soul's Expression (conducted by Dr. Iannaccone)
The Sky Is Low  
Song of Thanks
Exsultate

The Gretchen French Endowed Visiting Artist Series at Ashland University was established through a bequest from the estate of Gretchen French.  Although Ms. French never attended Ashland University, it was through close friends and alums, Phillip (‘53) and Jean (‘55) Lersch, that she decided Ashland was well suited to demonstrate in perpetuity her values and hopes for young people. Her entire life was dedicated to people, placing others' needs before her's by unselfishly serving them, in particular her family and many, many young musicians.  This is a fitting tribute to her and will be a continual reminder of her love not only of music but most importantly people.

The goal of the Series is to provide Ashland University students close contact and mentoring with an outstanding visiting musician/music teacher. The particular field of expertise for the Series will vary from year to year. It is a goal of the Series to find Visiting Artists that have the widest possible expertise and appeal to students in various areas of music study.

Dr. Iannaccone studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Eastman School of Music. His principal teachers were Vittorio Giannini, Aaron Copland, and David Diamond. His catalogue of approximately 50 published works includes three symphonies, smaller works for orchestra, several large works for chorus and orchestra, numerous chamber pieces, large works for wind ensemble, and several extended a cappella choral compositions. His music is performed by major orchestras and professional chamber ensembles in the U.S. and abroad. He is an active conductor of both new music and standard orchestral repertory. Since 1971, he has taught at Eastern Michigan University, where, for 30 years he conducted the Collegium Musicum.

Iannaccone’s works have won many first prizes in national and international competitions while several of his works for chamber and large ensembles have entered the standard repertory. He has received grants, awards, and commissions from numerous institutions, orchestras, foundations, and organizations, such as the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the National Endowment for the Arts, ASCAP and the Eastman School of Music, among many others. Recent commissions include a quintet for clarinet and strings for Richard Stoltzman, a choral work for the Ithaca College School of Music, and an orchestral work for the Dearborn Symphony.

Describing his music, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians states, "organic growth inspires music of great strength and formal clarity, as opening bars generate the textural and thematic contours that forge contrasting sections of reflection and cross-rhythmic dynamism."

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