The American Conservatory at Fontainebleau opened its doors to students on June 26th, 1921. Held in the Palace of Fontainebleau, which was built during the reign of Francois the First in 1529, the school had been established by the governments of France and the United States to offer to Americans the opportunity to experience the long tradition of French musical pedagogy. Among the teachers was Nadia Boulanger, then a 34 year-old teacher of harmony. In the first class was Aaron Copland, who discovered Mlle. Boulanger there, and remained in Paris for the next three years to study with her. Composers from America and around the world came to study with Mlle. Boulanger from then until her death at the age of 91 in 1979.
This concert includes pieces by seven composers who attended Fontainebleau during the last decade of Mlle. Boulanger’s teaching. Each composer is represented by approximately ten minutes of music; their piece or pieces are preceded by a brief video of testimony about Fontainebleau and Mlle. Boulanger by each composer.
The concert will feature two of my works:
Triflute’s Travels in Saturn’s Magic Square (1975)
Following on from last year’s very successful online course, with government restrictions preventing the Sherborne Summer School for Music functioning this year, the Sherborne Composers’ Workshop will once again be online. Places are already much in demand, but if you are interested in attending the course, do please be in touch.
Pre-course introductory online seminar on July 11th at 2.00pm UK time
The glissotar or glissonic tarogato is a new woodwind instrument. It is based on the Hungarian tarogato, which is a single-reed instrument with a conical wooden body. The main novelty is that, instead of tone holes, it uses a longitudinal gap or slot on the tube of the instrument. The two sides of the slot are covered with magnetic foil which attract a magnetized ribbon on top. The ribbon is fixed on the upper end, stretched and lifted up from the lower end as a string on a violin. You can push down the ribbon anywhere, it will seal up perfectly above it, so you can produce any note in the pitch continuum. Daniel Vaczi is the driving force behind this new instrument, and, through the Sonus Foundation in Hungary, he has called for short new pieces for the glissotar. ‘Time to Question’ is a short solo piece making use of the instrument’s ability to play glissandi, as its name suggests.