Walden School Announces 2009 Festival Concert Series
JUNE 30 – AUGUST 7
Composers-in-Residence Joan Tower and Stephen Jaffe Lead Composers Forums
Approximately 100 “First Performances” Presented By Young Composers Over Five-Week Summer Festival
The Walden School 2009 Festival Concert Series features 16 public events presented free of charge June 30 through August 7. Musical compositions and presentations by Composers-in-Residence Joan Tower and Stephen Jaffe are featured alongside world premiere compositions by Walden students and faculty members. The Festival Concert Series is highlighted by distinguished guest artists including the Brooklyn-based M Shanghai String Band, led by Matt Schickele; contemporary music ensemble and composers collective Wet Ink, who will present 8 world premieres by emerging composers; folk music trio Cross Country; preeminent organist and alumnus John Weaver; The Walden School Players, featuring contemporary music performers Claire Chase, Peter Evans, Nathan Davis, Meighan Stoops, Jane Chung, Greg Hesselink and Steven Beck; and acclaimed Baltimore chorus director Leo Wanenchak leading The Walden School Chorus in a concert program featuring works by Benjamin Britten. Full program information is included in a detailed listing at the conclusion of the release. The Walden School joins with Monadnock Music in a new collaboration, co-presenting two concerts during the Festival.
“What’s unusual and wonderful about Walden is not only the sheer number of world premieres that occur during the summer – often as many as 100 new pieces over the course of 5 weeks – but also that each one of this year’s concerts feature performers who are also composers. There’s really an amazing creative ambiance when you get composers, performers, teachers, guest artists and audience members all coming together to rehearse, perform, listen to and then discuss new music across a huge range of genres, from contemporary classical chamber music, to choral, jazz, experimental and bluegrass old-time string band music.” - Seth Brenzel, executive director of The Walden School
Each summer approximately 50 young musicians from all over the United States and the world travel to the beautiful Monadnock region of New Hampshire to participate in The Walden School’s Young Musicians Program on the beautiful campus of the Dublin School; this summer, students will come from the Czech Republic, France, China, Singapore, Canada, as well as from 13 different US states and Guam. Serving young people through its acclaimed summer camp program and music educators through its nationally recognized Teacher Training Institute, The Walden School’s mission focuses on building creativity and personal expression through a unique and respected curriculum centered on comprehensive musicianship, musical improvisation and composition. “Tucked away in New Hampshire’s Monadnock hills, a summer camp like no other teaches kids as young as 9 to make magical sounds – not songs sung around campfires, but new American music,” wrote the Associated Press. “Without fanfare, The Walden School takes musically inclined children for five weeks each summer and gently guides them to be composers.”
Throughout its nearly 40-year history, The Walden School has served hundreds of young musicians including many who have achieved international recognition for their work in diverse fields. Distinguished alumni of both Walden and its predecessor program, the Junior Conservatory Camp, include conductor Hugh Wolff, actor/musician Lance Reddick, vocalist Hilary Kole, jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, improvisational pianist Marilyn Crispell, and Matthew Hunter, the first North American string player to join the Berlin Philharmonic. “Walden was a tremendous and inspiring contact, such a positive force, and not just for the sake of music,” stated Matthew Hunter, Berlin Philharmonic violist. “I want to congratulate you and the school for being able to continue this spirit that I so amply felt. The many details, the 'word of the day,' the singing on the mountain's peak-- it was just moving. I felt a sense of community, of shared purpose and a contagious idealism.”
Ms. Tower and Mr. Jaffe join a distinguished list of eminent composers, performers, and visiting teaching artists who have been in residence at The Walden School including Christopher Theofanidis, The Peabody Trio, Bright Sheng, the Alexander String Quartet, Jennifer Higdon, Pauline Oliveros, Martin Bresnick, James Mobberley, Vance George, Chen Yi, Russell Pinkston and Alice Parker, among others.