Here’s a guest post from my husband Rory.
Last Saturday I attended the 2015 Namei International Music Festival Gala concert at Alice Tully Hall
(allevents.in) to hear: the Dvorak Carnival Overture, the Grieg Piano Concerto, the Yellow River Piano Concerto, Liszt’s Totentanz, piano music based on Chinese song themes, Beijing Opera music arranged for banhu, pipa and piano, two numbers from Carmen, The Hoedown from Copland’s Rodeo, Finlandia, and a choral orchestral elegy, War and Peace, composed by Namei Festival Orchestra Director and Conductor Gregory Singer.
The Namei Festival, sponsored by the Namei Group and the Musicians Club of New York, seeks to engage a global musical community of composers, performers, and listeners while the Musicians Club aims to develop young musicians of talent.(nmmfestival.com) I met Gregory Singer, a fine conductor and violinist, about a year ago and was impressed with his commitment to making music, supporting new compositions, and communicating them to a wide audience. His Manhattan Symphonie presents several concerts annually in New York, including Barge music,
(vimeo.com) and tours extensively, particularly in China. (en.sinovision.net) Passionate about music in all its variety, Gregory had played for us the formidable Bach Chaconne for Unaccompanied Violin, as well as Bluegrass fiddle. So it was no surprise to find the Copland Hoedown on the program, complete with rhythmic clapping from the appreciative audience.
On Saturday the young man sitting next to me turned out to be a Juilliard composition student, apparently one of many young musicians in attendance that day–a pleasure to see so many non-graying audience members.
A running commentary in English and Chinese preceded each composition and award presentation. (nmmfestival.com) What a nice surprise to hear my friend and neighbor, Anthony Morss, a well-known opera conductor as well as a past president of the Musicians Club of New York, describe the group’s admirable mission of “promoting the highest musical standards through free concerts open to the public, competitions for young artists and composers, and special projects.”
All of the performers were impressive and it was wonderful to hear familiar and new works composed and played by a diverse group of talented musicians.
Gregory Singer’s own War and Peace orchestral choral elegy, with a chorus of over 60 young singers, provided a moving final touch to a wide-ranging program that reminded us how music is a language shared by all.