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ComposerCraft Students Premiere Vivaldi-Inspired Works at Poisson Rouge on Oct 11


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On Sunday, October 11 at 6 pm, six middle school composers In Kaufman Music Center’s ComposerCraft program will premiere works inspired by one of the movements from Vivaldi’s bassoon concerto “La Notte” at (le) Poisson Rouge. The pieces were commissioned by Metropolis Ensemble along with four other works by adult composers Brad Balliett, Doug Balliett, Bora Yoon and Nina C. Young featuring the bassoon in a multiplicity of sonic situations.

The six middle school students – Austin Celestin, Graydon Hanson, Yusei Hata, Daniel Ma, Sara Stebbins and Misha Swersey – are members of ComposerCraft, a unique program at Kaufman Music Center that offers early, high-level training to aspiring composers ages 10-14. The young composers are gifted students at Kaufman Music Center's Special Music School, a public school for musically gifted children, and Lucy Moses School, a community arts school for all ages. Both schools draw students from all over NYC with widely varying backgrounds. ComposerCraft students are gifted composers who enter the class with considerable composition experience already despite their young age, having written klezmer tunes, electronic works, operas, symphonies and more.

For the October 11 “Multiphonics” performance, which is part of Metropolis Ensemble’s latest Resident Artist Series project at (le) Poisson Rouge, the Ensemble invited each member of ComposerCraft to write a movement in response to one of the movements from Vivaldi’s bassoon concerto “La Notte,” for the same instrumentation. Each movement takes some concrete element of the original – a rhythmic figure, a way of interacting between the instruments – and spins it into newly-composed material. Together, ComposerCraft’s six movements comprise a single bassoon concerto – Vivaldi-esque yet very much a 21st-century work at the same time. Metropolis’s Brad Balliett visited ComposerCraft during the project, working closely with the students to develop their concerto. The work was workshopped by Metropolis’s Artistic Director Andrew Cyr at Kaufman in June with members of Metropolis.