Three Hunter Students and an Alumna Play Major Role at CUNY New Music Festival
Three Hunter graduate students and an alumna of the College played major roles in the second annual CUNY New Music Festival, which took place May 1 in the Baruch College Performing Arts Center. The Festival presented 14 pieces selected from a highly competitive field of entrants - both faculty and students - from the CUNY Graduate Center, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Lehman College, and Queens College.
One of the works - "Outer Boroughs Songs" by Thomas Deneuville - received its world premiere at the Festival. A song cycle for soprano and electric guitar, the work was performed by singer Amanda Hick, a Hunter alumna (MA in music, 2010), and guitar player Evan Flath. Deneuville, who is pursuing an MA in music composition, explained that the cycle is based on three poems, by D. Nurkse, "that use New York City’s outer boroughs both as frames for the narrative as well as - in my opinion - characters."
Also representing Hunter, Ashley Murtha, whose major is music history, performed "Dance of Disillusionment and Despair," a work for the flute by John Chittum that employs improvisations to create a sense of chaos, the theme of this year’s Festival.
Another Hunter music student, MA candidate David Pearson, played an alto saxophone work by Dmitri Terzakis, "Der Holle Nachklang I" ("echo of hell"). Arising from the composer’s experience as a child in Greece during World War II, the composition also draws on the musical tradition of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. Pearson is majoring in music history and performance.