Posted: September 14, 1999
Music professor Dan Kennedy is the co-chair of California State University, Sacramento's Festival of New American Music this November.
A new resident of Grass Valley, Kennedy has co-organized the event for the past six years. He is a percussionist and has taught at the University for seven years.
Kennedy moved to Grass Valley a year ago after performing there several times during the past few years.
He said the Grass Valley community is very supportive of the arts, and he hopes many attend the upcoming festival. The 12-day event is in its 22nd year and will be held Nov. 3-14 at various locations including the Sacramento Community Center Theater.
"The audiences up here seem to be very appreciative and open to new kinds of music," Kennedy said.
This year, Kennedy is proud the CSUS festival will focus on female composers. Two of the nation's acclaimed composers - Chen Yi and Libby Larsen ---- will be the festival's keynote speakers. Both are known as prolific and successful composers. Chen, who will speak at noon, Nov. 5 in the CSUS Music Recital Hall, began studying violin and piano when she was only three. She is currently a Distinguished Professor in Composition at the Conservatory of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her work is extensively performed by symphonies and chamber ensebmles around the world. She has received commissions from a wide range of foundations and guilds, including Chamber Music America, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and Carnegie Hall, as well as from music greats Yehudi Menuhin and Yo-Yo Ma.
Chen's work will be featured in an evening concert Nov. 5, with Sacramento's own new ensemble, Music Now.
Larsen, too, has enjoyed extensive performances of her works, which one critic prized for its "dynamic, deeply inspired and vigorous contemporary American spirit." Her titles encompass orchestra, dance, choral, opera, theater, chamber and solo repertoire. Her commissions, honors and awards are numerous, and include a 1994 Grammy as producer of The Art of Arlene Auger, an acclaimed recording that features Larsen's Sonnets from the Portuguese.
Larsen is co-founder of the Minnesota Composer's Forum, a composer's cooperative, and has served as composer-in-residence for the Minnesota Orchestra and the Charlotte Symphony. She will speak at noon, Nov. 12 in the Music Recital Hall.
For more information about Dan Kennedy and the Festival of New American Music call University Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.
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