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October 17, 2001

New tunes strike up at CSUS at the
24th annual Festival of New American Music

Image depicts the 2001 Festival of New American Music Three world premieres and more than 25 West Coast premieres debut at California State University, Sacramento's Festival of New American Music, Nov. 7 -18. In keeping with its 24-year tradition, all events are free with the exception of one finale concert at the Crocker Art Museum, where museum admission prices apply.

The festival celebrates our nation's new music by bringing some of the world's finest performers and composers to CSUS, combined with a plethora of performances by the University's faculty and students as well as renowned local artists.

World premier performances by local composers include a concert by the woodwind trio Music Now featuring works by CSUS music professor Stephen Blumberg; a grand opus by Howard Hersh featuring soprano Kerry Walsh, tenor Stephen Rumph and the Nevada Union High School Chamber Choir; and finally guitarist/composer Gilda Taffet offers a new work featuring CSUS music professor and soprano Claudia Kitka.

The opening night gala performance at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7 - at the Sterling Hotel located in downtown Sacramento at 1300 H Street - will be broadcast live on KXPR and features the world-renowned Dorian Wind Quintet, Music Now, California Brass, and the CSUS faculty brass group with guest artist Marie Spezial on trumpet. The evening includes samples of regional wines and decadent desserts.

This year's keynote speaker is the esteemed East Coast composer Eric Ewazen from New York City's Juilliard School of Music who will lead a lively discussion of music while examples are simultaneously performed by various ensembles at noon, Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall. His works will also be featured in the opening gala performance in addition to being performed by several groups throughout the festival.

New to the festival this year are Just Strings, a microtonal trio carrying on the legacy of California-born iconoclast Harry Partch; Stanford pianist Thomas Schultz; and guitar virtuoso Seth Josel, a specialist in contemporary picking and plucking. Four world-class groups are also returning for another year at the festival - the New York New Music Ensemble, the Cassatt String Quartet, the Core Ensemble and the Talujon Percussion Quartet.

Visiting composers include Richard Festinger, Paulo Ortiz and Hyo-shin Na, as well Eric Ewazen, Howard Hersh and Stephen Blumberg.

As always, the festival's performers will bring traveling workshops as well as concerts to more than 15 area elementary, junior and high schools and local community colleges. The festival also provides a platform for CSUS students to shine in the spotlight with two concerts/competitions - one for performers and one for composers.

The grand finale at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall features the CSUS Symphonic Wind Ensemble along with the group California Brass.

With more than 50 events, the festival is guaranteed to have something for everyone. For more information call (916) 278-5155. Media assistance is available by contacting CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


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