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 Concert Features 79 Fossil Gestures

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UMD Premieres Work by Composer Libby Larsen

Photo courtesy of Libby Larsen

Guest Artist, Libby Larsen, one of America's most widely performed composers, has written a new work for two pianos, which will premiere in the Weber Music Hall at 7:30 pm on March 24. Pianists Jeanne Doty and Tracy Lipke-Perry, faculty members in UMD's Department of Music, will present the world premiere of "79 Fossil Gestures of Antonio Alberto de Biedma."

Other works programmed for performance in this recital include: "Barn Dances" for flute, clarinet, and piano; "Blue Windows: After Marc Chagall" for flute, oboe, bassoon, horn, clarinet and piano; "Cowboy Songs" for soprano and piano based on letters from Calamity Jane to her daughter Janey; "Concert Piece" for bassoon and piano, "I Love You Through the Daytimes" and "A Quiet Song" for baritone and piano, and "Song Without Words" for clarinet and piano. A Meet the Composer reception follows the concert.

Larsen will spend March 24 and 25, 2011 at UMD performing and teaching. While in residency, she will present the following free events in the Weber Music Hall:

March 24, noon-1 pm, Composer's Lecture, "NOW Work, Creativity, and Life as an Independent Artist"

March 24, 2-4:30 pm, Masterclass with UMD faculty and guests

March 25 10-11 am, Composer Lecture: "Composing for Cowboys, Stockbrokers, and Everyone in-Between"

March 25 11 am-noon, Composer Forum

March 25 1-3:30 pm, Youth Workshop

Doty said Larsen's visit is an amazing opportunity for UMD. "She is one of America’s most performed living composers and the first woman to serve as a resident composer with a major orchestra," said Doty. "Students, faculty, and the community can expect to be enriched and delighted."

Larsen is a Grammy Award-winning artist who has written more than 400 works in genres ranging from vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and opera. The piece, "79 Fossil Gestures of Antonio Alberto de Biedma," is based on a passage about an ancient language of gestures in Nicole Krauss’ novel The History of Love (2005, W.W. Norton). The composition was commissioned by Doty and Lipke-Perry as a gift to UMD.

Larsen co-founded in 1973 the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composers Forum. She is an advocate for contemporary music and musicians. She once held the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, and in May 2010 she was awarded a George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America.

Tickets for the Thursday night concert ($8-$10) are free for students. For more information about these events call 218-726-8877 or visit

To hear some of her compositions see her website.

Written by Cheryl Reitan

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