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1st concert for 2007-08 in Dimensions Series features guest composer Lori Laitman

A musical composer, currently writing an opera based on Nathaniel Hawthornes famous book, The Scarlet Letter, is the featured guest artist for the first concert of the 2007-08 Dimensions New Music Series at Austin Peay State University.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5 in the Music/Mass Communication Building Concert Hall. The evenings program will include two premieres and will feature two instrumental pieces and the music of Lori Laitman.
A musical composer, currently writing an opera based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's famous book, “The Scarlet Letter,” is the featured guest artist for the first concert of the 2007-08 Dimensions New Music Series at Austin Peay State University.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5 in the Music/Mass Communication Building Concert Hall. The evening's program will include two premieres and will feature two instrumental pieces and the music of Lori Laitman.

Laitman, one of America's most prolific and widely performed composers of art song, will be in residence two days at APSU, working with student composers, presenting a vocal master class for students and attending the Dimensions New Music Series concert.

She has worked with many important contemporary poets, such as Mary Oliver, Thomas Lux, Paul Muldoon, Dana Gioia, Joyce Sutphen, Toi Derricotte, Annie Finch, David Mason, Margaret Atwood, John Wood, Anne Ranasighe and Jerzy Ficowski, as well as setting works of such classic poets as Emily Dickinson and William Carlos Williams.

Recent U.S. performances of Laitman's music have been given at Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall and Alice Tully Hall, all in New York City; Shriver Hall. Baltimore, Md.; Benaroya Hall in Seattle; The Cleveland (Ohio) Institute of Art; Skylight Opera Theatre, Milwaukee; and the U.S. Holocaust Museum, Corcoran Gallery and Kennedy Center, all in Washington, D.C.

In June 2004, the Cleveland Opera premiered Laitman's opera, “Come to Me in Dreams.” The opera on which she's working (“The Scarlet Letter”) will premiere at the University of Central Arkansas in Fall 2008.

Members of the music faculty will perform works by Laitman. Dr. Sharon Mabry, mezzo-soprano, and guest artist Patsy Wade, piano, will begin the program with a short song cycle, “Mystery,” that sets poems by Sara Teasdale.

Mezzo-soprano Lisa Conklin-Bishop, pianist Dr. Jeffrey Wood and cellist Keith Nicholas will perform Laitman's haunting song cycle, “The Seed of Dream,” an unforgettable work that sets several poems of Holocaust survivor Abraham Sutzkever, who produced great poetry under the direst circumstances. His accounts, written between 1941-44, bear witness to the destruction around him as well as to his undying belief in the beauty of the word and the world.

Dr. Thomas King, tenor, and Dr. Vicki King, piano, will end the program with four songs by Laitman. Two of the songs, “Full Moon” and “Light Hearted William,” set poems of William Carlos Williams, will have their premiere on this concert.

The Dimensions New Music Series concert also will include works for instrumental soloists. “Corollaries for Solo Horn” by Elizabeth Vercoe was commissioned by Francis Massinon for premiere on this concert. The second instrumental piece will feature two new faculty members in the music department. Nora Lewis, oboe, and Gordon Lewis, double bass, will perform “Three Songs for Oboe and Double Bass,” by Andrea Clearfield after poems by Pablo Neruda.

For more information about the Nov. 5 concert, contact Mabry by telephone at (931) 221-7656 or e-mail mabrys@apsu.edu. -- Dennie B. Burke