Celebrating George Crumb at Swarthmore and Haverford
Born 90 years ago this fall, George Crumb has long been recognized as one of America’s greatest composers. This fall, Crumb is being celebrated at several venues in the Philadelphia area, where he has spent much of his career as a composer and a teacher. Two local Crumb-centered concerts, this weekend and next, invite music lovers to explore and celebrate the long career and compositions of this towering figure.
On Saturday, November 2, at Lang Concert Hall of Swarthmore College, a free concert features an all-Crumb, mostly piano program beginning at 8 p.m. (arrive early for best seating). Pianist and Swarthmore Music Department member Marcantonio Barone plays a recent piece for amplified piano, Metamorphoses, Book I: Ten Fantasy Pieces (after famous paintings). Then comes Processional, a 1983 work to be played by Gilbert Kalish.
Following an intermission, Barone will undertake another art-inspired piece, Crumb’s 1980 A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979 (after Giotto’s frescoes in the Arena Chapel in Padua). The program concludes with the final movement of Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III), a 1974 composition for two amplified pianos and percussion. James Freeman will join Kalish as pianists; percussion will be in the hands of William Kerrigan and David Nelson.
At Haverford College’s Roberts Hall on the following Sunday, November 10, beginning at 7:30 p.m., Chamber Orchestra First Editions (COFE) presents “Celebrating George Crumb at 90.” In this free concert, Freeman and Kalish will reprise the final movement of Music for a Summer Evening (which the pair together premiered 45 years ago) to open the concert. Two vocal pieces will feature sopranos Ann Crumb (George’s daughter) on Night of the Four Moons and Barbara Ann Martin in the final movement of Ancient Voices of Children. The Haverford program also includes Vox Balaenae, which will be feature a trio of COFE members: flutist Mimi Stillman, pianist Charles Abramovic, and cellist Lori Barnet.
Don’t miss these opportunities to hear some of Crumb’s iconic works, presented with reverence and verve by musicians in celebration of his 90 years and his enduring oeuvre.