Buffalo’s storied history as a hotbed of new music continues every year at June in Buffalo. The schedule this year, on the occasion of the festival’s 40th anniversary, speaks eloquently of this colorful legacy. It includes several works – one of them very rarely performed – by the festival’s founder, Morton Feldman.
The rarely performed piece is Feldman’s 1969 orchestral work “On Time and the Instrumental Factor.” It was unusual for Feldman to write for a large ensemble, let alone a full orchestra. And the music’s effect is said to be extremely unusual, as if time is suspended and the instruments are creating the sound of tolling bells.
“On Time and the Instrumental Factor” will be performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at June in Buffalo’s closing concert on June 7. The piece is sharing the bill with David Felder’s “Six Poems From Neruda’s ‘Alturas.’ ” It brings the festival full circle. Felder, the festival’s artistic director, has been at its helm for 30 years and has kept it alive over the decades.
Joining Felder on the faculty this year are Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wuorinen, Bernard Rands, Steven Stucky, Roger Reynolds, as well as Augusta Read Thomas, Brian Ferneyhough and Martin Bresnick.
The venues are more varied than in the past. Concerts are held in Baird Hall and Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst, and there is also an event at Pausa Art House, in Allentown, and two at Kleinhans Music Hall. A late-night piano recital is free and takes place at 9:30 p.m. June 4 in Slee Hall’s Room B1. With music of Morton Feldman and Steve Reich, it promises to be a stylish event.
Performers include the New York New Music Ensemble, the Meridian Arts Ensemble and the Talujon Percussion Ensemble – as well as UB soloists including cellist Jonathan Golove, percussionist Tom Kolor, clarinetist Jean Kopperud, trumpeter Jon Nelson and violinist Yuki Numata-Resnick.
Besides concerts, June in Buffalo also features master classes, seminars and lectures. Detailed information is available from UB’s Center For 21st Century Music.
Here is a rundown of major events. Concerts not identified as free are $15, or $10 for seniors and students. For information, call 645-2921.
• 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Baird Recital Hall, UB North Campus. A program performed by June in Buffalo faculty features a world premiere violin solo by Andrew Greenwald, performed by Numata-Resnick. Free.
• 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Baird Recital Hall. Music includes Feldman’s percussion piece “King of Denmark” and John Adams’ piano piece “American Berserk.” Free.
• 7:30 p.m. Monday, Lippes Concert Hall, UB North Campus. The New York New Music Ensemble plays Lukas Foss’ “Echoi” and music of Bresnick, Wuorinen and Harvy Sollberger.
• 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Lippes Concert Hall. The Meridian Arts Ensemble and Talujon Percussion plays music of JIB faculty and Iannis Xenakis.
• 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Baird Recital Hall. Music of Philip Glass, Steven Stucky and Roger Reynolds.
• 7:30 p.m. June 4, Baird Recital Hall. The Irvine Arditti Recital includes Feldman’s “For Aaron Copland” as well as music by John Cage and others.
• 9:30 p.m. June 4, Room B1 in Slee Hall. Morton Feldman’s “Five Pianos” and Steve Reich’s “Six Pianos.” Free.
• 6 p.m. June 5, Kleinhans Music Hall. JIB faculty and students play music of Thomas, Jacob Druckman, Rands and Foss.
• 8 p.m. June 5, Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.). Harvey Sollberger plays works for solo flute and solo accordion.
• 7:30 p.m. June 6, Lippes Concert Hall. Slee Sinfonietta and Signal Ensemble play Felder’s “Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux.”
• 2:30 p.m. June 7, Lippes Concert Hall. The BPO winds up the festival with music of Feldman and Felder.
These free concerts by JIB participants are at 4 p.m. in Baird Recital Hall unless otherwise indicated.
• Monday: In Room B1 in Slee Hall, the Meridian Arts Ensemble and Talujon Percussion.
• Tuesday: Sinfonietta soloists.
• Wednesday: The New York New Music Ensemble.
• June 4: Performance Institute soloists.
• June 6: Performance Institute faculty and participants.