WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Marine Band’s March and April schedule features two special highlights from the 2007 Showcase Series. Viola soloist Miles Hoffman will perform Morton Gould’s charming and rarely-played Concertette for Viola and Band at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 4, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger
Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria campus. Conducted by Marine Band Director Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Colburn, the program is entitled An American Miscellany and also will include Eric Stokes’ The Continental Harp and Band Report and the world première of David Chaitkin’s Celebration.
“I’ve been a fan of the Marine Band for years, although ‘fan’ is probably not strong enough,” Mr. Hoffman said. “It’s just a tremendous ensemble—great musicianship and eye-popping virtuosity. I was very flattered, and taken completely by surprise, when I [heard] from Mike Colburn…asking me if I’d be interested in playing the Gould Concertette with the band. I’d never heard of the Gould, and I’d certainly never played a concerto with band before, but I was, and remain, thrilled at the prospect. And the Gould is an interesting piece; lots of fun, and very flashy.”
Mr. Hoffman has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras around the country, performing a broad repertoire that ranges from baroque to contemporary compositions. He also is founder and artistic director of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours throughout North America. He has been a featured lecturer for orchestras, universities, chamber music series, and festivals.
He has had works written for him by composers Bruce Saylor, Max Raimi, Roger Ames, and Seymour Barab, among others. In 1982 he founded the Library of Congress Summer
Chamber Festival, which he directed for nine years, and which led to the formation of the American Chamber Players.
While Mr. Hoffman is a nationally renowned violist, many patrons also may recognize his voice as National Public Radio’s (NPR) music commentator for Morning Edition and All Things Considered. His musical commentary, “Coming to Terms,” was heard weekly throughout the United States for 13 years on NPR’s Performance Today. In addition, Mr. Hoffman
is the author of The NPR Classical Music Companion: Terms and Concepts from A to Z, now in its eighth printing.
The concert is free and tickets are not required. The Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center is located at 3001 North Beauregard Street in Alexandria, Va. Parking is available in the adjacent garage for a $5 fee.
The Showcase Series continues in April
with a gala concert at 8 p.m., Monday, April 23, at The Music Center at Strathmore featuring
special guest conductor and composer José Serebrier. The program will feature the world
première of Mr. Serebrier’s “Night Cry,” in addition to his arrangement of Georges Bizet’s
Carmen Symphony and his transcription of Silvestre Revueltas’ Mexican Dance.
“At the time I composed [“Night Cry”] I was particularly interested in ‘surround’ music—that is sounds coming from different directions, not just from one place on the stage, directly in front of the audience,” Mr. Serebrier said. “There is no program to explain ‘Night Cry,’ as it is best for the listeners to draw their own mental picture. One of the marvelous effects of music is to be able to create images in the listener’s mind, and emotions that do not require explanation.”
Hailed by legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski as “the greatest master of orchestral balance,” Mr. Serebrier is one of the most recorded classical artists today, with 22 GRAMMY
nominations to his credit. Born in Uruguay in 1938, he went on to receive a State Department Fellowship in 1957 to study composition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia
with Vittorio Giannini and at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass., with Aaron Copland. He was Mr. Stokowski’s associate conductor with the American Symphony Orchestra in New York from 1960-64. After winning the Ford Foundation’s American Conductors Competition in 1968
(together with James Levine) Mr. Serebrier accepted George Szell’s invitation to become the Cleveland Orchestra’s composer-in-residence.
He has gone on to compose more than 100 works to
critical acclaim, and his Carmen Symphony recording with Spain’s Barcelona Symphony Orchestra won a Latin GRAMMY for Best Classical Album of 2004. As conductor, he has toured internationally with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the Juilliard Orchestra, and has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Oslo Philharmonic.
This concert is free however, tickets are required and limited to 2 per request. Please call Strathmore’s box office at (301) 581-5100. The Music Center at Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda, Md. Free parking is available in the Metro garage across the street, or patrons may take Metro’s red line to the Grosvenor-Strathmore station.