Blair Composers concert, Oct. 28, with special guests Ovidiu Marinescu, cello, Mario Falcao, harp

The Blair Composers concert on Monday, October 28, is a wide-ranging affair, spotlighting some of the Blair School’s best faculty and student musicians performing works written by the composition faculty.

Included on the program are two world-premiere performances of pieces by Michael Kurek, both featuring guest artists Ovidiu Marinescu, cello, and Mario Falcao, harp. Both performers will also conduct master classes with Blair students on Tuesday, October 29.

Faculty Composers Concert

Mirórs, for flute, clarinet and violin, by Michael Slayton
I. The Birth of the World
II. The Flight of the Dragonfly in Front of the Sun
III. The Beautiful Bird Reveals the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers
Philip Dikeman, flute; Bil Jackson, clarinet; Carolyn Huebl, violin

Unturned Stones, for violin and viola, by Michael Rose
I. “Eppur si muove”
II. A Courtesy Towards Being
III. Coming Home to the World
Danielle Hoisington, violin; Laura Williamson, viola

Exeunt Omnes, from Further Adieux, by Stan Link
The Blakemore Trio: Carolyn Huebl, violin; Felix Wang, cello; Amy Dorfman, piano. With William Wiggins, percussion.

Hallucination on a Theme by Schoenberg, by Joshua McGuire
The Atlantic Ensemble: Wei-Tsun Chang, violin; Seanad Dunigan Chang, viola; Kirsten Cassel Greer, cello; Jennifer McGuire, piano


Serenade for Violincello and Harp (world premiere), by Michael Kurek
Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Mario Falcao, harp

“Der Leiermann” from Die Winterreise, by Franz Schubert
Meditation and Reflections for solo viola, by Michael Slayton
“The Crystal Ship” from Dispatches from Devereux Slough, by Stan Link
(In order of appearance) Jonathan Retzlaff, baritone; Jennifer McGuire, piano; Seanad Dunigan Chang, viola; Amy Jarman, soprano; Jared Hauser, oboe; William Wiggins, percussion; Wei-Tsun Chang, violin; Seanad Dunigan Chang, viola; Kirsten Cassel Greer, cello

Goodnight Moon (text by Margaret Wise Brown) (world premiere), by Michael Kurek
Crystal Kurek, soprano; Cassandra Lee, clarinet; Wei-Tsun Chang, violin; Ovidio Marinescu, cello; Michael Holland, percussion; Mario Falcao, harp; Michael Kurek, conductor

Guest Artist Biographies

Ovidiu Marinescu

Ovidiu Marinescu, one of the outstanding musicians of his native Romania, was chosen to play at Carnegie Hall for Romanian President Constantinescu on an official visit to the United States. Soon after, he made his debut with the New York Chamber Symphony in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, followed by recitals in Merkin Hall (New York), Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. After his debut with the National Radio Orchestra of Romania in the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto, which was broadcast live across Romania, he returned several times to perform works by Mozart and Iorgulescu. This season he returns as soloist and conductor in Shostakovich Cello Concerto no. 1, and works by Beethoven and Glinka. Other notable appearances include Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in the Great
Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and the Slobodkin Center, Elgar Concerto with Helena and Newark Symphonies, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, Shostakovich with the Cleveland Philharmonic, and Mozart Concerto with Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain. His critically acclaimed first recording, Fiesta Latina, was followed by a recording of the complete Miaskovsky cello works with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Kenneth Boulton released by Cambria. His recording of the Bach Cello Suites, released by Navona Records, has received international critical acclaim.

Marinescu has performed at festivals in Luzerne, Bayreuth, Chautauqua, South Bohemia, Orlando and Brasov, the New Hampshire Music Festival, and Magie Barocche in Italy. Active as a chamber musician, between 1995 and 2002 Marinescu was a member of Adirondack Ensemble, a year-round resident group in New York State that performed more than 200 concerts, presented school programs and founded Adirondack Music Camp. Currently he is a member of Trio Casals.

A product of the illustrious Romanian National Academy of Music, he won first prize and Music Critics’ Award in the George Dima Cello Competition. In the United States, he studied with Wolfgang Laufer at the University of Wisconsin, and with Orlando Cole, at Temple University. Marinescu has been honored in Romania with invitations to perform with many renowned orchestras including the orchestras of Cluj, Iasi and Brasov. In addition, he has toured with Bucharest Symphony. Marinescu premiered with
Newark Symphony a new work for cello and orchestra, Anecdote, by Hilary Tann, and he presented the first performance of Ostinato by Liviu Marinescu with “Orchestra 2001” in Philadelphia. Penn Presents featured Marinescu in a multimedia program at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, in works for solo cello, film and electronics by four local teams of composers and filmmakers. Marinescu is on faculty at West Chester University.

Equally outstanding as a conductor, Marinescu combines a precise technique with great musical inspiration. He is the Director of the West Chester University Symphony, which under his leadership made a sold-out debut at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and embarked in its first European tour. Subsequently, the orchestra was invited to participate in the prestigious Catania International Festival in Sicily, Italy. He served as the conductor for the Wilmington Orchestra, the Music Director of the Immaculata Symphony and Manalapan Orchestra in New Jersey, and Principal Conductor of the Goppisberg Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. His guest conducting includes the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow, the Bacau, Craiova, Ploiesti, Botosani, and Brasov Philharmonics in Romania, Filarmonica de Gaia in Portugal, and Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, both as conductor and soloist. Marinescu led the Delaware Chamber
Orchestra in its first tour abroad, with performances for the South Bohemia Festival in the Czech Republic.

Marinescu has conducted the world premiere of the ballet Helen Keller by The Rebecca David Ballet Company in Philadelphia. He has developed several programs for young audiences, including a narrated version of Lt. Kije by Prokofiev. Known for his powerful interpretations of orchestral works by Russian composers, Marinescu was invited to record Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5 and Marche Slave with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow. Other conducting recordings include orchestral music by Samuel Barber, Michael Cunningham, Rain Worthington, Stephen Limbaugh III, David Laganella, and Andrea Clearfield, also recorded in Moscow.
A Parma Recordings artist, Marinescu has embarked on a long-term recording project with the Russian Philharmonic featuring American orchestral music.

Mario Falcao

Mario Falcao has enjoyed an extensive international career as a recitalist, orchestra soloist, and chamber music player. He has collaborated in festivals of contemporary music in Lisbon, Orleans, Madrid, and Buffalo, N.Y., as well as International Harp Festivals in Portugal, Spain, Holland, South Africa, Brazil, Japan, and China.

Winner of the Special Prize at the Fifth International Harp Contest in Israel for the performance of a contemporary Israeli harp composition, he has dedicated a great deal of his playing career to forwarding the cause of performance and commission of new compositions for the harp. Frequent collaboration with composers in Europe, the U.S., and South America has produced many new solo, chamber and concertos written specifically for him and recorded in several albums. As a member of the Creative Associates of
SUNY at Buffalo he has worked closely with John Cage, Lukas Foss, and Morton Feldman, among other composers.

As a frequent member of juries of international harp competitions (United States, Great-Britain, France, Japan, Russia) he is committed to propagating the performance of harp music and harp organizations. As a member of the American Harp Society, he is a Past Chairman of the AHS Board of Directors and is a current member of the AHS Board of Directors. He is a founding member of the World Harp Congress and current member of its Board of Directors. He has given many master classes and harp courses in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, Brazil, and Australia.

Mario Falcao is Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Fredonia and Visiting Professor at Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa, Portugal. He was born in Lisbon, Portugal. His early studies in music were completed at the Lisbon Conservatory with the Diploma in Harp and later continued in the United States at the Eastman School of Music with a Master Degree in Harp Performance and a Performer’s Certificate. He was a pupil of Phia Berghout in Holland and Eileen Malone at the Eastman School of Music
and was awarded grants for his education from Fulbright Foundation, Gulbenkian Foundation, Portuguese Department of Education, and the Eastman School of Music.