Percy Grainger America
Percy Grainger was a man of many seasons — not only a composer and pianist but a musical folklorist, wind band arranger, polyglot, watercolorist, early music expert, clothing designer, prodigious letter writer, essayist, and philosophical thinker. His popular works, like “Country Gardens” and “Molly on the Shore,” were best-sellers of the early twentieth-century music world, while his experiments in avant-garde music anticipated many artistic developments in the later twentieth century and beyond. Today his music is performed even more widely than during his lifetime.
Presented by Mark N. Grant, Vice-President of the International Percy Grainger Society and a Board member since 1981. Mark is an accomplished composer, author, and music commentator.
World-famous Australian-born composer and pianist Percy Grainger (1882-1961) lived in White Plains for the last 40 years of his life. His home at 7 Cromwell Place is a landmark recognized by both the White Plains Historic Preservation Commission and the National Register of Historic Places. For this special event at the White Plains Library, rare 1943 and 1957 archival film footage of Percy Grainger playing the piano will be shown, and rare audio recordings of his speaking will also be played. There will be live performances of Grainger’s music by violist Vincent Lionti and pianists Juliana Han and Yoni Levyatov. The program will include such works as Grainger’s Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol, Handel in the Strand, Youthful Rapture, and Shepherd’s Hey, as well as Grainger’s piano arrangements of works by Gabriel Fauré and John Dowland. Remarks about Percy Grainger and the music will be delivered by Mark N. Grant, noted composer and author and Vice-President of the International Percy Grainger Society, and Mr. Lionti, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra violist, musical director of the Downtown Sinfonietta at Grace Church, and Grainger Board member.
Coffee and tea will be served.
Barry Peter Ould, President of the International Percy Grainger Society, will be the keynote speaker for the White Plains Historical Society's 29th Annual Dinner on Thursday May 3, 2018. The event will take place from 6:00PM - 9:00PM at the Woman’s Club of White Plains, C.V. Mansion, at 305 Ridgeway in White Plains, NY.
John Vorperian, White Plains Historical Society President said, “It’s fantastic, we got Barry to fly in from the United Kingdom to chat about one of White Plains’ top celebrities.”
Reception and dinner tickets start at $76.00. Checks can be mailed to White Plains Historical Society, c/o 174 Longview Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605. For more information contact 914.328.1776 or email@example.com or visit: www.whiteplainshistory.org.
U.S. Navy Musician David Miller joins Barry Peter Ould for a discussion about his recent transcription for band of Grainger’s innovative piano piece In Dahomey, a work of acculturation. It displays a cascade of virtuoso writing for the keyboard in directing the performer to imitate the sound of trombone glissandi along with many other glittering effects. David Miller will discuss his approach to transcribing this piece for band. Following the discussion, a recorded performance will be screened.
Musician 1st Class David Miller joined the Navy Band in 2005. He studied with Thomas Ashworth while earning a Bachelor of Music in trombone performance at the University of Minnesota, and with Nitzan Haroz while earning a Master of Music in trombone performance at Temple University. He has been a member of the Charleston Symphony in South Carolina and solo trombonist with the Orquesta Sinaloa de las Artes in Sinaloa, Mexico, where he was a founding member. He was also the principal trombonist of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in Mexico City. Barry Peter Ould is a leading world authority on Grainger’s music and has worked on editing numerous Grainger works. He was the engraver for the published edition of In Dahomey and also managed to track down Grainger’s original manuscript of the work.
Percy Grainger was acquainted with many of the leading musicians and composers of his time, including Vaughan Williams, Edward Elgar, Richard Strauss, and Claude Debussy. In 1907, he met Frederick Delius, with whom he achieved an immediate rapport since the two musicians had similar ideas about composition and harmony and shared a dislike for the classical German masters. Both were inspired by folk music; Grainger gave Delius his setting of the folk song Brigg Fair, which Delius developed into his famous orchestral rhapsody, dedicated to Grainger. This program will explore these collegial relationships and others.
Presented by Dana Paul Perna, an American composer-musicologist at the forefront of endorsing the music of Percy Grainger through his works for orchestra, concert band and chorus.
When Danish cellist Herman Sandby introduced Edvard Grieg to some of Percy Grainger’s folk-song arrangements, Grieg liked what he saw. Grieg sent Grainger an autographed photograph with a note complimenting him on his “splendid folk-song settings for mixed voices”. When they met several years later, Grainger played two of Grieg’s Norwegian Peasant Dances “in a dazzling manner,” according to the composer, who recorded in his diary: “Yes, he is brilliant, that’s for sure. I am happy about having gained a young friend such as he.” Grainger became a Grieg protégé and performed Grieg's music for the rest of his life.
Presented by Barry Peter Ould, President of the International Percy Grainger Society as well as administrator and UK representative for the Grainger Estate. As a leading world authority on Grainger’s music, he has and continues to work on editing numerous Grainger works.
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