American Brass Quintet, winner this year of Chamber Music America's highest honor, performs works from the Renaissance to the 21st century in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Penn State's Schwab Auditorium. The performance is the cornerstone of a three-day residency at Penn State that includes a variety of free engagement events at the University Park and Altoona campuses.
The concert, part of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project, features Renaissance madrigals by Italian Luca Marenzio; chansons by Franco-Flemish composer Josquin des Prés; five works by 19th-century German Ludwig Maurer; Fantasia and Rondó, a compostion by Osvaldo Lacerda who, in 1963, became the first Brazilian composer to earn a Guggenheim Fellowship; Copperwave, a quintet-commissioned work by Grammy Award-winning contemporary American composer Joan Tower; and Cadence, Fugue, Fade, a piece written for the quintet by American Sebastian Currier that had its world premiere earlier this month in New York City.
Tickets are still available for the Oct. 30 concert.
"The high priests of brass" (Newsweek) have amassed a discography of 50-plus albums and premiered more than 150 contemporary works. Tours have taken the quintet, founded in 1960, to five continents and all 50 of the United States.
The ensemble, in residence at The Juilliard School since 1987 and the Aspen Music Festival since 1970, features trumpeters Raymond Mase and Kevin Cobb, hornist David Wakefield, trombonist Michael Powell and bass trombonist John D. Rojak.
Hear a Center for the Performing Arts interview with Rojak, who was a member of the Les Misérables orchestra for the show's entire 16-year run on Broadway.
Read a Classical Music Project blog post by Cobb.
Read a Center for the Performing Arts feature article about the quintet.
The quintet is the 2013 recipient of Chamber Music America's Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award for "significant and lasting contributions to the field."
Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Mase and Rojak, is offered in Schwab one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders.
Go to residency to see the complete schedule of the quintet's activities at Penn State.