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Faculty Recital Features Music for Two Horns and String Quartet

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Music will present Ann Ellsworth in a faculty recital for two horns and string quartet Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, Hawkins Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.

Last year Ellsworth performed a full recital on her unique soprano horn and explained that with rare exception, the repertoire for these instruments is written for two horn concerti by composers from the early Baroque period. Bemoaning the lack of another such instrument, hornist Rachel Drehmann, Ellsworth’s long-time friend and collaborator, suggested having a companion horn made to match. 

Now, after much rehearsing, Ellsworth and Drehmann will present their first double recital at SUNY Plattsburgh.

New York-based string quartet OSSO will join them.

“OSSO is a young, innovative chamber ensemble that has made its name transcending the classical repertoire into contemporary and popular music,” Ellsworth said. OSSO has made several recordings, including an adaptation of Sufjan Steven's electronica album "Enjoy Your Rabbit" for string quartet. “They are a perfect match for Rachel and I as we both enjoy performing a wide spectrum of musical styles.”

Saturday’s program will open with a double concerti by Johann Fasch and Johann David Heinichin, transcribed for sextet by young composer Dakota Wayne specifically for this recital. The second half of the program will feature Beethoven's sextet for two horns and strings in Eb Major.

“This is an early work that captures the incredible range of the horns, from the haunting, transcendent lines of the second movement, to the spirited hunting calls of the third movement,” Ellsworth explained. “We will be performing the piece on standard double horns.” 

Ellsworth is the solo horn player for the Grammy-nominated Absolute Ensemble and has been a member of the Esbjerg Ensemble, Manhattan Brass, Baltimore Opera, Phoenix Symphony and Philharmonica del Bajio. An active soloist and chamber musician, Ellsworth has performed on several continents and can be heard in numerous recordings, film and television scores, and radio broadcasts. As an advocate of new music, she is a founding member of the New Music and Culture Symposium and has premiered six new works in the past three years. In the summer of 2008, she performed Peter Maxwell Davies' “Strathclyde Concerto” with the Dartington Festival Orchestra in England. Ellsworth attended the Eastman and Juilliard Schools with further study in Oslo, Norway, and St. Petersburg, Russia. She has held faculty positions at numerous schools in the New York City area, is on the SUNY Plattsburgh music faculty and joined the SUNY Stony Brook faculty in September 2009.

Drehmann is a founding member of Genghis Barbie, the first post "post feminist" feminist all-female horn quartet. She has toured with Kanye West and Clay Aiken, among others. She first met Ellsworth while working on a program for horn quartet, violin and rap artist. Drehmann will be returning to Plattsburgh in March as a featured performer at the Northeast Horn Workshop hosted by Ellsworth and the SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Music.

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