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SUNY Plattsburgh Music Professor’s Work Featured in SUNY Composers Concert

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Oct. 14, 2010) ¬ – A SUNY Plattsburgh faculty member’s work was among the compositions featured in a recent performance in Hawkins Hall.“November’s Augury,” a solo piano piece by Dr. Bill Pfaff, was performed as part of the New Music and Culture Symposium. The Oct. 1 event also featured composers and performers from other SUNY colleges and universities.

New Music SymposiumEvents included an afternoon lecture/demonstration by the musicians in Krinovitz Recital Hall, followed by an evening concert in E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium. (Similar events were held Oct. 4 at SUNY Stony Brook.)

Pfaff, an associate professor of music at SUNY Plattsburgh, described his 12-minute piano composition as an atonal work, influenced by Roger Sessions and Igor Stravinsky. Bringing the composition to life, he said, involved working closely with the performer.

“It becomes a collaboration with the performer because all the instructions are essentially there, but the performer has to bring his or her own interpretation to it. And when I hear the interpretation, we can work together to refine it further,” he said.

“Performers often delight you because they intuitively understand so much about the of the nature of the composition.”

Other composers whose works were performed included Sheila Silver (SUNY Stony Brook) and Suzanne Farrin and Laura Kaminsky from SUNY Purchase. The concert also featured the world premiere of “Yellow Ribbons No. 47” for solo horn, composed by Max Lifchitz (SUNY Albany).

The works were performed by Stony Brook musicians Daniel Panner (viola), Ann Ellsworth (horn), Piero Guimarães (percussion) and Ellen Hwangbo (piano).

The symposium was sponsored by the SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Music with support from the Student Association through the Campus Arts Council and a grant from College Auxiliary Services.

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