Meet The Composer - May 5

Monday, May 04, 2009
Humanities Department

An evening with Award-winning Composer John Harbison, composer of the opera "The Great Gatsby"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in Walker Auditorium.
This event is free and open to the public.

About John Harbison:
Composer John Harbison (b.1938) is among America’s most distinguished artistic figures.  The recipient of numerous awards and honors (including the prestigious MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” award and the Pulitzer Prize), Harbison has composed music for most of America’s premiere musical institutions, including the Metropolitan Opera (The Great Gatsby, 1999), the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  His works include four string quartets, five symphonies, a ballet, three operas, a cantata, and numerous chamber and choral works, more than sixty of which have been recorded on leading labels such as Harmonia Mundi, New World, Deutsche Grammophon, Albany, Centaur, Decca, and Koch.

Recent major premieres include A Clear Midnight (Pro Arte Singers), Winter’s Tale (BMOP, complete revised version), Symphony No. 5 (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Gatsby Suite (Aspen Festival Orchestra), Cortège (New England Conservatory), Milosz Songs (New York Philharmonic with soprano Dawn Upshaw), Concerto for Bass Viol (for fifteen major orchestras), But Mary Stood (Cantata Singers), and the sinfonietta Umbrian Landscape (Chicago Chambers Musicians).  Upcoming premieres and projects include his French Horn Suite (Boston, MA), Mary Lou (Pittsburgh Youth Symphony), The Seven Ages (a Koussevitsky commission, on poems of Louis Gluck), a setting of texts by Alice Munro for voice and orchestra (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), a work for piano solo (in honor of Leonard Stein, for Piano Spheres), as well as a double concerto for violin and `cello (for the Boston Symphony) and his fifth string quartet (for the Pro Arte Quartet).

Mr. Harbison has been composer-in-residence with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Academy in Rome, and numerous festivals, including Tanglewood, Marlboro and Aspen.  He received degrees from Harvard and Princeton before joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently Institute Professor, the highest academic distinction offered resident faculty.  He is Acting Artistic Director of Emmanuel Music (Boston), co-Artistic Director of the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, and President of the Copland Fund.  Harbison’s music is published exclusively by Associated Music Publishers.  A complete works list can be found at

About Matthew Anderson, tenor:
Matthew Anderson has been praised for the warm tenor voice and polished musicality he brings to the repertoire of oratorio, opera, and musical theater.  An accomplished interpreter of Baroque and early music, Anderson has twice been a national finalist and prizewinner in the American Bach Society Vocal Competition and has been named a 2008-2009 Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow with Emmanuel Music of Boston.  He has appeared as a soloist with Emmanuel Music’s Bach Cantata Series, the Handel and Haydn Society, Back Bay Chorale, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Williamstown Early Music, Musica Maris, and Concord Chorus.  Anderson was heard at the Carmel Bach Festival in Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and Handel’s Israel in Egypt, and the title role of Matthew Locke’s The Mask of Orpheus.  In 2007, he made his Boston Symphony Hall and Tanglewood Festival debuts as Enoch Snow in Carousel with the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart.  The Berkshire Eagle declared him “vocally stunning” in the production, and the Boston Phoenix praised his “impressive singing” and “lively comic timing.”  He has appeared as a James Collier Apprentice Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera and a member of the Cincinnati Opera Resident Ensemble.   Past performances of opera and musical theater include The Music Shop, The Battered Bride, Ordeo, H.M.S. Pinafore, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods.  Anderson studied Classics at Harvard University and voice at the New England Conservatory.  A native of Kansas, he currently resides in Boston.

This event is co-sponsored by Northeast Cultural Coop and the Humanities Department of Southern New Hampshire University.

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