ALIAS announces ninth season with world premiere

ALIAS at Blair 4ALIAS Chamber Ensemble kicks off its ninth season on Friday, Oct. 1, with a concert featuring a world premiere by Guggenheim-fellow and Latin Grammy Award-winning artist Gabriela Lena Frank, and works by former National Composer of the Philippines Bayani Mendoza de Leon, D. J. Sparr and Kenji Bunch. According to ALIAS Artistic Director Zeneba Bowers, all of the works on the evening’s program were inspired by folk music from around the world.

The first half of the concert features works inspired by American folk music, including Bunch’s  “String Circle” and Sparr’s “Vim Hocket, Calm” for electric guitar and amplified violin. The second half features works inspired by Filipino and Peruvian folk music – both of which have roots in Spain.

The concert concludes with the world premiere of Frank’s Hilos (“Threads”), which was co-commissioned by ALIAS and recorded this summer for an all-Frank CD on the Naxos American Classics label. Co-commissioners Drs. Jennifer Lena and Jonathan Neufeld of Vanderbilt University will attend the October 1 premiere, as will Kathleen van Bergen of The Schubert Club of St. Paul, Minn., another co-commissioner of the work. ALIAS will travel to St. Paul in November for a repeat premiere at The Schubert Club.

Adding to the excitement and dimension of the Oct. 1 concert, both D. J. Sparr and Dr. Frank will take to the stage to perform their own works. Audiences will have the chance to meet and mingle with these composers, as well as ALIAS’ musicians, at a post-concert reception.

“Putting audiences together with live composers has become an important part of the ALIAS experience,” says Bowers. “It reminds everyone that music is a living, breathing art.”

“ALIAS continues to bring fresh and exciting programming to the stage,” adds ALIAS Executive Director and Cellist Matt Walker. “And we’re steadfast in our commitment to engaging our audiences – talking to them from the stage and making certain our musicians are accessible both pre and post-concert. We want ALIAS audiences to connect with the music. We want them to leave our concerts having learned something new and experienced something wonderful – each and every time.”