Program Book 2000-2001 page 35
Concert IV: Sax Appeal Program Notes, continued

concert series Performance 20/20, co-director of Extension Works (Boston), and artistic director of the Hartt Contemporary Players. His composition teachers include Jonathan Kramer, George Rochberg and Ralph Shapey, as well as Betsy Jolas and Iannis Xenakis, in Paris, where he was a Lurcy Fellow. He has been composer in residence of the Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France), and the Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio, Italy), and has also been awarded residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo and Millay artist colonies. His compositional work has received awards from the NEA, Tanglewood, and the American Chamber Symphony, and recordings of his music can be found on Opus One, Centaur, Neuma, Koch International, Vienna Modern Masters, Lotus Records Salzburg, and The Aerial.

"Duke Meets Mort is a meeting at a 'summit' between two American originals, who, while we mourn their loss, can now hopefully get to know one another a little better. Specifically, the piece takes six chords (never in quite their original sequence) from Duke Ellington's Mood Indigo and interprets them freely in the voice of Morton Feldman. I've always felt a correspondence between Ellington's Indigos and Feldman's delicate, ethereal vision, so this 'jam' should not be too much of a surprise. The piece should be played throughout with hushed reverence, an homage and prayer." — Robert Carl

RUSSELL PECK (born Detroit, 1945) is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he also received Master and Doctoral degrees in composition. His teachers have included Clark Eastham, Leslie Bassett, Ross Lee Finney, Gunther Schuller, and George Rochberg. Mr. Peck's orchestral compositions have received over 2,000 performances by more than 200 orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. These include major American orchestras such as Boston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Milwaukee, etc., Britain's London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic, and orchestral performances at Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center, and in Berlin, Warsaw, Barcelona, Kiev, Montreal and Singapore. Most recently a consortium of over 35 orchestras - the largest in history - has commissioned Mr. Peck's new timpani concerto Harmonic Rhytfun. The premiere performances begin in September 2000 and include a Carnegie Hall performance with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony following performances in Kennedy Center.

"During my brief university teaching career I came into contact with excellent saxophonists at Northern Illinois University who had a quartet and wanted a piece from me. That's how I came to write Drastic Measures in 1976. A year later I went to the School of the Arts in North Carolina where James Houlik had a great saxophone studio and a wonderful student quartet that became the New Century Saxophone Quartet. I touched up the piece for them and that became its final form."

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Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book program notes