Composers Mohammed Fairouz and Gunther Schuller (L to R)


8:00 PM


Jordan Hall / NEC Faculty Recital

Boston Massachusetts

Lamentation and Satire (2008)

String Quartet No. 4 (2002)
I — Lento moderato
II — Allegro energico
III — Lento assai

BELA BARTOK (1881-1945)
String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91 (1928)
I — Allegro
II — Prestissimo, con sordino
III — Non troppo lento
IV — Allegretto pizzicato
V — Allegro molto

This is a free concert underwritten by New England Conservatory of Music.

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About Mohammed Fairouz

The music of Mohammed Fairouz has been received with performances throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Australia in venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall and, the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. He has been featured on the New England Conservatory's Composers’ Series, Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Eventsworks Festival and other festivals. Among the awards that Fairouz has received for his work are the Tourjée alumni award, the NEC Honors Award and awards from the Merit Funds of the New England and Boston Conservatories.

He has composed a substantial body of work including song cycles for Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Tenor and Baritone; a symphony; a choral mass and a piano sonata in addition to chamber music for winds, percussion, strings and numerous other instrumental and vocal combinations. His song cycles and art songs have been performed literally hundreds of times, being featured on recital programs across the United States.

Fairouz is active in the promotion and education of music. He has arranged forums for prominent living composers to discuss their ideas with the young. Among the composers that he has brought to New England is his mentor, Halim El-Dabh, Egypt’s most influential living composer, by facilitating a performance, at Jordan Hall of El-Dabh’s 1958 ballet masterpiece Clytemnestra.

As an educator, Fairouz has worked with the New England Conservatory's senior faculty member Malcolm Peyton in teaching topics in 18th, 19th and 20th century tonal composition. Fairouz has been invited to lecture across the country at institutions such as Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and Boston Conservatory’s Liberal Arts Department and has spoken on topics ranging from post-colonial critical theory to Mahler's Sixth Symphony to Al-Kindi and the Arab golden age’s contribution to European music of the renaissance.

About Gunther Schuller

The son of a violinist with the New York Philharmonic, Gunther Schuller studied at the Saint Thomas Choir School and became an accomplished horn player and flute player. At age 15 he played horn professionally with the American Ballet Theatre (1943) followed by an appointment as principal hornist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (1943-5), and then the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York, where he stayed until 1959. He began his career in jazz by recording as a french horn player with Miles Davis (1949-50).

In 1955 Schuller and jazz pianist John Lewis founded the Modern Jazz Society, which gave its first concert in Town Hall, New York, that same year and later became known as the Jazz and Classical Music Society. While lecturing at Brandeis University in 1957 he coined the term "Third Stream" to describe music that combines classical and jazz techniques. He became an enthusiastic advocate of this style and wrote many works according to its principles, among them Transformation (1957, for jazz ensemble), Concertino (1959, for jazz quartet and orchestra; one of its movements, Progression in Tempo, has sometimes been performed separately), Abstraction (1959, for nine instruments), the opera The Visitation (1966), and Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk (1960, for 13 instruments), which was recorded by Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and Bill Evans. He also orchestrated Scott Joplin's only known surviving opera Treemonisha for the Houston Grand Opera's premier production of this work.

In 1959 Schuller gave up performance to devote himself to composition, teaching and writing. He has conducted internationally and studied and recorded jazz with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie and John Lewis among many others. Schuller has written over 160 original compositions. In the 1960s, Schuller was president of New England Conservatory. He created the jazz program at NEC and is the author of two major books on the history of jazz.

Schuller is editor-in-chief of Jazz Masterworks Editions, and co-director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Another recent effort of preservation was his editing and posthumous premiering at Lincoln Center in 1989 of Charles Mingus' immense final work, Epitaph, subsequently released on Columbia/Sony Records.

Gunther is the father of jazz percussionist George Schuller and bassist Ed Schuller.

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