ROREM at 100 - A Concert Celebration with clarinetist Thomas Piercy
Music of Ned Rorem
Vocal selections to be announced
"Nine Episodes for Four Players" (2001)
for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano
"Mazurka" (from “End of Summer”) (1985)
for clarinet, violin, and piano
“Four Colors" (2003) for clarinet and piano
Composed for Thomas Piercy
“90 Notes for Ned”
Music written for Ned’s birthday concerts
by former students:
Jennifer Higdon “90 for Ned” (A Gentle Notion)
Eli Marshall “90 Notes for Ned”
Troy Peters “Gymnopedie” (90 Notes for Ned)
Russell Platt “Anecdote of the Jar” (90 Notes for Ned)
Paul Anthony Romero “Memory & Nelody pour N.R.”
Oct. 22, 2023 at 6pm
Martha Graham Studio Theater
55 Bethune St., 11th floor
New York, NY 10014
Clarinetist Thomas Piercy presents Rorem at 100 – A Concert Celebration, honoring the 100th birthday of late beloved American composer Ned Rorem on Sunday, October 22nd at 6pm at Martha Graham Studio Theater. Joining this grand celebration will be special guest soprano Carole Farley, with violinist Eiko Kano, cellist Aaron Wolff, and pianist Marina Iwao.
The program will showcase vocal and instrumental music of Ned Rorem, and “90 Notes for Ned” - music composed for Thomas Piercy for Rorem’s birthday concerts by his former students: Jennifer Higdon, Eli Marshall, Troy Peters, Russell Platt, and Paul Anthony Romero.
Harmonizing Artistry: The Enduring Partnership of Ned Rorem and Clarinetist Thomas Piercy
In the realm of contemporary classical music, collaborations between composers and performers often give birth to innovative and profoundly moving works. Among these creative unions, the partnership between composer Ned Rorem and clarinetist Thomas Piercy stands as a testament to the enduring power of artistic synergy.
At the heart of this collaboration lies the remarkable composition Four Colors, a piece conceived by Rorem specifically for Piercy and premiered at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital in 2003 in honor of Rorem’s 80th birthday. This work, like many in Rorem's repertoire, reflects his remarkable ability to encapsulate complex emotions and vivid imagery through music. Four Colors does precisely this, taking listeners on an evocative journey through a spectrum of emotions and tonal landscapes.
One of the defining characteristics of this partnership is the meticulous attention to detail that Piercy brings to Rorem's compositions. Under the supervision of the composer himself, Piercy has
undertaken the task of bringing Rorem's music to life in stunning recordings and captivating
performances. This dedication to realizing Rorem's artistic vision has resulted in interpretations that resonate deeply with audiences.
Piercy's commitment to Rorem's music is not limited to performance alone. He has also worked
closely with the composer in a collaborative capacity, gaining insights and perspectives that enrich his interpretations. This collaborative spirit is a hallmark of their partnership, showcasing the mutual respect and artistic camaraderie that developed over the years. The recordings and performances of Rorem's compositions by Piercy are not mere renditions but rather profound interpretations. They offer listeners a chance to experience Rorem's musical language through the lens of a clarinetist who has absorbed the essence of the composer's vision. Their partnership serves as a reminder of the transformative power of music and the lasting bonds it can create.
We are reminded that great music is not confined to the notes on the page but is brought to life
through the passion, dedication, and shared artistic vision of composer Ned Rorem, clarinetist
Thomas Piercy, and their colleagues and friends soprano Carole Farley, violinist Eiko Kano, cellist
Aaron Wolff, and pianist Marina Iwao.
Soprano Carole Farley had a long-time friendship and professional relationship with Ned Rorem, including her recording of Rorem songs with the composer at the piano.
GRAMMY®-nominated Carole Farley made her Metropolitan Opera début at the age of nineteen in the title rôle of Lulu (the Met’s first production), a role she has repeated over a hundred times. Carole Farley returned to the Metropolitan Opera for the title role in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Shostakovich, the only non-Russian in the cast. Her more than a hundred performances of Salome in opera houses around the world have been highly acclaimed. As a regular guest of the world’s opera houses, she has performed at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera, Oper der Stadt Köln, New York City Opera, Welsh National Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and in Zürich, Düsseldorf, Paris, Turin, Lyons, Brussels, Nice and Florence, and many other cities.
Her performances of Poulenc’s La voix humaine and Menotti’s The Telephone have been filmed by Decca in co-production with the BBC, and now re-issued on DVD, a bestseller in the New York Times charts. To celebrate the Kurt Weill centennial she sang a series of concerts with the Bamberger Symphoniker and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a recital in Miami in which she traced the steps of his musical journey from Berlin to Broadway to Hollywood. Carole Farley’s orchestral appearances have included most of the leading orchestras in the United States, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston, Pittsburgh and Baltimore Symphonies, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minnesota orchestras, and the National Symphony, with conductors Levine, Mehta, Skrowaszewski, Dorati, Kostelanetz, Zinman and Sir Andrew Davis. Her European orchestra concerts include the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Concertgebouw, Orchestre National de France and the Radio Orchestras of Brussels, Paris, Turin, Cologne, Rome, The Hague, Helsinki and Barcelona, with Levine, Boulez, Martinon, Bertini, Santi, Pritchard, Maazel, Downes, Salonen, Davis, Foster, Leitner, Fiore, and others.
Her extensive discography includes over fifty titles, with multiple awards including the Grand Prix du Disque, Deutsche Schallplatten Award, Gramophone Editor’s Choice, Gramophone’s CD of the Month, GRAMMY® nominations, and many others. Recent recordings include three Kurt Weill CDs, including the world première recording of Der Neue Orpheus, a bestseller Naxos CD of Ned Rorem songs with the composer at the piano, songs by Ernesto Lecuona, orchestral CDs of songs by Richard Strauss, Edvard Grieg, Delius and arias by Tchaikovsky, as well as her CD of Songs by William Bolcom, accompanied at the piano by the composer, recipient of two GRAMMY® nominations in 2006.
The Ned Rorem Archives are at the Library of Congress, Music Division, Washington DC.
Ned Rorem is published by Boosey & Hawkes.