Grammy-Winning Composer Joan Tower Celebrated at UH Festival Oct. 1- 3

Joan Tower's vibrant compositions have dazzled audiences and critics around the world. Houstonians now have the opportunity to experience the magic of Tower's works during a three-day festival focused on her career and repertoire.

On Oct. 1-3, the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Moores School of Music and Blaffer Gallery present "Damaged Romanticism, Recovered." The event features performances by noted pianist Melvin Chen, UH's AURA Contemporary Ensemble and the Moores Symphony Orchestra. Tower will attend the weekend's concerts and recitals.

All performances are at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for general admission; $10 for UH faculty, staff, alumni students and seniors. The festival schedule and details are as follows:

  • Oct. 1 - Recital: Pianist Melvin Chen performs works by Tower, Ligeti and Brahms.
  • Oct. 2 - AURA Concert: AURA, the Moores School of Music Contemporary Ensemble, performs chamber music by Tower with Jeremy Justeson (alto saxophone), Andrzej Grabiec (violin), Tim Hester (piano) and Jeffrey Lerner (clarinet)
  • Oct. 3 -Orchestra Concert: The Moores School Symphony Orchestra, directed by  Franz Krager, performs three orchestral works by Tower with concerto soloists Chen (piano) and Blake Wilkins (percussion), and Richard Strauss' "Don Juan."

Many audiences were introduced to Tower through her work with the award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, a group she co-founded in 1969.  As the group's pianist, she composed many successful works including her first orchestral piece "Sequoia," "Platinum Spirals" and "Wings." After departing Da Capo in 1984, Tower became the St. Louis Symphony's composer-in-residence and produced more significant works including the popular "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman." In 1990, she became the first female recipient of the University of Louisville's Grawemeyer Award. Three years later, Tower visited the White House to conduct a performance of her piece "Stepping Stones." Tower serves as the Asher Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, a position she has held since 1972.


"Damaged Romanticism, Recovered," a festival celebrating the works of contemporary American composer Joan Tower, featuring pianist Melvin Chen, AURA and the Moores Symphony Orchestra

WHEN: All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 1-3
WHERE: Moores Opera House at UH - Entrance 16 off of Cullen Boulevard


This event was originally programmed in conjunction with Blaffer Gallery's 2008 exhibition, "Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion," but was postponed due to Hurricane Ike.

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