February is a busy month for the University of Houston’s AURA Contemporary Ensemble…and that’s music to the ears of fans of modern-day chamber compositions.
Led by director Rob Smith, AURA will deliver three performances that showcase the works of today’s top composers, as well as artists who left lasting impressions on the 20th century’s musical landscape.
On Feb. 19 and 20, AURA’s “Topography” will
offer audiences an exploration of different terrains and environments. One week
later, the ensemble will present “Quartets for Nature and Time” featuring two
arrangements from composers of different eras. Concert details are as follows:
3 p.m., Feb. 19 in San Jacinto College Music Building (13735 Beamer Road)
7:30 p.m., Feb. 20 in UH’s Moores Opera House (Entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard)
Selections to be performed include “Sinatra Shag” by Michael Daugherty; “Oh Them Rats is Mean in My Kitchen” by Stephen Paul Hartke; “Dolcissimo Uscignolo” by Paul Stanhope; “New Work” by George Heathco; “Towards the Sea” by Toru Takemitsu and “Metamorphoses II” by Clifton Callender
for Nature and Time”
7:30 p.m., Feb. 27 in UH’s Dudley Recital Hall (Fine Arts building – Entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard)
Selections include “Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen (written while the composer was imprisoned within a Nazi prison camp in 1941) and “The So Called Laws of Nature” by David Lang
AURA is dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music, with an emphasis on works that represent the trends and styles of the last two decades. Under Smith’s direction, the ensemble performs a wide variety of American and international composers’ works. Noted artists such as Samuel Adler, Richard Rodney Bennett, Stephen Montague, Joan Tower and Dan Welcher have visited campus to hear AURA’s interpretations of their compositions. The ensemble is also dedicated to collaboration with dance, and has presented many concerts with the UH Dance Ensemble and the Sandra Organ Dance Company.