ECU OPERA THEATER [March 22-23, 2019]

Melinda WagnerWILLIAM STAUB, Conductor

We’re thrilled to hear the ECU Opera Theater’s WORLD PREMIERE of MELINDA WAGNER‘s Tell It Slant, a new work featuring ECU’s exceptional student vocal soloists, choir, and instrumentalists, under the baton of Dr. William Staub.

As the composer selected by ECU music students to receive a commission through the NewMusic Initiative’s unique Commissioning Program, Melinda Wagner visited campus twice during the 2017-2018 season to collaborate with our students and ensembles, teach, and to hear some of her sketches read by vocal students. Under the direction of William Staub, ECU Opera Theater Directors Daniel Shirley, John Kramar, we’re excited to premiere and record this new contribution to the literature!

Celebrated as an “…eloquent, poetic voice in contemporary music…” [American Record Guide], MELINDA WAGNER’s esteemed catalog of works embodies music of exceptional beauty, power, and intelligence. Wagner received widespread attention when her colorful Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1999.  Since then, major works have included Concerto for Trombone, for Joseph Alessi and the New York Philharmonic; a piano concerto, Extremity of Sky, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony for Emanuel Ax; and Little Moonhead, composed for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as part of its popular “New Brandenburgs” project.  Wagner’s most recent commission from the Chicago Symphony, Proceed, Moon, was premiered by the CSO under the baton of Susanna Mälkki in June, 2017.

A passionate and inspiring teacher, Melinda Wagner has given master classes across the United States, and has held faculty positions at Brandeis University and Smith College, and has served as a mentor at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Wellesley Composers Conference, and Yellow Barn. Dr. Wagner currently serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music.

[March 22-23, 2019 concerts @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]