UPDATE: More tickets were made available Thursday when the city of New Orleans eased restrictions on gatherings. Go to the group’s eventbrite to register and get free tickets. Donations are accepted.
While most of the New Orleans area performing arts groups have been unwittingly slowed down by the coronavirus pandemic for nearly a year, Joel Bein is moving forward in an effort to “do something there “.
Bein, the founder and artistic director of the New Orleans Chamber Players, scheduled an outdoor performance for a trio of musicians on the spacious lawn of Longue Vue House and Gardens at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 28. During the hour-long program, titled “Flowing Winds”, three wind instrumentalists will perform nearly a dozen short pieces, most of them by contemporary composers.
Audience size will be limited to what is allowed by city-wide guidelines, and all spectators will be socially distanced and masked, Bein said.
Concert tickets by donation were quickly collected, but if the city changes collection restrictions, more tickets could be available by Sunday. It is also being filmed and will be viewable on the Chamber’s website at neworleanschamberplayers.org.
“I was looking aggressively to come up with a certain type of performance, given all of these parameters and constraints that we find ourselves in right now,” Bein said. “I saw that the Maison Longue Vue had organized a few outdoor shows in the fall with LPO, so I contacted them. Given the circumstances, the best we can do is have an outdoor performance.
“As an artist, I have the drive to create and I want to see music happen,” Bein said. “I want to make a program, and I want this music to come to life.”
To carry out the program, Bein recruited Sarah Schettler on flute, Daniel Parrette on clarinet and Josiah Bullach on horn. All three are members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
The program will feature works from a myriad of living composers, including Christopher Lowry, Elizabeth Raum, Bright Sheng, Viet Cuong and Jim Stephenson. Added to this are the deceased composers Claude Debussy, Edgard Varese, Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Sigurd Berge, Miklos Rozsa and André Jolivet.
Deciding which instruments to include in the program was not easy for Bein, but with a master’s degree in wind direction from the University of Michigan, he chose three wind instruments. “I wanted to create this beautiful sound with the sound of the wind. I also wanted to keep it simple, and it’s easier for these instruments to play outdoors than for the oboe and bassoon, ”he said.
Most of the selections weren’t well-known pieces that would immediately be familiar to classical music lovers, but Bein wanted to include otherwise obscure pieces he had encountered in his studies. Part of his familiarity with the works of living composers came from personal contact with them.
Stephenson, a full-time Chicago-area composer, will have three short French horn studies on the program, the titles of which are all puns on the word “May,” in the month of 2020 in which they were composed. . The titles are “Come What May”, “Reflections from Maytudes” and “Mayberry Blues”.
Explaining how the project came into being and developed, Stephenson said: “Last spring when the whole world came to a standstill and we composers were faced with so many performance cancellations, we were faced with to the question “What music are we writing now?” What can we compose that might be relevant? “
Drawing on his experience in composing studies for a number of different instruments, Stephenson decided to try his hand at the French horn. With the help of renowned former Chicago Symphony Orchestra horn player Gail Williams, he announced online that he is composing a daily horn study for the month of May, and all horn players eager to s ‘register could attempt to collaborate with him. on a final version. Two hundred and fifteen French horn players responded, and the trio of pieces performed by Bullach on Sunday is the result of this collaboration.
Bein described the tracks as “cheerful and uplifting tunes to lift your spirits.”
The two met briefly at a conference, and Stephenson said he was surprised when Bein told him, “We’re going to do some of your music. “… Living composers really appreciate our work being performed.
WHAT: A one-hour chamber music concert presented by the New Orleans Chamber Players
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, February 28
O: Longue Vue House and Gardens, 7 Bamboo Road, New Orleans
TICKETS: Go here for tickets
NOTE: The donation event is out of tickets, but additional seats may be available if capacity limits are increased by the city prior to the show. It is also being filmed and will be visible on neworleanschamberplayers.org.