World premiere highlights UGA School of Music faculty concert

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An upcoming faculty concert at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music will feature the world premiere of a new composition from a globally-renowned composer by a UGA faculty member in Ramsey Concert Hall on Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m.

Maggie Snyder, associate professor of viola, and Tim Lovelace, chair of collaborative piano at the University of Minnesota, will perform works from Schumann, Julius Röntgen and Garrett Byrnes in addition to the world premiere of Libby Larsen’s “Stunned.”

“The piece, commissioned by me, is for solo viola and will be the centerpiece of my upcoming May 2017 recording titled ‘Viola Alone: Old, New and Borrowed,’” said Snyder.

Larsen, the recipient of numerous awards including the 2010 George Peabody Medal and an inductee to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, finished writing the piece at the end of January. The third work on Snyder’s program, “Stunned” is a work for solo viola, described by Snyder as “inspired by the shock of the moment—something that happens which stuns you and is therefore forever burned into that moment in time.”

“I can't wait to premiere this work,” said Snyder. “It's haunting and daunting, and exciting and profound. March 1 will be a great day for new music.”

Lovelace, a frequent collaborator with Snyder, will join the program for the other three works, beginning with Schumann’s “Fantasiestucke,” which opens the performance

“This is a lovely piece originally for clarinet or cello which is often played by violinists and sometimes violists,” said Snyder. “Lyric, gorgeous, typical Schumann romanticism.”

The second piece of the program is Röntgen’s Sonata for Viola and Piano. Written in 1924, this is one of three viola sonatas created by the prolific Dutch-German composer. Snyder describes the work as true to conservative forms and lyric in thematic nature.

“The piece is simple and straightforward, quite succinct and satisfying,” said Snyder.

“Devil in Moscow” by Byrnes is the final piece of the program. It is a piece written for Allemagnetti, the viola/harpsichord duo of Snyder and her sister, Alexandra Snyder Dunbar. The work was premiered at Allemagnetti’s Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2009.

“It's a fantastical piece of character sketches based on the character's from Bulgakov's ‘Master and Margarita,’” said Snyder. “I'm performing the version for viola and piano on this recital and can't wait.  I love this piece.”

Admission is free to this recital, and those unable to attend can watch live on the Hodgson School’s website at music.uga.edu/streaming.

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music sponsors more than 350 performances each year. To view the performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email concert listing or learn more about the School of Music, go to music.uga.edu.