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Reign of Brass

Music preview
by Kevin T. McEneaney
Tue Oct 4th, 2016

On Friday at 7 pm in Hotchkiss School’s Elfers Hall the American Brass Quintet will perform a free concert with open seating. This quintet is internationally recognized as one of the premier chamber music ensembles of our time. With over sixty recordings, they have performed in Asia, Australia, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and all fifty of the United States. They have premiered of over one-hundred-fifty contemporary brass works. Newsweek has tagged them as “the high priests of brass” and a review in The New York Times has hailed them as “positively breathtaking.”

They have served as Ensemble-in-Residence at The Juilliard School since 1987 and the Aspen Music Festival since 1970. They have been performing since 1960. Their most recent recording release from Summit Records is The ABQ at 50 featuring recent works written for them. The current ABQ consists of Louis Hanzlik and Kevin Cobb on trumpet, Eric Reed on French horn, Michael Powell on tenor trombone, and John Rojak on bass trombone.

The announced program offers a mix of new and old: “Three Venetian Canzoni”; Osvaldo Lacerda, “Quinteto Concertante”; Kenneth Fuchs, “Brass Quintet No. 2 “American” (2016); Thomas Stoltzer, “Three Fantasias in Church Modes”; Eric Nathan, “Missing Words II (2016)”; Eric Ewazen, “Colchester Fantasy.”

Since Ewazen is an important contemporary composer, I am particularly keen on hearing this last item on this program.

Advice to the wise: arrive early for this spectacular event in an acoustically advanced concert hall.

Eric Ewazen