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“Once Removed” by John Fitz Rogers

PERFORMANCE SPOTLIGHT:

“Once Removed” by John Fitz Rogers

Performed by Meehan / Perkins Duo

 

MALLET SELECTION FOR THIS PIECE:

M115

M115 (M115)

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Medium hard. Bright, but not to the point of “xylophone-like” brilliance.

ABOUT THE COMPOSER:

Composer John Fitz Rogers’s music has been performed around the world in leading venues and by ensembles and festivals such as Carnegie Hall, Bang on a Can Marathon, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, National Cathedral, the Albany, Louisville, Charleston, and Tulsa Symphony Orchestras, New York Youth Symphony, Eastman Wind Ensemble, the MATA, Rockport, Bumbershoot, Bowling Green, and Keys To The Future festivals, Festival of New American Music, Phillips Collection Concert Series, and by individuals and chamber ensembles such as Antares, New Century Saxophone Quartet, Capitol Quartet, Lionheart, Composers, Inc., Opus Two, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Bent Frequency, Ambassador Duo, guitarist Michael Nicolella, pianist Marina Lomazov, and bassoonist Peter Kolkay. Recent premieres include Double Concerto for two pianos and orchestra, commissioned by the South Carolina Philharmonic with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, and Magna Mysteria for soprano, chorus, and chamber orchestra, with soprano soloist Martha Guth. In 2009, Rogers’s alto saxophone concerto The Rivers was featured at the 2009 World Saxophone Congress in Thailand. The work was jointly commissioned by a consortium of seven universities. Rogers has received many commissions, fellowships, and awards, including those from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum and the Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, Music at the Anthology and the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, National Flute Association, MacDowell Colony, South Carolina Arts Commission, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, as well as the Heckscher Foundation Composition Prize for his orchestral work Symphony of Cities. Recent recordings include Once Removed, a collection of Rogers’s chamber music on Innova Recordings, as well as Prodigal Child on Alanna Records. Previously released recordings include Transit and Push (both on Gale Recordings), A Savage Calculus on Equilibrium Records, and the Albany Symphony’s performance of Verge on Albany Records. (To listen to excerpts of these and other works, click on the Works page.) A dedicated advocate for contemporary music, Rogers founded and is Artistic Director of the Southern Exposure New Music Series, which received the 2007 Chamber Music America / ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Since its inception in 2001, Southern Exposure has become one of the most dynamic and innovative concert series in the southeast, regularly hosting enthusiastic standing room audiences for performances by local and regional artists as well as internationally recognized artists such as Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. Rogers holds degrees in music from Cornell University, the Yale School of Music, and Oberlin College, where he studied composition, piano, and conducting; his composition teachers included Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, Martin Bresnick, and Jacob Druckman. He has served on the faculties of Cornell University and the Longy School of Music, as composer-in-residence for the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East, Conductor’s Institute of South Carolina, and the Southeastern Piano Festival, and as visiting faculty for the Composition Intensive Program at the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival. Rogers is currently an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of South Carolina School of Music and visiting faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work is published by Base Two Music Publishing

MEEHAN/PERKINS DUO

Since its founding in 2006, the Meehan/ Perkins Duo (Todd Meehan and Doug Perkins) has redefined the American percussion duo through its diverse commissions and engaging performances. The Duo has been called “superb young players” by the New Yorker and “gifted percussionists” by the Wall Street Journal. Dedicated to creating a new body of work for the percussion duo genre, to date the Duo has collaborated with composers David Lang, Paul Lansky, Nathan Davis, John Supko, and Matt McBane to expand the repertoire and produce eclectic new acoustic and electro-acoustic works for percussion. The Duo has shared this music with audiences throughout the country, including performances at Weill Recital Hall, the Ojai Music Festival, Monadnock Music, the Yellow Barn Festival, the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, the Stone, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and abroad in St. Petersburg and Petrozavodsk, Russia.

February 2011 marked the release of the Duo’s first recording on New World Records entitled “Restless, Endless, Tactless — Johanna Beyer and the Birth of American Percussion Music”. The recording, a joint project with the Baylor Percussion Group, chronicles a largely unknown body of early percussion works from the 1930′s written by Johanna Beyer, Henry Cowell, Harold Davidson, Ray Green, John J. Becker, and Doris Humphrey. The release was praised as “immaculately played by the duo” by the BBC Music Magazine and “an engaging experience” by Gramophone. Fanfare Magazine perhaps best sums up the recording by stating “This is a must-hear for anyone remotely interested in the development of music in the past century and is strongly recommended.”

The Duo is currently undertaking its largest commissioning project to date, engaging composer Jonathan Leshnoff for a Concerto for Two Percussionists and Orchestra. The work will be premiered June 2012 with the Texas Festival Orchestra at the Round Top International Festival under the baton of Michael Stern. Subsequent performances will take place during the 2012-2013 season with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and the Baylor Symphony Orchestra.

The Meehan/ Perkins Duo uses Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Pearl/Adams drums and keyboards, Black Swamp Percussion accessories, Remo drumheads, and Zildjian cymbals.