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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

Composer Libby Larsen Visits FAU
FAU Music Faculty will Perform Concert of Larsen’s Works

            BOCA RATON, FL (March 7, 2008) – Libby Larsen, one of the world’s most prolific and most performed living composers, will deliver a lecture on Friday, March 14 at noon in the University Theatre on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road.   The lecture, entitled “The Concert Hall that Fell Asleep and Woke Up as a Car Radio:  The Effects of Transportation on Classical Music,” is free and open to the public.   There will also will be a concert of Larsen’s works performed by FAU faculty and commentary by Larsen on Saturday, March 15 at   8 p.m. in the University Theatre. The concert is free with a suggested donation of $10 to support programs in the department of music.    

            The concert will be performed by the FAU Wind Ensemble, the FAU Chamber Singers, the FAU Symphony Orchestra and the FAU Women’s Chorus.   There will also be chamber music works with Saul Bitran, violin; Cornelia Brubeck, cello and Heather Coltman, piano.

            Larsen has written over 200 works that range from intimate vocal art song pieces to massive orchestral scores.   Her work has been described as modern music that is approachable for a broad audience.   The Wall Street Journal wrote that Larsen “has come up with a way to make contemporary opera both musically current and accessible to the average audience.”

            In 1994, Larsen won a Grammy for producing the CD “The Art of Arlene Augér,” which features Larsen’s “Sonnets from the Portuguese,” inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous poem of the same name.   She also wrote the music and libretto for   the opera “Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus,” which was selected as one of the eight best classical musical events of 1990 by USA Today.  

            Larsen is the first woman to serve as a resident composer with a major orchestra.   She has held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony.

            “Libby Larsen is considered by many to be the most influential composer of the present day,” said Heather Coltman, chair of FAU’s department of music.   “We are very fortunate to have her here. She has a fresh outlook on sound and the impact of new music, and also on ways that performers connect to audiences.”

            Larsen holds the Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar Chair for 2007/2008.   The chair, endowed by philanthropist Dorothy F. Schmidt, is devoted to bringing outstanding figures in the performing and visual arts to FAU and has been held by such luminaries as dancer Edward Villella, art critics Roberta Smith and Gerry Saltz, Shakespearean actors Estelle Kohler and Bill Homewood, and environmental sculptor and architect Michael Singer.  

            The lecture and concert are being sponsored by the Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholars Chair and organized by the department of music in the School of the Arts in FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.   For further information on the lecture or concert, call 561-297-3820.

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