The Penn Contemporary Music series has put together a program that jumped on my must-see list as soon as I heard about it. On April 2, Penn Contemporary Music will present a program that includes premieres by two composers who have consistently produced some of the most memorable contemporary music I’ve heard over the last three decades, Philip Maneval and James Primosch. A premiere by either of them would be a good reason to attend any concert. A program with premieres by both of them is irresistible.
Both occupy key positions in the Philadelphia music world, in addition to being composers. Maneval is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Primosch is the chair of the University of Penn music department. Maneval’s work is notable for its flair and intensity. Primosch’s music is harder to categorize but everything he turns out feels right. It makes a mark without being showy or eccentric.
The pieces combine a string ensemble with a wind instrument and the musicians for the event should satisfy any composer’s desire for a top notch first performance. The strings will be furnished by the Daedalus Quartet, a headline chamber ensemble that has been Penn’s quartet in residence since 2009. The wind player in the Primosch will be James Austin Smith, a well traveled oboist who has played with leading chamber groups at chamber festivals all over the world. In the Maneval it will be another musician with a global career as a chamber player, the Principal Clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Michael Rusinek.
Penn Contemporary Music will present this program Tuesday, April 2 at 8pm at the Arts, Research and Culture House (ARCH), located at 3601 Locust Walk on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Admission is free, but this is a small venue and you must request a reservation online.