Muskingum University faculty musicians will present a concert showcasing a wide range of American composers’ expressionistic styles on Friday, March 16 in Philip & Betsey Caldwell Hall. The concert, entitled “American Expressionism,” will include the world premiere of “Stories in a riot of color...,” a composition for brass quintet inspired by the artwork of popular American artist LeRoy Neiman. A pre-concert lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. and the concert at 7:30 p.m.
“American Expressionism” will feature performances by Muskingum’s faculty brass quintet — the Muskingum Valley Brass — as well as a variety of faculty solo and chamber artists. The concert is one in a series of events celebrating the work and creativity of famed impressionistic artist LeRoy Neiman. Best known for his brilliantly colored, stunningly energetic images of sporting events and leisure activities, Neiman was one of the most popular living artists in the U.S. before his passing in 2012. A collection of 74 of his works is currently on display in Ohio for the first time in Muskingum University’s Philip & Betsey Caldwell Hall and the Louis O. Palmer Art Gallery.
“The Neiman exhibition at Muskingum inspired us to select a program of works that is vibrant, use a variety of tonal colors, and conveys an emotional experience,” said Dr. David Turrill, associate professor of music and chair of the music department. “We are looking forward to sharing this program and premiering this fantastic new work.”
The composer of the new work, Michael Rene Torres, is instructor of saxophone and composition at Muskingum University and founder and artistic director of the Columbus Ohio Discover Ensemble, a contemporary music ensemble that is dedicated to the promotion, performance, and perception of new music in central Ohio. Torres is the recipient of the Ohio Arts Council’s Individual Excellence Award and the Greater Columbus Arts Council Composition Fellowship.
“I was really inspired by Neiman’s color and the vibrancy of his work, particularly the sketches that he did of ballerinas,” Torres said. “I was captivated by the way that he depicted a few very introspective moments of the dancers as well as the intensity of their athleticism and their pursuit of perfection.” During the pre-concert lecture, Dr. Torres will discuss his compositional process of bringing to life a musical work inspired by visual art.
Concert attendees are encouraged to arrive to the performance early, and peruse the Neiman display at Muskingum, entitled “Action! An Exhibition of LeRoy Neiman’s Champion.” The concert and exhibition, which runs through April 14, are both free and open to the public.