Date & Time: November 1, 2018 at 7PM
Place: Hulsey Recital Hall, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, AL
The Birmingham Art Music Alliance, in conjunction with the UAB Department of Music, will present The Blair Collective in concert on Nov. 1, 2018 at 7PM in Hulsey Recital Hall.
The ensemble consists of music faculty from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, and includes saxophonist Brian Utley, bassoonist Peter Kolkay, percussionist Ji Hye Jung, and pianist Melissa Rose.
The program will feature new works of music by Monroe Golden, Mark Lackey, Tom Reiner, and William Price. The concert is free.
Saxophonist Brian Utley is Senior Lecturer in Saxophone at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, where he also coordinates the Chamber Music Program. He received the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone performance, with a minor in music theory, from Louisiana State University. He also holds the M.M. from L.S.U. and the B.M. from Murray State University, and his primary saxophone teachers include Griffin Campbell and Scott Erickson. Prior to his appointment at Vanderbilt, Utley served as Associate Professor of Saxophone at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Utley has been a featured soloist with the Vanderbilt Wind Symphony and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and is a regular classical saxophonist with the Nashville Symphony. As a chamber musician, Utley has performed with Intersection, a Nashville-based contemporary music ensemble, with the Blair Woodwind Quintet and the Stone Fort Wind Quintet, and is a co-founder of the award-winning Red Stick Saxophone Quartet.
He is a regular recitalist at regional and national conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and has performed at multiple NACUSA conferences, World Saxophone Congresses, U.S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposia, and new music festivals. As an advocate of new music, he has premiered works by noted composers including David Froom, Leonard Mark Lewis, Stephen Lias, Lidiuno Pitombeira, and William Price. Utley is also a regular guest artist and clinician at universities and secondary schools throughout the country, and serves frequently as an adjudicator for local, state and regional competitions.
His first solo recording, Characters, is available on the Mark Records label. The project features 21st-century works by American composers, including three world premiere recordings. Utley is an endorsing artist for Légère Reeds, and performs on Légère Signature Series Reeds exclusively.
Called “stunningly virtuosic” by The New York Times and “superb” by the The Washington Post, bassoonist Peter Kolkay claimed First Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in 2002 and was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004. He is an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a member of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tenn. He is Associate Professor of Bassoon at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.
Current season highlights include a recording of Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat, a chamber music appearance on the String Theory series in Chattanooga, and a solo performance at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, N.Y. Kolkay’s recent seasons have included solo recitals at Wolf Trap, Merkin Hall, St. Martin’s Abbey (Wash.), and the Teatro Nacional in Panama City; concerto appearances with the South Carolina, Rochester, and Westchester Philharmonics and Waukesha Symphony; and chamber music engagements at Music@Menlo, the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Spoleto USA Festival, and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival.
Kolkay actively engages with composers in the creation of new works. He recently performed the world premiere of Joan Tower’s bassoon concerto, Red Maple, with the South Carolina Philharmonic, and will premiere a new work for solo bassoon by Gordon Beeferman in February 2015. Kolkay has premiered solo and chamber works by Judah Adashi, Elliott Carter, Katherine Hoover, Harold Meltzer, Russell Platt, John Fitz Rogers, and Charles Wuorinen. His debut solo CD, titled BassoonMusic and released in August 2011 on CAG Records, spotlights works by 21st-century American composers. Kolkay was awarded the Carlos Surinach Prize by the BMI Foundation for outstanding service to American music by an emerging artist.
Kolkay earned a doctorate from Yale University as a student of Frank Morelli and a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with John Hunt and Jean Barr. A native of Naperville, Ill., Mr. Kolkay holds a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., where he studied with Monte Perkins.
Percussionist Ji Hye Jung has been praised as “spectacular” by the Los Angeles Times and “extraordinary” by the Ventura County Star, with the Times further describing her as “a centered player who can give the impression of being very still yet at all places at once.” Jung began concertizing in her native South Korea at the age of 9, going on to perform more than 100 concerts, including solo appearances with every major orchestra in Korea. Soon after coming to the United States in 2004, Jung garnered consecutive first prizes at the 2006 Linz International Marimba Competition and the 2007 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition.
With percussion repertoire still in its formative stages, Jung feels strongly about collaborating with composers to further the creation of a new voice for the art form. She has commissioned and premiered works by several important composers, including Kevin Puts, Alejandro Viñao, Paul Lansky, John Serry, Lukas Ligeti, and Jason Treuting. In 2013, she made the premiere recording of Michael Torke’s marimba concerto Mojave, and in 2014 recorded Phillip Glass’ Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra for the Naxos label. Jung frequently performs with many of today’s most important conductors and instrumentalists. For six years she has served as principal percussionist with West Coast chamber ensemble Camerata Pacifica, with whom she has premiered works by Bright Sheng and Huang Ruo. She has also recorded Stravinsky’s Les Noces with JoAnn Falletta at the Virginia Arts Festival, performed as soloist with David Robertson conducting an all-Messiaen program at Carnegie Hall, and made her concerto debut with the Houston Symphony under the baton of Hans Graf in 2005. Other performance credits include appearances at Portugal’s Tomarimbando Festival, the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Ireland, The Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and the Grachtenfestival in Holland.
In 2015, Jung was named Associate Professor of Percussion at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. She previously served as Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of Kansas for six years. An active educator and clinician, Jung has presented master classes at the Curtis Institute, the Peabody Conservatory, Rice University, Beijing’s Central Conservatory, and the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. Jung completed a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, both under the tutelage of Robert van Sice. As an artist endorser, she proudly represents Pearl/Adams instruments, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Zildjian cymbals.
Pianist Melissa Rose has a 30-year career partnering with instrumentalists and singers in concerts throughout the United States and at venues in Argentina, Malta, Santorini and Russia. She is a sought-after collaborative pianist whom critics describe as “powerfully musical” (Kansas City Star) and “an exceptional partner” (kcmetropolis.org). Rose has performed for 23 years with the Summerfest Chamber Music Series in Kansas City. In Nashville she is a member of ALIAS Chamber Ensemble and performs frequently with the Nashville Ballet. She has recorded and edited arrangements for viola/piano of the Tonadillas by Granados (ViolaSound), one of which was included in the 2017 Grammy-nominated music film The Music of Strangers. Her chamber music recordings are on the Naxos, Centaur, Blue Griffin, Delos, Good Child Music, and Navona Records labels.
As a pianist keenly interested in performing contemporary music, Rose has participated in numerous premieres and residencies with leading American composers. In the early post-Soviet period, she brought contemporary American music to audiences in Moscow and Kazan, Tatarstan, performing solo recitals and collaborating with Russian musicians in chamber music. More recently, she recorded two works by Paul Moravec: Tempest Fantasy with ALIAS (Delos 2016) and a premiere of the Trio with Leslie Norton, horn, and Jared Hauser, oboe (forthcoming on Good Child Music).
She received the master’s degree in solo piano performance from the Yale School of Music and a D.M.A. in collaborative piano from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Martin Katz. She started her teaching career at Truman State University, and in 1996 joined the faculty at Blair, where she teaches courses in collaborative piano and chamber music and also serves as associate dean of the collegiate program.