Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and JMU's Contemporary Festival

For information on Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and JMU'S Contemporary Music Festival:

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, to James Madison University for a celebration of his works. Maxwell Davies is one of the most prolific and eclectic composers of today, with symphonies, concertos, musical theater works, songs, choral works, chamber and solo works spanning many decades—over six hundred works in all. Several of these will be performed during this three-day festival, which also features works by other contemporary composers, including JMU faculty composers. The pieces chosen for the festival represent a wide swath of Maxwell Davies’ career, from the iconic, monumental “Eight Songs for a Mad King” from 1969, to vocal and choral works from as recently as 2009. The “Eight Songs” will be performed by the great Haleh Abghari in the role of the mad king, George III, and members of the JMU faculty under the direction of guest conductor Carsten Schmidt.

Other works on the festival include the dance-inspired “Krump,” for wind ensemble, by Scott McAllister, which will include JMU dance students as part of the performance, a new work for women’s chorus, pianos and strings by JMU’s John Hilliard, and an evocative work for two pianos and electronics by Ton Bruynèl. The festival also includes several opportunities to hear Maxwell Davies speak about his music, about composers in the modern world, and to interact with him at pre-concert talks and informal talks with music students, all of which are free and open to the public. Ticketing information for the three main concerts is below.

Schedule of Events and Programs:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

9:30-10:30 am and 11 am-noon – Forbes Center Recital Hall
Peter Maxwell Davies speaks about his music

7:30 pm – Forbes Center Concert Hall – Pre-concert talk with Peter Maxwell Davies and John Hilliard
8 pm – Concert Hall – Concert I: Music of Peter Maxwell Davies

Maxwell Davies: Fanfare for Lowry, for six trumpets
Hilliard: Holy Spirit, for soprano, horn and piano
Maxwell Davies: Blake Dreaming, for baritone and string quartet
Schuller: Romantic Sonata, for clarinet, horn and piano


Arthur Bliss: Prayer for St. Francis
Maxwell Davies: Gray’s Pier
Maxwell Davies: The Lord's Prayer
Maxwell Davies: Ave Rex Angelorum
Maxwell Davies: Carol: Ave, Gratia Plena
Hilliard: Eleison, for treble choir, 2 pianos, 2 harps, 4 cellos and 4 basses

Performers include: Chris Carrillo, Christine Ennis-Carrillo, Dorothy Maddison, Ian Zook, Lori Piitz, Janice Minor, Paulo Steinberg, Kevin McMillan, Steffany Shock, Sarah Park, Amadi Azikiwe, Ryan Hoffman; The Treble Chamber Choir, Bryce Hayes, director; The Madison Singers and JMU Chorale, Joanne van der Vat-Chromy, director

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1:30 pm – Anthony-Seeger Hall Auditorium – Visiting Scholar Lecture by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
“The Changing Role of the Composer in Society”

5 pm – Recital Hall – Student Composers Recital
featuring the winners of the JMU Young Composers Competition

7:30 pm – Concert Hall – Pre-concert talk with Peter Maxwell Davies and Jason Haney
8 pm – Concert Hall – Concert II: Contemporary Winds, Brass and Dance

Maxwell Davies: Fanfare - Salute to Dennis Brain, for horn choir
Haney: Sonata, for violin and piano


McAllister: Krump, for wind ensemble

Performers include: JMU Horn Choir, Ian Zook, director; Wanchi Huang, Jason Haney; JMU Wind Symphony, Steven Bolstad, director; JMU dance students, Shane O'Hara, choreographer

Thursday, October 18, 2012

7:30 pm – Concert Hall – Pre-concert talk with Peter Maxwell Davies
8 pm – Concert Hall – Concert III: Max, Michelangelo and Madness

Maxwell Davies: Tondo di Michelangelo, for baritone and piano
Bruynèl: Rain, for two pianos and electronics


Maxwell Davies: Eight Songs for a Mad King, for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, piano and harpsichord

Performers include: Haleh Abghari, Beth Chandler, Andy Connell, Wanchi Huang, Carl Donakowski, Michael Overman, Lori Piitz, Carsten Schmidt, Kevin McMillan, Jason Haney, Gabriel Dobner, Paulo Steinberg, Eric Ruple

Concerts I, II and III are ticketed. For pricing and to order tickets, call the Forbes Center Box Office at 540-568-7000, or visit . All other events are free and open to the public. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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