Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Premiere of Paul Reisler's work

POSTPONED TO FEBRUARY 28 due to bad weather:

On February 28, 2010 at Lorin Maazel's Chateauville Foundation, there will be a premiere of Aesop's Fables for Orchestra and Narrator, composed by VCCA Fellow Paul Reisler and Art Wheeler, with libretto by Tom Paxton with Paul Reisler. The performances are in memory of Julie Portman, a great storyteller. For tickets, contact the Chateauville Foundation. The evening will also feature a performance of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Jamie Bernstein.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wallach's "Runes and Rituals" to be performed by James Piano Quartet on Feb 4 at Sweet Briar College

“Runes and Ritual,” a brand-new quartet for piano, violin, viola and cello by Joelle Wallach, celebrating the magical and mystical elements of the Blue Ridge region of Virginia, commissioned by the James Piano Quartet will be premiered by the James Piano Quartet February 4, 2010 at Sweet Briar College.

When VCCA composer Joelle Wallach was invited to speak to an interdisciplinary arts class at Sweet Briar College taught by Sweet Briar Professor Nick Ross, Ross was struck by her music. He commissioned Wallach to write a quartet especially for the James Piano Quartet in which Ross was the pianist and which was then Ensemble-in-Residence at Sweet Briar College.


Under the auspices of SBC-VCCA fellowships, and with the enthusiastic support of Dean and VCCA composer Dr. Jonathan Green, Ross and Wallach collaborated through a remarkable series of three VCCA residencies in April 2008, September 2008 and January 2010. Wallach gave three talks to Sweet Briar students on each of her visits which were timed to coincide with the James Piano Quartet’s Sweet Briar rehearsal schedule. Observing the Quartet’s musical and collaborative styles,Wallach has composed “Runes and Ritual,” a quartet for piano, violin, viola and cello, celebrating the magical and mystical elements of the Blue Ridge region of Virginia, and specifically tailored to the group and its individual players.


By April 2008, “Runes and Ritual,” was ready for the James Piano Quartet; and at the end of this month, Wallach will return to the VCCA to work with the James Piano Quartet on the finished score, preparing it for its premiere at Sweet Briar College’s Memorial Chapel on February 4, 2010 at 7:30 PM. There will be a reception immediately following.

The program of the concert will also include two song cycles "A Dream of Now", and "Daughters of Silence", as well as the songs "Alleycat Love Song" and "A Firefighter's prayer", The performers are: Sinan Vural, baritone, Melisa Barrick, soprano, Anna Billias, piano, Ed Mikenas, double bass, and the James Piano Quartet: Jana Ross, violin, Joe Nigro, viola, Wesley Baldwin, cello, Nick Ross, piano. The program will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel at Sweet Briar College.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fellows Give Gift to Karen Bell and VCCA Kitchen


Laura Kaminsky and Rebecca Allan gave a set of dishes and dish towels to the VCCA's Fellows kitchen in honor of Fellows Council chairperson Karen Bell and her recent birthday. Bell continues to promote the use of reusable dishes in the Fellows Kitchen as a responsible, green practice. Kaminsky, Allan, and Bell were in residence together in early January. Laura Kaminsky also serves on the Fellows Council.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Opportunities for Artists, Writers and Composers from Delaware, the Virgin Islands, and West Virginia


In 2010, the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) will award fully-funded residencies at the VCCA to one or two artists, writers or composers from each of the following states: Delaware, the Virgin Islands, and West Virginia. The application deadline for applicants from these areas has been extended to January 31, 2010 for residencies from June to September 2010.

To download an application, click here.

pictured: Ethel Morgan Smith, writer, Morgantown, WV (photo by Amy Allen)


Thursday, January 7, 2010


Ruth Knafo Setton was in residence at the VCCA in December 2009, working on her current novel, The Jigsaw Woman, which is the second book in a trilogy focusing on magic in America.

Of her December stay, she says:
"This last VCCA stay may have been my most productive-- maybe the snow had something to do with it! Anyway I'm still on a roll ... so my new year is starting well!" You can read about her current projects here.