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Our project is to save the wonderful music of the 90 year old American composer,Edith Hemenway, from artistic extinction! She has a unique creative voice which deserves to take it’s place in the history of 20th century American music. We hope to make a CD of her chamber music and also to make the scores available digitally. Her music, which is often inspired by poetry,
Voor Nederlands zie hieronder!
Our project is to save the wonderful music of the 90 year old American composer,Edith Hemenway, from artistic extinction! She has a unique creative voice which deserves to take it’s place in the history of 20th century American music.
We hope to make a CD of her chamber music and also to make the scores available digitally.
Her music, which is often inspired by poetry, demonstrates her genius for depicting contrasting characters. Titles of some of her movements include pompously, dreamily, playfully and exuberantly. Her music ranges in mood from the humorous, obstinate, joyous, and pastoral to the sublimely expressive.
I came into contact with the composer many years ago, when I was principal clarinetist of the Savannah Symphony. Edith , who had recently moved to town from Boston , came backstage after a concert and asked if she could write a piece for me for clarinet and piano. I was, of course, delighted with the idea and subsequently premiered 'Asian Figures' with the composer at the piano. This was the beginning of a life long collaboration and friendship. Over the years Hemenway has written 5 chamber music works including the clarinet which we will record for this CD along with music for voice and piano. Edith's music constitutes an important addition to both the clarinet and the vocal repertoire. Her manuscripts are now gathering dust in my studio and her music is unknown.
I am the clarinetist, Nancy Braithwaite and I live in The Netherlands and work as professor of clarinet and chamber music at the conservatory in Rotterdam. We have a fabulous line up of Dutch based international artists performing on this CD including the sopranos Roberta Alexander and Claron McFaddon, cellist Michael Stirlingand pianist Vaughan Schlepp.
Edith Hemenway is thrilled about this recording and will be working with us closely to achieve her artistic vision. We are so happy that at this stage in her life the composer can experience the satisfaction of sharing her music with the world through our CD.
We need your financial help to make this dream a reality and hope you'll support our project generously.
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As voordekunst is in Dutch at the moment, here you can find how to donate in English:
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Edith Hemenway (nee Fitz) was born in 1926 in Boston, Massachusetts, where she studied piano as a child with the talented French wife of E. Power Biggs. She graduated from McGill University, having majored in English, and moved with her husband to California, where he attended Divinity school and was made rector of the Good Samaritan Church in San Francisco. With a growing family (there would eventually be eight children), she started taking organ lessons with Harold Mueller, her first important musical influence, and immersed herself in the works especially of J.S. Bach. The organ was her principal instrument for several years until she discovered the joys of the art song.
The family moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1962, and there she became studio accompanist to David Laurent, a well-known bass-baritone who was active at Brown University. Here she developed her love of the art-song literature, and soon began studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she received a Master's degree in Vocal Accompaniment. Shortly thereafter, she earned an M.A. from Brown University in musical composition.
Since then, her attention has been divided between performing, coaching, and composition. The Boston Children's Opera Company, since defunct, commissioned two operas, Benny and the Bear, performed in schools throughout New England, and The Twilight of Magic. The latter premiered at The Third Street Music School Settlement in New York, and was then performed by Opera on the Go as part of their traveling repertoire. Goldilocks, another opera for young children, was also commissioned and performed by this group. A fourth opera, Doctor Know-It-All, conceived for an older audence and involving a larger cast, was performed by voice students at the University of Rhode Island. During this period, Ms. Hemenway also received two Composer-in-Residence grants.
While on a two-year stint in Savannah, Georgia, she became friendly with Nancy Braithwaite, and composed two works for her: Asian Figures and A Child's Garden. Other widely performed works by Ms. Hemenway have been the song-cycle Wonderings on poems by Kenneth Patchen, and the popular Four Duets on Poems by Langston Hughes.
She currently resides in Providence, Rhode Island.
We invite you to be a part of our effort to share the unique, imaginative and beautiful music by the 90 year old American composer Edith Hemenway with the world. Her voice deserves to be heard and preserved. You can influence the history of music with your donation.
Ik ben Nancy Braithwaite, Amerikaans klarinettiste, reeds lang in Nederland woonachtig, en docent klarinet en kamermuziek aan het Rotterdams Conservatorium.
Het doel van ons projekt is:
Voorkomen dat de prachtige muziek van de nu 90-jarige Amerikaanse componiste Edith Hemenway in vergetelheid raakt !!
Haar muziek is tot op de dag van vandaag onbekend, en de manuscripten liggen te verstoffen...
Hemenway's werk heeft een unieke eigen stijl die een plaats in de 20e eeuwse Amerikaanse muziekgeschiedenis verdient.
Wij zijn van plan haar kamermuziek op cd te zetten en de bladmuziek digitaal openbaar maken.
Haar muziek toont, vaak geinspireerd door gedichten, haar genialiteit in het weergeven van contrasterende karakters.
Zo worden uitvoeringswijzen aangeduid als: pompeus, dromerig, speels en uitbundig, en bewegen stemmingen zich uitermate expressief van humoristisch, opstandig, vreugdevol tot pastoraal.
Ik ontmoette de componiste lang geleden, toen ik eerste klarinettiste was van het Savannah Symphony Orchestra.
Na een concert kwam Edith backstage en vroeg of zij voor mij een stuk voor klarinet en piano mocht schrijven. Ik was natuurlijk blij verrast en zo kwam de eerste uitvoering van 'Asian Figures' tot stand, samen met de componiste aan de piano. Het was het begin van een langdurige samenwerking en vriendschap.
In de loop van de jaren heeft Hemenway 5 kamermuziekstukken voor klarinet geschreven die wij samen met stukken voor zang en piano op cd gaan uitvoeren.
Edith's muziek is een belangrijke toevoeging aan zowel de klarinet- als de zangliteratuur.
Naast mij -Nancy Braithwaite op klarinet- zal de bezetting bestaan uit de internationaal bekende sopranen Roberta Alexander en Claron McFadden, cellist Michael Sterling en pianist Vaughan Schlepp.
Edith Hemenway is razend enthousiast dat wij haar werk gaan opnemen en zal nauw met ons samenwerken om haar artistieke visie te realiseren.
Wij zijn blij dat zij op hoge leeftijd de voldoening zal voelen van het feit dat haar muziek door middel van onze cd met de wereld gedeeld kan worden.
Wij hebben uw financiële steun hard nodig om deze droom waar te maken en hopen dat u ons projekt genereus zult steunen.
Laura Carmichael25-09-2017 22:03
A lineup of wonderful artists, and a project with personal connection and meaning - very inspiring!
Ann Braithwaite25-09-2017 20:46
So happy Nancy is making a CD!
Betty McManus23-09-2017 22:56
I am a friend of Nancy's.