Music: Sun Jun 3

Immigrant composers to the U.S. are featured in Sunday morning’s solo piano selections.

Born in Cuba in 1943 to parents of African, Spanish, French and Chinese ancestry, Tania León immigrated to the U.S. in 1967. Her career in this country began with a stint as pianist for Dance Theater of Harlem, although she is now known as one of the most important composers of our times. Her music often reflects her Cuban roots, as well as bracingly modernist tendencies. “Momentum”, composed in 1984, shows the influence of American Blues music, with more than a hint of Conga drumming and virtuoso piano flourishes. “Variacion”, from 2012, is Ms. León’s tribute to the Goldberg Variations of J. S. Bach, the harmonic backdrop of which visits the tropics in this cross-cultural mélange. Ms. León was a featured guest at a concert on last year’s Music at CUUC series, and Music Director Adam Kent is scheduled to record her complete piano works later this month. See the links below for Adam’s interview with Ms. León at CUUC, as well as for his performances of her piano music.

Carlos Surinach was born in Barcelona in 1915 and enjoyed a distinguished career there before immigrating to the U.S. in 1950. He made his home in New Haven, CT, and is best remembered for his collaborations with Martha Graham. His three Chansons et danses espagnoles from 1950 are typical of his output in their adherence to Andalusian gypsy music and the pervasive use of the octotonic scale (a scale alternating whole and half steps). Links to Adam Kent’s performances of Surinach’s music also included below.

The CUUC Choir is also on hand, with an upbeat American Spiritual as well as an inspirational message of hope and courage. Attentive congregants will note also a bit of "musical chairs" this morning, as Choir Pianist Georgianna Pappas fills in for Choir Director Lisa N. Meyer, and Music Director Adam Kent dons the Choir Pianist's hat.

Read on for programming details.

                                                         Tania León

Anthem: CUUC Choir directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas
Every Time I Feel the Spirit  
American Spiritual, arr. by Earlene Rentz 

Chanson et danse espagnole No. 3
                                                            Carlos Surinach

Closer to the Flame    
 Susan Boersma & David Lantz III  

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