Composer Robert Sirota's solo work Canzona will be performed by guitarist Jordan Dodson during three upcoming concerts in New York – on Sunday, May 27 at 7:30pm at Culturefix (9 Clinton Street, NYC), Friday, June 8 at 8pm at Chambers Fine Art (522 West 19th Street, NYC), and Sunday, June 24 at 3pm at St. John's Church as part of Concerts on the Slope (139 Saint Johns Place, Brooklyn).
These concerts are all presented by Ensemble sans Maître, a group dedicated to unusual repertoire and new music named after Boulez's masterwork Le marteau sans maître. The performances also include music by John Cage, Sergio Assad, Kyle Werner, Milton Babbitt, Kaija Saariaho, and Frederic Rzewski. Audiences will have the chance to mingle with the artists over wine and hors d'oeuvres after the concerts.
Robert Sirota's Canzona for solo guitar is one of his most recent works. Sirota says, "Canzona was commissioned by the brilliant young guitar virtuoso Jordan Dodson. It is the first installment of what will be three pieces: Canzona, Cantilena, and Canticle. In composing for guitar, I am struck by the lovely paradox that although it is a plucked and strummed instrument, it is also extremely and expressively vocal. In Canzona, and in the subsequent works, I explore different elements of the instrument's vocalism."
Guitarist Jordan Dodson is an active soloist and chamber musician based in New York and Philadelphia. He has won prizes in several national and international guitar competitions and recently received the Segovia/Augustine Classical Guitar Award at the Manhattan School of Music. He has appeared as guest soloist with the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Orchestra performing Joseph Schwantner's guitar concerto From Afar… Dodson is active in contemporary music, having given several U.S and world premiere performances. He is currently commissioning works from New York-based composers. Dodson has received degrees from the University of Cincinnati and the Manhattan School of Music. In the fall of 2011, he was one of two guitarists selected to inaugurate a new program in classical guitar at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music.
About Robert Sirota: Robert Sirota's work has been performed throughout the United States and abroad, at venues including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and at The Juilliard School, the Shepherd School of Music, Peabody, Oberlin Conservatory, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. His commissions include works for the Empire Brass, American Guild of Organists, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Fischer Duo, the Peabody Trio, the Webster Trio, and the Chiara String Quartet.
Robert Sirota's catalogue comprises three short operas, a full-length music theatre piece, as well as orchestral, symphonic band, chamber and recital works. His music has been praised in The New York Times, which reported it to be, "fashioned with the clean, angular melodies, tart harmonies, lively syncopations and punchy accents of American Neo-Classicism." In addition to the world premiere of holy ghosts, highlights of the current season have included the premiere of a new cantata, Holy Women and the New York premiere of Sirota's chamber opera The Clever Mistress this past April at Symphony Space.
Robert Sirota has received numerous grants and honors including a Guggenheim Award. Before becoming Director of The Johns Hopkins University's prestigious Peabody Institute in 1995, Sirota served as Chairman of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at New York University and Director of Boston University's School of Music. In 2005, he was appointed president of the Manhattan School of Music in New York, where he is also a member of the School's composition faculty.