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Gerald Carpenter: Camerata Pacifica Blowing in the Winds

Catch the all-woodwind extravaganza during two concerts Friday in Hahn Hall

Camerata Pacifica will present its April program, an all-woodwind extravaganza, at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hahn Hall on the campus of the Music Academy of the West.

John Harbison
John Harbison

The program includes Lera Auerbach’s “Prayer” for English Horn Solo, Opus 33a (1996); Ludwig Beethoven’s Quintet in E-Flat Major for Piano and Winds, Opus 16; Camille Saint-Saëns’ Caprices sur des airs danois et russes; Thea Musgrave’s Night Windows for Oboe and Piano (2007); and John Harbison’s Quintet for Winds.

Those attending the 1 p.m. performance will hear only the Beethoven and Harbison pieces.

The participating musicians will be Adrian Spence on flute, Nicholas Daniel on oboe, José Franch-Ballester on clarinet, John Steinmetz on bassoon, Steve Becknell on horn and Anna Polonsky on piano.

Auerbach has long since outgrown being “the last major artist to defect from the Soviet Union” before that polity disappeared. For quite awhile, she has been established as a gifted poet and composer, a leading light of her generation. Since poetry seldom translates out of its native language into words of comparable force in another, it is Auerbach’s music that is celebrated internationally.

Scottish-born Musgrave (born 1928) made a name for herself as a woman composer in a era when that was a very hard thing to do. Best known for her operas, she has composed a goodly amount of fine chamber music, too.

Harbison, born in 1938, is another who is chiefly known for his operas and other large-scale works, although he, too, has many chamber works in his catalog. A student of Walter Piston and Roger Sessions, he won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for his cantata, The Flight into Egypt. The Saint-Saëns piece is sheer delight.

For tickets and other concert information, click here or call Camerata Pacifica at 805.884.8410.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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