William & Mary

Ewell Concert Series to Kick Off with Duo46 Performance; Faculty Composition to Be Featured

Duo46, a Grammy-nominated violin and guitar duo that specializes in the works of living American composers, will perform “Seastone” by Brian Hulse during their concert at Ewell Recital Hall Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.

The title "Seastone" has to do with Cyprus -- with my impression of the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and the ancient stone ruins that are scattered around the island,” said Hulse, associate professor of composition and theory. “There is also a hint of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influence in some of the scales and melodic wisps throughout the piece.”

Hulse created the piece for Matt Gould and Beth Ilana Schneider of Duo46 when he met them in Cyprus several years ago. Although Hulse creates complicated pieces of music, he knows the world-renowned duo will perform Seastone well.

“I always enjoy hearing my music played, especially by musicians of the caliber of Duo46,” he said. “Usually, the excitement comes with a bit of terror, considering my music is generally difficult to play. But since they have performed it so many times their comfort level with the piece is quite high. Still, it doesn't stop them from taking risks, including cranking up some of the tempos to nearly inhuman levels.”

Awarded the Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum, Duo46 has performed around the world at such venues as the Cortona Chamber Music Festival in Italy, the Syros International Guitar Festival in Greece, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

During their performance at William and Mary, Duo46 will perform a variety of compositions in addition to Hulse’s piece, including music from Karl Korte, Michael Quell, Daniel Asia, Anthony Joseph Lanman, Charles Norman Mason and Terry Winter Owens, to whom the concert will be dedicated. The music will range from pieces featuring Turkish and Arabic music to avant-garde pieces where electronic music is integrated into the acoustic composition.

The members of Duo46 hope that their performance will encourage student performers and composers at William and Mary to collaborate, just as the duo collaborates with living composers all over the world.

“This is a great example of what’s possible when we join forces,” said Gould. “That’s what our group is all about.”

The Duo46 concert is the first performance in the Ewell Concert Series for this academic year. The series will feature five other performances, including: The Woody Beckner Quartet on Oct. 19; Sutasoma: Balinese Wayang Kulit (Shadow Theater) with Master Puppeteer Gusti Putu Sudarta on Nov. 16; Hermine Pinson, “Dolorez,” on Feb. 8, 2008; pianist Di Wu on Feb. 28, 2008; and ETA-3, Classical Trio on March 28, 2008.

Hulse thinks that getting students to performances like those in the Ewell series is so important that he offers credit in his theory classes for students who attend.

“I think there is no question that high-level performing arts bring an absolutely necessary ingredient to the intellectual life of a great college like William and Mary,” he said. “A superb performance can do more than move a person: it can change their life -- or at least change their major.”

All of the performances in the Ewell Concert Series are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.wm.edu/music or call (757) 221-1082.