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American classical composer to visit Elon for three public events

Daniel Asia, a renowned professor of composition at the University of Arizona, comes to campus March 3-4 for programs sponsored by the Department of Music, the Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences and the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Fund.

Daniel Asia of the University of Arizona visits Elon University from March 3-4, 2014.

An acclaimed American musician who has composed five symphonies, including one for the Tucson and Jerusalem symphony orchestras in celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary, visits Elon University from March 3-4 for a guest lecture, a panel discussion about his work, and a concert in which his music will be performed by the Elon University Camerata.

On Monday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. in Yeager Recital Hall, composer Dan Asia will speak on his understanding of the relationship between Jewish prayer and music, and how both are roads to approaching the Divine. The talk, "Breath in a Ram's Horn: Classical Music and Judaism," is free and open to the public.

It is sponsored by the Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences and the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies Fund.

On Tuesday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m., in Whitley Auditorium, Asia narrates a recital featuring three of his vocal works: "Amichai Songs" (version for voice and piano), "Breath in a Ram's Horn" with texts by American poet Paul Pines (tenor and piano), and "Why Jacob?" for chorus and piano. Asia's song cycle “Amichai’s Songs” is based on work by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, which wrestles with issues of national and religious identity in a war-torn reality.

The Elon University Camerata performs the recital and will rehearse with Asia in the day leading up to the concert. Additional musicians include Stephen A. Futrell (conductor), Tim Hill (bass-baritone), guest tenor Timothy Sparks (UNC Chapel Hill) and Omri Shimron (piano).

“It’s going to be an opportunity for students to interact with a living composer, which they don’t always get to do,” said Shimron, an associate professor of music and the faculty member coordinating Asia’s visit.

An hour before Tuesday's performance, four panelists will consider the adaptation of Amichai's texts into a music, the poetry itself — in the original Hebrew and in translation — its Jewish-Israeli attributes, and the process of preparing the cycle for a public performance. Those panelists include Asia, Shimron, Elon English Professor Kevin Boyle and Rabbi Steve Sager.

"It's an interdisciplinary event," Shimron said of the evening. "It has music. It has literature and poetry. It has religious and political aspects to it. And it's contemporary, classical music that we don't always get to hear."

For more information on Daniel Asia, visit www.danielasia.net.

For more information about the March 3-4 programs, contact Associate Professor Omri Shimron at oshimron@elon.edu.


Eric Townsend,
3/1/2014 4:00 PM