SUNY Fredonia News and Campus Report"

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

Ethos New Music Society presents Jason Robert Brown
Monday, February 09, 2015

Ethos New Music Society presents Jason Robert Brown

Composer Jason Robert Brown.

On Monday, May 4, the Ethos New Music Society is presenting a concert featuring Tony-award winning composer Jason Robert Brown as part of a two-day residency.

The concert is at Rosch Recital Hall located in Mason Hall at 8 p.m. Admission is $8 for students and $12 for the general public. Tickets are available at the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, as well as at the door the night of the concert.

The event will feature Mr. Brown as well as several Fredonia students singing songs from his musicals. Students taking part include Billy Blair, Jackie Blasting, Anna Chicco, Shannon Cunningham, Alanna Henriquez, Alex Kozmowski, Kiernen Matts, Mark Montondo, Sarah Mullen, Megan Palmer and Steven Saelzler.

As part of Brown's residency, there will also be a lecture on his music and career on Sunday, May 3 at 5 p.m. followed by a master class featuring a number of Fredonia singers at 8 p.m. Both events are in Diers Recital Hall in Mason Hall.

Brown has been described is the ultimate multi-hyphenate – an equally skilled composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director and performer – best known for his scores to several of the most renowned musicals of his generation, including the recently revived, “The Last Five Years;” his debut song cycle, “Songs for a New World,” and the seminal, “Parade,” for which he won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Score.

Brown has been hailed as “one of Broadway’s smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and his “extraordinary, jubilant theater music” (Chicago Tribune) has been heard all over the world, whether in one of the hundreds of productions of his musicals every year or in his own incendiary live performances. The New York Times refers to Brown as “a leading member of a new generation of composers who embody high hopes for the American musical.” “The Bridges of Madison County,” a musical adapted with Marsha Norman from the bestselling novel, is currently running on Broadway, directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale.

“Honeymoon In Vegas,” based on Andrew Bergman’s film, opened on Broadway earlier this year following a production at Paper Mill Playhouse last fall. A film version of Brown’s epochal off-Broadway musical, “The Last Five Years,” will be released later this year, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, directed by Richard LaGravenese.

Brown’s major musicals as composer and lyricist include: “13,”written with Robert Horn and Dan Elish, which began its life in Los Angeles in 2007 and opened on Broadway in 2008 (and was subsequently directed by the composer for its West End premiere in 2012); “The Last Five Years,” which was cited as one of Time Magazine’s “10 Best of 2001” and won Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics (and was subsequently directed by the composer in its record-breaking off-Broadway run at Second Stage Theatre in 2013); “Parade,” written with Alfred Uhry and directed by Harold Prince, which premiered at Lincoln Center Theatre in 1998, and subsequently won both the Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best New Musical; and the “Songs for a New World,” theatrical song cycle directed by Daisy Prince, which played off-Broadway in 1995, and has since been seen in hundreds of productions around the world.

“Parade” was also the subject of a major revival directed by Rob Ashford, first at London’s Donmar Warehouse and then at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Brown’s orchestral adaptation of E.B. White’s novel “The Trumpet of the Swan,” premiered at the Kennedy Center with John Lithgow and the National Symphony Orchestra, and the CD was released on PS Classics.

Future projects include a new chamber musical created with Ms. Prince and Jonathan Marc Sherman called “The Connector;” an untitled new piece created with Claudia Shear and Casey Nicholaw, and a new solo album for release in 2015.

Brown is the winner of the 2002 Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyrics and the 1996 Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Award for Musical Theatre. His songs, including the cabaret standard, “Stars and the Moon,” have been performed and recorded by Audra McDonald, Billy Porter, Betty Buckley, Karen Akers, Renée Fleming, Philip Quast, Jon Hendricks and many others, and his song, “Someone To Fall Back On,” was featured in the Walden Media film, “Bandslam.”

Ethos New Music Society is a student organization committed presenting music of the 20th and 21st century and is made possible by the Fredonia Student Association. For more information, contact Ethos New Music Society’s faculty advisor, Dr. Rob Deemer, at deemer@fredonia.edu.

Share on Facebook

Previous Page | Next Page



State University of New York at Fredonia