Music from Two Coasts -- March 11 at 3 PM in New York City!

Members of the acclaimed North/South Consonance Ensemble perform a free admission concert featuring works by California composers I'lana Cotton and N. Lincoln Hanks and New York based composers Elizabeth Bell, Max Lifchitz & Robert Martin.
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* New York City
* California
* Oregon
* Chamber Music
* Lao Tzu
* Max Lifchitz
* Violin
* Clarinet
* Cello
* Piano

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* New York City - New York - US

Feb. 25, 2012 - PRLog -- North/South Consonance, Inc. continues its 32nd consecutive season of free-admission concerts on Sunday afternoon March 11 as four members of the acclaimed North/South Consonance Ensemble present an afternoon chamber music recital featuring recent works by composers from New York and California.
   The concert will start at 3 PM and will take place at the ensemble’s home base, the auditorium of Christ & St. Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th St – between Broadway and Columbus) in New York City. Admission is free – no tickets needed.
   While the featured composers represent three different generations their works evince a post-modern outlook combining freely contemporary innovations with elements drawn from older musical traditions. I’lana Sandra Cotton and N. Lincoln Hanks hail from California while Elizabeth Bell, Max Lifchitz and Robert Martin are based in New York.

   Cotton’s The Return for violin, cello and piano was inspired by the phrase having gone far, it returns” from Lao Tzu’s Tao De Ching. Hanks Three Movements for clarinet, cello and piano is about “evolving relationships.” Bell’s Second Piano Sonata effectively employs a neo-classical mold while Martin’s Piano Trio recalls Arshile Gorky’s abstract paintings. Lifchitz’s Yellow Ribbons No. 2 for clarinet, violin and piano belongs to a series of works honoring the former American hostages in Iran.
   Performers will include violinist Claudia Schaer, a Juilliard graduate who has concertized in Europe and China; cellist Bruce Wang, a much-sought-after studio musician who has performed in the US and Asia; clarinetist Richard Goldsmith acclaimed by the New York Time for his “technical mastery, breath-taking playing and virtuosic fair,” and pianist Max Lifchitz who the American Record Guide described as “one of America’s finest exponents of contemporary piano music.”
   The featured composers will be in attendance and will meet with the public during intermission and after the performance. Performer and composers involved in the concert are available for interviews and may be contacted through the North/South office at ns.concerts(at)
   North/South Consonance’s 2011-12 season is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; grants from Columbia University’s Alice M. Ditson Fund, the Zethus Fund for Contemporary Music, the Music Performance Funds from the American Federation of Musicians, and contributions by many generous individuals.
   For further information about North/South Consonance’s activities, including concerts and recordings, please visit


   The program will introduce to New York The Return, a recently completed work for violin, cello and piano by I’lana Sandra Cotton. A long time Bay Area resident who recently moved to Oregon, Cotton studied with John Adams at the San Francisco Conservatory before training in North Indian classical music with Pandit Pran Nath. The Return portrays an image of the universe and its energy in a ceaseless cycle of expansion and contraction. It was inspired by a phrase from Lao Tzu’s Tao De Ching which states: “Being great, it flows. It flows far away. Having gone far, it returns.”

   Active both as a composer and vocalist, N. Lincoln Hanks is based in Los Angeles where he directs the vocal ensemble Alchymey and teaches at Pepperdine University. A graduate of Indiana University, his works have been performed by The Dale Walrland Singers and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Scored for clarinet, cello and piano Three Movements is about “evolving relationships and good counterpoint allowing each of the three instruments to serve as a soloist and an equal partner.”

   A founder of New York Women Composers, Inc, Elizabeth Bell attended Wellesley College and The Juilliard School where she studied with Peter Mennin and Gian Carlo Giannini. The press has described her as “a fine composer who writes in a freely atonal style that nevertheless has, in its rhetoric and general outlines, a strong relationship to more conventional music” Bell’s virtuosic and expressive four movement Piano Sonata No. 2 was written at the request of Malcolm Bilson who the composer befriended while she resided in Ithaca, NY during the 1970’s.

   The American Record Guide referred to Max Lifchitz as “one of America’s finest exponents of contemporary piano music.” The winner of the 1976 Gaudemus Competition for Performers of 20th century music, Mr. Lifchitz not only directs North/South Consonance’s prestigious concert series but has also made numerous recordings and has appeared on concert stages throughout the US, Latin America and Europe. His Yellow Ribbons No. 2 is a four movement work for violin, clarinet and piano written in 198. It belongs to a series of compositions written as homage to the former American hostages in Iran. Mr. Lifchitz views these works as a celebration of the political and artistic freedoms so often taken for granted in the West.

   Robert Martin attended the Peabody Conservatory before receiving a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fulbright Fellowship. Upon returning from Vienna, Austria where he furthered his composition studies, Martin turned his attention to Wall Street rising to the position of Senior Vice-President of a leading investment firm while also serving as a financial advisor to the City of New York during the 1980’s. After returning from a trip to Japan as the recipient of a 1999 Japan-US Creative Artist Fellowship, Martin decided to devote all his energies to composing. While somewhat oblivious of recent stylistic trends, Martin’s music sounds distinctively personal and modern. In three contrasting but interrelated movements, his 2008 Piano Trio will be heard for the first time.


   Violinist Claudia Schaer studied at The Juilliard School and SUNY Stony Brook. She has appeared as soloist and chamber musician at many European festivals and has also toured China where she was appointed Guest Professor for the Guangxi Arts College.

   Acclaimed by the New York Time for his “technical mastery, breath-taking playing and virtuosic fair,” recordings by clarinetist Richard Goldsmith have been featured on National Public Radio, Vermont Public Radio and WNYC/WQXR-FM.

   Cellist Bruce Wang is a graduate of the Curtis Institute and The Juilliard School where he studied with Leonard Rose and Orlando Cole. A much-sought-after studio musician, Mr. Wang has recorded hundreds of film, theater and television sound tracks and has appeared on radio and television interviews in Asia and Australia.

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Tags:New York City, California, Oregon, Chamber Music, Lao Tzu, Max Lifchitz, Violin, Clarinet, Cello, Piano
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