October 3, 2017

Lyric Fest Announces Argento Concert

Lyric Fest Announces Argento Concert
Media contact: Suzanne DuPlantis    suzanneduplantis@gmail.com,    215 432 5946
Lyric Fest Announces its first of two Happy Hour and Mini Concerts
~ The songs and biography of living composer, Dominick Argento ~
celebrated on his birthday.
Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 5:30 PM
at Philadelphia Ethical Society Auditorium, Rittenhouse Square
with Jessica Lennick, soprano, Claire Shackleton, mezzo soprano and Laura Ward, piano
Lyric Fest celebrates the 90th birthday of an acclaimed American treasure, composer Dominick Argento. A concert of Argento’s art songs serves as the first of the season’s two mini concerts, a concert series programmed by Lyric Fest to make it easier to put music in daily living for downtown Philadelphians.
Inspiration comes to the artist in many forms, but when it comes to a composer as a vocal muse, a soprano, it may change the course of a lifetime of composing. Such was the case for a promising young composer from York, Pennsylvania, Dominick Argento, who first began composing songs on his own, around the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Argento met his wife-to-be at Peabody in the 40s on a blind date. The real purpose of the “date” was to secure a soprano to premiere his “Songs about Spring.” Just like that, the composer met and went on to marry his muse, Carolyn Bailey, thus foregoing symphonies, string quartets and piano sonatas, and instead dedicating himself to a lifetime of works for the voice.
“Argento’s pianistic writing is very orchestral, in fact, most works have both piano and orchestral versions,” reports pianist and co-founding artistic director, Laura Ward, “And his choice of texts, as time went on, skewed toward prose, letters and diary entries.“ “He must have enjoyed the challenges of setting conversational writing and had a great interest in the inner life of the individual,” says Lyric Fest’s co-artistic director, Suzanne DuPlantis, “and he had a great sense of humor.”
A swath of his work will be presented, from excerpts of his fresh and lyrical Six Elizabethan Songs, to the humorous Miss Manners on Music, to the somber songs from the Pulitzer-Prize-winning cycle, From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. The program will be filled out with Argento’s Songs of Spring settings of e.e. cummings.
Lyric Fest offers affordable season subscriptions as well as single tickets online www.lyricfest.org/tickets/ and at the box office.
About Lyric Fest
“Compulsively enterprising…” (David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer)
Lyric Fest was founded in January 2003 as a 501 (c)(3) and is currently led by two of its founders, Artistic Directors Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward. Dedicated exclusively to the voice recital, Lyric Fest occupies a singular place in the Philadelphia artscape and expands the definition of the song recital by jointly featuring regional and internationally recognized artists. Together they produce a happening that is more than just a concert of songs. The mission of Lyric Fest is “to bring people together through the shared experience of song by offering to diverse audiences lively, theme-oriented voice recitals designed to edify, educate, stimulate dialogue, and foster community.”
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Dominick Argento and wife, Carolyn Bailey
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