The College of Arts and Architecture

Pennsylvania Quintet Celebrates Anniversary with Composer Residency and Commission

Pennsylvania Quintet

Congratulations to the Pennsylvania Quintet, the faculty woodwind quintet of the School of Music, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in October 2014.Pennsylvania Quintet - 1990

A concert to honor the anniversary will take place on April 12 at 4pm in Esber Recital Hall. The program includes a composition commissioned from Philadelphia-based composer Andrea Clearfield. Titled “Compass Kaleidoscope,” the work is based on five quilt patterns chosen by each individual member of the quintet. The composition will be performed with projections of the quilt patterns, and a realization of the quilt by Lois Durran will be displayed. Other works on the program include Pennsylvania composer Daniel Dorff’s “Cape May Breezes”.  The public is invited to join the quintet for a reception immediately following the concert.

Current Pennsylvania Quintet members are faculty members Naomi Seidman, flute; Tim Hurtz, oboe; Anthony J. Costa, clarinet; Lisa Bontrager, horn; and Daryl Durran, bassoon. Former members of long standing include Eleanor Duncan Armstrong, flute, Smith Toulson, clarinet, and Barry Kroeker, oboe.

Composer Andrea Clearfield will be a guest of the School of Music April 9-12. Her residency will include coaching and working with student chamber ensembles who are playing her compositions, and a concert featuring these works will take place on April 11 at 8:00 p.m. in Eisenhower Chapel.

Andrea ClearfieldAndrea Clearfield (b. 1960) is an award-winning composer of music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, dance, and multimedia collaborations. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces”, the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration” and by Opera News for her “vivid and galvanizing” music of “timeless beauty”. Her works are performed widely in the United States and abroad.

Among her 100 works are ten cantatas including one for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Her cantata, “Tse Go La” for double chorus, electronics, and chamber orchestra incorporates Tibetan melodies that she documented in the remote Himalayan region of Lo Monthang, Nepal. She is currently writing an opera on the life of the Tibetan yogi Milarepa to a libretto by Jean-Claude van Itallie and Lois Walden, which was commissioned by Gene Kaufman and Terry Eder for a 2015 premiere.

Clearfield has been awarded fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Civitella Ranieri, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts among others. She was a 2014 recipient of the Copland House Residency Award. She was recently visiting composer at the University of Chicago, the College of William and Mary, the University of Texas at Austin, the Hartt School of Music, and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. In addition, she was the featured composer at the 2014 Women Composers Festival of Hartford.

She is in demand as a curator, speaker, music panelist, and adjudicator. She received her doctorate from Temple University where she was honored as a distinguished alumna, a master’s degree from the University of the Arts, and her bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College where she received the Alumni Achievement in the Arts Award. She is the pianist in the Rel√Ęche Ensemble and the founder and host of the renowned Philadelphia Salon concert series now celebrating its 28th year featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance, and world music. Read more about Andrea Clearfield on her website.