The last in a series of Hawai‘i performances by the American Wild Ensemble, premiering new works by University of Hawai‘i composers Takuma Itoh and Michael-Thomas Foumai, professor emeritus Byron Yasui, and Hawai‘i-born composer Tonia Ko. Each of these new compositions explores an aspect of Hawaiian wildlife, geography, or culture, meant to celebrate the beauty of Hawai‘i and raise awareness about environmental issues and efforts throughout the state and beyond. Takuma Itoh’s new piece,Adaptation Variations, is supported by a grant from Chamber Music America.
The Music in the American Wild initiative began in 2016 with a commissioning project inspired by and performance tour of American national parks, in honor of the National Park Service centennial. Since these initial tours performing in unconventional venues, from caves to mountaintops, the American Wild Ensemble has continued to celebrate American places, historic figures, and events by commissioning new works and performing them in site-inspired and site-specific locations. Since 2016 the ensemble has commissioned 20 new works for 2-7 performers, with the support of organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts and Chamber Music America, for performances in both traditional and nontraditional venues across the country. AWE emphasizes audience engagement both through performance format and programming, aiming to offer a cohesive experience that connects listeners to the spaces around them through music designed with those spaces in mind.
The performing ensemble is comprised of young professionals who share a background in studies at Eastman School of Music and now perform with orchestras, teach at universities, and freelance across the country and internationally. Ensemble directors Emlyn Johnson (flute) and Daniel Ketter (cello) are both on faculty at Missouri State University.
Friends of Lyon Arboretum
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