Insect Voices

Reception and Musical preformance/presentation with Brenda Brown and Richard Festinger

Thurs., Feb. 28; reception at 6:00 p.m.

Composer Richard Festinger will premiere his new work of a set of three songs for chamber ensemble, entitled Insect Voices, in conjunction with the exhibition Interiors/Exteriors: Brenda Brown, In Suti featuring work by sculptor and conceptual artist Brenda Brown in the Selby Gallery located on the campus of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL.

A reception will be held at 6:00 pm in Selby Gallery with the performance beginning at 7:00 pm in the lecture hall adjacent to the gallery.


Mr. Festinger’s songs are set to poems on insect voices and insect sounds serve as additional musical instruments while Ms. Brown employs recorded sounds from specific locations in her explorations of the reciprocal revelations of landscapes and their sounds. Following the performance, Ms. Brown and Mr. Festinger will do a joint presentation on the composition process, the music and their collaboration. 

Performers include: William Wiedrich, conductor; Patricia Green, soprano; Carolyn Stuart, violin; Yana Yordanova, flute; Ian Kerr, percussion; and Jay Tilton, cello.

Mr. Festinger  will also do additional presentations: one on the New College campus (the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts); and another for 8th grade students from the Sarasota School for Arts and Sciences on the Ringling College campus—dates to be announced. All of these events are free and open to the public. Interiors/Exteriors will run through March 19, 2008.


Richard Festinger studied composition at the University of California in Berkeley with Andrew Imbrie. Before turning to composing, he led his own groups as a jazz performer.  He has taught at the University of California in Berkeley and Davis, and at Dartmouth College, and since 1990 he has been a professor of music at San Francisco State University. Mr. Festinger’s works have been commissioned by the Jerome Foundation, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard, the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Barlow Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trust, the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, the Music Teachers National Association, the Hoff-Bartelson School, and Volti, to name a few. His music has been performed throughout the United States, and in Europe and Asia; and he has received both the Walter Hinrichsen Award and an Academy Recording Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Published by C.F. Peters, his works have been recorded for the Centaur, CRI and CRS labels.   A new CD of works performed by New Millennium will be released soon on the Bridge label.


William W. Wiedrich is constant demand as a conductor and clinician throughout the United States and Canada. His Tampa appointments include the positions of Music Director and Conductor of the University of South Florida Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre, where he maintains one of the largest graduate-masters conducting studios in the southeast United States. A published composer and arranger, Wiedrich is fervent in championing and commissioning music of our time. In addition to being a guest conductor for the Detroit Symphony, Spokane Symphony Orchestras, and  The Florida Orchestra, Dr. Wiedrich has conducted or produced numerous compact disc recordings on the Capstone, Koch, and Centaur labels which are commercially available, and is well known for his collaborations and commissions with such contemporary American composers as Karel Husa, Augusta Read-Thomas, Robert Maggio, Jennifer Higdon, Eric Whitacre and Jan Bach.

Praised for her “warm creamy voice” with three-octave ease, mezzo-soprano Patricia Green has gained international renown for her remarkable versatility and exceptional musicianship. A busy concert career has taken her to Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, L’Opera de Montreal, and the Kennedy Center with distinguished conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Peter Eötvös, Zoltan Pesko, Sir David Willcocks, Reinbert de Leeuw and Pascal Rophé. Career highlights include acclaimed performances of Ligeti’s Requiem with L’Orchestre de Radio-France and the Dutch Radio Philharmonic, the spectacular opening of the Terrace Gardens in Haifa, Israel with the Northern Israel Philharmonic, a European and Canadian tour of Claude Vivier’s opera, Kopernikus and performance of Pierre Boulez’s Improvisation I & II (Pli selon pli), under the baton of the composer. Recent engagements include Bach cantatas with the Washington Bach Consort, the world premiere of Lady Lazarus by Laura Schwendinger in San Francisco, Mozart’s Mass in c minor in New York, Shostakovich Symphony #14 with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and acclaimed performances of Puneiga by Heinz Holliger and Sofia Gubaidulina’s Hommage à T. S. Eliot with New Music Concerts in Toronto. She has been featured in oratorios and chamber music with the Bethlehem Bach Society, Posthoornkerk Concerts, The Theatre Chamber Players of the Kennedy Center, Washington Bach Consort, Soundstreams Canada, Left Bank Concerts, Baltimore Choral Arts, Library of Congress Concerts, the National Symphony, the U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum Chamber Music series, Vancouver New Music, Cathedral Choral Society, Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, Cornell U. Stravinsky Festival, Wolf Trap Festival, Scotia Festival, Elora Festival and the Michoacan Tri-National Arts Festival in Mexico. Patricia Green’s performances have been broadcast nationally on television and radio in Holland, France, Israel, Germany, Canada and the United States. Her discography includes recordings on Newport Classics, Albany Records, and Live Unity Productions. A fervent educator, she is currently on Faculty at the University of Western Ontario.

Violinist Carolyn Stuart has been acclaimed as a performer of “astonishing effectiveness, radiant inspiration, deep sensitivity, and colossal temperament” (Musical Horizons, Sofia). She is heard regularly in prominent North American and European centers, including her recent appearances in New York, Washington DC, Toronto, Paris, Sofia, Athens, Vicenza, and Zurich. She has appeared on national radio and television in the Netherlands, Italy, and Bulgaria, as well as NPR stations throughout the U.S. She is a frequently invited performer at music festivals including those at Chautauqua, Interlochen, Killington, Garth Newel, Hot Springs, Pine Mountain, and Fox River, and abroad in the Netherlands (Peter de Grote), Bulgaria (Salon des Arts, Sofia and the International Music Festival, Albena), and France (Association Philomuses, Paris). A member of the acclaimed new music group Quorum and the Stuart-Ivanov Duo, she serves as Associate Professor of Violin at the University of South Florida and as summer Resident Artist and Faculty at Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont.  Carolyn Stuart’s recordings may be heard on Gega New, Albany, Capstone, and Blue Griffin labels.

Yana Nikolova Yordanova is originally from Bulgaria where she obtained her bachelor degree at the National Academy of Music, Sofia, studying flute under Prof. Lydia Oshavkova. Ms. Yordanova is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Music Performance/Flute at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL under Dr. Kim McCormick.

Ian Kerr is in the percussion studio of Robert McCormick at the University of South Florida in Tampa and will graduate in May 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance. During his time at USF, Ian has been recognized as a Merit Award Scholar in the area of Percussion Performance and was awarded 1st prize at the Kappa Kappa Psi Solo Showcase Competition. Ian Kerr has performed as a soloist for the International Robert Helps Festival and Composition Competition and last year performed in New York City’s Merkin Hall as part of this festival. As a frequent freelancer in the Tampa Bay area, Ian has played with stars such as Clay Aiken, Dennis DeYoung (STYX), Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Ian plans to move to Portland, Oregon where he has received a Teaching Assistantship at Portland State University.

Jay Tilton is from Capistrano Beach, CA. He recently graduated from Rice University where he received his Master's degree under the study of Norman Fischer. Prior to his studies at Rice, he attended Vanderbilt University and the Colburn School in Los Angeles. In 2004, Jay placed 3rd in the MTNA National String Competition. He has also placed first in California’s VOCE and MTAC competitions. While in college, Jay won the Vanderbilt concerto competition and was awarded with the Heard Prize for String Playing and the David Rabin Prize for Musical Excellence. He has attended various summer programs including the Henri Mancini Institute, Colorado College Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center. Last summer, Jay was the recipient on the prestigious Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Award at Tanglewood, awarded to him by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was also selected by audition to perform a concert with the Boston Symphony. Jay has played for several esteemed artists, including Ronald Leonard, Steve Doane, Alan Stepansky, Richard Aaron, Joseph Silverstein, Lynn Harrell and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Orion, Turtle Island and Emerson Quartets. This is his first year performing with the President's Trio at the University of South Florida, where he is a student of Scott Kluksdahl.

Funded in part through Meet The Composer's MetLife Creative Connections program.