OSU Contemporary Music Festival Honors Donald Harris
Last Thursday, The Ohio State University School of Music presented the first concert of their eighth annual Contemporary Music Festival. Each year a notable composer is brought to campus to teach and share a new work: this year honored composer Donald Harris, who founded the festival in 2000. His new work, Â A Letter from Home, isÂ scored for two sopranos, flute, violin and harp and isÂ based on the poemÂ A Letter from Home byÂ Mary Oliver. Sopranos Christine Mortine and Lucy Shelton blended lusciously, and were well supported by the Cosmos trio. The concert also featured new works by Thomas Wells, Matthew Saunders, andÂ Jan Radzynski. The works by recent OSU graduate Matthew Saunders,Â and faculty member Jan Radzynski wereÂ commissionedÂ especially for this year's FestivalÂ by the The Johnstone Fund for New Music. Formed in 2008Â by Jack and Zoe Johnstone, the fund supports the creation and performance of new work and sponsors local concerts and artists. One of Donald Harris's mentors,Â Ross Lee Finney, was also commemorated with a dazzling performance of hisÂ Fantasy for Two Movements by violinistÂ Kia-Hui Tan. And finally, dancers from Ballet Met joined OSU faculty members on stage for a performance of Darius Milhaud'sÂ La creation du monde. Overall, a great collaboration and a fine two-day festival of new music in Columbus, Ohio.