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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Rhode Island Philharmonic to perform America! at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 14, 2001 -- The Rhode Island Philharmonic, under the baton of music director Larry Rachleff, will present a University Artist Series concert, America! on Sunday, February 25 at 3 p.m. at the Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Center at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston.

The Philharmonic’s principal timpanist Craig McNutt will join the orchestra as soloist for Russell Peck’s Harmonic Rhythm. This All-American concert also includes Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Carl Ruggles’ Men and Mountains and George Gershwin’s An American in Paris. The URI Alumni Association is co-sponsoring the concert with the Department of Music and College of Arts and Sciences.

Percussionist McNutt serves as principal timpanist for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Emmanuel Music and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Cantata Singers and Ensemble and the New Hampshire Symphony as well as the contemporary ensembles, Boston Musica Viva, Collage and ALEA III.

McNutt was a fellow at Tanglewood twice and has performed as a soloist at the Newport Music Festival. In the summer of 1997 he was principal percussionist in the Peter Sellars/Craig Smith production of Kurt Weill/J. S. Bach: Conversations between Fear and Hope After Death, which was performed in Paris and Frankfurt.

Throughout the 2000-2001 concert season, a commissioning consortium of over 40 orchestras will premier the timpani concerto, Harmonic Rhythm, by American composer Russell Peck. Major orchestras such as the National Symphony as well as regional orchestras such as the Rhode Island Philharmonic will perform the work. Peck had a unique set of challenges writing a timpani concerto. "Having only five tuned drum notes at a time with which to build a solo is a stringent economy-of-means situation," Peck wrote in his program notes.

At the September 2000 premiere with the Louisville Orchestra under conductor Robert Franz with solo timpanist James Rago, the Courier-Journal wrote, "Through canny foot pedaling the pitch variety was surprisingly comprehensive, and the spiciness of the solo writing was in welcome contrast to the sweetness of the enveloping orchestra part."
Philharmonic Concert ticket information:
Tickets are available through URI’s Department of Music in the Fine Arts Center The Music Department office is located at Bills Road and Upper College Road, URI Campus, Kingston. Reserved tickets may be purchased by phone 401-874-2431/5955 using MasterCard or Visa or in person during office hours Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 p.m. Ticket prices for the concert are $15 for adults and $5 for all full-time students. Depending on availability, tickets will also be sold at the Recital Hall box office one-hour before the concert.

For Information: Ronald Lee, 874-2731, Jan Sawyer, 874-2116

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