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Julia Perry Fêted


The Julia Perry Centenary Celebration and Festival in New York City,  running March 13th-16th, reveals a significant composer who has been known by only a very small fragment of her creative output, although she had a recognized period of success in the 1950s and early ‘60s and kept writing through a prolonged illness. It’s a real thrill to have a dedicated group of musicians, scholars, and activists working together to bring light to the breadth of Julia Perry’s (1924-1979) brilliant and intense musical output. The festival  opens tonight at Le Poisson Rouge. 

Tomorrow comes Discussion and Discovery,  a day-long set of lectures organized by Louise Toppin. This event will streaming on YouTube [HERE], so you can listen in if you are not in New York! Thursday night  a chamber music concert includes the world premiere of Perry’s Quinary Quixotic Songs for bass baritone and five Instruments (1976) with Donnie Ray Albert, bass-baritone. The Festival closes Sat. March 16th with an orchestral concert at Alice Tully Hall spotlighting Perry’s Violin Concerto, which she composed in 1963, but revised until 1977.  Curtis Stewart is the soloist. 

Music Director James Blachly and soprano Louise Toppin organized the festival. We also give a shout-out to the Akron Symphony, one of the leaders in revitalizing Perry; the organization has compiled this website which we believe is the most detailed and informative on Perry. This profound and monumental historical moment can reshape our understanding of 20th century music.  On March 25th, the 100th anniversary of Perry’s birth,  EXO will released a celebratory CD that includes four of her works in first recordings. … Expect more words from me as the festival unfolds.

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