When Nicholas Tkach takes the stage to perform his new piano concerto, it will be the culmination of many months of hard work. “On average, I think I spent about an hour for each measure of music” says the Middlebury College senior, a double major in music and math from Little Silver, New Jersey. With the composition completed, Tkach is still practicing the devilishly difficult piano part.
“It’s a huge task to write a piece for orchestra, let alone a concerto in which the composer is also the soloist,” notes Tkach’s teacher, music department chair and Christian A. Johnson Professor of Music at Middlebury, Peter Hamlin. Tkach’s new work and a Requiem for choir and orchestra by another Middlebury senior, Noah Silverstein, “have really taken shape beautifully. It’s been a thrill for me as their teacher to have this ringside seat for observing creativity.”
Silverstein, a double major in music and neuroscience from Hyde Park, Vermont, has written a setting of the traditional Latin Requiem Mass that “draws on a wide range of styles, traditions, and ideas.” Silverstein, like Tkach, devoted a significant amount of time to creating the piece but also notes that “sometimes I would look up at the clock and realize that I had been sitting at my computer working on the score for three hours without realizing it had been so long.”
Hamlin will also have a work on the program, a piece for string orchestra and harp called Manitou Rising that he composed several years ago.
The concert will be conducted by Andrew Massey, in his second season as director of the Middlebury College Orchestra.
For further information, please contact Peter Hamlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or the music department at 80-443-5221.
Devin Arrington’s music has been performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and as far away as the Great Hall of the Composer’s in St. Petersburg, Russia. His music has been performed by violinist Daniela Shtereva (Indianapolis Violin Competition 2006 semi-finalist), clarinetist Alia Sabur, cellist Udi Bar-David (Philadelphia Orchestra), pianist Keiko Sato, the Grammy-nominated Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble, among others. The premiere performance of Jerusalem (2004) in Weill Recital Hall was recently broadcast on WQXR 96.3 as part of the McGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase, hosted by Robert Sherman. This year Devin Arrington received a 2006 fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Other awards include a First Music Prize (2004) from the New York Youth Symphony, a special distinction in ASCAP’s 25th Rudolf Nissim Prize for his orchestral work La Via Dolorosa (2004), 1st place in the Harry Archer String Quartet Competition (2003), the 2005 Westport Horizon Award, a grant from the Vermont Arts Council, and a 2004 CFAMC scholarship. He has been commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony, the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble, and flautist Alberto Almarza, among others. Mr. Arrington is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where he was a scholarship student of Leonardo Balada and completed his Master of Music in Composition in May 2004. He studied with Su Lian Tan at Middlebury College and received his Bachelor of Music degree with highest honors in 2001. As a professional violinist Mr. Arrington studied with Masao Kawasaki at the Aspen Music Festival (1999) and with Yehonatan Berick at the Bowdoin Music Festival (2000). He acted as assistant concertmaster of the Delhi Symphony and performed in St. Petersburg, Russia; Mumbai, India; and at Carnegie Hall in NY. He has also studied conducting with Dr. Robert Page and piano with Natalie Maynard, Cynthia Huard, and Natasha Paden. Mr. Arrington performs regularly with the Westmoreland Symphony and teaches violin, piano, and composition privately in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Peter Hamlin, Class of 1973 and chair of the Music Department at Middlebury, served as on-air host and interviewer for live television broadcasts of the Quad City Symphony and Dubuque Symphony on Iowa Public Television (fall, 2008).
Hamilin also was the emcee for the Vermont Symphony's youth concerts, performing in five different school locations throughout the state (spring 2009). The program included three movements from an orchestra piece of Hamlin's called Green Mountain Variations.
Hamlin's electronic music ensemble Data Stream, with Scot Schwestka, Sandy Nordahl, and Hamlin, created and performed music for a CD last summer. The CD, Flow, was released in March 2009.
Also, Hamlin composed "Grand Theft Flauto" for fellow music faculty member Su Tan. This is a piece for solo flute and live computer processing that was performed at Tufts University, Bennington and Middlebury (fall, 2009).
He has just completed a choral piece called "Chaoufarou," a setting of an excerpt from Samuel de Champlain's diary. The piece will be performed this summer, as part of the 400th anniversary celebration of Champlain's voyage, by a choir of students from France, Quebec and New England.