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SCAC Fellow to world premiere two-piano concerto on Feb. 28

black and white piano keyboard

The world premiere of Meira Warshauer’s complete Ocean Calling trilogy of works for two pianos will be presented live and streamed on Monday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Freeman Recital Hall of the University of South Carolina School of Music (813 Assembly St., Columbia).

Performers will be UofSC faculty member Phillip Bush and guest artist Elizabeth Loparits, presenting Ocean Calling I: Waves and Currents, Ocean Calling II: From the Depths and Ocean Calling III: The Giant Blue. In an artist statement, Warshauer said,

“Nature has long been an inspiration for composers, and indeed for all artists. What’s different now, and my drive for composing the symphony Living Breathing Earth, Ocean Calling, Ahavah (Love) and other related works, is that we can no longer take this living planet for granted.”

“This series of compositions for two pianos is dedicated to the ocean. Called our ‘life-support’ system, the ocean covers 72% of the planet’s surface and provides half the oxygen we breathe and many other resources, while regulating our climate with currents traversing thousands of miles. As I learn of large-scale contaminations, over-fishing, acidification, death of coral reefs and rising temperatures linked to the urgent climate crisis, I fear we take the ocean’s gifts for granted, unaware that our survival is linked to the ocean’s health. I hope the Ocean Calling series will help us to renew our connection with this vital life source and its vast, mysterious realms, and that we will hear the call from the sea that we are part of one indivisible whole.”

Warshauer is a two-time SCAC Fellow in music composition, receiving awards in 1994 and 2006.

Jason Rapp

Commemorate Sept. 11 attacks today with SCAC Fellow

Composer Meira Warshauer's work commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism attacks airs at 11 a.m. today on South Carolina Public Radio.

Warshauer is a 1994 and 2006 composition fellow for the South Carolina Arts Commission. She wrote In Memoriam (September 11, 2001) in response to the horrific day. The four-minute work airs on the "Sonatas & Soundscapes" show. From her website:

I wrote these sketches during the days of watching the horror of the attacks of September 11: the collapse of the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, the plane crash in Pennsylvania.

I didn’t have a piece in mind, or consciously set out to write one. But the sketches seemed to belong together, afterwards, and to fit the solo cello. It is my way of holding each other in our loss.

Find your local S.C. Public Radio affiliate or stream here.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

Turn on tha radio, nah… really, turn it on

#SCartists gets national airtime July 22


Movements 2, 3 and 4 from Meira Warshauer's Symphony No. 1: Living Breathing Earth will be the last piece on the 2nd hour of the Wednesday, July 22 edition of Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media's Performance Today program.

Living Breathing Earth album coverThe second hour of "PT" is broadcast from 10-11 a.m. on South Carolina Public Radio news and music stations. It will be re-broadcast on their weekend edition, and available on the show's website for 30 days. The performance will be the Feb. 3, 2007 world premiere by The Western Piedmont Symphony; John Gordon Ross, conductor, at First Baptist Church in Hickory, North Carolina. The movements Tahuayo River at Night, Wings in Flight and Living, Breathing Earth will be aired. Warshauer writes, "The title Living, Breathing Earth came to me in contemplating the image of the rainforests as lungs of the earth. I felt our planet, alive with all variety of creatures and plants living in symbiosis with each other, breathing in and out, and the planet as a whole, pulsing with breath. I also contemplated the earth rotating through space, a spinning orb of blue and green, at just the right distance from the sun to support life, and our protective blanket of air, the atmosphere of the earth, providing the medium for our breath. Since the 2007 premiere, Climate Change has markedly worsened, with the balance of Earth’s “breath” more untenable. In this symphony, I honor the planet which sustains us, with the prayer that we will change our course of destruction and choose life." Read her complete notes here. The piece was recorded for Navona Records by Petr Vronsky conducting The Moravian Philharmonic for the release Living Breathing Earth (NV5842). Warshauer received music composition fellowships from the South Carolina Arts Commission in 1994 and 2006. Read more about the Columbia-based composer on her website.

Jason Rapp

Warshauer symphony receives honors

Meira Warshauer's Symphony No. 1: Living Breathing Earth was awarded 3rd place in the 2018/2019 American Prize Competition's orchestra music division. [caption id="attachment_40667" align="alignright" width="250"]Composer Meira Warshauer holding musical score Composer Meira Warshauer[/caption] The work consists of four movements, Call of the Cicadas, Tahuayo River at Night, Wings in Flight and Living, Breathing Earth. Read more about the award here. The composer writes, “The title Living, Breathing Earth came to me in contemplating the image of the rainforests as lungs of the earth. I felt our planet, alive with all variety of creatures and plants living in symbiosis with each other, breathing in and out, and the planet as a whole, pulsing with breath. I also contemplated the earth rotating through space, a spinning orb of blue and green, at just the right distance from the sun to support life, and our protective blanket of air, the atmosphere of the earth, providing the medium for our breath.” She added, “I am grateful for time spent as a Hambidge Fellow at The Hambidge Center, Rabun Gap, Georgia, from fall 2005 to spring 2006, where I began and continued this composition.” The work was also supported by unrestricted funds from the South Carolina Arts Commission’s 2006 Fellowship in Music Composition. It was commissioned by Western Piedmont (NC) Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, and Dayton (OH) Philharmonic Orchestra, and premiered by each orchestra in spring 2007. It’s published by Keiser Southern Music and was released on the Navona CD label (NV5842). Hear Warshauer’s recent interview about the symphony with South Carolina Public Radio’s Bradley Fuller here and a profile by Aileen LeBlanc for PRI’s “Living on Earth” here.

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