NEW PALTZ -- On Tuesday, November 14 at 8:00 PM, Lawrence Widdoes, winner of the 2000 Kenneth Davenport National Competition for Orchestral Works and Professor of Music at The Juilliard School, will discuss his music in a Composers Forum at McKenna Theatre, SUNY New Paltz. Through this important national award, Widdoes will receive a $5,000 prize, serve as Composer-in-Residence in the SUNY New Paltz Department of Music, and his composition "At The Tomb of Abelard and Heloise" will be performed by the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, conducted by Randall Craig Fleischer on the weekend of November 17-19, 2000.
The Composers Forum provides an opportunity for Widdoes to discuss his winning composition and his other works for orchestra, chamber ensemble and opera. The Composers Forum is free and open to all, and the audience is invited to meet Mr. Widdoes at a reception following the event.
"At The Tomb of Abelard and Heloise" was written in 1996 after Widdoes and his wife visited Europe and the great cemetery of Pere Lachaise in Paris. "Upon leaving the cemetery we noticed, at the end of a long allée, the fenced-in tomb of Abelard and Heloise," Widdoes recalls. "I was struck by the beautiful life-size sculptures of the two reposing atop the tomb. Other than the fact that they had one of the great and tragic love affairs of all time, I knew little about them. In my research, I was compelled by the brutality visited upon a man who dared to challenge the long-ingrained conservative thinking of his day."
Lawrence Widdoes resides in New York City where he has been a Professor of Music at The Juilliard School since 1965. Widdoes has received grants and awards from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Most recently, he has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in composition for the year 1998-99. He is quite familiar with the Hudson Valley; his wife's family has owned a home in West Hurley, New York since the 1970s.
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