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Hudson Valley Philharmonic Players Perform 20th Century American Music

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NEW PALTZ -- A series of concerts by musicians from the Hudson Valley Philharmonic culminates with the presentation of three distinctly American selections by composers John Cage, John Holland, and Charles Ives on Tuesday, March 25, at 8 p.m. in the Julien J. Studley Theatre at SUNY New Paltz. Image

Violinist Marla Rathbun begins the evening with the premiere of "Solo Music No. 2 for Unaccompanied Violin" by John Holland. Based on patterns found in nature and composed with the help of a computer program designed by Holland, the piece encompasses both classically American folk styles and intricate, late-20th century electronica. Holland, head of the Electronic and Digital Music Studio at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, collaborated on this performance with Rathbun, who is his sister.

She is also first violinist of the Taghkanic String Quartet, and a member of the Aurora Quintet, the Hanover Chamber Orchestra, the Amor Artis Orchestra, and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Rathbun is principal second violinist with the Connecticut Grand Opera Orchestra, and resides in Poughkeepsie.

Rathbun and pianist Maria Rivera White next present "Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard," which was written in 1950 by John Cage. A detached, serene work, "Six Melodies" highlights White's prodigious talents.

The winner of numerous international competitions, she began studying the piano at the age of five, and by 13 had given her first solo performance with orchestra. White received her master's degree from the Julliard School, and currently teaches at Vassar College. Recent performances have included Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, as well as Merkin and Alice Tully Halls at Lincoln Center.

White and Rathbun end the evening with "Third Violin Sonata" by Charles Ives. Written between 1905 and 1914, this harmonically complex piece is emotional, romantic and sometimes wild. It includes references to rag music, marches, and familiar American hymns like "Beulah Land," "There'll Be No More Sorrow," and "Every Hour I Need Thee."

Tickets are available at the door one hour before the performance. Admission is $5, general; $4 for SUNY faculty and staff; and $3 for students. For more information call 845-257-3872.

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