Brian Wilbur Grundstrom Debuts Suite for Chamber Orchestra with NIH Philharmonia

October 01, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment News
Washington, D.C. – Autumn, a season of mood swings, now has a suite of orchestral compositions to mirror them. The NIH Philharmonia, conducted by maestra Nancia D’Alimonte will premiere Suite for Chamber Orchestra by local composer, Brian Wilbur Grundstrom Saturday, October 20, 2007 at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Rockville.
“Brian Wilbur Grundstrom’s music is interesting, as well as accessible because of its "tonal" aspect which can be enjoyed by musicians and audiences alike…there are melodies that can be recalled once the piece is over,” says NIH conductor, maestra D’Alimonte.
“He also uses rhythmic features which I believe, after having conducted his Jubilation! Dance for Orchestra, are his trademark.”
Before the Fall! (2001), the first of the three orchestral pieces to be played in the suite, is an almost prophetic composition nearly completed before the events of 9-11. Its haunting, lingering notes are equally emblematic of summer’s giving way to autumn and, with it, the anticipated cold and dark approach of winter.
This nearly 11-minute piece opens with lingering tones that lead into quick, pulsating ones, evocative of the determined force of seasonal, or life changing, events. The composition culminates in a hopeful embrace, the inevitability of complete surrender.
Avalon (2002) the second in the suite and written after Before the Fall! takes us to the mystical island of healing that King Arthur went to after his battle. Dark and purposeful, this piece represents the slow and necessary healing process following a dramatic event. Mysterious and epic-sounding, Avalon has a freestyle beginning with interjecting little motives — then transitions and builds upon these interjections to a steady and foreboding feel with string pizzicato. The color and character changes subtly as the piece slowly climaxes and relaxes
Celebration! (2003) deals with the joy and celebration of life that we are compelled to express after coming to terms with the darker side. With all its excitement and vigor, as well as its interesting, unexpected turns, Celebration! is an exuberant, joyful uplifting expression.
The free concert will take place on October 20, 2007 at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 917 Montrose Road, Rockville, Maryland at 7:30 p.m. The premiere is funded in part by the Composers Assistance Program of the American Music Center.
Classically trained in piano as well as music theory, Brian Wilbur Grundstrom’s compositions for orchestra, piano, quintet and other ensembles demonstrate an innovative use of harmony and melody, which although firmly rooted in the tonal tradition is entirely new. His versatile repertoire of composition includes that of film, chamber, vocal and orchestral.
A member of ASCAP, he has created a body of music for film that includes most recently 2 Minutes Later by Robert Gaston. Other filmmakers for whom he has composed include Gary Wheeler, John Strawbridge, Edward R. Tyndall, William R. Coughlan, Harjant Gill and Dan Sonnett. He is a grant recipient from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Nancia D’Alimonte, an internationally recognized conductor, is currently the Music Director and Conductor of NIH Philharmonia (MD), Music Director and Conductor of The George Washington University Symphony Orchestra (DC), and an Education Programs Consultant for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the National Philharmonic (MD). Guest conducting appearances have included concerts with the “Mihail Jora” Bacau Philharmonic in Romania, National Chamber Orchestra at Organ Hall in Chisinau, Moldova (sponsored in part by the US Embassy), Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra (NY), Macon Symphony Orchestra (GA) and Brighton Symphony Orchestra (NY).
D’Alimonte’s work with NIH Philharmonia has also been recognized by the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, as she has been awarded three grants for her efforts.
NIH Philharmonia is an all volunteer chamber orchestra founded at the National Institutes of Health in January 2005 under the professional musical direction of Dr. Nancia D’Alimonte. The orchestra was established by a core group of NIH scientists and federal workers with the goal to play orchestral music from all genres in free concerts open to the public.
For further on Brian Wilbur Grundstrom and this performance, please go to
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