Neal Hampton, associate professor of music, went west in midwinter for a production of his new play, “Sense & Sensibility: The Musical,” at the Denver Center Theatre Company’s Colorado New Play Summit. Based on the novel by Jane Austen, “Sense & Sensibility” blends Hampton’s musical composition with a libretto by Jeffrey Haddow.
Tony Award-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge headed the February production, which included a cast of New York-based actors. Five years in the making, “Sense & Sensibility” was developed in part at the renowned BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York and played to an enthusiastic audience at the Berkshire Musical Theater Workshop. Prior to Colorado, it had two staged readings at Playwrights Horizons and a full production at Wellesley College.
Award-winning classical music composer Kurt Rohde of San Francisco won Brandeis’ inaugural Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize. He was chosen from an international field of 430 composers — twice the number of entries that organizers expected to receive. The $15,000 prize was established by Brandeis computer-science professor emeritus Martin Cohn, and his wife, Marjorie, to encourage creativity and enhance string quartet literature. Rohde will compose a large-scale (15 to 30 minutes), original work to be premiered by the Lydian String Quartet in spring 2013.
In early 2012 alone, Eric Chasalow, Brandeis’ Irving Fine Professor of Music, has had three world premieres, unveiling his new Horn Concerto with soloist Bruno Schneider in Phoenix; “Incident and Scatter” with the Talea Ensemble in New York; and “On That Swirl of Ending Dust” with the New York New Music Ensemble. On April 25, his “Scuffle and Snap,” for violin and electronics, premieres in New York at the HiArt! Gallery, and three days later Brandeis’ Lydian String Quartet will premiere a new work he penned in honor of university president Fred Lawrence. In addition, an early April performance is scheduled of his work “Are You Radioactive, Pal?” for alto saxophone and electronics at the Goethe Institut-Boston, as well as a San Francisco presentation by soloist Deborah Norin-Kuehn of “The Furies,” a work Chasalow fashioned for “soprano and tape” in response to the poems of Anne Sexton.
After publishing the item “Three Grads Grab Emmys” in our Fall 2011 issue, Brandeis Magazine learned about a fourth honoree: Sidney Wolinsky ’69 took home an Emmy in the category of outstanding single-camera picture editing for a drama series. Wolinsky, whose illustrious career encompasses series like “The Sopranos” and “Easy Money,” the documentary “Chariots of the Gods” and a whole raft of made-for-TV movies, was honored for “Boardwalk Empire,” an HBO series about a politician and gangster who ruled Atlantic City.