Release Date: March 1, 2014
Catalog #: NV5944
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Orchestral
Orchestra
Piano

Polarities

Exploring The Contemporary Expanse

Mathew Fuerst composer
Katherine Saxon composer
Chi-Hin Leung composer
Alex Freeman composer

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský conductor
Jessica Lizak flute; Peter Sulski viola, Karolina Rojahn piano
Amanda Kohl soprano; Michael Norsworthy clarinet; Jing Li cello
Hong Kong Cantabile Winds | Sit Hok-chuen conductor; Sezto Kin gaohu
Jan Halloran clarinet; Leo Eguchim cello; Robert Schulz percussion

POLARITIES, an album of new presentations in classical music, expresses the emotions, feelings, and scenes associated with opposites. The works on the album, by four composers, range from a piece for wind ensemble and the Chinese gaohu, to a piano sonata, a chamber work, and works for orchestra. POLARITIES showcases the common focus of polar opposites and points of view in the works of four composers: Alex Freeman’s piece Blueshift, based on an astronomical phenomenon; Chi-hin Leung’s Afterimage: the Dreamy Butterfly, which depicts an ancient Chinese tale by means of new classical music and contemporary instrumentation; Katherine Saxon’s East of the Sun/West of the Moon takes us on a tour through a land of fantasy; Vox Dilecti Mei shows the range of emotion at the arrival of a lover; and Mathew Fuerst’s Symphony which tells a story of unrequited love.

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Artist Information

Matthew Fuerst

Composer

A recipient of two consecutive Palmer-Dixon Prizes for best composition presented by The Juilliard School, composer Mathew Fuerst (b. 1977) has also received third prize in the 2nd Annual Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition held in Prague CZ.

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Katherine Saxon

Composer

Like many composers, I have a hard time classifying my music. My unconscious influences undoubtedly include the 20th c. Russian composers that I so enjoyed as a young trumpet player, the vocal music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance I discovered when I started singing, and the 20th c. French and American music I came to love in college. That aside, I often draw inspiration from visual sources, including the Pre-Raphaelites, Japanese animation, and abstract expressionism, as well as literary sources, such as poetry and the genres of fantasy and science fiction. I am fascinated with how these art forms make the normal seem strange and the strange seem normal.

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Chi-Hin Leung

Composer

Chi-Hin Leung (b. 1984) was born in a metropolitan city - Hong Kong. With a diverse cultural background, his composition mixes with both East and West thoughts, and with special interests in timbral and textural explorations. He was the champion of the Hong Kong Handbell Festival Composition Contest, first runner-up at New Generation and won the Hong Kong Composers' Guild Audience Choice Award.

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Alex Freeman

Composer

Alex Freeman (b. 1972, Raleigh NC) composes in a wide range of styles and media. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Boston University's School of Fine Arts, and the Juilliard School, where he completed his doctoral studies in 2004. His doctoral research led him to Finland, via a Fulbright Fellowship, where he lived for six years, studying at The Sibelius Academy and freelancing, before he assumed his current position of Assistant Professor of Music in Composition at Carleton College in Northfield MN.

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Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra

Orchestra

The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene.

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Karolina Rojahn

Pianist

Karolina Rojahn is a Los Angeles based pianist who has dedicated the last decade of her career to premiering and recording contemporary music repertoire. She has premiered over a hundred new works and collaborated with various classical music labels, most notably Naxos, having released over 43 recordings of chamber and solo piano music, including 5 piano concertos written specifically for her.

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Petr Vronský

Conductor

After successes in several important international competitions for conductors — including the competition in Besancon France in 1971 and the Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1973 — his career began at the opera company in Pilsen. From 1974 to 1978, he was Chief of Opera of the State Theater in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic. In 1978, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he held until 1991. Vronsky was later appointed Chief Conductor of the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava in 2002.

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