"...Sigh, America – what can our country's artists tell us about ourselves? Spectrum Dance Theater, based in Seattle and headed by revered contemporary choreographer Donald Byrd, joined the top-notch New York-based Aeolus Quartet at the University of Texas for two performances of Byrd's dances to music by American composers. The dances were as varied as the music by Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Vincent Persichetti, Charles Wuorinen, and Yevgeniy Sharlat..."
"...Which makes a program featuring music by all of them, to borrow from the national pastime again, the equivalent of an all-star game. And that's just what's on deck at the School of Music this Sunday: Heavy hitters Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, Russell Pinkston, Bruce Pennycook, and Yevgeniy Sharlat are taking the field, with Grantham's La noche en la isla (winner of the 1979 International Horn Society Composition Prize), Welcher's Meditation and Scherzo (a 1994 piece for oboe and piano) and A Waltz for Paul, Pinkston's Don't Look Now (a 1991 piece for string quartet and tape), Penny-cook's Fastdance (a duet for clarinet and computer), and Sharlat's Divertissement..."
"...In their fourth year, the ACA Honors go out to Janet Seibert, the tireless advocate for creative programs in the city's Cultural Arts Division; Lisa Byrd, past director of the African American Cultural Heritage District and of Dance Umbrella; Dewy Brooks, longtime ACA board member and co-founder of ProArts Collective; Bruce Willenzik, the engine behind the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar and the oldest living Arts Commissioner (wink); and groundbreaking (and currently homeless) stage company Salvage Vanguard Theater. As I think you'll agree, there's a lot there to honor. As if that weren't enough, the program promises a bounty of entertainment from One Ounce Opera, comedian Maggie Maye, DJ Orion, Matt Armbruster of Tetractys performing a work for solo cello by Yevgeniy Sharlat, and house band the Invincible Czars, and ACA Director John Riedie (also the emcee for the evening) has been teasing a major announcement that will "impact the community conversation about the decline in affordable space and displacement of arts organizations in Austin."..."
"...Where does it all come from? Certainly, some credit is due the composition division at the University of Texas' Butler School of Music, where faculty composers Dan Welcher, Donald Grantham, Russell Pinkston, Bruce Pennycook, and Yevgeniy Sharlat have been busily producing their own new music even as they've been training young composers to produce theirs. But Austin wouldn't have half the new classical scene it does without the presence of Graham Reynolds, Peter Stopschinski, and P..."