UH's AURA Corners Contemporary Compositions with 'All The Angles'

Contemporary Ensemble Performing New Works, Innovative Arrangements Feb. 17

Works from rising composers will intersect with those by veteran music masters during “All the Angles.” This performance from the University of Houston’s AURA Contemporary Ensemble will spotlight a selection of works – some of which follow geometrical or directional themes –  at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 17 in UH’s Moores Opera House (Entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard).

Among the concert’s highlights is a world premiere composition from UH student Daniel Webbon titled “N. 42° W.” The title reflects the angle Webbon drives to visit his fiancée in Waco, Texas. Webbon performs with Aura and earned top honors during last year’s Sarofim Composition Awards. The award provided him with the opportunity to premiere this new work.

A complete list of “All The Angles” works is as follows:

  • “Bryce” by Toru Takemitsu: This piece premiered in 1976. It features flute, dual harps, marimba and percussion. Named for the son of noted percussionist Robin Engelman, the piece retains the composer’s flair for unique instrumentation and atmospheric overtones.  
  • “Shattered Glass” by Margaret Brouwer: This 2007 work features flute, cello, piano and percussion. Brouwer’s dramatic composition weaves whimsical flute lines with percussive piano chords, haunting strings and thunderous rhythms.
  •  “Retrato cubist da cidade de Porto Alegre” by James Correa: This piece for violin and piano debuted in 1994. The piece offers a cubist portrait of Brazilian city Porto Alegre.
  • “N. 42° W.” by Daniel Webbon: Webbon’s work utilizes clarinet, violin and piano to create a moving … driving composition that is no doubt reflective of his frequent commutes to visit his future bride.
  • “Glamorama Spies” by Lorenzo Ferrero: This suspenseful composition shifts from mood to mood. It is reminiscent of a film score driven by an espionage/spy-laced plot (with many angles). The piece is written for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.
  • “Bringing the Tiger Down from the Mountain  II” by Alexina Louie: This short 2003 work showcases cello and piano – both of which are evocative of a tiger singing and/or weeping.

Tickets for “All the Angles” are $12 and $7 for faculty, staff, alumni and seniors. They are available through the Moores box office site or by calling 713-743-3313.

Led by Rob Smith, UH associate professor of composition, AURA is dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music, with an emphasis on works that represent the trends and styles of the last two decades. Under Smith’s direction, the ensemble performs a wide variety of American and international composers’ works. Noted artists such as Samuel Adler, Richard Rodney Bennett, Stephen Montague, Joan Tower and Dan Welcher have visited campus to hear AURA’s interpretations of their compositions. The ensemble is also dedicated to collaboration with dance and has presented many concerts with the UH Dance Ensemble and the Sandra Organ Dance Company. In April, AURA will team with noted composer/musician Daniel Bernard Roumain for “Range of Motion.”

The Moores School of Music is one of the premier music schools in America. Offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, it serves approximately 600 students annually. Areas of study include composition, conducting, performance, theory and musicology. Its faculty consists of internationally recognized performers, composers and scholars. Among its ensembles are the Moores School Symphony Orchestra, Moores Jazz Ensemble, Moores Opera Center, Concert Chorale, Concert Women’s Chorus, Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band, Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. A majority of the school’s concerts are performed in the 800-seat Moores Opera House. For more details on the Moores School of Music, visit http://www.music.uh.edu/.