Behzad Ranjbaran Named Saratoga Performing Arts
Center Composer-in-Residence for 2005; SPAC to present Two Ranjbaran
Premieres, and Composer to Speak for 40th Season
SPRINGS, NY - (April 14, 2005) - Behzad Ranjbaran has been named Saratoga
Performing Arts Center's Composer-in-Residence for 2005, and two of his
premieres will be performed at SPAC this summer for SPAC's 40th
anniversary season, SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia J. White
Under the baton of Maestro Charles Dutoit, The
Philadelphia Orchestra will perform the commissioned Saratoga on
August 10 at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheatre, and on August 20 at 8:15 p.m.
Ranjbaran's acclaimed Violin Concerto will be performed by
Canadian violinist Chantal Juillet with the Orchestra. The composer will
speak before the August 20 performance at SPAC's 7 p.m. Pre-Performance
Talk in the Hall of Springs, Gold Room. Saratoga Chamber Music Festival
will premiere Ranjbaran's Piano Quintet in the August 14 concert
at 2:15 p.m. in Spa Little Theatre. Tickets for all four events are
The season started for Behzad Ranjbaran with the release
of his Persian Trilogy, recorded by London Symphony Orchestra and
conducted by JoAnn Falletta. The orchestral Cycle, comprising the works
Seemorgh, The Blood of Seyavash and Seven
Passages, takes its inspiration from ancient Persian legends, as
recounted in the 11th century epic poem Shahnameh (the Book of
Chantal Juillet and The Philadelphia Orchestra,
conducted by Maestro Charles Dutoit, perform his Violin Concerto
as part of Ranjbaran's composer in residence 2005 tenure at SPAC, which
also includes the premiere on August 10 of Saratoga, his
orchestral work in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Saratoga
Performing Arts Center and the 15th anniversary of Saratoga Chamber Music
Festival at SPAC. In August another of commissioned his works for string
orchestra will be premiered at the International Sejong Soloists opening
concert of Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea.
seasons two of his major works were premiered: Songs of Eternity,
a song cycle for Renée Fleming, was performed with Seattle Symphony under
Gerard Schwarz in September, 2002; and in January, 2003, Schwarz conducted
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic when Joshua Bell premiered Violin
Ranjbaran's The Blood of Seyavash has been
described as "one of the most breathtaking modern story ballets" by Lisa
A. DuBois in Nashville Banner, and as having "qualities of
inherent beauty and strong musical structure that make it a satisfying
musical entity" by Henry Arnold in Nashville Scene. About Elegy
for Strings Cecelia Porter said in The Washington Post it
has "radiant luminescence." Reviewing Seven Passages John Farrell
said in the Press-Telegram: "Ranjbaran plays the colors of the
orchestra with an unconscious mastery: here the entire gathering of forces
on stage are at his command, and he uses that power with grace and ease."
Accolades continue for Songs of Eternity, described in
the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Philippa Kiraly as "beautiful"
with "exquisite melismas (expressive passages sung on one syllable)"; and
Joe Riley commented in Liverpool Echo that Violin
Concerto is "high class, cohesive" and "when the concerto...just sings
out a fine melodic line, the effect is ravishing."
Ranjbaran, born in Tehran, Iran, is the recipient of
Rudolf Nissim Award for his Violin Concerto. His musical
education started early when he entered the Tehran Music Conservatory at
age 9. He came to the United States in 1974, where he attended Indiana
University and received his doctorate from Juilliard School, where he is
on the faculty today.
Named Distinguished Artist by the New Jersey Council on
the Arts, Ranjbaran's honors include grants from National Endowment for
the Arts grant and Meet the Composer (composer/choreographer project), and
a Charles Ives Award from American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Ranjbaran's music has been performed in Europe, South
America, Asia, and throughout the United States and ia published
exclusively by Theodore Presser Company.
His recent compositions and commissions include:
Symphony No.1; Seemorgh for Orchestra; The Blood of
Seyavash, a full-length ballet for Nashville Ballet; a violin
concerto for Joshua Bell; a cello concerto for Paul Tobias; Open
Secret for chorus and chamber orchestra; Ballade for solo
double bass for the International Society of Bassists; Seven
Passages for Long Beach Symphony; and Moto Perpetuo, for
violin and string orchestra.
For details or a ticket order
form, call 518.584.9330 or visit www.spac.org. The SPAC Box Office opens
Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8 at noon for counter sales. Phone charge
(518.587.3330) begins Monday, May 9 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available
as of Tuesday, May 10, at Ticketmaster retail outlets, by phone charge
(518.476.1000) and at www.ticketmaster.com.