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Pulitzer Prize Winning Composer and Faculty Zhou Long Has US Premiere in Carnegie Hall, And the Stellar Reviews are In!

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The UMKC Conservatory's Distinguished Professor of Music Composition, Zhou Long, who won a 2011 Pulitzer Prize for his opera Madame White Snake, has the US premiere of his work Bell Drum Towers, January 18, 2013, 7:30 p.m., in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. Bell Drum Towers is featured in the American Composers Orchestra's second concert of the 2012-13 season, Orchestra Underground:  Time Travels.  The program, exploring the concept of time, also features Lukas Foss's 1960 Time Cycle, Kate Soper's now is forever I. Orpheus and Eurydice, (world premiere) and Kyle Blaha's Triptych (world premiere).

Zhou Long says of the new piece, “Bells and drums were musical instruments in ancient China. Later they were used to tell time and became watches for the officials and common people as well . . . Although today the bell and drum towers have lost their function of telling time, these silent towers always fascinated my curiosity and imagination to hear the lingering of the ancient bells and drums sometimes from hazy wind, sometimes as a peal of thunder. In Bell Drum Towers, I am exploring my fantasy, the pulse of the drums beating. Gradually, new patterns develop, each time in a faster tempo, building to a climax that brings the presto wind-like section. Finally, the hazy wind rang the lingering bells.”

Read more and listen here on the American Composers Orchestra's web site.

The reviews are in and The New York Times' Anthony Tommasini notes, "Then fleeting musical gestures — a sudden scampering figure, a swelling chord — bobble up, like the random thoughts that penetrate the mind when you are trying to meditate. But soon these fragments coalesce into thematic lines, drums tap and ripple, strings break into frenetic bursts. Sometimes, during subdued moments, the drums and bells almost seem to be playing themselves, as if gusts of wind were rustling through the tower. This gorgeous piece received a colorfully vivid performance by Mr. Manahan and the orchestra."  Read the full review here.

The China Daily, USA review is here, and another Chinese journal here.

Congratulations to Dr. Zhou Long!

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949
Email: selfdr@umkc.edu