Contemporary Music Seminar

“Music Inspired by Text”

Friday, April 6 – Sunday, April 8, 2018

Each year, RSC presents a three-day festival of student recitals, guest performers, lectures, master classes, and presentations all focused on contemporary music. Works performed in the seminar must be composed within the last 25 years so the students and audiences hear, play, and learn the music of their time.

Performed Over
New Pieces
By more than
world premieres
and over
commissioned works

Schedule of Events

Important Links:
Get tickets online or at the door

View the Complete Schedule (updated 4/3/18)

Friday, April 6

7:30 pm: Faculty Opening Concert (free and open to the public)
Featuring works by Robert J. Bradshaw, Whitman Brown, Mikhail Burshtin, Griffin Candey, David Conte, Robert Paterson, and Gwyneth Walker. Program details here.

Saturday, April 7

11:00 am: Composers’ Workshop
Student compositions based on texts by poets Joyce Rain Anderson, Teresa Cader, and Antony Yaeger. All poets and composers will be in attendance.

1:00 pm: Student Recital I
Featuring works by Leo Brouwer, Whitman Brown, Dave Brubeck, Lee Burswold, Andrew Halberstadt, Stephen Halloran, Aleksey Igudesman, Donna Gross Javel, Thomas Hewitt Jones, Steve Laven, Stefanie Lubkowski, Margaret McAllister, Ben Moore, Wynn-Anne Rossi, Timur Rubinshteyn, Aram Satian, Paul Sheftel, Jeanine Yeager, Arlene Zallman

2:45 pm: Student Recital II
Featuring works by Istvan Peter B’Racz, Dave Brubeck, Howard Frazin, Stephen Halloran, Marc-André Hamelin, Aleksey Igudesman, Rip Jackson, Nathan Kolosko, Peter Ludwig, Helmut Neumann, Lajos Papp, Robert Paterson, Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee, Aram Satian, Eric Sawyer, Peter Sculthorpe, Carl Vine

4:30 pm: Student Recital III
Featuring works by Michael Colgrass, Claude Gagnon, Martin Kutnowski, Brian Mark, Aaron Minsky, Stephen Montague, Daniel Pinkham, J.P. Redmond, Yevhen Stankovych, Steven Sussman, Joby Talbot, Mikis Theodorakis, Chen Yi

6:15 pm: Student Recital IV
Featuring works by Vartan Aghababian, Giancarlo Aquilanti, Amy Barlowe, William Bolcom, Daniel Dorff, Henryk Mikólaj Górecki, John Harbison, Geoffrey Kidde, Peter Ludwig, Adriana Isabel Figueroa Mañas, Jeff Manookian, Robert Paterson, Valerie Roth Roubos, Linda Swope

Sunday, April 8

1:00 pm: Ensemble of Robots Perform Phantom of the Opera
Phantom of the Opera Reinvented,a multi-media extravaganza composed by Kurt Coble, featuring solo pianist, Vytas Baksys, an ensemble of robotic musicians, and the 1925 Silent Era Classic. (60 minutes) Watch a video and read more here.

2:45 pm: Student Recital V
Featuring works by Grigor Arakelian, Leonard Bernstein, John Harbison, Sadie Harrison, Abdullah Ibrahim, Michael Karmon, Martin Kutnowski, Dan Loschen, John McDonald, Helmut Neumann, Serban Nichifor, Sean Osborn, Nicolai Podgornov, Daniel Shaud, Roger Zahab

4:15 pm: Reception with Composer Robert Paterson

5:00 pm: World Premiere of Paterson’s “The Bell for Narrator and Chamber Ensemble”
Featuring works by Samuel Adler, Apsara Balamuragan, Larry Thomas Bell, Kenji Bunch, Claude Gagnon, Ian Gottlieb, Gor Hovannisyan, Edmund Jolliffe, Lori Laitman, Robert Paterson, Allen Shawn, Dan Shore, Patrice Williamson

This closing concert also features the world premiere of Robert Paterson’s “The Bell for Narrator and Chamber Ensemble” composed for The Rivers School Upper School Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Magdalena Richter. The text for this work was adapted from “The Bell” by Hans Christian Andersen. Paterson will share his thoughts and inspiration with the audience.

Robert Paterson, commissioned composer

A ‘modern day master’ and often the ‘highlight of the program’ (The New York Times), Robert Paterson’s music is loved for its elegance, wit, structural integrity, and a wonderful sense of color. Paterson was named The Composer of The Year from the Classical Recording Foundation with a performance and celebration at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in 2011. His music has been on the Grammy® ballot yearly, and his works were named ‘Best Music of 2012′ on National Public Radio. His works have been played by the Louisville Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Austin Symphony, Vermont Symphony, BargeMusic, the Albany Symphony Dogs of Desire, among others. Paterson’s choral works were recorded by Musica Sacra and maestro Kent Tritle, with a world premiere performance at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Paterson holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM), Indiana University (MM), and Cornell University (DMA). Paterson gives master classes at colleges and universities, most recently at the Curtis Institute of Music, New York University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Paterson is the Artistic Director of the American Modern Ensemble and resides in NYC with his wife Victoria, and their son, Dylan. For more information, visit