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Posted by: Early Music Now
Posted on: Apr 27th, 2009, 3:17am
Early Music Now Early Music Now is dedicated to the creation of lively connections with the past through historically informed presentations of music composed before 1800.
April 2009 For Immediate Release Charles Q. Sullivan 414.225.3113 firstname.lastname@example.org
Across Borders - Across Time An Eastern European Musical Bouquet
Fresh from a 3-1/2 week tour of Poland, Germany, and the Ukraine, the international touring women’s ensemble Kitka (kitka..org) will be presented by Early Music Now (earlymusicnow.org) at 7:30 on Saturday, May 9th, in the Basilica of Saint Josaphat, Lincoln Avenue at South 6th Street. The program, entitled “Sanctuary: A Cathedral Concert,” is an exploration of traditional Eastern European sacred music, woven together with the rich harmonies of ancient folk songs. Bulgarian diva Tzvetanka Varimezova and gajda (bagpipe) master Ivan Varimezov are featured artists, with the Milwaukee Choral Artists (milwaukeechoralartists.org) as special guest performers.
The program displays the unique vocal techniques associated with Eastern European choral music, as well as the plaintive sounds of solo vocal and bagpipe repertoire. The ensemble has refined its own settings of traditional sacred music and ancient folk melodies originating in Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia and Russia.
Kitka, which means “bouquet” in Bulgarian and Macedonian, began in 1979 as a grassroots group of singers from diverse ethnic and musical backgrounds who shared a passion for the stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, intricate ornamentation, lush harmonies, and resonant strength of Eastern European women’s vocal traditions. Since its informal beginnings, the group has evolved into a professional touring ensemble that has earned international recognition for its artistry, versatility, and fresh approach to folk music. Through a busy itinerary of live and broadcast performances, recordings, educational programs, master artist residencies, commissioning programs, and adventuresome collaborations, Kitka has exposed millions to the haunting beauty of their unique body of repertoire.
Soprano soloist Tzvetanka Varimezova was born in Bulgarian Thrace, and has performed with ensembles including the Bulgarian National Radio Choir, National Folk Ensembles Trakija, Bojura, Philip Koutev, Pazardzhik, Les Grand Voix Bulgares, Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares, and Cosmic Voices of Bulgaria. With these ensembles and others, she has toured throughout Europe, Russia, Japan, Latin America, and the USA. She currently serves on the ethnomusicology faculty of UCLA.
Ivan Varimezov was born in Bulgaria and received a B.A. degree in folk instrument performance and ensemble conducting from the Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv. Raised in the traditions of his native region of Strandzha, he is one of the most outstanding gaida (bagpipe) players of his generation, and he has many solo recordings and awards to his name. He came to the U.S. in 2001 to teach at UCLA.
Milwaukee Choral Artists, Wisconsin’s premier professional choral ensemble, is committed to presenting music from diverse cultures, and has performed in 28 languages representing more than 40 world cultures since its inception in 1998. This Milwaukee ensemble has long admired the work of Kitka, and to the opportunity to join with them in a program further broadening their own distinctive repertoire and technical mastery.
This concert is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art; with additional contributions from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the City of Milwaukee Arts Board.
The single performance of this program will be on Saturday, May 9 at 7:30 at the Basilica of Saint Josaphat, Lincoln Avenue at South 6th Street. General Admission tickets priced at $28 adult/senior or $10 student are available on the website at earlymusicnow.org or by phone at 414.225.3113.