Composer Stephen Suber's new CD, 'Starlit,' to be released April 1
Contact: Christina Chapple
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HAMMOND – “Starlit,” a new compact disc representing a cross section of the more than three-decade career of Southeastern Louisiana University composer-in-residence and music professor Stephen Suber will be released April 1 by Centaur Records.
Recorded by orchestras and choirs in the Czech Republic, the CD will be available in retail stores and online outlets such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It includes six of Suber’s compositions spanning 1971-2003, and features as piano soloist David Evenson, head of Southeastern’s Department of Music and Dramatic Arts.
“Dr. Suber is a valuable and productive member of our music faculty,” said Bryan DePoy, interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “His latest CD release is a significant milestone in an extraordinary and ongoing music career. I admire his collaborative approach to music making, as is evident by featuring Dr. Evenson in one of his pieces on this recording.”
“The quality is really top notch and it is something I’m proud of,” said Suber, who has been a member of the Southeastern faculty since 1982 and whose many honors include the university’s 1987 President’s Award for Excellence in Artistic Activity.
The CD includes Suber’s “Enchantments: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra,” commissioned by the Louisiana Music Teachers Association and originally performed on campus by the Southeastern Chamber Orchestra in 1992. The third movement of the concerto, “Homecoming,” features Evenson as piano soloist with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra also recorded Suber’s 1996 “Cumulus Over Tangipahoa,” a tone poem inspired by a cloud shifting and gliding over the parish.
The earliest work on the CD is “Upon the Bank at Early Dawn” (1971), a setting of a poem by Henry David Thoreau composed by Suber as an assignment during his senior year at Principia College in Illinois. The piece is one of three recorded for the CD by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the leading symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic.
The orchestra also performs two playful works, “Starlit” (1995), constructed around a Suzuki violin exercise based on the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “Dithyramb” (2003), inspired by the jaunty ancient Greek hymns to the god Dionysius.
Suber’s favorite work on the CD, he said, is the 1983 choral work “Soleil,” described as “an orchestral piece without the orchestra” that “shows just how dynamic the human voice can be.” The work was recorded by the Ars Brunensis Chorus of Brno.
The singers, including tenor soloist Marc Deaton, “came so close to reading my mind,” Suber said. “They nailed it.”
A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Suber received his master’s and doctoral degrees at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., and Indiana University, respectively. His compositions for a wide variety of media have been heard throughout the United States and Europe.
Among his growing number of awards are prizes from the Louisville Orchestra International Composition Contest and the National Music Teachers Association. Suber’s “Symphony: Of Wind and Light” (1981), was first recognized at the 1982 Indiana State University Orchestral Composition Contest, which led to a performance with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, the same work received the fourth prize in the Louisville competition and was subsequently performed and recorded on the First Edition label by the LSO.
In 1987, his “The Descent” premiered at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York and subsequently was recorded by Opus I Records. “Enchantments: Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra” was released on compact disc with the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra under conductor Gerard Schwarz.