The first woman to receive the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award for Orchestral Music, and an esteemed leader in US composition, Marilyn Shrude appears at Matinee performing with her husband and life-long collaborator, saxophonist John Sampen. Later in the Festival, Alia Musica premieres her Within the Wall, commissioned with the support of The Heinz Endowments.
Her music is characterized by its warmth and lyricism, rich timbre, multi-layered constructions, and complex blend of tonality and atonality. The result is a bright, shimmering and delicately wrought sound world that is at once both powerful and fragile. Her concentration on color and the natural resonance of spaces, as well as her strong background in Pre-Vatican II liturgical music, give the music its linear, spiritual, and quasi-improvisational qualities.
Active as a composer, pianist, teacher, and contemporary music advocate, Shrude has consistently promoted American music through her many years as founder and director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (1987–99) and as chair of the Department of Musicology/Composition/Theory at Bowling Green State University (1998–2011). She joined the faculty of BGSU in 1977, has served as Visiting Professor of Music at Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory and Heidelberg College, and was a faculty member and chair of the Composition and Theory Department at the Interlochen Arts Camp (1990-97). She has received four Dean’s Awards for Service and for the Promotion of Contemporary Music on the Campus of BGSU (1994, 1999, 2005, 2011) and a 2008 BGSU Chair/Director Leadership Award. In 2001 she was named a Distinguished Artist Professor of Music. Together with saxophonist, John Sampen, she has premiered, recorded and presented hundreds of works by living composers both in the United States and abroad.
Among her more prestigious honors are those from the Guggenheim Foundation (2011 Fellow), American Academy of Arts and Letters, Rockefeller Foundation, Chamber Music America/ASCAP, Meet the Composer, Sorel Foundation (Medallion Winner for Choral Music 2011), and the National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award for Orchestral Music (1984) and the Cleveland Arts Prize for Music (1998).
Jan WIlliams performs as special guest at the Matinee, with music for percussion and electronics
written for him by Gustavo Matamoros and Ryan McMasters.
Jan Williams is recognized as one of the most prominent proponents of percussion performance and literature in the US, and the dedicatee of many great works by such composers as Cage, Wolff, Carter, Feldman, and Rzewski. A Creatiuve Associate at the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts at the University at Buffalo since 1964, he created the Percussion Ensemble at UB, with fellow Creative Associate percussionist, John Bergamo, continued an active performance career specializing in contemporary music and served as chair of the Music Department from 1981 to 1984. He retired in 1996 as Professor Emeritus. Williams also served as Artistic Director of the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts from 1974 to 1979 and as its resident conductor from 1976 to 1980. He co-directed, with Yvar Mikhashoff, the North American New Music Festival from 1983 to 1992.