GERARD FLORIANO TO PREMIERE JAMES WILLEY’S THROUGH THE NIGHT

Members of Geneseo Community Invited to Attend the Event

Geneseo faculty member Gerard Floriano will conduct the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra in the world premiere of Through the Night, a new work composed for the orchestra during 2002-03 by Geneseo Professor Emeritus James Willey. The program will be given at Williamsville East High School at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16.

Also on the program will be Beethoven’s "Leonore" Overture No. 3, first movements from Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor and Schumann’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor with this year’s winners of the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture.

"Through the Night, which was composed for Gerard Floriano and the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, was conceived as a short symphony of about eighteen minutes," composer Willey said. "That symphonic aspect of the work is still clearly audible in the four-movements-in-one structure of the piece." Willey added that most of Through the Night moves at a rapid pace, and, like so much American music, a good deal of it is highly syncopated. The music also traverses a range of moods, from brooding then spiky reflection, to raucous jibing, to sorry, to joy and release, according to Willey.

The recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts Composer Fellowships and a semi-finalist for the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, James Willey’s works have been performed by such ensembles as the Baltimore Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Esterhazy Quartet, the Tremont Quartet, The Society for New Music and the Twentieth Century Consort.

Willey was for many years Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music at the State University of New York at Geneseo, from which he retired in December 2000. He has also taught at the Eastman School of Music and Williams College.

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