The 80th birthday of one of Maine’s most distinguished composers, Elliott Schwartz, will be celebrated in grand style when the Portland Conservatory of Music presents the 8th annual Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival on Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9. Nearly thirty of Schwartz’s composer friends have written new one-minute pieces in his honor, most of which are based on a musical theme derived from the letters of Schwartz’s name. These pieces, known collectively as the “ESCHART Variations,” will be premiered by a festival ensemble consisting of violinist Dean Stein and oboist Kathleen McNerney, the co-directors of Venti Cordi, as well as flutist Krysia Tripp, cellist Philip Carlsen, and pianist Chiharu Naruse, many of whom are faculty members of the Conservatory.
The Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival concerts will take place at Woodfords Church on Friday, April 8, at 7:30, and Saturday, April 9, at 3:00 and 7:30. A reception after the Saturday afternoon concert will give audience members an opportunity to mingle with the composers and musicians.
Admission to each concert is $15, $10 for seniors, and free for children and students with ID. Tickets and location information here.