NEC presents Burr Van Nostrand concert retrospective April 22 in Boston at 4:00PM


Apr 22 2012 - 4:00pm

Burr in Montreal, 1970sBurr in Montreal, 1970s"We had never heard anyone like him before, and we haven't since." - Malcolm Peyton (2011)

Current New England Conservatory student Jason Belcher rediscovered the music  of Burr Van Nostrand (b.1945), a composer of adventurous music and visually striking scores, who was thought by many to have “disappeared.” Belcher currently leads the Burr Van Nostrand Project, which begins with a concert to re-introduce his work to a new generation of musicians.

Burr Van Nostrand’s scores combine highly graphic visual elements with conventional notation, and his music emphasizes extreme sonic contrasts, often using amplification. His technique shows near-predictions of what would emerge in the later 70's, and 80's from composers in and outside of the academic world. His work has not been heard publicly since the 1980's.

The concert will take place Sunday, April 22, 2012, at 4:00 PM in Brown Hall at the New England Conservatory; 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Performers for whom these works were written have come out to work with the students to help re-create the original ambience. The composer gives particular credit to performers Robert Stallman (flute), Paul Severtson (violin), and Herman Weiss, (pianist/ composer), whose premiere performances/recordings of Phaedra Antomines and Fantasy Manual for Urban Survival were original and groundbreaking in their time. A new recording release of these early recordings, with other archival material tbd is planned by New World Records for 2013.  The April 22 NEC concert Repertoire program:

Phaedra Antomines (1969)
Tara Mueller, Violin

Fantasy Manual for Urban Survival 
Lisa Husseini - Alto Flute
Jason Coleman - Cello
Alex Zhu - Piano

TUBA-TUBA  (1973)
Beth McDonald - Tubas

Voyage in a White Building I  (1969)
Chamber ensemble piece, with Hart Crane poetry, with Lautaro Mantilla, Narrator

detail excerptTuba Tubadetail excerpt

Jason Belcher confers with Burr Van Nostrand, 2011Jason Belcher confers with Burr Van Nostrand, 2011NEC student Jason Belcher meets with Burr Van Nostrand in New Haven, 2011

page 19Voyage in a White Buildingpage 19


Burr Van Nostrand and the musicians of "Voyage in a White Building I."