Juilliard Composer Announces Requiem for Victims of Kazakhstan Massacre to premiere in 2013
NEW YORK (December 15, 2012)—Award-winning composer, violinist, and conductor David Fulmer, a member of the faculty of the Columbia University Department of Music, has completed a new work for virtuoso cellist Jay Campbell. The composition honors those massacred in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan.
“I first became aware of the oil strike in Kazakhstan when Sting canceled a pop music concert there over human rights concerns and in solidarity with the workers. Weeks later, on December 16, 2011, the government murdered a great number of those striking workers. I became intensely focused on the plight of the widows and orphans left by this brutality and hope this work can bring them some comfort while reminding people in the West that one year out, this horrific killing remains unpunished and the dictatorship there continues to oppress his people,” said Fulmer, the youngest member of the Columbia music faculty.
The Requiem for Zhanaozen: Star of the North, is written for Jay Campbell and commissioned by the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. YellowBarn will present the Requiem, where Campbell will be an artist-in-residence, from February 23 to March 1, 2013. Premiere performances will also take place in Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center (March 8, 2013), and then in New York City, and abroad throughout numerous international venues. Inspired by the poetry of Aleksandr Pushkin, Fulmer composed an intense work for solo cello with a searing harmonic surface, creating musical gestures of intensity and intimacy.
David Fulmer is the first American ever to receive the Grand Prize in the International Edvard Grieg Competition for Composers (Oslo, Norway). The success of his Violin Concerto at Lincoln Center in 2010, earned international attention and resulted in immediate engagement to perform the work with major orchestras and at festivals in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Scandinavia, and Australia. A surge in his compositional activity has resulted from a series of distinctive commissions from major international orchestras, Carnegie Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt, a new violin concerto for virtuoso Stefan Jackiw, and several new works for notable contemporary ensembles. He received his doctorate from The Juilliard School, and has been on the faculty of Columbia University since 2009. This is his first composition with a human rights-related theme.
Virtuoso cellist Jay Campbell
Armed with a diverse spectrum of repertoire and eclectic musical interests, Jay Campbell was recently named First Prize winner of the 2012 Concert Artist Guild auditions as well as BMI Commissioning Prize recipient, Jay has been heard on television, radio broadcasts and in concert halls around the world, including concerto appearances in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kultur und Kongresszentrum-Luzern, and the Aspen Festival's Benedict Music Tent. Currently studying at Juilliard under celebrated cellist Fred Sherry, Jay makes his debut this season with the New York Philharmonic.
“The Human Rights Foundation is thrilled that two prodigies ten thousand miles away from Kazakhstan are willing to spend their precious time and artistic talents bringing attention to injustice and suffering in a Central Asian Republic that has remained a dictatorship since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991,” said Sarah Wasserman, HRF’s Chief Operating Officer. “Just three weeks ago the Kazakh government began a crackdown on media. The country is in dire need of international attention and exposure,” she concluded.
HRF protects and promotes human rights. HRF believes that all human beings are entitled to freedom of self-determination, freedom from tyranny, the rights to speak freely, to associate with those of like mind, and to leave and enter their countries. Individuals in a free society must be accorded equal treatment and due process under law, and must have the opportunity to participate in the governments of their countries; HRF’s ideals likewise find expression in the conviction that all human beings have the right to be free from arbitrary detainment or exile and from interference and coercion in matters of conscience. HRF does not support nor condone violence. HRF’s International Council is chaired by pro-democracy activist Garry Kasparov, and includes former prisoners of conscience George Ayittey, Vladimir Bukovsky, Palden Gyatso, Mutabar Tadjibaeva, Ramón J. Velásquez, Elie Wiesel, and Harry Wu.Contact: Pedro Pizano, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-246-8486