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Posted 19 Nov 2001   For week ended October 26, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 24Oct01

By Joanne Rowland

Robert Cundick Concert in New York City

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- The eleven Manhattan congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) include a disproportionally large number of serious student and professional musicians. When a group of these musicians, looking for a signal concert for their "LDS Artists in Concert" series, discovered that Robert Cundick turned 75 years old this year, it seemed a perfect occasion to honor the prolific Utah composer with a concert of his works.

Cundick, who is best known for his 26 years as organist for the famed Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah, has composed a significant body of music. New York premieres of a good cross section of Cundick's work can be heard on November 2, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. at the LDS church located at 2 Lincoln Square across the Street from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The concert is open to the public and free of charge.

Grant Johannesen, world-renowned pianist and longtime friend of Robert Cundick will be on hand to perform "Tendresse" a piano piece Johannesen has had in his repertoire for a number of years. Johannesen also will perform as accompanist for "Three Yeats Songs" sung by Soprano, Lindsay Robinson Killian, recent Metropolitan Opera audition winner and current participant in the Metropolitan Opera's Young Artist Program.

Cundick wrote his Sonata for Violoncello and Piano for cellist, Roger Drinkall and pianist Diane Baker. At the premiere performance in Provo, Utah in 1995, Drinkall's student Sariah Maurik, turned pages for both pianist and cellist. Now living in New York City, cellist, Sariah Maurik Johnson will be performing the Sonata at the November 2 concert with pianist, Jenny Naylor Richards. Richards has recently released a CD along with violinist Jenny Oakes Baker. The violin piano duo met Cundick when they programmed his violin piano sonata for a performance in Utah. Richards asked Cundick at that time whether he had any piano pieces and he gave her manuscript copies of two pieces he had written as Christmas gifts for his wife, Charlotte, in 1964 and 1965. Richards will be playing the second of these pieces "Impromptu," on the November 2 concert.

"Turnabouts" a four movement work for oboe and piano written in the mid 1960s, will be performed by Sarah and Scott Holden. Oboist, Sarah Holden, is a member of the teaching team working with the New York Philharmonic in its music in the schools program. Pianist, Scott Holden, recently premiered the William Wallace Second Piano Concerto with the Utah Symphony in Salt Lake City.

In 1955 Robert Cundick wrote "The Song of Nephi" a cantata for choir, tenor and orchestra as his doctoral dissertation. The work was performed and recorded at that time by students at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho from Cundick's handwritten manuscript. Although those who have had the opportunity to work from a Cundick manuscript comment on the beauty of his copywork, Cundick has taken the occasion of the November 2 concert to commit his cantata to a computer generated score. For the November 2 performance, Broadway conductor, David Skouson, in consultation with Cundick has arranged the "Song of Nephi" orchestral score for strings and piano. Skouson, who will conduct the work, has put together a 36 voice choir which includes a number of professional singers. New York tenor, Adam Russell, who spent the summer with the Seagle Music Colony and the Fort Worth Opera Company, will perform the title role of Nephi.

Dr. and Mrs. Cundick, who will arrive in New York City a few days in advance of the concert will include attendance at a dress rehearsal in their New York itinerary. Both are looking forward to the November 2 performance.


Robert Cundick Concert in New York City
Joanne Rowland 22Oct01 A2
Mormon Musicians in New York City honor Robert Cundick, acclaimed Utah composer, in his 75th year


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