A resounding musical fellowship: Harvard Group for New Music and White Rabbit

by Victoria Aschheim

On Saturday, November 7, at 8pm in Paine Hall, the Harvard Group for New Music and ensemble-in-residence White Rabbit presents the first of four concerts of the season.

The program:

Sabrina Schroeder: Holding Patterns (for ensemble)

Anne Cleare: Dysmorphia (for viola and cello)

Bert Van Herck: Reconnected (for alto flute and clarinet)

Hannah Lash: Draw (for violin solo)

Karola Obermueller: Einseitige Dialoge (for soprano and piano)

You can read HGNM's program notes here.

As a loyal fan of HGNM and White Rabbit, which performs under the crisp command of conductor Eric Hewitt, I can attest that one of the treasures of Harvard's musical experience is the forum HGNM creates for premiering, animating, and documenting the work of Harvard composers - on the cutting edge of contemporary instrumental and vocal expressivity - in the form of a true musical laboratory of composition.


On Thursday night, duos of White Rabbit members were sprinkled throughout the Music Building rehearsing for Saturday's concert, each under the leading eye of a Harvard graduate composer. I dropped in on a few groups for previews of their work.

I first spoke with composer Bert Van Herck, Jessi Rosinski and Michael Norsworthy, rehearsing Van Herck's Reconnected.

Here is a clip of Karola Obermueller's Einseitige Dialogue, performed by soprano Aliana de la Guardia, and pianist Yoko Hagino.

White Rabbit member Gabriela Diaz generously pulled out her violin to play for me, having just arrived in the lobby of Paine Hall from the chilly November night air.

I was honored to speak with current Director of HGNM, Tolga Yayalar, and former Director Jose Luis Hurtado in Paine Hall.

[Caption: HGNM posters always add sharp aesthetic spark to Music Department bulletin boards]

[Caption: The intricate note-maps of contemporary music chart as much visual art as sonic]

[Caption: Soprano Aliana de la Guardia, and pianist Yoko Hagino]

[Caption: Jessi Rosinski and Michael Norsworthy, woodwinds of White Rabbit]