Composer Michael Coghlan headlines Faculty Concert Series

March 8, 2016

Composer Michael Coghlan headlines Faculty Concert Series

Music Professor Michael Coghlan takes centre stage Thursday, March 10 in a showcase concert featuring a selection of his compositions.

The performance — the final event in the Department of Music’s 2015-16 Faculty Concert Series — takes place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East Building at York University’s Keele campus.

Michael coghlan

Michael Coghlan

The concert will feature Coghlan on keyboard as well as guest artists, soprano Leslie Fagan with pianist Lorin Shalanko, the Elgin String Quartet, the percussion ensemble Red Zone Percolators, and dancer Danielle Wake.

All the music on the program was composed within the last five years by Coghlan, who has extensive professional credits as a composer, performer, conductor, record producer and music director. He has worked in a wide range of musical genres and techniques, from medieval and classical to jazz, popular, world and computer-based music. A specialist in digital music production, he is known nationally for his work in the development and use of contemporary  music technologies in artistic and pedagogical practices.

Fagan and Shalanko will perform a suite of six songs that Coghlan set to poems by Rossetti, Gibbons, Milton, Wordsworth, Drummond and Shelley. An acclaimed performer in art song and opera, Fagan has appeared on major stages including London’s Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center in New York, the Bordeaux Opera House, and Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall. She ended 2015 with a return to Carnegie Hall for Handel’s Messiah with the Oratorio Society of New York under the direction of Kent Tritle, following  Messiah performances in Rochester, Burlington and Hamilton. She has appeared across Europe and in the United Arab Emirates as well as many Canadian cities. Broadcast credits include the CBC, BBC and NPR.

Pianist Shalanko regularly collaborates with Fagan and others. Internationally, his career has taken him to France, where he lived and worked for several years as a teacher and accompanist, and toured as a solo artist in France, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Wake interprets Coghlan’s three-part composition “Metallic Birds” through dance. Currently an exchange student at York, Wake holds diplomas in performing arts, teaching theatre arts and dance, and is pursuing a dance degree at Chichester University, England. Her professional credits include Harry Potter, Midsomer Murders and several shows for the Discovery Channel. She toured High School Musical across England and has also appeared in several professional pantomine shows.

Known for its crisp performance style, the Elgin String Quartet is arguably one of Canada’s finest peripatetic string ensembles. It features Cory Gemmell and Norman Hathaway on violin, Jonathan Craig on viola and Tom Mueller on cello. The members of the quartet are also solo virtuoso performers and have extensive international credits in a variety of musical ensembles and venues.

Individually and collectively, the members of the Red Zone Percolators (RZP) rank among the world’s top percussionsts. Richard Moore, an acknowledged expert on instruments in the “hammered” tradition, has recently appeared with symphony orchestras and ensembles in Montreal, Toronto and Washington. Paul Ormandy is a mallet and tympani virtuoso with expertise in numerous world drumming traditions. Rick Lazar, the prime mover behind the Brazilian samba craze across Canada, has toured internationally with many popular artists including Loreena Mckennitt. Anthony Michelli, a leading set players in the jazz tradition, has recorded and toured widely in Europe and North America. All four RZP players are contract faculty members in York’s Department of Music. They will perform Coghlan’s kinetic piece, “Bounce”.

The concert will culminate with a solo turn by Coghlan on synthesizer, performing his piece “Celestial Tunings, Fairy Beams, and Ancient Musings”.

Admission is $15 or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online, by phone at 416-736-5888, or at the door.