DECEMBER 11, 2017: Berklee Marimba Concert, directed by Nancy Zeltsman, 3:00-5:00 pm at Berklee College of Music’s David Friend Recital Hall. The concert includes the premiere of In Search of Holly, a transcription for three marimbas and snare drum of a scene from my Christmas ballet Holly and Ivy.

DECEMBER 2017: St. Mary Schola performances, with me on cello. Concerts Dec. 8, 7:30 pm, in Portland (Cathedral Church of St. Luke), Dec. 10, 4:00 pm, in Falmouth (Episcopal Church of St. Mary), and Dec. 12, 7:30 pm, in Portland (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception).

JUNE 2017: St. Mary Schola performances, with me on cello. Called “A Musical Banquet,” the program featured excerpts from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, with the marvelous young countertenor Christopher Garrepy singing Orfeo. Performances June 10 in Falmouth, June 11 in North Conway, NH, June 13 in Portland (Cathedral of St. Luke’s), and June 16 in Portland (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception). Here is Allan Kozinn’s review.

APRIL 7-9, 2017: My second year directing the Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival. Concerts April 7 and 8 at the Portland Conservatory of Music, and April 9 at Portland’s SPACE Gallery. Tracey Jasas-Hardel, Bryan Brash, and I premiered my All the Desanctified Places, a trio based on the first section of Robert Bringhurst’s New World Suite No. 3. I was also the cellist in chamber works by John Newell and Bruce Fithian. Here are Allan Kozinn’s reviews of the Friday and Sunday concerts.

MARCH 30, 2017: Performances of my Evening’s Sabres (marimba quartet) and Susurrus (solo marimba) at Berklee College of Music Marimba Showcase concert. Coached by Nancy Zeltsman, the players were Daniel Hallett, William Land, Joanna Chen, and Ryan Aguilar.

DECEMBER 2016: St. Mary Schola performances, with me on cello. Program includes Charpentier’s Christmas cantata, In Navitatem Domini Canticum. Performances Dec. 11 in Falmouth (Church of St. Mary’s), Dec. 13 in Portland (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception), and Dec. 14 in Portland (Cathedral of St. Luke’s).

DECEMBER 12, 2016, 4:00 pm: Performance of a portion of my marimba quartet, Evening’s Sabres, by Berklee and Boston Conservatory students coached by Nancy Zeltsman. At David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street.

NOVEMBER 27, 2016, 4:00 pm: Choral Evensong at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Falmouth. I’ll be playing cello in Pergolesi’s Magnificat.

(Photo by Rene Roy)

SEPTEMBER 10, 2016: At the wedding of my son Eric and Melanie Knight on the shores of Messalonskee Lake in Sidney, my other son Melsen and I performed Moving Day, a new piece for cello and piano I had written for the occasion.

JUNE 24, 2016: Played cello at the CD-release performance of Jimmy Dority’s Jimmy Do Right & Pop Go Boom at Portland’s Space Gallery. A somewhat expanded rock ensemble on stage, including four back-up singers, and about a dozen orchestral musicians on the floor. With each player miked, the sound check was quite a process. I was older than any of the other performers, by about three or four decades in most cases. It was a blast.

JUNE 17-19, 2016: Asa Nisi Masa, for violin and chamber orchestra, was premiered by Trond Saeverud and the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra at three concerts in downeast Maine: June 17 at the Eastport Arts Center in Eastport; June 18 at the Centre Street Congregational Church in Machias; and June 19 at the First Congregational Church in Calais.

MAY 2016: Played cello and viola da gamba with St. Mary Schola in a program called “Ode to Music” that included works by Handel, Purcell, and others. Performances May 1 in Farmington, May 8 in Falmouth, May 10 in Brunswick, and May 13 in Portland.

ESCHART Variations cover BWAPRIL 8-9, 2016: I directed the Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival at the Portland Conservatory of Music. The festival was a tribute to Elliott Schwartz in celebration of his eightieth birthday. Besides a variety of chamber works by the composers in attendance, the three concerts included five of Elliott’s compositions, and thirty miniature pieces written for the occasion by his friends and former students. I compiled the pieces into a Festschrift that was available for purchase at the festival. (Cover to the right.)

For their miniatures, most of the composers employed, as source material, Elliott’s musical motto ESCHART, a version of “E. Schwartz” minus the non-musical letters W and Z. ESCHART is also the beginning of a 12-tone row that Elliot created for his orchestral piece Voyager, in which the second half is an upside-down and backwards transposition of the first half (E-Eb-C-B-A-Bb-G-Ab-Gb-F-D-C#). Several pieces in the collection are based on that row.

Besides my own compositional contributions to the festival (a solo piano piece for the ESCHART Variations, and my a cappella vocal quintet Soft Voices), I was the cellist in the festival quintet that performed the miniature pieces, and joined pianist Jesse Feinberg in a performance of Elliott’s duo for cello and piano, Prelude, Memorial, and Aria. Here are reviews of the Friday night concert by Christopher Hyde and Allan Kozinn.

MARCH 2016: Played cello with St. Mary Schola in Handel’s Dixit Dominus, plus works by Schütz, Monteverdi, and others. Performances March 8 in Portland (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception), March 10 in Portland (Cathedral of St. Luke’s), and March 13 in Falmouth (Church of St. Mary’s). In his Press Herald review, Allan Kozinn wrote “Fithian led his choir and a period instrument ensemble in cohesive, energetic performances, beautifully sung and deftly played.”