DBR and Patrice Rushen Perform with Contemporary Orchestra

Nick Balkin
March 31, 2011
Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra (BCSO) will perform a free concert Sunday, April 17, 8:00 p.m., at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston. The concert will feature two guest artists—composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) and pianist Patrice Rushen—and the work of several award-winning student musicians.

The BCSO, an 80-piece ensemble directed by assistant professor Francisco Noya, is committed to performing great symphonic music of the past, present, and future. Its repertoire includes original compositions by Berklee faculty and students, contemporary music from around the globe, film scores, video game music, and more.

DBR will conduct the BCSO for his Hip-Hop Essay for Orchestra, and Rushen will lead the ensemble in a set of her music. The program also includes works performed by Berklee concerto competition winners: pianist Sonya Belousova, performing the finale of Shchedrin's Piano Concerto No. 1, and saxophonist Alexey Sokolov, performing the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto. In addition, Berklee composition competition winner Arturo Cardelus will premiere a movement of his piano concerto. Selections from Michael Daugherty's Metropolis Symphony will round out this showcase.

Having carved a reputation for himself as an innovative composer, performer, violinist, and bandleader, Haitian American artist Daniel Bernard Roumain melds his classical music roots with his own cultural references and vibrant musical imagination. Proving that he's "about as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets" (New York Times), DBR recently collaborated and performed with Lady Gaga on American Idol. His accolades range from being voted America's Assignment on CBS Evening News, to receiving praise as one of the Top 100 New Yorkers (New York Resident), Top 40 under 40 businesspeople (Crain's New York Business), and a New Face of Classical Music (Esquire). A native of Margate, Florida, he studied music as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music and completed his master's and doctoral work at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Pulitzer Prize–winning composer William Bolcom. For more information, visit dbrmusic.com.

A classically trained pianist, Patrice Rushen has spent a lifetime honing the skills that make her one of the music industry's most well-rounded and sought-after artists. Rushen was the first woman in 43 years to serve as head composer/musical director for the Emmy Awards, and the first woman to serve as musical director for the NAACP Image Awards broadcast, an honor she has held for 12 consecutive years. In 1998, Rushen's adult contemporary album Signature received a Grammy nomination and was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award. An accomplished film composer, Rushen has a long list of feature credits including Men in Black, Waiting to Exhale, Sandra Bernhardt's Without You I'm Nothing, and Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle. In 2008, Rushen accepted a professorship at Berklee; she received an honorary doctor of music degree from the college in 2005. For more information, visit patricerushen.com.