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Date: Aug 29, 2011
Hofstra Music Pioneers Honored with Arty Awards
The American Chamber Ensemble Prepares for a Busy Fall SeasonHofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Hofstra Professors Blanche Abram and Naomi Drucker, founders of the American Chamber Ensemble (ACE), a professional musical group in residence at Hofstra, will receive The 2011 Arty Awards from the Long Island Arts Council on September 26, 2011. Both women teach in Hofstra’s Music Department, and Professor Drucker is also a 1957 graduate of the University. Bob Spiotto, executive producer of Hofstra Entertainment, will serve as the master of ceremonies at the awards reception, which will be held at Westbury Manor.
Clarinetist Naomi Drucker and pianist Blanche Abram founded ACE in 1965. At that time, they were young mothers and musicians. They formed ACE with a desire to continue making a place for themselves in the world of music but needed to be able to perform close to home. They began their musical partnership with performances in libraries, churches and for civic organizations. ACE brought imaginative concerts for clarinet and/or piano with strings, woodwinds and voice to an audience eager to hear music in local venues.
In 1978 ACE began a residency at Hofstra University, which continues to this day. Because ACE is Long Island-based, it has, since 1980, included a work celebrating the Festival of Long Island Composers at each concert. The purpose is to help the audience realize that today's composer is their neighbor whose contribution to our culture, although relatively unrecognized, is most important.
Although venues have included the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, 92nd St. Y, CAMI Hall, Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, the Nassau County Museum of Art and prestigious universities, the American Chamber Ensemble considers Long Island audiences to be at the core of their success.
Now in its 46th year of continuous performances, ACE has a superb reputation and loyal audience for its concerts, recordings, commissions, world premieres and support of American music and Long Island composers. In 2009 Professors Abram and Drucker received The Long Island Sound Award from the Long Island Music Hall of Fame for “outstanding contributions to Long Island’s musical heritage,” and Professor Abram was awarded the Pathfinder Award in 1998 for “excellence in the arts.”
In addition to Professors Abram and Drucker, ACE is co-directed by Marilyn Lehman, also a member of the Music Department faculty and a Hofstra alumna.
Performance Schedule, Fall 2011
Sunday, September 25, 3 p.m. – American Chamber Ensemble
ACE will present its annual informal Gala afternoon of music making at Hofstra New Academic Building, 010, South Campus (located just east of the John Cranford Adams Playhouse). ACE core artists including Eriko Sato, violinist, will be joined by guest artists Karen Lehman, soprano and Hofstra alumna, the ACE Clarinet Consort and Professor Tammy Hensrud, soprano. They will perform works by Brahms, Clarke, Amram and Stamitz and several other composers. Admission is a minimum contribution of $35 to support ACE. Members of the Hofstra community are admitted free upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. For ticket prices and more information call (516) 223-0454, (631) 242-5684 or (516) 541-9090.
Friday, October 14, 7:30 p.m. – Music Faculty Concert
This Hofstra music faculty concert features Greg Mercer, tenor, and Professor Abram performing Schumann’s beautiful Dichterliebe song cycle set to the poetry of Heinrich Heine and selections from the Fantasiestucke for solo piano. This performance will take place on Friday, October 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Little Theater, located in Monroe Lecture Center, room 126, off of California Avenue on the South Campus. Admission is free.
Sunday, October 23, 3 p.m. – American Chamber Ensemble
ACE will perform their annual fall concert at Hofstra’s Helene Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center, South Campus. This program will feature the Trio for piano, violin and cello by Rebecca Clarke; Fandango for clarinet, violin, cello and piano by Marga Richter; Slang for clarinet, violin and piano by Libby Larsen; Starry Night by David Amram for clarinet and piano and The Elegiac Trio by Rachmaninoff for piano, violin and cello. Performing Artists of ACE for this program will be Blanche Abram and Marilyn Lehman, pianists; Naomi Drucker, clarinet; Chris Finckel, cello and Eriko Sato, violin. Tickets to this performance are $15, $12 senior citizen. Members of the Hofstra community receive one free ticket upon presentation of a current HofstraCard at the Box Office. Tickets and more information are available at (516) 463-6644.