Alexa Still Premieres Music by Elliott Carter on New Oberlin Music Release

April 17, 2014
Conservatory Communications Staff
Alexa Still
Photo credit: (Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97)

For many years, Elliott Carter (1908-2012) resisted writing a flute concerto. He thought the instrument "could not produce the sharp attacks" he so frequently favored. But Carter found himself increasingly attracted to "the beautiful qualities of the different registers of the instrument and the extraordinary agility." Oberlin Conservatory’s associate professor of flute Alexa Still has now released the premiere recording of this distinguished American original's final solo concerto on the Oberlin Music label. The digital EP release is available through iTunes and other digital music channels.

Carter wrote his flute concerto in 2008, the year he turned 100 years old. The 13-minute piece was given its premiere performance by Emanuel Pahud with the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Ensemble. Critics have praised the work for its rhapsodic and brilliant properties.

Still is known internationally for her many recordings on the Koch International Classics label. Gramophone has noted, “Whatever she plays sounds musical in every turn of the phrase.” Counting numerous releases to her credit, the native of New Zealand has demonstrated a distinct commitment to American music.

“I’m thrilled to be able to share this premiere recording of Elliott Carter’s last solo concerto," Still said. "His music is often known for a certain amount of humor, and it's challenging to play—and sometimes challenging to listen to. However, the flute concerto is different! The middle is a strikingly expressive melodic section, and the end is blindingly virtuosic.”

Elliott Carter: Flute Concerto was recorded in Clonick Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. It features the conservatory's award-winning Contemporary Music Ensemble under the direction of Timothy Weiss. The ensemble released another work in the Carter catalog in 2013: the Clarinet Concerto with soloist Richard Hawkins, Oberlin’s associate professor of clarinet. The piece appears on the Oberlin Music CD A place toward other places.

OBERLIN MUSIC is the official record label of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. It celebrates the artistic vision and superlative talent of Oberlin’s faculty, students, and alumni—on campus and on tour. In 2010, the conservatory opened Clonick Hall, a superior recording facility dedicated to capturing studio sessions in the heart of the conservatory. Oberlin Music titles are distributed by Naxos of America, are available on CD and digital music channels worldwide. For more information, visit the Oberlin Music website.

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