One of the great losses to the New Orleans classical music world in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was the move of composer Stephen Dankner to a northern clime. Dankner was chairman of the music department of the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) and was also a member of the faculty at Loyola University’s Department of Musicprior to the devastation that wreaked havoc on the city from flooding.
A graduate of the Julliard School of Music, he came to New Orleans to teach and to compose in a pleasant environment. Dankner was named composer-in-residence for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for many years at the insistence of his close friend, the late artistic director and maestro Klauspeter Siebel. Several of his recent works include his “Song of Solomon (Symphony No. 3),” “Psalm of Peace (Symphony No. 4),” “Odyssey of Faith (Symphony No 5) , many of which have drawn inspiration from Old Testament study. In fact, six of his nine symphonies have had premieres with the LPO.
It is not often that Dankner returns to New Orleans. The last time he premiered a work was with the LPO on October 21, 2010 when his “Symphony No. 9” was heard for the first time under the baton of maestro Siebel, who passed away at the beginning of last January. Dankner dedicated that work to Siebel.
Dankner, who studied under renowned composer Roger Sessions, has always been a student of composition. After hearing a reading of Beethoven’s Opus 95 (“Serioso”), he was inspired to compose his work, the “Magical String Quartet No. 9.” Both of those works will be heard tonight in concert at Trinity Episcopal Church under the auspices of Albinas Prizgintas, the tireless music director there. Dankner will be on hand to discuss the work and Beethoven’s influence upon his own quartet prior to the performance by the Faubourg Quartet.
The Faubourg Quartet includes several NOCCA classical music department faculty members Dr. Jee Ko, Joe Meyer and Zorica Dimova as well as either Dave Rebeck or Ila Rondeau, most of whom are also members of the LPO.
The free concert begins at 7:00 p.m. at 1329 Jackson Avenue. For more information call 504-522-0276.