“On the Wing: A Celebration of Birds in Music
and Spoken Word” Connects Composer,
Mass Audubon, and Nature

On the Wing

New Work Premiers in February with Five
Performances at Four Venues

Inspired by his love of nature, particularly birdlife, composer and Berklee College of Music Professor Andrew List has created a uniquely collaborative performance piece that marries music, song, poetry, and expert commentary on birds.

On the Wing: A Celebration of Birds in Music and Spoken Word exalts birds as symbols of wonderment, freedom, and beauty. On the Wing will showcase 12 original songs by List, played by noted pianist George Lopez, Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College, and sung by renowned mezzo-soprano Krista River. Interspersed through the song cycle will be poems written and recited by poet and Babson College English Professor Mary Pinard (who also wrote lyrics to the music), and commentary by Wayne Petersen, Mass Audubon’s Director of Important Bird Areas and an expert guide.

The program will conclude with a question-and-answer period between the artists and the audience, moderated by List.

“Creating On the Wing is a fulfillment of a life-long desire to make a special work that celebrates birds and the natural world,” List said. “I draw most of my inspiration as a composer from the outdoors and nature, which have always been a grounding force for my music.”

Ornithologist Petersen, who has traveled the globe on behalf of birdlife, said the performance piece has great potential for connecting people to nature in an original way.

“When Andrew proposed this project, I was immediately intrigued because of our shared love of birds,” Petersen said. “And the way he has reached out to colleagues in the worlds of music and literature to join him in this concert series has re-affirmed for me how nature can inspire artists and build communities.”


Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7:30pm:
Berklee College, David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St., Boston, MA

Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 pm
Bowdoin College, Sudzinski Recital Hall, Brunswick, ME

Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 pm,
Bowdoin College, Sudzinski Recital Hall, Brunswick, ME

Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 5:30 pm
Babson College, Glavin Chapel, 231 Forest St. Babson Park, MA

Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2:00 pm,
Phillips Andover Addison Gallery of American Art, 180 Main St. Andover, MA

Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 pm,
David Friend Recital Hall, Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston St., Boston, MA

Artist Biographies

Krista River  
Mezzo-soprano Krista River has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony, the Santa Fe Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society, the Florida Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony and the Pittsburgh Bach and Baroque Ensemble. Winner of the 2004 Concert Artists Guild International Competition and a 2007 Sullivan Foundation grant recipient, her opera roles include Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Anna in Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring, and the title role in Handel’s Xerxes. For Ms. River’s New York Recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the New York Times praised her "shimmering voice…with the virtuosity of a violinist and the expressivity of an actress.”

Her 2013-14 performances include appearances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Cape Cod Symphony, Serenata of Santa Fe, Sarasa, and Boston Baroque. Ms. River began her musical career as a cellist, earning her music degree at St. Olaf College. She resides in Boston and is a regular soloist with Emmanuel Music’s renowned Bach Cantata Series.

Krista River  
George Sebastian Lopez, pianist, has been featured across the globe as recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and collaborator. Mr. Lopez received critical acclaim for his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and performed the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Concertos in his last two concert seasons. He was invited by The International Holland Music Sessions, now one of the top performing arenas for up-and-coming musicians in Europe, to go on a world tour where he performed in Paris, London, Cologne, New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and in Los Angeles where he was hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his “ . . . musical perspective, continuity, and kaleidoscopic colors.” He also performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue to a capacity crowd with the NH Music Festival Orchestra. Last June he gave recitals in Switzerland and Holland and in October 2008 played Chopin’s First Piano Concerto.

He premiered a piano concerto written for him by Romeo Melloni, an Italian composer from Milan, which he recorded with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra in Prague with Maestro Paul Polivnick. He will be going on a West Coast tour in March 2010, performing solo and chamber music concerts as well as master classes in Seattle and Portland. Mr. Lopez performed at Brown University with renowned American composer David Amram for a weeklong residency, and his recent tour of chamber music concerts in Australia garnered an invitation to the Kowmung Music Festival next year. His chamber music collaborations have included the Emerson String Quartet, the Rainier Quartet, the Incanto Ensemble of Germany, and the Aurea Ensemble of Providence, along with members of some of the top orchestras in the country with whom he plays regularly at the New Hampshire Music Festival.

He was invited by the Montclaire String Quartet to open their concert season with Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor at the Clay Center for the Arts in Charleston, West Virginia, where he is a frequent guest artist. Most recently, he performed a recital with cellist Emmanuel Feldman in Boston’s Jordan Hall, giving a world premiere performance of Jan Swafford’s In Time of War for cello and piano. Mr. Lopez has been an advocate for music education for many years and is a popular lecturer on the arts in New England. He has given lectures for the European Piano Teachers Association in Amsterdam. He maintains active studios in New Hampshire at Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Paul’s School, having graduated several students to major conservatories in the U.S. including Juilliard Prep, Hartt College Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College, and the University of Southern California.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Belize to Mayan parents, George Lopez started playing the piano at the fairly late age of 11. Upon returning to the U.S., he won his first orchestral competition at 14 in Texas and two years later was awarded a full scholarship to The Hartt School of Music. After graduating with honors, he went to Paris on a Franco-American study grant and was given a unanimous First Prize for the Diplome supérieur. He completed his Masters Degree cum laude in Amsterdam. In addition to the New Hampshire Symphony, Mr. Lopez has appeared with the Granite State Symphony Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra of Maine, the Fort Smith Symphony in Arkansas, and has performed Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto in Yverdon-les-Bains. He is presently the Beckwith Artist in Residence at Bowdoin College.

Krista River  

Mary Pinard is a poet and Professor of English at Babson College where she teaches courses in literature and poetry in the Arts and Humanities Division.  She has also served in a range of administrative positions there, including as Director of the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program, Coordinator of the Creativity Stream in the MBA Program, Writing Center Director, and Division Chair.

She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago (English) and Vermont College (poetry).  Her poems have appeared in a variety of literary journals—including The Iowa Review, Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Georgia Review—and she has been the recipient of several national awards for her poetry.  Her essays on poets, including Lorine Niedecker and Alice Oswald, have been published in critical anthologies and scholarly journals.  Her book of poems, Portal, is forthcoming from Salmon Press.  She was born and raised in Seattle. 

Krista River  
Wayne R Petersen is Director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program at the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He was the Field Ornithologist at Mass Audubon for 15 years before assuming the position of IBA Director in 2005. As co-author of Birds of Massachusetts (1993) and co-editor of the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas (2003), his knowledge of the habitats, distribution, and status of the Commonwealth's bird life is both extensive and wide-ranging.

A New England Regional Editor for North American Birds magazine and editor of the New England Christmas Bird Count, Wayne's knowledge of the seasonal distribution of New England bird life give him a wide perspective when thinking about Important Bird Areas in Massachusetts and beyond. Among his other writing projects are authorship of the National Audubon Society's Pocket Guide to Songbirds and Familiar Backyard Birds (East), and Birds of New England (with Roger Burrows), and contributing to The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior, and Arctic Wings. Wayne leads international birding tours for Mass Audubon and Field Guides, Inc., is a founding member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (MARC), and is a member of advisory committee for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine. He is also on the boards of the Wildlands Trust of Southeastern Massachusetts and Bird Observer magazine. In 2005 he was the recipient of the American Birding Association’s Ludlow Griscom Award for outstanding contributions in regional ornithology.

Krista River  
Andrew List (Professor of Composition at Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA) composes music in many different genres, including orchestral works, string quartet, vocal, choral music, opera, music for children, solo works, and a variety of chamber ensembles. He is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music, with B.A. and M.A. degrees in music composition. He received his doctorate in music composition from Boston University, where he studied with Bernard Rands, Samuel Headrick, and Nicholas Maw. Mr. List has also studied privately with Richard Danielpour.

Mr. List has received numerous commissions and performances from professional music ensembles and solo artists in the United States and Europe. A short list include: The Boston Classical Orchestra, Zodiac Trio, Alea III, Esterhazy Quartet, Interensemble, Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, North-South Consonance, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, George Lopez (pianist) Turtle Island String Quartet, Winston Choi (pianist), Emmanuel Feldman (cellist) soprano Lisa Saffer. Highlights of his 2014-15 season include a collaboration with Mass Audubon on world premiere of “On The Wing, A Celebration of Birds in Spoken Words and Music” Double Concerto for Flute, Oboe and String Orchestra commissioned by the Boston Classical Orchestra’s in celebration of their 35th season, String Quartet No 5: "Time Cycles" a composition inspired by poet T.S. Eliot's monumental work Four Quartets commissioned by the Arneis Quartet, and “Triptych” a new work for oboe, bassoon and piano commissioned by The Boston Woodwind Society.

Mr. List presents a composition class as part of the Zodiac Music Academy and Festival, which takes every summer in the south of France. He was the first prizewinner of the Renegade Ensemble’s composition competition, Portland Chamber Music Festival Composition Competition, MTNA commissioned composer for 2011, a finalist in both the Alea III International Composition Competition and the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship. Recent recordings of his music include his Violin Concerto recorded by Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Eva Szekely, violin soloist, released on the Albany label and Noa Noa, A Gauguin Tableau, commissioned and recorded by MONTAGE Music Society released MSR Classics.

Mr. List has been fortunate to enjoy a number of residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Aspen Music Festival, La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and Visby Centre for Composers in Sweden. He was awarded a distinguished artist-in-residence grant, sponsored by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, the city of Amsterdam and the American Embassy in The Hague.



Copyright © 2006 Andrew List. All rights reserved. alist@berklee.edu