David Amram
Composer, Conductor & Multi-Instrumentalist

Back To Where All Began: Amram At 85

Monday December 21, 8 PM to Midnight

The Theater for the New City

155 1st Avenue, New York (between 8th and 9th Streets)

or by calling the Theater for the New City at 212-254-1109

All seats are $20


A Note From David Amram

This is the LAST 85th birthday event and will be celebrated in the neighborhood where I lived for the first two years after  arriving in New York City 60 years ago in 1955. Actress and producer Crystal Field, the founder of  the Theater for the New City and I first worked together in Joe Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park in the late 50s and in 1960 for Elia Kazan in his classic film Splendor in the Grass. I have  played every one of the 20 annual Festivals of the Lower East Side presented by the Theater for the New City, as well as receiving their Love and Courage Award.

The first half of this 85th birthday celebration will be  performances of my classical  chamber music compositions. with performances of Greenwich Village Portraits (2014) for alto saxophone and piano, whose three movements are dedicated respectively to Arthur Miller, Odetta and Frank McCourt. Both of these pieces were composed for and premiered by saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky. He is coming from Boston to perform this piece as well as the Finale of my saxophone concerto Ode to Lord Buckley (1981).
The Violin Sonata (1960) will be performed by Elmira Darvarova, the first woman to ever be concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the founder of the annual New York Chamber Music Festival. She has premiered several works of mine in Europe and recorded a whole evening of my chamber music at her own annual festival in New York City .

Elmira and Kenneth Radnofsky have recently created The Amram Ensemble, a new chamber music group which will  feature selected works of mine as well as music by other composers of the past and present, and this will be formally announced at the  concert this December 21st.  

Blues and Variations for Monk for Unaccompanied Horn (1982) will be performed by the New York Philharmonic’s French Horn virtuoso Howard Wall, composed in memory of Thelonious Monk, who was a mentor of mine in the 50s, encouraging me  to continue to pursue my  path as both an improvising jazz french hornist and a composer of formal classical music.

The Wind and Rain for Viola and Piano (1959) will be performed by Consuelo Sherba. The music, based on  a score written for Joe Papp’s production of 12th Night in Central Park in 1958 was later included in the opera 12th Night, commissioned by the New York Shakespeare Festival with a libretto by Joe Papp and debuted in 1968

The second half of the gala evening will include members of  my quintet (Kevin Twigg - Drums, Rene Hart - Bass, Adam Amram - Congas, Robbie Winterhawk - Percussion, Elliot Peper - Bongos).  who will be joined by guest artists from the many worlds of music which I call home, as well as friends and collaborators from the theater, film and dance.

There will also be readings from Jack Kerouac's On the Road with music, which Kerouac and I pioneered in 1957 at the first-ever jazz poetry readings presented in New York City, a few blocks from  where the Theater for the New City is located today. It was here in this same neighborhood that I also met Woody Guthrie in 1956, as well as the same year and same neighborhood where I met Kerouac and Joe Papp, so it is a perfect place to conclude the series of  85th birthday celebrations which have taken place in locutions around the USA, Canada and England.  

Tickets can be ordered on Smart Tix or by calling the Theater for the New City at 212-254-1109. All seats are $20.