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cornellmusic Lucy Fitz Gibbon

Ithaca music fans know that pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough and soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon are a powerhouse duo with a dynamic and diverse repertoire, and their recitals always delight audiences with something new. Their concert on Thursday, February 15 at 8:00 pm at Barnes Hall will be no different, as they showcase new song settings by composer James Primosch, which will subsequently be recorded as an album.

On faculty at the University of Pennsylvania since 1988, Primosch has had works performed throughout the US and Europe by ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the Albany Symphony, among others. He has received numerous honors and awards, such as a Guggenheim Fellowship, three prizes from the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters, and a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center where he studied with John Harbison, whose work also appears on the program.

Primosch became involved with McCullough and Fitz Gibbon via their connection with Harbison; McCullough contacted Harbison via a fax several years ago to ask for the opportunity to perform the composer's second piano sonata for him. The performance impressed Harbison enough to later write a piece for McCullough and invite him to his summer festival. McCullough performs the challenging sonata on this recital, and Fitz Gibbon joins him for Harbison's song cycle Simple Daylight.

McCullough describes both composers' works as reflecting "devotion of all sorts, as expressed through music," from a moving love song to a composer's love of music-making. The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

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