October 12, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—A party and CD release concert to celebrate “String Works,” the new Albany Records recording by Eric Sawyer, assistant professor of music at Amherst College, will be held at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Amherst Books (8 Main St., Amherst, Mass.).

Scheduled featured performers will include Elizabeth Chang, violin; Francine Treste, violin; and Rafael Popper-Keizer, cello. Special musical guests may also drop by.

Composed from 1999 to 2002, “String Works” reflects Sawyer's belief in the expressive power of harmony. “While new sonorities, textures and physical rhythms that have infused much recent music are all marvelous additions to the musical lexicon,” Sawyer writes, “it is the domain of harmony that can most provide a context of emotional resonance.”

A member of the Amherst faculty since 2001, Sawyer received an A.B. degree in music from Harvard University in 1985, a M.A. in composition from Columbia University in 1988 and a Ph.D. in composition from the University of California, Davis, in 1994. He has held fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Harvard University. He was founding director of the critically-acclaimed contemporary ensemble Longitude. Recent performances include works on programs by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Brentano String Quartet, Seraphim Singers, Ensemble Phoenix, Radius Ensemble, Laurel Trio, Now & Then Chamber Players, Aurelius Ensemble, Opera Longy, Ives Quartet, Arden Quartet, Lighthouse Chamber Players, Earplay and Empyrean. He is completing an opera with poet John Shoptaw titled Our American Cousin.