January 29, 2009
For immediate release

Contact: Sara R. Leonard
Concert and Production Manager

AMHERST, Mass.—The acclaimed Boston-based Firebird Ensemble will make their Amherst College debut on Friday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall of the college’s Arms Music Center.

Firebird Ensemble is a group of adventurous young musicians celebrating their enthusiasm for new music by striving for artistic excellence, taking creative risks and seeking to attract and engage diverse audiences, ranging from fans of avant-garde music to the novice new-music listener. Since its inception in 2001, the group has been musically defined by rich, eclectic programming with interdisciplinary influences, aiming to break down preconceptions about new music, to build enthusiasm for new compositions and to create a unique and welcoming concert atmosphere. Firebird places priority on featuring and commissioning works by emerging and established composers from the United States with highly varied musical backgrounds. Firebird, hailed by the New York Times as “ambitious and eclectic,” is continuing to expand its educational and outreach activities in order to bring the music of our time to a broader range of young and underserved audiences.

In addition to a diverse array of works by Lou Harrison, C. Bryan Rulon, Arvo Part, Thomas Ades and Lee Hyla, the Firebird Ensemble will also be serving up a generous helping of crossover songs at Amherst, including Frank Zappa’s “Peaches en Regalia,” Weird Al Yankovic’s “Genius in France” (arr. By Liam Wade) and Greg Allman’s “Whipping Post” (arr. By John Morrison), among other meaty tunes.

This concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Concert Office at concerts@amherst.edu or 413/542-2195. Visit the department’s Web site at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music.