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100 Years of Spring

Nita Sutton

Neil Alexander’s solo piano arrangement of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, on tour, featuring performance in farm/food markets internationally. http://100yearsofspring.org

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Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps  (The Rite of Spring) Centennial Tribute “100 Years of Spring” with Neil Alexander

     Imagine a quiet morning in a food market. A place Anthony Bourdain or Jamie Oliver might visit while jaunting around the globe. Strategically placed, among vendors setting up their stalls, is a piano. When the market opens people trickle in, or pour in, and some may notice the unusual addition and wonder. Then, as people are chatting, procuring, rushing or strolling, music emerges giving turns to lilting, strong, thunderous, melancholy, and uplifting melody.  All from the piano manifested in the market midst and all elements of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring). Familiar music people have been listening to for decades in Disney’s Fantasia while watching animation spanning Earth inception to dinosaur demise. Captivated as a child by the film experience Musician/Composer Neil Alexander entered into a long relationship with Le Sacre du Printemps. Alexander’s love for this iconic music inspired his rendering and performance of a stellar solo piano arrangement. After sharing locally for 5 years, Alexander will perform internationally during the “100 Years of Spring” tour.
     May 29, 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the Paris premier of Le Sacre du Printemps, the music about ritual offerings to the vernal forces. Neil Alexander will make his offering of the Stravinsky piece along with samplings of Gershwin and original compositions in the savory wonders where purvey and procure meet-the food marketplace. In addition to market performances, Alexander will appear in concert with a more traditional program, and in lecture demonstration setting extending an overview of his process and appreciation during the arrangement of Stravinsky’s work. The tour will begin Spring 2012 in the United States with dates in New York and California. Performances in Europe, including Paris, will occur throughout 2013.

     Neil began playing piano at an early age and quickly absorbed and became proficient in a multitude of styles. As a teen, in the mid-1970s, he embraced progressive electronic jazz and rock and gladly took on every synthesizer and sound-manipulating device that came his way. Without the opportunity to attend a music conservatory, he found a way to exact his skills as a pianist with prominent dance conservatories and companies including NYU, Jose Limon, Donald Byrd and Martha Graham. As a long-standing staff member at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, Alexander collaborates with faculty and student body as composer and musician. Neil Alexander is currently a member of the repertory ensemble The Mahavishnu Project focusing on perpetuating the music of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Miles Davis, and others. Neil is also developing an ambitious project that explores a reimagining of “The Planets” by Gustav Holtz. For more information about the Stravinsky “Le Sacre du Printemps” performances and Neil Alexander visit: http://100yearsofspring.org or contact Nita Rae at: 100years@nailmusic.com.