At the Gershwin Hotel:

An Evening of New Music by Ben Richter and Somna M. Bulist

Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

The Gershwin Hotel, 7 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

$10.00 Admission

The Gershwin Hotel performance series, hosted by Neke Carson and Michael Wiener, presents a concert of new music Saturday, June 12, at 8:00 pm, featuring compositions by Ben Richter and Somna M. Bulist, including several world premieres and recent works for harp, accordion, and chamber ensemble.

Three new works for harp will be performed by Ms. Bulist, including two of her own compositions - Campbell's Soup (2008) and I Thank The Sea For The Gifts She Gives Me (2008-2010) - and the world premiere of Ben Richter's The Elementals for microtonal harp. Ms. Bulist and Mr. Richter will open the evening with a duo performance of Bulist's Brillo (2002) for harp and accordion.

In addition to The Elementals, Mr. Richter will present three ensemble works and a work for violin solo. World premieres include Song of Lost Jerusalem for soprano voice, banjo, accordion, flute, viola, and cello; There Is A Void Outside Of Existence Which If Entered Into Englobes Itself And Becomes A Womb (2008-2009) for clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and piano; and Göbekli Hymn (2009) for violin solo.

The evening will feature performances by Somna M. Bulist (harp), Emily Kalish (violin), Siobhan Solberg (viola), Alysha Glenn (cello), Shiau-uen Ding (piano), Jennifer Winn (soprano), Melinda Ryan (flute), Daniel Whitener (banjo), Ben Richter (accordion), and Zara Acosta (clarinet).

Ben Richter is a composer and accordionist from New England. Before being admitted to the Royal Conservatory of the Hague in the Netherlands, where he is currently enrolled, he studied composition at Bard College with Joan Tower, George Tsontakis, Kyle Gann, and Keith Fitch, graduating in 2008. While at Bard, he also received private instruction in accordion with avant-garde composer and accordionist Pauline Oliveros, and performed in a klezmer ensemble led by David Krakauer.

Ensembles who have recently performed Ben Richter's music include the American Symphony Orchestra with conductor Leon Botstein, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, the Colorado Quartet, and the Portland Saw Orchestra. He has prepared musical scores for films including Untitled Chapters, The Dresden Dolls: Paradise, The Abyss Gazes Also, and Learning from James, and sound installations for video and sculpture projects at Bard College and ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany. His piece "The Center of The World" is currently featured in an exhibit on Music and Science Fiction at the Maison d'Ailleurs, "Museum of Science Fiction, Utopia, and Extraordinary Journeys", in Yverdon-les-bains, Switzerland. As a performer, Mr. Richter has appeared with bands such as The Land of Dreams, The Dresden Dolls, Over A Cardboard Sea, Dog on Fleas, The Aboriginals, and Wingnut Dishwashers Union, and in the productions of the Surrealist Training Circus, of which he was musical director from 2004–2008. Since 2009, he has been Master Teacher of Instrumental Composition at the Young People's Institute.

Harpist and composer Somna M. Bulist is a 2006 ASCAPLUS award recipient for performances of her original compositions all over New York City in such unlikely places as Webster Hall (Zenwarp's The Lord of The Rings Two Tower Ball), CBGBs, and a New York Vampyre Society.

Ms. Bulist is a veteran of three Fringe Festivals, including the 1998 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, where she performed her original work for solo harp, The FAERYE Invocations, and, in the same year, a selection of the pieces were released on her debut CD, Invocations FAERYE. She premiered her situational work in tribute to the millennium, 44 minutes on the flatline_A Cry for the Millennium, at the 1999 New York International Fringe Festival, a production of The Present Company. In 2001, her third Philadelphia Fringe Festival presentation, Bulist performed her dark wave opera Valentine Stigmata, which was also released on CD.

Ms. Bulist studied harp with Lucile Lawrence and completed coursework at the Mannes School of Music and the Delcroze School of Music in New York City.


The Gershwin Hotel is located in midtown Manhattan’s Flatiron District at 7 East 27th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue. The Gershwin Hotel is close to the R, W, and 6 subways at 28th Street, and the D,F, Q, N, and V subways at 32nd Street and Broadway.

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