Distinguished Young Composer Brings Rock-Classical Fusion To DC

Nov. 11, 2006 – Washington, DC – Can you imagine what Bach’s work might have sounded like if he’d heard Eddie Van Halen wail on an electric guitar? A rapidly-emerging Baltimore composer, steeped in both traditional classical techniques and the sound of thrashing 80s guitar riffs, is debuting a composition this month that offers an intriguing taste of both.

At 7PM on November 17, Sparr’s General Electric will receive its world premiere. While General Electric is cast in concerto grosso format, it’s scored for electric guitar, electric bass, synthesizer, percussion and large chamber ensemble. The result is a uniquely riveting blend of musical styles. (To listen to excerpts from some of Sparr’s other works, visit http://www.myspace.com/djsparr.)

“I like having a foot in both worlds,”says Sparr, who recently spent two years as manager and in-house orchestrator for an LA-based indie music label. “I think it helps me keep a connection with the audience.”

Sparr is the recipient of numerous national composition awards, including the Howard Hanson Large Ensemble prize, first place in George Washington University’s Alan Tyndall Hutchinson Competition, two BMI Student Composer Awards and a $10,000 grand prize from the BMG/Williams College National Young Composers Competition. He holds a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Michigan.

General Electric will be performed by DC’s Great Noise Ensemble. Great Noise, which is led by fellow emerging composer Armando Bayolo, has built a notable reputation in the area, recently offering the region’s only concert honoring new music giant Steve Reich on his 70th birthday.

The upcoming concert will take place at The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1201 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. At the event, Great Noise will also perform works by Bayolo, Heather Figi and Blair Goins. General admission is $20, and $10 for students and seniors. For more information on the concert, contact Kristen Benoit at (703)402-8572 or Armando Bayolo at (703)674-7001, or write info@greatnoiseensemble.com. For reviewer passes, photos or other press information, please contact Anne Zieger at (703) 880-4884.

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