“I first heard Judith Lang Zaimont’s music in 1986.” On the eve of pianist Joanne Polk’s celebration of Zaimont’s 70th Birthday season, she reminisces about the composer’s music. The portrait concert takes places on November 7 at Symphony Space (New York City), as Polk is joined by flutist Immanuel Davis, violinist Yura Seung-Jung Oh, and cellist Julian Langford. The program features Zaimont’s Sonata (for piano), and the chamber pieces Bubble-Up Rag, Reflective Rag, Serenade, and Zones (Piano Trio No. 2).
Polk continues. “[The concert] I attended [featured] a performance of “Parable: A Tale of Abraham and Isaac,” at Merkin Hall. It was one of the very few moments in my life when I burst into tears in a concert hall. Judy and I have been friends ever since. I have recorded and performed Judy’s music for almost 30 years, and consider it an honor to do so. Her music soars with passion, intensity, lyricism, beauty, and intimacy. It is a pleasure to commemorate Judith Lang Zaimont’s 70th birthday with a concert celebrating her solo piano and chamber music repertoire.”
Also happening this month is The Boston New Music Initiative’s (BNMI) world premiere of Zaimont’s Sonata-Rhapsody. The work premieres on November 14, in collaboration with the New York Women Composers organization. The performance features violinist Nikole Stoica and pianist Valerie Ross. Artistic director Patrick Valentino comments. “Lately BNMI has been experimenting with showcasing numerous sub-sets of our core performers (Pierrot ensemble + percussion). Judith’s piece stood out in its sure and confident tone, solid construction, and the artistic use of virtuosic elements —a challenging work to be sure, but never difficult for its own sake. Nikole and Valerie are two formidable musicians who possess the artistic instinct and virtuosity to give Sonata-Rhapsody a great performance of such a tightly constructed and collaborative work. I am very excited for this concert.”