Amazing Grace: James Newton at 65
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (PDT)
Los Angeles, CA


Award-winning composer/flutist/conductor James Newton, a Distinguished Professor of Ethnomusicology, is celebrating his 65th birthday with an inspirational tribute concert featuring a handful of his more than 300 compositions. Amazing Grace: James Newton at 65 traverses from 1988-1989’s “The King’s Way” (dedicated to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and broadcast worldwide on NPR), to the world premiere of  “Glimpses of the Garden of Eden” for horn solo and chamber orchestra, written in 2016. A font of creativity, his work encompasses chamber, symphonic, and electronic music genres, compositions for ballet and modern dance, and numerous jazz and world music contexts. An international touring flutist/composer for more than 30 years, Newton’s experiences performing thousands of concerts in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East “radically sculpted my approach to composition,” he said. Among his influences are Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, J. S. Bach, Mary Lou Williams, Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, Doudou N’Diaye Rose, Henri Dutilleux, Toru Takemitsu, Hale Smith, György Ligeti, John Coltrane and Billy Strayhorn. “As my composing developed and incorporated new sources along with greater awareness and heightened sensitivity to other art forms,” he said. “My desire to connect seemingly disparate languages intensified.”

Giving life to his work, featured artists include The Southeast Symphony, conducted by Anthony Parnther, Grammy-winning UCLA pianist Gloria Cheng, the Lyris Quartet, soprano Holly Sedillos, Dylan Skye Hart, horn, and bassist Eric Shetzen.


The King’s Way (1988-89)
Holly Sedillos, soprano

World Premiere!
The Sixth Seal from the Revelation Diptych for solo piano (2010)
Gloria Cheng, piano

World Premiere!
Glimpses of the Garden of Eden for Horn Soloist and Chamber Orchestra (2016)
Dylan Skye Hart, horn

Elisha’s Gift (2014)
Lyris Quartet and Eric Shetzen, Bass

Beauty and Strength (2016)
Chamber Orchestra

Amazing Grace (2016)
String Orchestra

Parking for Schoenberg Hall is in UCLA Parking Structure 2.

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