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Celliola and Friends Premiere Work Written in Memory of 9/11/01

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, Tom Flaherty, cellist/composer and Pomona College Professor of Music, and violist Cynthia Fogg, his wife and Celliola partner, will present their annual Celliola concert, with a new premiere, on Sunday, September 11 at 3 p.m. The concert will be held at Pomona College’s Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. 4th Street, Claremont), and is free and open to the public. 

Joining Celliola in the concert of music from the 20th and 21st centuries are Pomona faculty performers, soprano Gwendolyn Lytle, pianist Genevieve Feiwen Lee and Scripps College violinist Rachel Huang.

The recital unites works by Maurice Ravel, Roger Zahab, Eric Moe and Flaherty. Among Flaherty’s pieces being performed are two world premieres, the final song in his “Songs of the Viola” series entitled The Heartbeat of the Universe, and a yet to be titled work. When asked about his new works, Flaherty says of The Heartbeat of the Universe, “It is the happy ending which was sorely lacking last year when the rest of the work was premiered.”

Of his yet untitled piece, he describes it as, “Another one of my cast-of-dozens and audience-sing-alongs, which features a few musicians performing from the stage, but depends on the audience singing supportive drones throughout much of the work. It is based on memories of the days following 9/11/01.” When asked why he wrote about this he continued, “When the available concert date turned out to be the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 disaster, it seemed important to acknowledge it in some way. Rather than revisit the horror of that day, the new piece seeks to bring to mind the days following, when despite numbness, anger, disgust, etc., there was a surprising empathy and unity across much of the world.”

Celliola was born out of Flaherty and Fogg’s interest in playing chamber music in the 1970s. By the early ’90s Celliola was formed “to give us a vehicle to perform viola/cello duets,” according to Flaherty. Since its founding, the duo has had over 35 pieces written for them, and they have presented annual performances at Pomona College featuring new and rarely heard works.


Subject to change

Roger Zahab: smoldering kiss

Eric Moe: And Life Like Froth Doth Throb

Tom Flaherty: Remembrance of Things Present

Tom Flaherty: Songs of the Viola, The Heartbeat of the Universe

Maurice Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Cello

Tom Flaherty: untitled