A Landscape of Song: The American Vanguard Festival

Florestan toasts its final year of residency at Dickinson College with a four-day feast of contemporary American songs. Together with composer Libby Larsen and other guest artists, Florestan explores the myriad styles and influences that shape today’s American song repertoire, celebrating the collaborations between performers, poets, and composers that drive its evolution. In addition to works by major and emerging composers, the festival features world premiere performances of five song cycles, four of which were commissioned by Florestan:

The Strange Case of Dr. H. H. Holmes for baritone and piano by Libby Larsen (Florestan commission, 2010)

Dickinson Songs for tenor and piano by Stephen Paulus (Florestan commission, 2010)

Unquiet Spirit: Five Settings of Maxine Kumin Poems for tenor, baritone, and piano by Robert Pound (Florestan commission, 2010)

Poets in Love, a 30-minute song cycle for tenor, baritone, and four-hand by Thea Musgrave (Florestan commission, 2009)

The Daughter of Capulet for soprano and piano by Thomas Pasatieri, text adapted from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet

Each concert includes selected songs from Robert Schumann’s Myrthen lieder, opus 25. Schumann is not only the inspiration behind Florestan Recital Project’s name and mission, he has also inspired generations of song composers, including all four of Florestan’s commissioned composers in this festival.

American Vanguard Festival Program, 2010

About the Festival
The American Vanguard Festival began in 2003 with the Corigliano quartet, Dickinson’s Musical Artists in Residence from 2001-2004. The festival explores contemporary classical music, and features special forums with guest composers discussing their works.


Other Projects


Ben Gunn
by Scott Wheeler and Paul Muldoon

The Complete Songs of Virgil Thomson
for voice and piano

The Peculiar Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes
by Libby Larsen

World Premiere Recordings

The Complete Songs of Daniel Pinkham

by composer Andy Vores and poet Todd Boss

A Landscape of Song
The American Vanguard Festival

The Complete Songs of Francis Poulenc

The Poet's Love
A World Premiere Ballet Set to Schumann’s Dichterliebe

Commissions & Premieres






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