Arts & Humanities Campus News

Faculty Artist Series features Maggie Snyder’s VIOLA2020

Maggie Snyder

Hugh Hodgson School of Music professor Maggie Snyder’s Faculty Artist Series concert will be presented with a twist. The recital will be premiered as a concert film featuring four pieces intermingled alongside interviews with the performers and composers. The video is set to premiere during Spotlight on the Arts on Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.

The centerpiece of the recital is the world premiere of Spellbound for solo viola by New York-based Iranian-American composer Gity Razaz. The piece was commissioned as a part of the yearlong VIOLA2020 project commemorating the centennial of the 19th Amendment by commissioning works by women.

“I’ve learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed expanding my repertoire of sound and musical experience. The piece is everything I hoped for and more. It’s so magical and amazing, and I can’t wait to share it with the world,” said Snyder. “Gity is such a talented composer with a very unique and clear voice. I am so pleased to have a work by her added to the repertoire of music for solo viola.”

Snyder said that Razaz has taught her about Persian heritage instruments and has helped to show her via Zoom calls how to get her viola to sound more like the Persian flute called the ney and the Persian stringed instrument called the kamancheh.

“VIOLA2020 so far has been amazing working with these wonderful American women composers, from the commissions to the international calls for scores,” said Snyder.

Other works on the program are Elegy for solo viola by Athens-based lawyer, amateur composer and violist Barbara Redman; Morpheus for viola and piano by Rebecca Clarke; and Sonata for Viola and Piano by Paul Hindemith. Collaborating with Snyder on this program is piano faculty member David Fung.

The concert will be a virtual video premiere on the School of Music website. Audience members can tune in and listen to this concert at or view the premiere on the HHSOM YouTube channel.

To stay updated on events and news at the Hodgson School, follow across social media platforms at @ugamusic.