The Center for New Music hosts

Guest Violinist, Sarah Plum with
Pianist, Timothy Lovelace in concert

Friday, November 10, 2022 at 7:30p in the Concert Hall



Mille Regretz (arranged for violin and piano by Joanne Metcalf) 

Josquin de PREZ


An Absence of Stars for solo violin (2023)**


(b. 1958)

Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Opus 100

Johannes BRAHMS


       Allegro amabile
       Andante tranquillo
       Allegretto grazioso


Canticle in Memory of David Foster Wallace for solo violin (2018)*


(b. 1960)

      lento tranquillo
      andante semplice

Fantasiestücke opus 73 for clarinet and piano (violin version)



      Zart und mit Ausdruck
      Lebhaft, leicht
      Rasch und mit Feuer

** Commissioned by Sarah Plum
* Commissioned by Sarah Plum with funds from Drake University


Sarah Plum began her performing career by winning the first prize at the International Stulberg Competition in 1984. Since then, she has been sought after by orchestras and fellow musicians in the US and Europe as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Praised for her “boundless curiosity and tireless efforts to expand the violin repertoire” and “engagingly adventurous sensibility” (Gramophone Magazine), Sarah Plum has had a prolific career championing new music, commissioning composers and bringing contemporary music to a wider audience.

Personal Noise, Plum’s recent CD release of new music for violin and electronics has been praised as “a fantastic new release - a must have for everyone who loves meaningful sonic adventures” (Whole Note Magazine) and as “beguilingly imaginative” by Gramophone Magazine.

As a soloist her "consistently stunning” playing (Third Coast Digest) has been featured at festivals and venues worldwide, including Ankunft: Neue Musik Festival at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Quiet Cue Intermedia in Berlin, Center for New Music San Francisco, Spectrum NYC, Music on the Edge at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg as well as at residencies at universities such as Duke, Virginia Tech, Oakland University and UC Davis.

Recent concerts include a solo CD release concert on Constellation’s Frequency Series, solo performances at the Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago, SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music), Chimefest at the University of Chicago, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival and chamber music performances with the Fulcrum Point Ensemble, Zodiac Festival Ensemble and at the University of Oklahoma String Academy. This coming spring, Sarah will premiere a double violin concerto written for her by Mari Takano with the Chicago Composers Orchestra.

Sarah Plum moved to Chicago in 2018 and since then has been active in the local new music scene, playing with groups such as Dal Niente Ensemble, Fulcrum Point Ensemble and Access Contemporary Music as well as collaborations with numerous local composers and performers. She is on the faculty at both the Music Institute of Chicago and their elite Academy program. She also coaches chamber music at Michigan State University and is on the violin faculty at Lake Forest College.


Pianist and conductor Timothy Lovelace heads the Collaborative Piano program at the University of Minnesota and is an active recitalist, having been featured at Rio de Janeiro’s Sala Cecilia Meireles, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and on chamber music series sponsored by the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minnesota and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, Lovelace has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä.

The roster of internationally-known artists with whom Lovelace has appeared includes Miriam Fried, Nobuko Imai, Robert Mann, Charles Neidich, Paquito D’Rivera, and Dawn Upshaw.  For thirteen years, he was a staff pianist at the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, where he played in the classes of Barbara Bonney, Christoph Eschenbach, Thomas Hampson, Christa Ludwig and Yo-Yo Ma, among others.

Lovelace has conducted the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Virginia Beach Symphony (now Symphonicity), and the symphony orchestras of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and the University of Minnesota. A proponent of new music, he has performed the works of many living composers and has presented premieres of works by John Harbison, Osvaldo Golijov, and Libby Larsen. He has recorded for the Albany, Arabesque, Blue Griffin, Boston Records, MSR and Naxos labels. His principal teachers were Harold Evans, Clifford Herzer, Gilbert Kalish, Donna Loewy, and Frank Weinstock.

Program notes

Canticle (in memoriam David Foster Wallace) for Violin (2017/19)

The Canticle was commissioned by Drake University for my close friend, the violinist Sarah Plum. Sarah and I have collaborated many times over the more than two decades of our friendship. So when Sarah asked me about a piece inspired by one of the six Bach solo sonatas for violin I was of course thrilled, but also a little nervous, these Bach pieces being so familiar and so overwhelming in every way. I chose the a minor, a piece I particularly love. 

At the time of writing this piece I had just finished reading David Foster Wallace's "Everything and More: A Concise History of Infinity". Wallace is of course best known as a novelist, particularly for his expansive "Infinite Jest" but he was also a studied mathematician and his historical survey of mathematicians search for a way to grasp the concept of infinity in mathematics also led to considerations of irregular symmetries and infinite recursives in music. Of course, Bach's music is also fertile ground for such considerations so in writing my piece I had these ideas in mind. The external architecture of my piece follows closely the structure of the Bach model but of course in all other things the music follows only my own imagination. 

Canticle is dedicated to Sarah Plum.

Sidney Corbett
Mannheim, Germany July 2023

The Absence of Stars (2023) 

The Absence of Stars imagines a loss so complete, so thorough, that even the radiance and beauty of the heavens have lost their power to console; it is as if the stars have gone out. Inspired by the  chanson Mille regretz in a setting attributed to Josquin des Prez, it echoes the earlier work’s themes of lament and regret. At times muted, at times fiery in its expression, the violin’s soliloquy  ranges from serene, delicate passages to dramatic, impassioned outbursts. It traverses the gamut of sometimes contradictory emotions that accompany grief; at times the music is even dancelike. The Absence of Stars was commissioned by and composed for Sarah Plum. 

The Absence of Stars is part of The Eternities, a collection of works for solo instruments on the theme of eternity. To date, the collection comprises

       The Vast Unknowable for soprano saxophone 
       The Undreaming for piano 
       The Absence of Stars for violin