This Saturday composer/ performer Daniel Bernard Roumain is being featured in the 11th annual Ben Holt Memorial Concert Series. The series was established in 1992, and honors the Metropolitan Opera singer Ben Holt, who died of cancer in 1990. Roumain was born in Chicago and spent his youth in Florida, where he performed with Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, and 2 Live Crew. After completing graduate school studies at the University of Michigan, where he studied composition, he moved to New York. This weekend he will be performing self-composed pieces on violin and piano, and will be assisted by Lawrence Conservatory student Michael Pfaff on percussion.
Roumain’s compositions have been highly praised and are described as “a combination of Mozart, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Prince.” The performance will include his “Harlem Voices,” a piece performed on electric/acoustic violin. Also in the line-up are “Hip-Hop Studies and Etudes” and “Lost,” both written for piano.
Roumain premiered his “Hip-Hop Essay” with the American Composers Orchestra in 1997. It was praised in The New York Times for “sophistication, invention, and dry wit.”
He recently finished a series of concerts and workshops with Maine’s Stonington Opera House and performances with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in both New York and France. Later this year he will be returning to perform with the dance company in Philadelphia and Tempe. He also plans a performance in Minnesota of his work “Ghetto Strings” with the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet.
Roumain has also been commissioned to create a new piece by the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble. The performance will be conducted by Joan Tower later this season and will be followed shortly after with a repeat performance at the Spoleto festival.
The concert is this Saturday, Oct. 13, at 8:00 p.m. in Harper Hall. The concert is free, but tickets are being issued. Contact the Lawrence University Box Office at 920-832-6749 for tickets or the public events manager, Rosie Cannizzo, at 920-832-6508.