Campus News

Faculty recital, tribute to Foss to open Department of Music concert season

Stephen Guerra.

New UB faculty member Stephen Guerra will be joined by his mentor, Rogério Souza, for a recital in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on Sept. 16.


Published September 12, 2022


A recital by new UB faculty member and guitarist Stephen Guerra on Sept. 16 and a celebration  on Sept. 18 of the centenary of Lukas Foss’ birth will open the Department of Music’s fall concert schedule.

Guerra will be joined on the stage by his mentor, guitarist Rogério Souza, for the concert at 7:30 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campus.

Lukas Foss.

Lukas Foss

Two days later, the Slee Sinfonietta, UB’s chamber orchestra in residence, and other UB faculty members will perform a free concert of selected work by Foss, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1963-70 and a founding member of UB’s famed Center of the Creative and Performing Arts, at 3 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall.

Jonathan Golove, associate professor of music and co-director of the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music, says Foss had a long and vital connection to the UB music department. He was crucial to bringing to UB a “truly astounding” list of guest composers and performers — called the Creative Associates — for groundbreaking work in new music.

At the Sept. 16 recital, Guerra and Souza will perform the work of Afro-Brazilian composer Pixinguinha, considered the father of popular Brazilian popular music. A virtuoso flautist, saxophonist and arranger, as well as guitarist, Pixinguinha (1897–1973) consolidated native-Brazilian choro, maxixe and samba, among other musical styles.

In this concert, Guerra, on six-string classical guitar, and Souza, a master seven-string guitarist from Rio de Janeiro, present the musical variety and richness of Pixinguinha’s work while also demonstrating its influence on later compositions from the same tradition. The concert will also feature UB student performers in the final two pieces.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster or at the Slee Hall box office one hour before the concert.

All UB students with valid ID receive a complimentary ticket to all UB music department events.

Specializing in Brazilian choro, Guerra recently joined the Department of Music as a clinical assistant professor. He performs at music clubs and concert halls, cultural centers, universities and guitar societies around the United States and Brazil, sharing the stage with Rogério Souza, Duo Violão, Ami Molinelli and Tiago do Bandolim among others. He has spent years studying in Rio de Janeiro with Souza and Ronaldo do Bandolim (of Trio Madeira and Época de Ouro). Guerra earned a PhD in music theory from Yale University and has published research articles about rhythm and meter in Latin-American African-diasporic music.

One of the great representatives of the carioca language of the Brazilian guitar, Souza has been involved in the largest events related to MPB (Brazilian popular music), mainly in choro and samba. He’s worked with great Brazilian musicians, including Baden Powell, Paulinho da Viola and Sivuca, among others, and has played in festivals, cultural spaces, and at music universities and schools across the globe.

Among the pieces by Foss (1922-2009) to be performed at the Sept. 18 tribute are his masterwork “Time Cycle,” along with a cycle of shorter works spanning five decades. The concert is presented by the Center for 21st Century Music, and co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Dean’s Office.

CAS Dean Robin Schulze, a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Trustees, calls Foss "a versatile and prolific composer who left an indelible impression upon the Buffalo arts and music scene in the 60s and 70s that continues to inspire. We are excited and pleased to be part of the celebration of Foss’s legacy."

The UB concert kicks off a series of events in commemoration of what would have been Foss' 100th birthday this year presented by the Department of Music and the BPO.

Other events include:

  • BPO Coffee Concert, 10:30 a.m. Sept. 30 at Kleinhans Music Hall.  Program and ticket information are available here.
  • The Lukas Foss Legacy – BPO performance, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at Kleinhans Music Hall. Program and ticket information are available here.
  • Lukas Foss Centennial Celebration at Carnegie Hall – BPO performance, 7 p.m. Oct. 3 in Carnegie Hall. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta will lead the program, featuring the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Downtown Voices, along with soloists Amy Porter, flute and BPO Concertmaster Nikki Chooi, violin.  Click here for more information.
  • UB Department of Music performance and talk, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at DiMenna Center for Classical Music, New York City.
  • BPO/UB collaborative event, 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Slee Hall. Ticket information forthcoming.

Visit the Department of Music’s website for the full listing of concerts.