Harvey Sollberger of Strawberry Point won’t celebrate his 80th birthday resting on his laurels.
The noted flutist, contemporary music composer who was born in Cedar Rapids and grew up in Marion, will be celebrating onstage as the New York Flute Club presents four of his works in concert. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Sunday (10/21) at Engelman Recital Hall of the Baruch Performing Arts Center in Manhattan.
One highlight will be the world premiere of his “Breath” symphony for 24 flutes, 2016-18, an earlier version of which was performed in Paris by the Orchestre de Flutes Francaises in 2016 and 2017. Sollberger will step to the podium to conduct this piece. Among the performers are musicians from the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as graduate students from Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music.
Sollberger also will perform his solo work, “New Millennium Memo III.” Rounding out the program will be the world premiere of his piece “A Winter’s Tale” (2018) for two flutes, and his “Life Study” (1982) for soprano, flute and harp.
The New York Flute Club was founded in 1919 by George Barrere, who was America’s most distinguished flutist of that time. One of his students was Julia Drumm Denecke of Cedar Rapids, with whom Sollberger studied flute during his high school years. So he considers himself a “grand-student” of Barrere.
Sollberger graduated from Marion High School, where he was the first winner in 1956 of the Major Landers Award from the Iowa Bandmasters Association. In his youth, he performed with the Cedar Rapids Symphony, Municipal Band and Shriners Band.
After graduating from the University of Iowa, he moved to New York City in 1960. He taught at Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music until 1983, before joining the faculty at the Indiana University School of Music. He moved on to the University of California-San Diego from 1992 until his retirement in 2008, and while there, served as music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus from 1997 to 2005.
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Returning to his home state, he has been a frequent composer and collaborator for Red Cedar Chamber Music.
In 2015, Sollberger received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Flute Association during its Washington, D.C., convention. For more information, go to Harveysollberger.com