Rochester Premiere “Of Breath & Fire” at Eastman School Highlights fivebyfive’s Glass-inspired Season

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Date(s) - 10/26/2022
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Hatch Recital Hall


Continuing its 2022 celebration of the United Nations International Year of Glass, the musical group fivebyfive premieres a new work by composer Amy Nam, Of Breath & Fire for Rochester audiences. The piece also includes Nam performing with the ensemble on electric harp. Immediately following will be a safe, participatory sugar-glass smashing in the courtyard outside of Miller Center.

In Of Breath & Fire, sounds kaleidoscopically merge and detach, blurring and evolving in imitation of hot glass that expands, pops, and morphs in the presence of breath and flame. Listeners are encouraged to connect visual imaginings of liquid glass with sound. 

Amy Nam was inspired by the physical glass-making gestures and by glass instruments created by RIT graduate Madeline Rile Smith, an award-winning artist specializing in glass with a focus on performance, video, and body-activated sculpture. Nam includes Smith’s glass flute in her piece played by the ensemble’s Artistic Director and flutist Laura Lentz and accompanied by a video of Smith’s flame work.

Additional music for the concert was chosen from repertoire that evokes qualities of glass by composers Brittany Green, Edie Hill, Patrick Burke, Philip Glass, Kari Telstad Sundet, and Anthony R. Green. Digital program notes are online at:

The concert is part of a three-day residency at the Eastman School of Music where the ensemble and composer will present a variety of free, public events. Presented by fivebyfive with support from Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership and the department of Composition, residency events are free and open to the public:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: Grant workshop, 12:30-1:30 pm, ESM Room 514
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26: Concert featuring Of Breath & Fire (Rochester premiere) 7:30 pm, Hatch Recital Hall
  • Thursday, Oct. 27: 1-on-1 student advising, 12:30-2:30; Composition Symposium, 3:30-5 pm, ESM room 209The commission for Of Breath & Fire was made possible with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.


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