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Why Prelude Cocktail?

Preludes are musical cocktails:  intriguing and intoxicating on their own, they also hold the promise of something more to come.  You might share cocktails before a big meal, just as a prelude often introduces a more substantial fugue.  Cocktails can be sweet (think of a Cosmo!), strong (gin martini), classic (Tom Collins, anyone?) or new and adventurous (what’s that one that is Red Bull and vodka?), and our selections from four centuries of preludes are equally eclectic.  Prelude Cocktail includes two world premiere sets of preludes by American composers Katherine Hoover and Roshanne Etezady, as well as our own brand new arrangements of favorites of the genre by Debussy, Gershwin, Bach, Chopin, Shostakovich and Scriabin.  Guest clarinetist, Christopher Grymes, joins us on two preludes and fugues by Shostakovich.

Photo by Julie Lemberger

Photo by Julie Lemberger

What about the promise of a prelude? That there is more to come? If fugues by Bach and Shostakovich aren’t enough… Lawler + Fadoul’s debut CD, Prelude Cocktail is the first stage of our long-term project to expand the repertoire for flute and marimba, both by commissioning new works and by arranging favorites for other instruments.  All works on the CD are world premiere recordings that herald the rich sonic and expressive potential of the combination of flute and marimba.  Lawler moves from flute to piccolo and alto flute and back again, as Fadoul plays both marimba and vibraphone, in quick succession or at the same time.  The addition of clarinet, beautifully played by guest artist Christopher Grymes, is a surprising and welcome ingredient.

The transcriptions have allowed us to explore the range and richness of what the unique flute-marimba combination can achieve – we see it as a way of looking forward while looking back.”

Paul is performing with The City of Fairfax Band!

If you told me two months ago that I would learn how to install floor tiles and play a xylophone solo with a wonderful community band, I would have said you were lying about both! Well, I’m not going to ask you to check out the new floor tiles I just installed in the entryway of my house, but I am going to ask you to join me and the City of Fairfax Band in a performance at my high school alma mater, W.T. Woodson High School, this Saturday, May 11, at 8pm where I will be performing The Golden Age of the Xylophone arranged by Randy Eyles and Floyd Werle. It’s going to be a great time and I hope to see you there!


Celebrating Composer Katherine Hoover

Lawler & Fadoul premiere Katherine Hoover’s Preludes (photo by Ardith Bondi)

Lawler & Fadoul recently gave the world premiere of Katherine Hoover’s Two Preludes for flute and marimba/vibraphone at a concert celebrating the composer’s 75th birthday as part of the New York Flute Club’s annual Flute Fair.  We commissioned Two Preludes as part of our Gronica Project, expanding the repertoire for our instrument combination.

Katherine Hoover, who turned 75 in December 2012, occupies a special place in the hearts of flutists.  She is a ground-breaking composer and inspiring entrepreneur–she forged a path for herself as a composer at a time when it was very unusual for women to do so, and ensured the success of her career by starting her own publishing company long before personal computers made desktop publishing commonplace.   For the members of the New York Flute Club, she has the added attraction of being one of our own, a local girl made good, and we enjoy seeing her at concerts and other flute events around the city.  None of that would matter, however, if we didn’t love her music so much!  Her music engages our minds, moves our hearts, and excites our imaginations.

For all of those reasons, she was a natural choice to be one of the first composers commissioned by Lawler & Fadoul.  We asked her for a set of preludes for flute and marimba and/or vibraphone, and we were so pleased to be able to premiere them at her celebration concert.  How cool to honor a composer in her 75th year with not only some of her best loved pieces of the past, but with a hot-off-the-presses premiere.  Actually, Two Preludes has not yet been published, even, so maybe “still-on-the-press” is a better expression.

Hoover Prelude 1: Uptown (photo by Joe Melhado)

The first movement, Uptown, is for flute and marimba, and has a fun, jazz-inspired atmosphere, with the flute and marimba trading the lead voice back and forth.  Performing it for an audience (instead of in a practice room) really made it feel playful and exciting.  You never know how a first performance will go, so it was very exciting!

Prelude 2: Out of Town (photo by Joe Melhado)

The second movement, Out of Town, is with vibraphone and has a very different feeling…like a summer vacation upstate.  Katherine had never written for the vibraphone before, and she was entranced by it, and wrote a gorgeous (and challenging!) solo for Paul in the middle of the piece.

A good time was had by all!  Hoover’s Preludes will be featured on our upcoming CD, Prelude Cocktail.

Lawler & Fadoul with composer Katherine Hoover, post-concert (photo by Ardith Bondi)

PS.  Katherine is the composer of one of the best-loved American solo pieces for flute, Kokopeli (you can watch my story-telling version of Kokopeli here).

PPS.  Stay tuned for my profile of Katherine in the upcoming New York Flute Club newsletter.  I will post it here once it’s available.

Two World Premieres

Lawler & Fadoul rehearse with composer Katherine Hoover

New Preludes by Katherine Hoover and Roshanne Etezady. Lawler & Fadoul have spent the last year commissioning and arranging new Preludes for flute and marimba as part of our Gronica Project to expand repertoire for our instrumentation, and we are so excited to be premiering our two commissions in February and March!  And fear not, if you can’t make it, you can still hear all of these works on Prelude Cocktail, our new CD due out later this year.

Sunday, February 17, 12:30pm
Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, Sheraton Reston Hotel, Reston, VA


Sunday, March 17, 2:15pm
New York Flute Club Flute Fair, The Lighthouse, 111 E. 59th St., New York, NY

  • More information and tickets here.
  • Lawler & Fadoul perform on a concert honoring composerKatherine Hoover (pictured in rehearsal with Paul, above) for her 75th Birthday.  It will be the world premiere of her Two Preludes:  Uptown and Out of Town, written for us just a few months ago.

Break it Down! debuts at the Kennedy Center

Lawler & Fadoul perform at an elementary school

Saturday, February 9

11am and 1:30pm
Family Theater
Kennedy Center
Washington, DC

Tickets available here.
An exciting look at music makers and making music! This energetic program delights in dissecting the pieces and parts of music and musical instruments. Children will be amazed by the way in which instruments from the wind and percussion family are taken apart and put back together again. This highly engaging program is also an introduction to some of the basic structures of music, and includes pieces by Gershwin, Shostakovich and Brubeck. Watch, listen, and lend a helping hand as this dynamic duo of Paul Fadoul on marimba and Zara Lawler on flute build music from the ground up! For age 4 and up.Come early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Starting one hour before each Kinderkonzert, this hands-on activity in the Kennedy Center Hall of States gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage–from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes.

February News

Have you ever wondered how a marimba fits in a car, or how you can get three flutes in a single backpack?  Have you ever wondered what music might sound like if it was less than one year old?

You’re in luck, because Lawler & Fadoul will be answering those questions and more this month and next.

We start of next weekend with our new Kinderkonzert at the Kennedy Center:  Break it Down! explores the ways music and musical instruments come apart and can go back together, and is perfect for the curious concert-goer age 4 or older.  Then, at the Mid-Atlantic and New York Flute Club Flute Fairs, we premiere new Preludes written for us by composers Katherine Hoover and Roshanne Etezady, as well as other pieces from our upcoming CD.

See next few posts for details — we hope to see you at one of our shows!

Live Webcast from the Kennedy Center: 2/13/11

We’ll be playing a 15-minute set tomorrow night, including two of our new Bach and Shostakovich transcriptions. The program is part of the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloists’ Competition, which Paul won back in the day.
You can watch a live webcast at this link. We’re on around 7:45–hope you can be there.

About Us

The engaging and illuminating duo of Zara Lawler, flutist, and Paul J. Fadoul, marimbist offer audiences an unexpected mélange of classical virtuosity, lively commentary, theatrical flair and a small dose of indie rock sensibility. Their repertoire ranges from delightful arrangements of classics to newly written pieces for their unusual instrumentation, and even includes a few one-act plays. This season’s highlights include a residency at the Yellow Barn Music School in Putney, VT, the premiere of their new arrangements of Preludes and Fugues by Bach and Shostakovich, an appearance at St. Mark’s in the Bowery in New York City, a children’s concert in Lawler’s home town of Nyack, NY, and a tour of their dance-inspired program, Tango Sandwich.

More about Lawler & Fadoul