Ear To Mind Presents Manhattan Saxophone Quartet

August 20th, 2012 by helen No comments »
November 10, 2012
7:30 pm
7:30 pm

Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, along with special guest performers Mika Godbole and Aleksandr Karjaka, will perform works by composers Jacob T.V., Lee Hyla, Quinn Collins, David Noon, and Inhyun Kim at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia theater at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York City on Saturday, November 10th, 2012 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20; Members, Students, Seniors are $10; Children are free. For more information, call (212) 864-5400 or visit www.symphonyspace.org.

Ear to Mind is a New York City based arts organization which strives to present innovative programs that allow the public to experience contemporary music in non-traditional contexts, as well as by producing publications that allow the public to gain intimate knowledge of the contemporary music field, simultaneously providing composers and performers with a platform for their work.

The Program (* denotes World Premieres) includes:

Quinn Collins, *Growl, Spit, Shriek, & Pout (AATB w/percussion)

David Noon, *Six Bagatelles (SATB w/percussion)

Inhyun Kim, *Saw Sunrise frequencies emanate (tenor saxophone solo, Jordan P.  Smith)

Lee Hyla, We Speak Etruscan (Jay Rattman, with clarinetist Aleksandr Karjaka)

Jacob T.V. Post Nuclear Winterscenario No. 12 for saxophone quartet

Manhattan Saxophone Quartet was formed in 2008 and is committed to the highest artistic performance standards of saxophone quartet music, new and old.  Its members represent a diverse background of classical, jazz, and contemporary music traditions. MSQ has performed at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Citigroup Center, Yale University, Messiah College, Rutgers University, College of New Jersey, New York University, International Saxophone Symposium (Fairfax, Virginia), and North American Saxophone Alliance regional conference, among other public and collegiate venues. American composer David Froom has remarked that MSQ plays “with both precision and passion, and always with terrific musicianship!” and composer David Noon pronounced “I am continually inspired, in truth, by your quartet’s artistry.” 

The quartet has premiered works by Marc-Antonio Consoli, Robert McMahan, David Noon, Jeffrey Nytch, and Rex Isenberg among others and can be heard on Carrier Records with the premiere recording of Inhyun Kim’s Saxophone Quartet.  Today’s performance at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space includes the premiere of new works by Quinn Collins and David Noon for saxophone quartet and percussion.  The Manhattan Saxophone Quartet is Jordan P. Smith, Dennis Schafer, Dan Kochersberger, and Jay Rattman.

Percussionist Mika Godbole has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra in addition to various other groups in the Philadelphia and New York areas.  She has also been involved in summer music programs such as the Aspen Music Festival, So Percussion Summer Institute, the Artosphere Festival, and the China International Summer Music Academy.  She has collaborated with conductors and artists such as Sir Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, Charles Dutoit, Martha Argerich, Yefim Bronfman, Christoph Eschenbach, James DePriest, David Robertson, James Conlon, Jorge Mester, among other musicians.

A Chicagoland native, clarinetist Aleksandr Karjaka has appeared with Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, Lunatics at Large, Feist, Emperor X, Music From China, Eon Contemporary Ensemble, and is a former member of the Tactus Ensemble, Bowling Green New Music Ensemble and Perrysburg Symphony. He recently has recorded music videos with Mason Jar Music and CollegeHumor.Com. Performing staples of the contemporary literature by such composers as Louis Andriessen, Alban Berg, De Falla, Jacob Druckman, Gyorgi Ligeti, Withold Lutoslawski, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky, Mr. Karjaka has also been recorded on Albany Records on the upcoming New Music from Bowling Green CDs.

More on the Compositions:

Growl, Spit, Shriek, & Pout, by Quinn Collins is a sassy and hyperactive cartoon romp. A montage of semi-improvised gestures, honks, clunks, cherry bomb explosions, and nose-thumbing noisemakers, it chucks darts at paint-filled balloons, puts on a scuba mask, finishes the empties at the end of the night, and pours sugar in your gas tank. The piece was originally written for a reading session at the 2009 Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium and this evening’s premiere performance was recently revised for the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet and Mika Godbole.

Composer David Noon on his Six Bagatelles:

“After hearing the expert performance of my Saxophone Quartet #1 by the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, I eagerly wrote my Saxophone Quartet #2 for the group and dedicated it to them…One of my long-term projects is to write pieces for every instrument and standard instrumental ensemble with percussion, rather than piano.  As of this date, I have written sonatas for violin, viola, piano, English horn, bass clarinet, French horn, and trombone with percussion.  It only seemed natural to think of writing for saxophone quartet and percussion…My Six Bagatelles, op. 244, was written in New York City in the summer of 2012…Each of the bagatelles is designed to highlight a different aspect of the artistry of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet to whom the piece is joyfully dedicated. “

Lee Hyla’s We Speak Etruscan, for baritone saxophone and bass clarinet was written for saxophonist Tim Berne, bass clarinetist Tim Smith and Norm Roberson, Etruscan enthusiast, tour guide and portiere at the American Academy in Rome.  The piece was written in 1992 in New York following Hyla’s Rome Prize residency at the American Academy, and was premiered by Berne and Smith in 1993 at Jordan Hall in Boston.  The title of the piece has multi-layered and ironic connotations, exemplified by the fact that the ancient Estruscans spoke a language that is now lost (only the alphabet is decipherable).  The music’s jazz-like riffs contrasting with moments of lyrical stillness provide a vehical that is a tour de force for these wind-instruments cousins.

Jacob T.V.’s Postnuclear Winterscenario, opus 49, was written on January 23, 1991, shortly after the outbreak of the Gulf War.  The media during this time predicted apocalyptic consequences for the climate and the environment, similar to the effects of a nuclear war.  They called it a postnuclear winterscenario.  Ter Veldhuis decided to express his speechlessness in music.  In only a few hours time the piece, for piano solo was written and is perhaps “simplest” piece he has ever written.  All musical material was reduced to a minimum and the ‘melody’ consists of one single note, that is repeated constantly.  The harmonic accompaniment consists of only four different notes and there are no real rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic developments.  The main way of expression is in the repetition and the delivery, sometimes harsh and brutal, and other times poignant and melancholy.  Postnuclear Winterscenario No. 10, based on the string quartet version, was arranged in the summer of 2001 at the request of the Aurelia Quartet.

NYC’s Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble @ Cornelia Street Cafe

August 20th, 2012 by helen No comments »
September 10, 2012
8:30 pm
8:30 pm
8:30 pm
8:30 pm
The Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble, led by composer Steve Hudson – piano/melodica, and featuring Zach Brock – violin, Rubin Kodheli – cello/voice, and Martin Urbach – cajon/percussion, returns to play a live show backing their critically acclaimed album “Galactic Diamonds” – on Monday, September 10th, 2012 at 8:30 pm, at the Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia St., New York, NY 10014. Tickets are $10, (with $10 food/drink minimum) and can be purchased at the door. Call (212) 989-9319 or visit www.corneliastreetcafe.com for more information.

Praised by Keyboard Magazine for his “exquisite compositions” and for “a quest for beauty in his lines that evoke the masters,” Steve Hudson has worked with Steven Bernstein, James Zollar, Marcus Rojas, and Claire Daly. Zach Brock has performed and recorded with Stanley Clarke, Jack DeJohnette, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, while Rubin Kodheli has worked with the Tom Harrell Chamber Ensemble, and has composed music for film/tv such as HBO’s True Blood, and the film Precious. The ensemble performed at Chamber Music America’s national conference in New York and toured Italy and Austria to promote “Galactic Diamonds.”

Their newest recording, Galactic Diamonds has been called “a collection of little gems” by All About Jazz; “so disarmingly fun that it’s impossible to resist…a good-naturedly eclectic mix of third stream jazz with a catchy, quirky pop edge” by Lucid Culture; and “consistently engaging” by Christian Carey, Signal To Noise.
Steve Hudson is a pianist and composer based in New York City whose compositions and piano style embrace the history of jazz, blues, folk, and modern classical music, all with a free spirited love of improvisation. Recently, Steve and saxophonist Claire Daly premiered an extended suite at the Juneau Jazz Festival dedicated to the Alaskan explorer Mary Joyce which they also took to Jazz at Lincoln Center. Over the summer he also toured the west coast of the US with Claire Daly Quartet performing the music of Thelonius Monk.

Exploring Moby-Dick at the Logan Center

August 14th, 2012 by Peter McDowell 1 comment »
September 18, 2012
6:30 pm

Blair Thomas & Co, Lookingglass Theatre, and The House Theatre of Chicago are featured in EXPLORING MOBY-DICK – a night of three different adaptations of Herman Melville’s novel, in various sites of performance within the new Logan Center for the Arts in Hyde Park, Chicago. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30pm at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 East 60th Street, Chicago. Audiences will move from space to space to experience the three adaptations, and are invited to join the artistic staff in the courtyard following the performance to discuss the work. Free advance tickets may be reserved at www.mobydickatlogan.eventbrite.com

These three companies are all sharing mid-process works that explore this seminal American narrative from richly different artistic perspectives. According to Chelsea Keenan of the House Theatre: “What’s so exciting for the audience is to see that process, to get in on something rare and fleeting. What frames the three works at this stage will be not a traditional collaboration, but the source material and the astonishingly disparate directions the three groups will take them — we’ll likely witness surprising overlaps.”

This event takes place as a part of the Summer Inc Residencies with Theater and Performance Studies at The University of Chicago. This project is supported by a grant from the Boeing Corporation.

Blair Thomas & Company is a national and international touring puppet theater company that was founded in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas.  They have made over a dozen original puppet theater pieces including: Cabaret of Desire, a staging of short works by Federico Garcia Lorca; The Ox-herder’s Tale an interpretive staging of the Buddhist parable of 10 painting of enlightenment; A Kite’s Tale a collection of piano pieces staged with silent narratives including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Chopin’s Scherzo in b minor.   They have also toured with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  They have made collaboration productions with other companies such as Pierrot Lunaire a staging of Arnold Schoenberg’s song cycle with the chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird; an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Houdini Box both with the Chicago Children’s Theatre.  Twice Blair Thomas & Company has received the international UNIMA awards for excellence in the art of puppetry.  Twice the company has performed at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, once during when Blair was the first artist chosen to fill the Jim Henson Artist-in-Residence position at the University of Maryland. www.blairthomas.org

Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students.  2012-2013 marks the company’s 25th anniversary season. Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. Lookingglass has staged 58 world premieres at 23 venues across Chicago, and garnered 52 Joseph Jefferson Awards and Citations. Work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.  Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States. The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago’s landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003.  In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year. Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 22-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Richard Ditton of Incredible Technologies and President Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle. www.lookingglasstheatre.org.

The House Theatre of Chicago is Chicago’s home for original works of physical and spectacle storytelling. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform. The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. In 2002 The House was hailed by the Chicago press as “The Next Big Thing.” In early 2007, following dozens of world premiere productions, and national attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Variety, and American Theatre Magazine, The House achieved even greater success with “The Sparrow,” which Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones called, “Among the very best original theater pieces I’ve ever seen.”  Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 49 Joseph Jefferson Awards (18 wins) and became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007. Now celebrating its 10th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling. www.thehousetheatre.com.


Music/Words at Le Poisson Rouge

August 12th, 2012 by Peter McDowell No comments »
September 23, 2012
7:30 pm

Pianist Inna Faliks

Pianist Inna Faliks and special guests are featured at the Music/Words 5th Season opening on September 23rd, at 7:30pm (doors at 6:30pm) at Le Poisson Rouge (tickets here), 158 Bleeker Street in New York City. This performance at LPR includes the world premiere of the powerful song cycle for baritone and piano by John Eaton, “Songs of Nature and Beyond”, with the wonderful baritone David Adam Moore. Faliks will play Beethoven’s Sonata in c minor, and also Fantasia on an Ostinato by John Corigliano. This poetic shimmering piece uses Beethoven’s Ostinato from the 7th Symphony, and explores its rhythmic and harmonic elements in a hypnotic, colorful fantasy. It serves as the link between Eaton and Beethoven sound worlds. Called “adventurous” and “passionate” by The New Yorker, Ukrainian-born, New York City based pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most passionately committed, exciting and poetic artists of her generation.

Baritone David Adam Moore

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer lauds baritone David Adam Moore for his “enviable swagger coupled with a subtle musicality and big, handsome voice.” In the 2012-13 season, he sings Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire with Virginia Opera in addition to joining the Lyric Opera of Chicago for a performance of the same role. He returns to the roles of Prior Walter in Eötvös’ Angels in America in his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Arizona Opera.


Poet Sandra Beasley

The Barnard Women Poets Prize winning poet Sandra Beasley‘s poetry will be read by the author in between the pieces. The Eaton song cycle is set to the poetry by Auden, Blackmur, Wallace Stevens, and W.B Yeats, and Sandra’s lucid and fresh voice completes the link between then and now.

The following Music/Words performance is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, and takes place at Curtiss Hall, 410 South Michigan Ave. in Chicago, on October 22nd.  It includes readings by poets Vera Pavlova and Verzhyna Mort.

Edward Auer and the Shanghai Quartet – Fryderyk Chopin: The Two Piano Concertos

July 27th, 2012 by Peter McDowell No comments »

Culture/Demain Recordings announces its newest release: Fryderyk Chopin: The Two Piano Concertos, featuring Edward Auer, Piano, and the Shanghai Quartet with Peter Lloyd, Bass. The CD, which features Chopin’s Concerto in F minor, op. 21 (world premiere recording of Auer’s own arrangement) and Concerto in E minor, op. 11, was recorded in 2010 in honor of the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth and is now being commercially released in June, 2012. The recording is now available for purchase at www.edwardauer.com and www.cdbaby.com.

According to pianist Edward Auer: “the original string parts for Chopin’s works for piano and orchestra were printed with alternate versions that could be used for performances with a variety of chamber ensembles, including string groups without winds or brass. We based our performances and the recording on Chopin’s alternate orchestral parts for the E minor concerto, and I arranged the F minor in similar fashion.”

Auer continues, “Chopin wrote these two magnificent concertos when he was only 19 and 20 years old—they are surely among the most youthful compositions to find a place in the permanent concert repertoire. His use of Polish dance genres (Krakowiak and Mazurka) in the final movements and the recitativo section in the middle movement of the F minor concerto are especially noteworthy.”

Edward Auer has long been recognized as a leading interpreter of the works of Chopin. As the first American to win a prize in the prestigious International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, he has returned to Poland for well over 20 concert tours, playing in every major Polish city and with every major orchestra. Auer has played solo recitals and concertos in over 30 countries on five continents, collaborating with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Comissiona and Riccardo Chailly. Auer grew up in Los Angeles, where he studied piano with Aube Tzerko, a protégé of Artur Schnabel, and composition with Leonard Stein, a Schoenberg student. A precocious chamber musician and the son of an accomplished amateur violist, he was playing the Mozart piano quartets and the Schumann quintet with his father and his friends at the age of eight. When he was thirteen, the Budapest Quartet heard his trio’s performance of Beethoven and Mendelssohn; Auer later became a frequent participant in chamber music festivals including those in Santa Fe, Seattle, Sitka, Kuhmo (Finland), among many others. Auer’s studies continued at the Juilliard School of Music with Rosina Lhevinne. While in Juilliard he made his New York debut under the auspices of Young Concert Artists. Studies continued on a Fulbright Grant in Paris with Julius Katchen. Auer was a prizewinner in the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (for which he was invited to the White House), the Beethoven Competition in Vienna and the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels, and took First Prize in the Concours Marguerite Long in Paris. Now, years later, these and other contests regularly invite him to be on their juries. Auer has made a number of acclaimed recordings, many of them of the works of Chopin. He is currently continuing his Chopin series, of which this is the third volume. Edward Auer is on the Piano faculty at Indiana University Bloomington.

Other recordings by Edward Auer on the Culture/Demain label celebrating the Chopin bicentennial, include Nocturnes volume I, and Nocturnes volume II & the four Scherzi.

Renowned for its passionate musicality, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Shanghai Quartet has worked with the world’s most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. The Quartet, now featuring Weigang Li and Yi-Wen Jiang, violins, Honggang Li, viola, and Nicholas Tzavaras, cello, has appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium in chamber performances and with orchestra. They have been regular performers at many of the leading chamber music festivals in North America including Santa Fe and Ottawa. Penderecki’s String Quartet no. 3 was premiered at a special concert in Poland honoring the composer’s 75th birthday, followed by numerous subsequent performances worldwide. They will play it again in Poland for the composer’s 80th birthday celebration in November 2013. The Quartet has a discography of more than 30 recordings. Delos released the Quartet’s most popular disc, Chinasong, in 2003: a collection of Chinese folk songs arranged by Yi-Wen Jiang reflecting his childhood memories of the Cultural Revolution in China. They recorded the complete Beethoven String Quartets for Camerata, a seven-disc project that was completed in 2009. The Shanghai Quartet currently serves as Quartet-in-Residence at Montclair State University in New Jersey, Ensemble-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and visiting guest professors of the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing. www.shanghaiquartet.com