Pianist Jenny Q Chai “Dissects” Marco Stroppa

November 19th, 2012 by helen No comments »
December 3, 2012
7:30 pm

Recently compared to pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard and David Greilsammer by New York Times reviewers Anthony Tommasini and Vivien Schweitzer in reviews of her appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Le Poisson Rouge, pianist Jenny Q Chai presents her lecture-recital “Dissecting Stroppa” – An Analysis of “Innige Cavatina” from Miniature Estrose by Marco Stroppa — on Monday Dec. 3rd, 7:30 PM, at Miller Hall, Manhattan School of Music, 120 Claremont Avenue, in New York City. Tel: 212 749 2802. Free Admission.

In this groundbreaking performance mixing academics with theater, Chai, wearing a doctor’s lab coat, will “dissect Stroppa” and in particular, his recent work, “Innige Cavatina” from the collection Miniature Estrose. Chai met the composer Marco Stroppa in Darmstadt, Germany five years ago, and she was immediately enthralled by his music. The two kept in touch musically, and Stroppa introduced Chai to Pierre-Laurent Aimard, with whom she has studied for two years. This lecture-recital is taking place as part of Jenny Q Chai’s D.M.A. thesis and dissertation on Stroppa.

For her debut at Zankel Hall, pianist Jenny Q Chai was praised by the New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini for her “resourceful technique and sensitivity” as well as playing that is “admirable for its refinement and directness.” Of her performance at the Keys to the Future Festival, Zachary Woolfe wrote, also in the New York Times: “Jenny Q Chai opened the concert playing two of Ligeti’s Études with rich tone and rhythmic clarity; especially strong was her “Cordes à vide.” Chai is an active pianist specializing in contemporary music, and in addition to Carnegie Hall, Jenny has played at New York venues such as Roulette, Symphony Space, the Stone and recently made her Chicago debut playing Schumann’s Kreisleriana at the Dame Myra Hess Series. Recipient of the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust’s 2011 Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project, first prize winner of the Keys to the Future Contemporary Solo Piano Festival, and recipient of the DAAD Arts and Performance award in 2010, Chai has premiered, most notably, Life Sketches and Five Pieces (for Jenny Q Chai) by Nils Vigeland, Intimate Rejection by Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, Messiaen’s Canteyodjaya (China premiere) and Marco Stroppa’s Innige Cavatina (US premiere). Chai has also premiered “Marriage (Mile 58) Section F” from The Road by Frederick Rzewski in Ghent, Belgium, where she was given the Logos Award for the best performance of 2008. Chai played the first contemporary solo piano concert in China this June at the National Performing Arts Center in Beijing; and she recently had the privilege of introducing the concept of prepared piano to a Chinese audience, with the world premiere of Mallet Dance by John Slover, in Shanghai Concert Hall. She has recently lectured at NYU, Manhattan School of Music, and in Shanghai at Fu Dan University and at FaceArt Music InterNations.

Composer, researcher and professor, Marco Stroppa was born in Verona, Italy, and has composed for both acoustical instruments and new media. His repertoire includes works for concerts, one music drama, two radio operas and various special projects. He often groups several works around large cycles exploring specific compositional projects, such as a series of concertos for instrument and a spatialized orchestra or ensemble inspired by poems of W.B. Yeats, a book of Miniature Estrose, seven pieces for solo piano, a cycle of works for solo instrument and chamber electronic music inspired by poems of e. e. cummings, and two string quartets. He has worked as a composer and researcher, and teacher at IRCAM (where he was selected by Pierre Boulez to be the director of Musical Research starting in 1987), and he founded the composition and computer music workshop at the International Bartók Festival in Szombathély, Hungary. He taught composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris and Lyon and since 1999 he has been full professor of composition and computer music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart. He studied at the Conservatories of Verona, Milan and Venice and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. Among Stroppa’s significant pedagogical contributions is a masterclass in composition and interpretation with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris in 1988.

Musica Pacifica Northern California Season

November 1st, 2012 by helen No comments »
November 11, 2012
2:30 pm
2:30 pm
2:30 pm
November 30, 2012
8:00 pm
8:00 pm
8:00 pm
December 1, 2012
7:30 pm
7:30 pm
7:30 pm
December 2, 2012
7:30 pm
7:30 pm
7:30 pm

San Francisco’s Sizzling Baroque Ensemble Announces Fall 2012 Northern California Season


Having recently wowed the crowds at the 2012 Berkeley Festival with “300 Years On – A Dance Collection from the Reign of Louis XIV,” Baroque ensemble Musica Pacifica, is pleased to present concerts in Stockton, Palo Alto, Berkeley and San Francisco on November 11, 30, and December 1 -2, 2012. Concerts will feature Judith Linsenberg, recorder; Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Josh Lee, viola da gamba; Charles Sherman (Nov. 30-Dec. 2), Katherine Heater (Nov. 11) organ & harpsichord; Nov. 30, Dec 1-2 concerts also include guests Clara Rottsolk, soprano; and Washington McClain, oboe.


Friends of Chamber Music
“Continental Breakfast”: Music by Bach, Vivaldi, Rameau, Telemann, Falconieri, Castello, Handel, and English Country Dances. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012, 2:30 PM
Faye Spanos Concert Hall, UOP Conservatory of Music, Stockton, CA
Tickets $10-25. Visit http://chambermusicfriends.org for tickets and information

San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS): Noël, Noël! — Christmas Music from 18th-century Italy, France and Germany

Friday, November 30, 8pm
First Lutheran Church, 600 Homer St. at Webster, Palo Alto, CA

Saturday, December 1, 7:30pm
First Congregational Church, Dana St. between Durant & Channing, Berkeley, CA

Sunday, December 2, 7:30pm
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell St., San Francisco, CA

Tickets $12-35. Visit http://www.sfems.org for tickets and information

More on Noël, Noël! — Christmas Music from 18th-century Italy, France and Germany: In a refreshing change from the usual holiday fare, Musica Pacifica presents a wide variety of Christmas music from 18th-century Italy, France, and Germany. The ravishing “Christmas Cantata” of Alessandro Scarlatti, heartfelt arias from Bach’s cantatas, virtuosic chamber works of Vivaldi and Telemann, and familiar carols in unusual settings, arranged by Musica Pacifica, are featured in this program celebrating the spiritual and festive moods of the season. Works by Vivaldi, Heinrich Biber, Michel Delalande and Claude Daquin, D. Scarlatti, Telemann, and Boismortier will be featured along with arrangements of traditional Christmas Carols.

Described by the press as “some of the finest baroque musicians in America” (American Record Guide) and “among the best in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell), Musica Pacifica performs 17th- and 18th-century music on varying combinations of recorder, violin, cello/gamba, harpsichord, and percussion. Their very recent Dancing in the Isles CD has continued to get rave reviews from music journals all over the world, including American Record Guide; the German magazine Concerto; Early Music Today from the UK, and the prestigious Gramophone from the UK, who called it “one of the zestiest recordings of recent vintage to present works that once had them dancing and listening with joy.” The online journal, musica Dei donum said: “The playing is first-rate: full of bounce, stylish, and technically immaculate.”

Core Members of Musica Pacifica perform with Philharmonia Baroque and American Bach Soloists, and also appear with prominent early music ensembles nationally and abroad. They have performed on such prestigious concert series as The Frick Collection and Music Before 1800 (NYC), the Getty Museum (LA), Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), Cleveland Art Museum, and the Berkeley Early Music Festival (four times), among others. They have performed at festivals in Germany and Austria and have been featured on German National radio as well as on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and “Harmonia.” Musica Pacifica’s eight CD releases on the Virgin Classics, Dorian, and Solimar labels have won national and international awards, including Chamber Music America/WQXR’s 2003 Record Award, being featured on Minnesota Public Radio, and being chosen as “CD of the Month” by the early music journal Alte Musik Aktuell (Regensburg). Full bios of all musicians are at www.musicapacifica.org.

John King’s KOSMOS at Roulette

October 30th, 2012 by helen No comments »
December 7, 2012
7:00 pm

Featuring a concert version of King’s Bessie-nominated piece Astral Epitaphs that was commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for its final shows at the Park Avenue Armory in Dec. 2011, the music of New York composer John King will be presented at Brooklyn’s Roulette on Friday, December 7 at 8pm. John King’s KOSMOS is reflection of the composer’s current world — a multifaceted summary of new works by this composer who is setting a new and individual path, projecting out from his past work with John Cage and David Tudor. With new works for ensembles large and small, this concert will include performances by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, TILT Brass Sextetand Crucible String Quartet. Roulette is located at 509 Atlantic Ave, for more information please visit www.roulette.org or call 917-267-0363.


John King’s KOSMOS  – COMPLETE PROGRAM (all works by John King):

– Astral Epitaphs, performed by TILT Brass Sextet and Brooklyn Youth Chorus
– KOSMOS part II, performed by Crucible Quartet
– (climax in) The Deserts of Love, performed by Melissa Fogarty and Ensemble

Beginning the program will be a concert version of King’s Bessie-nominated piece Astral Epitaphs that was commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for its final shows at the Park Avenue Armory in Dec. 2011. Surrounding the Roulette space will be the TILT Brass Sextet and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, with live electronics performed by the composer. The texts for this piece come from the Latin “Lux Aeterna” and from an Ancient Greek epitaph attributed to Seikilos written on a tombstone, both dealing with timelessness and remembrance. “I wanted to include a live performance by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus in last year’s performance of Astral Epitaphs but couldn’t,” says King, “and now I have the exciting opportunity to recreate this large ensemble piece with chorus and instrumentalists throughout as well as  surrounding the space.”

King’s most recent string quartet, KOSMOS part II, will be played by his Crucible Quartet, featuring NY string luminaries Cornelius Dufallo, Conrad Harris and Yves Dharamraj, along with the composer. Part I was premiered at the Lincoln Center Festival in July 2011. This is the second part of a 4-part three-hour long quartet and has an independent chance-determined live electronics surround-sound component as well.

The final piece, (climax in) The Deserts of Love, will be realized by a large 20-piece mixed ensemble and will feature the stunning voice of Melissa Fogarty, known for her early and Baroque music expertise as well as her Klezmer, operatic and contemporary virtuosity. The text for this composition is a poetic reduction of the prose fragment, “The Deserts of Love”, by Arthur Rimbaud. Each member of the ensemble is a soloist playing his or her chance-determined musical material independently of each other, following a digital time score. The soprano part floats above the ensemble moving at her own unique pace in realizing this exquisite and powerful text of Rimbaud.

John King, composer, guitarist and violist, has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet; Ethel; Bang On A Can All-Stars; Mannheim Ballet; New York City Ballet/Diamond Project, Stuttgart Ballet, Ballets de Monte Carlo; as well as the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. His string quartets have also been performed by the Eclipse Quartet (LA) and the Mondriaan Quartet (Amsterdam). His Crucible Quartet has premiered many of his compositions at The Stone (June 2007) and The Kitchen (April 2009). He has written 3 operas: herzstück/heartpiece, based on the text of Heiner Müller, premiered at the 1999 Warsaw Autumn Festival and presented at the Kitchen NYC in 2000 (a double-opera, co-written with Krzysztof Knittel); la belle captive based on texts by Alain Robbe-Grillet, premiered at Teatro Colon/CETC in Buenos Aires in 2003, and toured to London’s ICA (Fronteras Festival) in 2004 and The Kitchen in 2005; and also his most recent opera, Dice Thrown, based on the Stéphane Mallarmé poem, an excerpt of which was performed by New York City Opera as part of its VOX series in May 2008. The complete staged version was presented at CalArts April 23-24, 2010. He has 3 recent CD releases of music for string quartet; 10 Mysteries and AllSteel (Tzadik); and Ethel (Cantaloupe). He was Music Curator at The Kitchen from 1999-2003 and from 2002-2011 was a co-director of the Music Committee at MCDC. He is also the recipient of the 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music. 

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, Dianne Berkun, Artistic Director and Founder, offers exceptional music training and choral performances to enrich the lives of its students and community. Through music study and professional-level performing experiences, BYCA unites children of diverse backgrounds and helps them develop into confident and expressive musicians and individuals. BYCA has performed with the New York, Los Angeles and Brooklyn Philharmonics; with Barbra Streisand, Lou Reed, Judy Collins, Sir Elton John, John Legend and Ray Davies; under the baton of Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, James Levine, Marin Alsop, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Charles Dutoit, Robert Spano, and Leon Botstein; and alongside the Mark Morris and Wally Cardona dance companies.  In 2005, BYCA won the Best Classical Album Grammy® for On the Transmigration of Souls by John Adams.  BYCA works to develop new choral music across many genres by commissioning composers and arrangers including Pulitzer prize-winners David Lang and Paul Moravec.

Led by composer, trombonist, and curator Chris McIntyre, TILT Brass is a Brooklyn-based organization dedicated to creating new content and contexts for contemporary brass music by producing inventive concert programs, recording projects, and commissioning initiatives. Formed in 2003 TILT primarily presents the work of living composers, having premiered over 20 compositions thus far. Its ensembles range from solo and chamber ensembles to experimental brass orchestra, anchored by its two resident ensembles, TILT Creative Brass Band (TCBB) and TILT SIXtet. TILT projects have been presented in a number of vital New York venues including the Whitney Museum, ISSUE Project Room, Joe’s Pub, Cornelia Street Cafe, and The Stone. In December 2011, TILT Brass was a featured ensemble during the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. at Park Avenue Armory. TILT Brass’ first full-length recording was released in April 2011. To TILT: Volume 1, the first in a series presenting commissioned works, features the Creative Brass Band. Vol. 2, scheduled for release in Spring 2013, will feature the SIXtet project.

Hailed by The New York Times for her “delirious abandon” on stage, versatile soprano Melissa Fogarty’s wide-ranging experience has led her to appear at venues from New York City Opera to popular clubs such as Le Poisson Rouge and City Winery. She has been featured in VOX, New York City Opera’s annual showcase of new American operas and has appeared in scenes presented by American Opera Projects and American Lyric Theater. A favorite of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici, Ms. Fogarty has given world premieres of several of his works. Sought after by numerous other composers and new music groups, Ms. Fogarty has also performed the world premieres of Vessel by Kati Agócs with the Metropolis Ensemble at Symphony Space and Christopher James’s Five Sappho Fragments with the esteemed new music ensemble North/South Consonance. Ms. Fogarty is also known for her lively and elegant interpretations of Baroque and Classical-period music. Ms. Fogarty has earned awards including the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, the Adams Fellowship at the Carmel Bach Festival and the Giorgio Cini Foundation Fellowship for study in Venice.

Crucible Quartet was formed in 2005 to perform exclusively the work of John King. Since then they have premiered over 10 of his quartets at the Lincoln Center Festival/Allen Room, The Stone, The Kitchen, Roulette, and other slubs throughout New York City. They have also recorded three of King’s compositions on their 10 Mysteries CD on the Tzadik label.

Zara Lawler Leads Flutists in US Premiere at the Guggenheim

October 26th, 2012 by helen No comments »
November 20, 2012
8:00 pm

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents the U.S. premiere of leading Italian avant-garde composer Salvatore Sciarrino’s soundscape Il cerchio tagliato dei suoni (Cutting the Circle of Sounds) (1997), in a site-specific performance of this immersive and challenging work for four flute soloists and one hundred migranti, or migrating flutists, in the museum’s rotunda on Tuesday, November 20, at 8 pm. Drawing inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic spiraling architecture, Sciarrino has developed a specialized plan for the Guggenheim performance, which features the four soloists forming a circle around the seated audience and creating an accelerating swirl of sound, only to be interrupted by the one hundred migrating performers, who walk in procession through the space, introducing a forward flow of sound and movement while “cutting the circle of sounds.”

The four soloists are the esteemed flutists Claire Chase, a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and member of the International Contemporary Ensemble; Kelli Kathman, a regular performer with Alarm Will Sound, Signal, and Sospiro Winds; Eric Lamb, member of the International Contemporary Ensemble; and Jayn Rosenfeld, executive director of the New York New Music Ensemble. The one hundred migrating performers range from seasoned professionals to students of all ages and represent the full scope of the New York flute community. Noted flutist and movement specialist Zara Lawler will stage and coordinate the performance.

Il cerchio tagliato dei suoni is a 70-minute performance without intermission that will take place at 8pm in the rotunda. Tickets are $50, $45 for members, $30 standing room. For tickets click HERE. For general information call 212 423 3500 or visit the museum online at www.guggenheim.org.

Considered to be at the forefront of European contemporary music, composer Salvatore Sciarrino began as a visual artist and is largely self-taught as a musician. He is known for using isolated harmonics and unusual methods of tone production within his work, which is characterized by the frequent use of silence as a part of the compositional structure. Musicologist Laurent Feneyrou has characterized Sciarrino’s music as evolving toward the borderland of sound, suggesting “vast uninhabited spaces, especially the ocean wastes, the confines of dream….” The Los Angeles Times describes Sciarrino as “a sensualist and a lyricist,” who “plays with sound at its edges, enjoying the extraneous noises a flutist might make—breathing or striking the keys—as much as the production of beautiful tone,” while the New York Times calls his work “boldly modernist yet beautifully soft-spoken and fresh.” Sciarrino has composed music for La Scala, the Venice Biennale, the Stuttgart Opera Theatre, and the London Symphony Orchestra, among others, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Prince Pierre of Monaco Prize in Musical Composition (2003), the Feltrinelli International Award (2003), and the Salzburg Music Prize (2006).


PR Workshop for Chicago Performing Artists

October 22nd, 2012 by helen No comments »
November 3, 2012
12:30 pm

Peter McDowell will present his free workshop, SELF-PROMOTION FOR PERFORMING ARTISTS, on November 3rd, 2012 at 12:30pm as part of the fourth annual Chicago Clarinet Collaborations at the Salme Steinberg Recital Hall, Northeastern Illinois University (5500 N. St Louis). Click here to learn more about workshops and services available through Peter McDowell arts consulting.

Also, throughout the day, students will compete in solo recitals for a cash prize and to be featured in the evening concert. The 7:30 pm joint performance will feature ensembles from participating universities as well as a performance by the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble.

Tickets are available at the door and $10 admission includes the masterclass and the concert.  Attendance is free for students and faculty of participating universities. Call Rose Sperrazza at (773) 442-5902 to reserve space.

Invited universities include Northeastern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, North Central University, Vandercook College, North Park University, Southern Illinois University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Xavier University and Wheaton Conservatory of Music.