BaroQue Across the River:
The Prince’s Muse

August 22nd, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
September 11, 2011
3:30 pm

In “The Prince’s Muse,” New York based early music ensemble BaroQue Across the River explores music from J.S. Bach’s Cöthen years when Prince Leopold’s passion for the arts prompted Bach to write to a dear friend ‘There I had a gracious Prince as master, who knew music as well as he loved it, and I hoped to remain in his service until the end of my life’. As music performed during this period was in the court rather than the church, this program will offer secular arias, instrumental trios and solos from Bach, Handel and Abel.

This free program is held on Sunday, September 11, 2011, at 3:30pm, at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, 58 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

BaroQue Across the River is:

Kathy McDonald, baroque flute

Michele Eaton, soprano

Lisa Terry, viola da gamba

Dongsok Shin, harpsichord






Patricia Morehead’s “Good News Falls Gently”, is released on Navona Records.

August 22nd, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
September 25, 2011
3:00 pm

Composer/oboist Patricia Morehead and Navona Records are pleased to announce Ms. Morehead’s second CD, Good News Falls Gently. Her previous recording, Cityscape (for full orchestra) is on the ERM label (Kiev Symphony Orchestra).

GOOD NEWS FALLS GENTLY features the works of Chicago-based composer and oboist Patricia Morehead: “Disquieted Souls”, inspired by pre-Christian Celtic legends of goddesses and the supernatural; “The Handmaid’s Tale”, motivated by the chilling, futuristic writing of Canadian writer Margaret Atwood; “It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers”, a reflection on modern times and the proclivity towards bad news; “Ladders of Anxiety”, an abstract work inspired by colorful medical charts that taps into our inner anxieties; and “Good News Falls Gently”, a setting of the poetry of Chicago-based writer Regina Harris Baiocchi that portrays an intense spiritual faith from a feminist perspective.

Compositions on Good News Falls Gently:

DISQUIETED SOULS (2009) was recorded June 12, 2010 at WFMT studio, featuring Carolyn Hove, English Horn; and Philip Morehead, conductor.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE (1998) is inspired by the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. The four movements of this composition reflect the composer’s passionate reading of the Atwood text. It was recorded live in Toronto at a concert of Ensemble Noir; Abraham Stokman & Philip Morehead, pianists.

IT IS DANGEROUS TO READ NEWSPAPERS (1999) is based on a poem of the same title from the collection The Animals in That Country (1968) by Margaret Atwood. It was recorded by WFMT’s “Live from Studio One” on October 28, 2002, featuring Barbara Ann Martin, soprano; Philip Morehead, piano.

LADDERS OF ANXIETY (2007) for flute/alto flute, guitar and string trio is dedicated to Claire Chase and ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble). It was recorded by WFMT’s “Live from Studio One” on February 4, 2008, featuring Caroline Pittman, flute, James Baur, guitar, and members of the Avalon Quartet.

The title track, GOOD NEWS FALLS GENTLY (1995), a setting for soprano and orchestra of the poetry of Chicago poet/composer Regina Harris Baiocchi, recorded live March 16, 2003 at the Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL, and performed by CUBE Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (Jonita Lattimore, soprano; Philip Morehead, conductor)

Composer, oboist, and teacher PATRICIA MOREHEAD is founder of CUBE Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and past president (and currently Congress Chair) of the International Alliance of Women in Music. She holds degrees from New England Conservatory of Music (BM in oboe) and The University of Chicago (PhD in composition), diplomas from the Royal Toronto Conservatory of Music (Canada), the Conservatoire National de Musique (Paris, France) and the Accademia Chigiana (Siena, Italy). She has concertized as an oboist in North and South America, Europe and Asia; she made her Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1977; and she has premiered more than 60 works written for her instrument, including many commissions that Patricia has initiated for her family of oboes (oboe, oboe d’amore and English horn).

Patricia is the recipient of more than forty commissions and several “Meet the Composer” Grants, and she was chosen as a “Chicagoan of the Year” 2002 in classical music by Chicago Tribune music critic John von Rhein. She was commissioned by North/South Consonance (2009) for Disquieted Souls (English horn solo with double quintet of strings and winds) that she premiered in New York City, June 2009. In July 2009 her Three Icons of the Feminine Divine (oboe, English horn, contraforte and piano) was premiered at the International Double Reed Conference (Birmingham, England). Her most recent composition, “Prairie Portraits,” was premiered by Caroline Hove of the LA Philharmonic in Muncie, IN at her English Horn workshop. Currently Patricia is working on the opera project Black Hawk Speaks, to be workshopped in Chicago for future performances.

Upcoming on Ms. Morehead’s busy schedule:

• Orchestrating period music and songs for “Persuasion” by Jane Austen for Chamber Opera Chicago, performances September 10-18, 2011. Athenaeum Theatre, Chicago.

• “Belle Ile Beethoven Bagatelle” for International Beethoven project – solo piano piece based on Beethoven’s Ode to Joy theme. This festival will take place September 14-18 at the Chicago Urban Art Society space in East Pilsen.

• Good News Falls Gently CD release party on September 25th, 3 PM at Elizabeth Stein Company, Chicago, featuring performances by CUBE members.

• 90th Anniversary commission, Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Russell Vinick conductor, world premiere Sunday, November 13, Gottlieb Hall, Chicago.

Patricia is on the faculty of Columbia College Chicago, teaching composition and music history, and head of the Composers Forum at the Merit School of Music. She recently joined the faculty of Dominican University. She also teaches composition online with the Vermont MIDI program. She is an Associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

A new art exhibition by Bay Area artist Laurie Justine Szujewska

August 21st, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
September 2, 2011
6:00 pmto7:30 pm

The San Francisco Zen Center Art Lounge Presents: TYPES OF KARMIC FORMATION – running from September 2-30, 2011

An opening reception for this new art exhibition by Bay Area artist Laurie Justine Szujewska will be held on September 2 at 6pm.

To be followed by a reading by poet and Zen priest Norman Fischer, from his new book conflict, from 7:30-9 pm.

For Bay Area artist and typographer Laurie Justine Szujewska, the word is the image. She creates one-of-a-kind prints using the mediums of vintage wood type, oil paints and inks on a Vandercook letterpress. Szujewska (shoe yév skä) employs this antiquated technology not for its nostalgic value, but to bring letterforms forth from their familiar contexts around us into surprising, playful, and sometimes jarring relief. Approaching the letterpress as a singular, mark-making tool instead of its customary function as a reproducing machine, Szujewska works with type the way a painter works with a brush, inviting the imperfections and past associations of worn and obsolete wooden letterforms to offer fresh new insights on the largely ubiquitous and invisible role type plays in our everyday surround.

WHEN: Friday, September 2, 1011, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

VENUE: San Francisco Zen Center Art Lounge, 300 Page Street, at Laguna Street, San Francisco

INFO: Admission is free. Visit for more information.

About Laurie Justine Szujewska:

Ms. Szujewska’s artwork has been exhibited in galleries in Chicago, New York City, Portland, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been a guest artist at the San Francisco Art Institute, and has taught design and typography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has also been a guest lecturer at many universities. Ms. Szujewska (shoe yév skä) received her masters degree from the Yale School of Art. She later served as an art director for the type division of Adobe Systems, where she was responsible for the design of numerous award-winning projects, including the popular typeface Giddyup.

Ms. Szujewska has focused almost exclusively on the letterpress as an artistic medium since establishing Ensatina Press in 2005. A love of words, type, and all things typographic has always been central to her work. Writing in The Education of a Typographer (2004), edited by Steven Heller, Ms. Szujewska noted that: “Working with the press…provides me with a visceral experience of letterforms as shapes and sculpture moving in space.”

Ms. Szujewska’s home and studio is located on Sonoma Mountain in Sonoma County.

About the San Francisco Zen Center:

Established in 1962 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (1904-1971), San Francisco Zen Center is today one of the largest Buddhist sanghas outside Asia. It has three practice places: City Center, in the vibrant heart of San Francisco; Green Gulch Farm, whose organic fields meet the ocean in Marin County; and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center—the first Zen training monastery in the West—in the Ventana Wilderness inland from Big Sur. These three complementary practice centers offer daily meditation, regular monastic retreats and practice periods, classes, lectures, art exhibits, and workshops.

New music and video inspired by the world of botany

August 18th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
September 24, 2011
8:00 pm
September 26, 2011
8:00 pm

New York City’s Avian Orchestra returns this fall with Vegetative States, a new program touching on the growth of vines, carnivorous plants, psychedelic gardens, and more. The concerts will feature world premieres by a lush and vibrant range of living American composers, including Bret Battey, Max Duykers, Peter Flint, and Jonathan Newman, as well as arrangements by Michael Gandolfi from his symphony The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. The orchestra will be performing against a backdrop of video created by composers Bret Battey and Peter Flint with collaborator Katie Flint.

Pre-show will include a audio/video installation piece by Peter Flint involving long term time lapse video of one of the last stands of old growth forest in Delaware.

The Avian Orchestra is: Ann Sterman, flute; Andrew Sterman, woodwinds; Cyrus Beroukhim, violin; Arash Amini, cello; Blair McMillen, piano; Chris Nappi, percussion; and Peter Flint, accordion

PERF. # 1: Saturday, September 24, 8pm
VENUE: The Barn @ Flint Woods, 205 Center Meeting Road, Greenville, Delaware
INFO: Admission is $15.

PERF. # 2: Monday, September 26, 8pm
VENUE: The Cell, 338 W. 23rd Street, New York City
INFO: Admission is $20.


• Bret Battey – “Clonal Colony”

• Max Duykers – “Arborescence” for accordion and pierrot sextet.

• Peter Flint – “Ascending Tendrils”

• Michael Gandolfi – arrangements from “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation” (working title)

• Jonathan Newman – “These inflected tentacles” (working title)

» Read more: New music and video inspired by the world of botany

Chamber music celebrating “Dutch and Flemish Masterworks” by Musica Pacifica

August 17th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
September 11, 2011
12:00 pm

San Francisco’s Palace of the Legion of Honor partners with the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music for a live concert by Musica Pacifica, San Francisco’s sizzling baroque ensemble, consisting of Judith Linsenberg, recorders; Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Shirley Hunt, cello/viola da gamba; and Charles Sherman, harpsichord.

This concert (free with museum admission) will take place on September 11, 2011 at 12:00pm and is held in conjunction with the exhibition, Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection (July 9, 2011 – October 2, 2011).  The program is free after museum admission. Seating is limited and first come, first served, and is held in the Rodin Gallery (Gallery 10), at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, 100 34th avenue, San Francisco.

The group will perform a program of works by Jacob van Eyck (1589-1659), Nicolao a Kempis (1600-1676), Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621), Philippe van Wichel (1641-1673), Carolus Hacquart (1640-1701), Tarquinio Merula (1594-1665), Johannes Schenck (1660-1725), and Johann Jakob Walther (1650-1725).

One of the finest collections of 17th-century Dutch Old Masters belongs not to a museum, but to Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo, who have been called “the most important collectors you’ve never heard of.” Masterworks from this collection are constantly sought-after for American and international exhibitions. The selection of paintings includes premier examples of quintessentially Dutch subjects—from portraits and still lifes to landscapes and charming scenes of everyday life. Collectively these works chronicle a 17th-century Holland that served as a model for early American society and culture.

Musica Pacifica has, since its founding in 1990, become widely recognized as one of America’s premier baroque ensembles, lauded for both the dazzling virtuosity and the warm expressiveness of its performances. They have been 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). At home in the Bay area, the artists perform with Philharmonia Baroque and American Bach Soloists and appear with many other prominent early music ensembles nationally and abroad.

Musica Pacifica has recently announced that cellist/violist da gamba Shirley Hunt has joined the ensemble. Hunt performs regularly as a member of Agave Baroque and with such groups as Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the American Bach Soloists, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Archetti, and Bach Collegium San Diego. She also performs jazz and contemporary works with the new music ensemble AnyWhen, and has been featured on numerous pop/rock albums and film scores for major motion pictures.

Sparks fly when these high-energy performers get together! Musica Pacifica combines world-class musicianship with a spirited and communicative performing style and brings exuberant vitality to the intimate chamber music of the Baroque.