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Clarinet World Premieres Archive

Clarinet World Premieres 2009

 

Composer Shulimat Ran

Udi Nave Clarinet Soloist in Ran World Premiere

28 December 2008

Composer Shulamit Ran and World Premiere of “The Show Goes On”, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra with Udi Nave as Soloist

Jerusalem, Israel

Shulamit Ran  -   “The Show Goes On”, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra

                 My composition “The Show Goes On” is a single-movement Clarinet Concerto of approximately fifteen minutes composed in 2008.  For many years the clarinet has played a special role in my music, its huge range of possibilities and powerful dramatic potential allowing for fresh discoveries in a variety of contexts.  From my For an Actor:  Monologue for Clarinet through various chamber works in which the clarinet is an important presence (such as Apprehensions for voice, clarinet and piano, and Concerto da Camera II for clarinet, string quartet and piano), the “soul” of the clarinet has been intertwined with important aspects of my compositional “voice”.  It was, therefore, a happy moment for me when I was asked by Sarah Elbaz to compose a Concerto for the 2008 Clarinet Days in Israel.

               The resulting work can be heard as having three interlocking sections, the characteristics of each of which may be defined by different types of motion, and emotion.  The first section is notable for its smooth, gently lyrical motion, initially dream-like, but gradually building to the work’s first climax.  The second section begins with the solo clarinet playing, as the score indicates “with an air of fantasy, as though recalling a past memory”.  Soon, hints of a dance begin, “menacing, but also exciting, intermittently tender”.  These reverie-like sections interspersed by dance motion, reach their peak in a tango-like deliberately raucous outburst, subsiding into an extended stretch of hushed strings against which the clarinet at its lowest range wails, as though deep in prayer.  The third and last section is built on a number of self-contained musical entities each of which is reiterated almost obsessively, phasing in an out and gradually developing into a succession of fast, aggressive, relentless waves of sound.  At its zenith, a syncopated phrase marked “One last time…” literally splinters into sound shards, leading to insistent chords interspersed with a repeating solo clarinet arpeggio which bring the work to a close, not so much through a resolution of tensions but, rather, by arriving at an almost scream-like state, with the solo on a held note fading away.

              A short time after I began composing my concerto news of the untimely and tragic death of Jorge Liderman (1957-2008), a brilliant composer, student, friend, and colleague stunned the music world and those of us who knew him.  The shock and profound sense of loss, as well as thoughts of some of the kinds of music Jorge loved and of the person he was, unquestionably entered the process of composing this work, although it is by no means elegiac in its character.  “The Show Goes On” is dedicated to his memory.

Elliott Carter  

New York Philharmonic eNotes

13 December 2008

Special Birthday Concert with the New York Philharmonic held 13 December 2008 with Mr Carter present with Special Film about his perspectives, concepts, and experiences with a World Premiere of a new work Poems of Louis Zukofsky for soprano and clarinet.  The first world premiere of his music following his 100th Birthday and performance of his Clarinet Quintet

New York City USA

            A great day for a great Dean of American Composers Elliott Carter who just turned 100 years young 11 December, and having a new work just written days before performed by Lucy Shelton and Stanley Drucker entitled 'Poems of Louis Zulovsky'.   This new work was written less than the week before and was a major technical challenge for both singer and clarinetist. The work was atonal which for a singer with less than perfect pitch would not be able to perform especially on this short notice.  Soprano Lucy Shelton was superbly up to this challenge and with legend Stanley Drucker was a legend class performance.  Mr Carter was there to witness the greatness of this reading of his work. 

Other works included:

Figment III for solo double bass
Jon Deak, bass

Clarinet Quintet
Stanley Drucker, clarinetist; Lisa Kim and Kuan-Cheng Lu, violins; Irene Breslaw, viola; Eileen Moon, cello

The concert performance was preceded by the below discussion about Carter's musical life, development, concepts, his knowledge of the instruments, and a Movie prepared by the Philharmonic was shown to bring a broad insight to the audience so they understood what this composer is all about.  Of interest, there have been several tribute performances worldwide celebrating this great man, including a Birthday concert celebration on his birthday with the Boston Symphony at Carnegie Hall to an enthralled audience.  It is very rare to be part of Music History where the composer is present to meet and be inspired.  Two weeks earlier, the New York Woodwind Quintet gave an All Carter concert of his wind chamber and solo works at Merkin Hall.   A longtime friend and faculty at Juilliard Charles Neidich has had an influence on Carter's writing, and the Clarinet Quintet performed today was written for Neidich and the Juilliard String Quartet, premiered last April.  The concert today was a major tribute for this great man who will be with us for a very long time.

16 November 2008

Verdehr Trio (Violin, Clarinet and Piano) performs Double World Premieres at Phillips Collection Concert Series

Washington, DC USA

           The Internationally renowned Verdehr Trio, from Michigan State University where Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr is a Distinguished Professor of Clarinet,  performed a concert of established and two world premieres of music for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, a medium they have pioneered in repertoire growth from 50 works to over 200, a large share commissioned by them, which has enriched the chamber music and especially the clarinet repertoire.  This is the 10th time appearing with many more expected to come.  Two composers, Rick Sowash, who appeared to explain his new work, and Roberto Sierra, had their new works premiered.  The programs and galleries attest to the significence of this performance, which was recorded, like all Phillips concerts, for nationwide broadcast.  The websites for the Verdehr Trio, composer Rick Sowash, and the Phillips Collection (all hperlinked above) explain the whole story behind them all. 

Blai Soler Clarinet Quintet Premiere

Messiean Quartet

19 - 20 May 2008

Cristo Barrios performs with the Arditti String Quartet. in the World premiere of Blai Soler's "Clarinet Quintet"  and performs in the Olivier Messiean Anniversary Festival

Lisbon Portugal

Arditti String Quartet. World premiere

             V Cajacanarias Contemporary Music Festival. Cristo Barrios performed with the Arditti String Quartet. They made the World premiere of "Clarinet Quintet" by Blai Soler at the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus (Gran Canaria-Spain), as well as string quartets by Carter, Dusapin and Lachenmann. They also played the same programme at the Auditorio de CajaCanarias (Tenerife). Great audience acclaims in both concerts.

 Concert tour in Portugal

         Oliver Messiaen anniversary. Concerts took place at the Esposende main auditorium, at the Salao Medieval da Universidade do Minho (Braga) and at the Palacio Foz (Lisboa). The repertoire included pieces by Messiaen (Quartet for the End of Time) and Stravinsky (The Soldiers Tale). Cristo played with the Medina Ensemble (Nuno Soares, violin; David Cruz, cello y Youri Popov, piano). Big success at the three concerts, specially in Lisboa. Cristo will make another tour in Portugal with this Ensemble next November 2008.

 

29 April 2008

Elliott Carter World Premiere -  Clarinet Quintet - Celebrating His Centennial - Juilliard String Quartet and Charles Neidich at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater

New York City USA

            The famed Juilliard String Quartet – Joel Smirnoff and Ronald Copes, violins; Samuel Rhodes, viola; and Joel Krosnick, cello – performed the world premiere of Elliott Carter’s new Quintet for Clarinet and Strings with Charles Neidich, clarinetist, Tuesday, April 29, 2008, , at The Juilliard School’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The work is dedicated to the Juilliard Quartet and Mr. Neidich. This event, part of Juilliard’s 2007-08 Daniel Saidenberg Faculty Recital Series, celebrates Carter’s centenary. Mr. Carter will be present at the event.

            The evening  followed the unusual format of an open rehearsal, panel discussion moderated by Juilliard Dean Ara Guzelimian, and two performances of the complete work, separated by an intermission. The Quartet feels that repeated listening is beneficial in understanding a new work, particularly in the case of a complex piece such as this new quintet. This will, in effect, be a “guided tour” through the new work, and the process of composing and performing it. Members of the Quartet commented that “this is the same process that the Schuppanzigh Quartet would have gone through with Beethoven.”

           The members of the Quartet expressed their joy in performing the music of a living composer, and the necessity of being flexible in one’s interpretation. “We must have just the right sound,” Joel Krosnick explained. “What the composer says changes the way you think, even when the printed notes are clear. One cannot be ‘stuck’ with what is on the page.”

            The Juilliard String Quartet has been devoted to the music of Elliott Carter for half a century, beginning with performances of his String Quartet No. 2 in 1958. The Quartet recorded the first four of Carter’s quartets under his direction.

           Elliott Carter said of the JSQ’s performances of his quartets, “These quartets received the Pulitzer Prize on two occasions, all due to the efforts of the Juilliard Quartet and their beautiful performances of my music.”

           About the new work, Mr. Carter commented, “The Clarinet Quintet was written with the wonderful performers and the warm friendship of the Juilliard Quartet and the outstanding clarinetist Charles Neidich in mind. In it, the clarinet follows its own musical character in contrast to that of the quartet. There are five interlocking movements with no pauses. Having written a Clarinet Concerto and five string quartets, work on this was particularly attractive. The piece was finished October 7, 2007 in New York City.”

          The Juilliard Quartet stated “The magnificence of Mr. Carter’s visions, as expressed in his great chamber works, is combined with his modest demeanor and an intense desire to help us in every possible way.  He is a towering figure in the music of this time, and a very gentle and sincere man.”

          Charles Neidich discussed the origin of the new work. “It was at a dinner last spring when Elliott Carter told me that he would be interested in writing a quintet for string quartet and clarinet for me. For a long time, I was hoping for a work from Carter that clarinetists could add to the great quintets of Mozart and Beethoven. The piece was eventually commissioned by The Juilliard School.

         “With the project officially sanctioned, we had only to wait for Carter to compose the work, which he did with his usual passion and fervent speed. Within a few months, I found a copy of the manuscript in my mailbox. As with everything that Carter writes, it is very different from any other quintet in the clarinet repertoire, and, like much of Carter, it is a union of opposites. It begins with the clarinet moving at a furious pace and the strings virtually still, and ends with the strings playing very virtuosic music while the clarinet plays an incredibly long, beautiful slow line. I am looking forward to this premiere as one of the most exciting and meaningful performances of my life.”

 

Composer-Clarinetist Friendship Reflected in New Quintet

By CHARLES NEIDICH

There is little I treasure more or find more important than my friendship with the great composer Elliott Carter. I always look forward with great anticipation to our conversations about music, literature, history, and the world, and always come away with new knowledge, new understanding, and a new perspective. As a musician, I find it a wonderful privilege to be able to look (at least, a little) into the mind of one of the great personages of classical music. In the years I’ve known Elliott, he has written some of the most important works for clarinet in our repertoire, and I’m proud to say that I have played a role in all of them.

Charles Neidich (right) with Elliott Carter. (Photo by Ayako Neidich )

 

Our close friendship really began in 1993, with the first of those pieces: his work for solo clarinet—which he dedicated to his longtime friend, the Polish composer, Witold Lutoslawski—titled Gra (Polish for “play”). I was to do the premiere recording of the work for Bridge Records. Elliott sent me, in fairly quick succession, three preliminary versions and one final version, which gave me a fascinating glimpse into how he was able to refine his notation to guide the performer ever more precisely to find the correct expression for the piece. I came to his summer home in Southbury, Conn., to play the piece for him and he refined it still further. I found it to be one of the best-written works ever for the clarinet, down to his choice of the multiphonic (double stop) he used at the end.

After Gra came the Clarinet Concerto, commissioned by Pierre Boulez for the Ensemble Intercontemporain. As he was writing it, Elliott periodically showed me the clarinet part and asked my advice concerning clarinet technique. I encouraged him to break the conventional barriers of clarinet writing: to extend the clarinet’s lyrical range upward, not to worry about writing passages requiring extreme virtuosity, not to be concerned with limits of articulation speed. And he did that with tremendous success. In 1998, I gave the New York premiere of the work in Carnegie Hall with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Next, came a surprise. My wife, Ayako Oshima, a wonderful clarinetist herself, and I returned home late in August 2001 to find a package from Carter. When we opened it, we found a duet, written for us. Elliott mentioned to Ayako that he thought a Japanese title would make sense, and she suggested Hiyoku, meaning two wings forever flying together. With Hiyoku, Carter elevated the clarinet duet from a casual genre to a serious art form. Ayako and I gave the world premiere at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the American premiere at Weill Hall in one of the first of Carnegie Hall’s composer showcases. Steep Steps for bass clarinet came at the same time. A wonderful work for what is often a neglected instrument, Elliott wrote it for the excellent bass clarinetist Virgil Blackwell, and I gave the European premiere in the Concertgebouw.

All that was left was for Carter to write a major chamber work for clarinet and string quartet. I had been thinking about that ever since he wrote the concerto, but in the last decade, Carter has been incredibly prolific. Every time I would see him, he would be working on a new work—an opera, or a huge symphonic statement. Finally, last year I gained the courage to begin asking, politely but with greater tenacity, whether he would be interested in writing a quintet for clarinet and string quartet. It was at a dinner last spring when Elliott at last told me that he would be interested in writing the work for me. After a long time of hoping for a work from Elliott Carter for clarinetists to stand alongside the great quintets of Mozart and Brahms, it now seemed like it was actually going to happen!

 

 Elliott asked me about ensembles, and I immediately mentioned the Juilliard String Quartet. Of all the quartets I have played with, I have always found the Juilliard to be special—more flexible and compelling. Whenever I play with them, I can play with both greater freedom and greater attention to detail—and of all the quartets, they have had the longest relationship with Elliott and his music. Of course, he thought they would make an ideal match, and it only remained for me to ask the ensemble members and find a way to commission the work. I had hoped that The Juilliard School would like to commission it, and when the Juilliard String Quartet presented the idea to President Joseph Polisi, he immediately recognized the significance for classical music and enthusiastically endorsed the project.

With the project officially sanctioned, we had only to wait for Carter to compose the work, which he did with his usual passion and furious pace. In the beginning, I found him studying the Mozart Quintet and looking over his other clarinet works. He even asked to see some of my own compositions.

Then, within a few months, I found a copy of the manuscript in my mailbox. As with everything Carter writes, it is very different from any other quintet in the clarinet repertoire and, like so much of Carter, it also charts a new direction in his own composition. The Quintet is in five contrasting and connected movements and, in typical Carterian fashion, it is a union of opposites. It begins with a rhythmic figure in the strings, which returns in various guises throughout the piece, almost a leitmotif, à la Wagner. At unexpected moments, Carter has put in “snap” pizzicato (à la Bartok)—as he explained to me, “like a little splash of brightly colored paint found sometimes in abstract paintings.” While I don’t want to give a “blow by blow” description of the work here before its premiere, I can point out one more of its most original features: It begins with the clarinet moving at a furious pace and the strings fairly still, and ends with the strings playing virtuosic music while the clarinet plays an incredibly long, beautiful, slow line. I am not sure whether I have ever seen as long an unbroken lyrical line as Carter has written.

I know that the members of the Juilliard Quartet are very excited about the Quintet, and I am sure that the premiere on April 29 will be one of the most exciting and meaningful performances of my life.

Charles Neidich, a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, has been a faculty member since 1989.

11 May 2008

World Premiere of Newly discovered Clarinet Concerto by Henri Joseph De Croes (1790) (Brussels 1785- Regensburg 1842) performed by Vlad Weverbergh  with the Orchestra Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, Ivan Meylemans conductor

Brugense, Belgium

       A major Premiere of a newly discovered and reconstructed early Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra Henri Joseph De Croes (1790) (Brussels 1785- Regensburg 1842) performed by Vlad Weverbergh  with the Orchestra Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, Ivan Meylemans conductor took place in Belgium.   Soloist Vlad Weverbergh, a prominent Clarinetist in Belgium and a student of Walter Boeykins performed to high standard.  The concert was broadcast and recording will be released at a later time.  Information about Mr Weverbergh below.

Newly discovered clarinet concerto - 1790.

Vlad Weverberg and Collegium Instrumentale Brugense under the direction of Ivan Meylemans performed this work in Izegem (Belgium) on 11 May 2008.

Henri Jacques De Croes (Antwerp 1705 – 1786), the father of Henri Jacques, was chapel master (Chapelle Royale) for Charles de Lorraine in Brussels.  He had very good connections with the nobel house Furst Türn and Taxis (European Postal Services) who accepted De Croes’ son, Henri Joseph De Croes (Brussels 1758 – Regensburg 1842) as violinist, later chapel master or music director at the court of Türn und Taxis in Regensburg. http://www.thurnundtaxis.de/

 Henri Joseph De Croes has composed divertimenti, two symphonies, an opera and various pieces for special occasions.

His clarinet concerto of 1790 is his most important work.

 His work is in typical style for the era: light, fitting the “leisure class” and atmosphere in the European courts at that time.  He wrote the clarinet concerto around the same time when Mozart wrote his concerto. It is 23 minutes long and contains 3 parts: Allegro, Romance Andante and Rondeau Allegro.

 The conductor score was not available and the reconstruction of his clarinet concerto was based on loose score sheets. The 21 bars of rest in the last movement for the solo player are fairly unusual and pencil marks on the score sheets of the clarinet solo where indicating that improvisation was possible.

With digital aids, I have been able to complete the music score.

 A clarinet - piano edition will be ready at the end of June (info: www.goldenrivermusic.be).  Licensed material for orchestra is available. Info: mielpieters@telenet.be

 More info about the soloist: www.vlad.be

 Miel Pieters Fotografie & Multimedia

Statiestraat 9A b6

B-2180 Ekeren

Belgium

Tel 00 32 (0) 3 294 09 94

GSM 00 32 485 76 69 69

mielpieters@telenet.be

 Curr Vitea Miel Pieters

Musician

First violin deFilharmonie (Royal Philharmonic of Flanders) www.defilharmonie.be

Photographer

www.pbase.com/pieters1

 Passion for 18-century music.
Creations in Festival of Flanders and for Radio Klara.

Next project is a re-creation of a duo concerto for violin and clarinet round 1790.

 

      Despite his youth - born in 1977 - Vlad Weverbergh could easily be counted as one of Belgium's leading clarinettists. His phenomenal technique, masterly control, enviable musicality and stylistic versatility have won him praise from all quarters. A series of brilliant competition results at both Belgian and international venues have served to underline his talents. Vlad Weverbergh won the Young Tenuto competition (Belgium 1993), the Aurelian Octav Popa International Competition (Romania, 1993), the Fedekam National Soloist Champioships (Belgium 1994), the Concours Européen pour Jeunes Solists (Luxemburg, 1994), the Pro Civitate prize (Belgium 1995) and the Tenuto prize (Belgium, 1997). In March 2000 he was awarded the “Link” public prize in Tilburg (Holland).
Vlad Weverbergh is a graduate of the Royal Music Conservatory in Antwerp, where he studied with professor Walter Boeykens. He also studied with Aurelian Octav Popa in Brasov, with Guy Deplus in Nice and with the Melos String Quartet in Oberstdorf. In 1996 he attended the Interpretationskurs under Hans Deinzer at the Europäische Musikakademie in Bonn. He has performed as a guest soloist with the VRT Philharmonic Orchestra, Prima la Musica, Collegium Brugense, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Music Conservatory of Antwerp, the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, the George Enescu Philharmonia and the Philharmonia Hungarica. He has worked with conductors such as Philip Elis, Koboyashi Ken Ichiro, Christian Mandael, Robert Groslot, Patrick Peire, Dirk Vermeulen and Daniele Callegari.
Vlad Weverbergh brings his dash and gusto to the entire clarinet repertoire, be it Mozart, Weber, Rossini, Debussy, Stravinsky or contemporary works hot from the composer's pen. His eclectic musical taste is perfectly expressed in Trio Dor, the ensemble that he founded in 1993. Trio Dor (“dor” being a Romanian word roughly meaning nostalgia or longing) combines a highly personal mixture of original compositions and standards from the klezmer, tango and musette repertoire, with plenty of room for improvisation. In 1998, the group won the Chamber Music Beginner's Prize awarded by Jeugd en Musiek. Not surprisingly so, this award led to successful tours in Romania, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Great Britain and South Africa. Trio Dor has released two CDs. Vlad has also made recordings for Belgian, Dutch, Romanian and German TV and radio stations. In September 2001, he released his first recital CD – “Première Rhapsodie” (on the Etcetera label) - with pianist Yasuko Takahas. Apart from compositions by Debussy, Stravinsky, and Poulenc the CD also features lesser known works by the French clarinettist Louis Cahuzac, and a world premier of Four Greek Songs by the Maltese composer Charles Camilleri.
Vlad Weverbergh also plays with the trend-setting musical ensemble “Champ d'Action”. He has furthermore been invited to join “I Solisti di Vento”, an ensemble of the best Belgian wind instrumentalists. Up to 2002 he lectured on chamber music at Antwerp's Royal Music Conservatory. Currently, Vlad Weverbergh teaches the youngest generation of Belgian clarinettists at the municipal conservatory of Bruges (Belgium).

 

3 May 2008

Johnstone Woodwind Master Series Clarinet Festival - Honoring D Stanley Hasty -  Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio USA

         During this outstanding Festival honoring D Stanley Hasty, an important element as stressed by Jack and Zoe Johnstone was the composition of new works for each of the wind instruments featured at their conferences, this year the Clarinet as the subject of interest. A Composer Competition was held among students who wrote works of diverse style and instrumentation including avant-garde.  Galleries above fully summarize the works and of the performers.

Jack Johnstone, Partuu and Zoe Jonstone

Verdehr Trio and Partuu

           A new work was premiered with the Verdehr Trio named 'Rhapsody' by Daniel Partuu for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano.  The work was commissioned by the Johnstone New Music Foundation for this purpose of featuring premieres of new works. 

 

Soloist Falwell and composer Todd Goodman

Calvin Falwell, Bass Clarinet Soloist

Composer Todd Goodman

Concerto score

Conductor Lauffer, Calvin Falwell, and Todd Goodman

17 April 2008

World Premiere Performance of Todd Goodman's  Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra performed by Calvin Falwell and the Beaver Valley Philharmonic in Midland, Pennsylvania conducted by Bruce Lauffer

Midland, Pennsylvania USA

            In the third and final concert of its 2007-08 season, the Beaver Valley Philharmonic Orchestra premiered a new work by composer-in-residence Todd Goodman. Hence the concert’s theme: “Premiere and Finale.”.  Also on the program was the Mozart Requiem.

           The Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra was commissioned by Maestro Bruce Lauffer and the Beaver Valley Philharmonic to conclude the 2008-09 season.  The work, in two movements, takes the orchestra and soloist through a passionate journey of the relationship between a child and a parent.  Goodman said the first movement, Promenade Comique, translated as “funny walk,” is an argument between the orchestra, acting as the parent, and a jocular bass clarinet soloist, representing the child.

           The second movement, A Berceuse et Rêve, which means “a lullaby and dream,” reverses the roles of the two characters and tells the story of a parent, this time represented by the bass clarinet, who is trying to put the child (the orchestra) to sleep.  Performance with Calvin Falwell was well covered with skill and virtuosity.

SCORED FOR: solo bass clarinet, flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon, horn in f, trumpet in c, trombone, tuba, timpani, 2 percussionists, harp, piano, strings (max 6:6:5:4:3 min 1:1:1:1:1).
TOTAL TIME: [20:00]

View the score and solo part:
View the score of this work [full score 3.5 mb]
View the solo bass clarinet part

Listen to the world premiere performance by Calvin Falwell, Bruce Lauffer and the BVP:
Movement No. 1: Promenade Comique
Movement No. 2: A Berceuse et Reve

 

Calvin  Falwell performs on a regular basis with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony and McKeesport Symphony. Previous positions include the Paducah Symphony Orchestra (KY) and The American Wind Symphony. He has performed with the Louisville Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic and the Wheeling Symphony. He is also a substitute musician with the Bronx Symphony Orchestra.

His passion for contemporary classical music has resulted in solo appearances with the University of Louisville Wind Ensemble, Duquesne University Wind Symphony and the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble. With a strong interest in contemporary classical music, calvin has had numerous pieces written for him by some of America's most promising young composers such as Todd Goodman, Joseph Hallman and Suzanne Polak. In the May 2008 he will be giving the premiere of two Concertos for Bass Clarinet by composers Todd Goodman and Joseph Hallman.

Calvin is currently Adjunct Professor of Music at Holy Family University and Lancaster Bible College. Former teaching positions include, Clarinet Instructor at the Creative and Performing Arts High School, Centers for the Musically Talented and Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, PA. 

Mr. Falwell holds a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from the University of Louisville and a Masters of Music in Clarinet Performance from Duquesne University. His principal teachers include, Ron Samuels, Richard Page, Tim Zavadil and Paul Demers.

                TODD GOODMAN has been described as "one of America's promising young composers." His work has been played by principle members of the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Singapore and Seattle Symphonies. Mr. Goodman receives commissions from a wide variety of players and ensembles across the United States. With many performances in the United States his works have also been performed in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Goodman currently serves as the resident composer for the McKeesport Symphony Orchestra writing his Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra [2007] and the Beaver Valley Philharmonic who is set to premiere his Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra [2008] in April of 2008. Prior to these appointments, Mr. Goodman served as the Altoona Symphony Orchestra’s composer-in-residence from 2002-2005 during which time he was commissioned eight works; including his Symphony No.1 “Fields of Crimson” [2003], Fanfare for a New Era [2003] Some Assembly Required [2004] and Sketches of Home [2005]. He feels that the audience connection and participation in his music is vital to its success. He wants people to leave a concert feeling that they experienced a work rather than just observing.

             Todd Goodman was born in Bedford, Pennsylvania in 1977. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in composition at the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Masters of Music degree in composition at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Currently working on a Ph.D. in theory and composition at Kent State University, he has also studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France, with the European American Musical Alliance and at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado. His principal composition teachers have been David Stock, George Tsontakis, Richard Toensing and Louis Jorge Gonzalez.

             In September 2006, Mr. Goodman was appointed as resident composer for the newly built Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, Pennsylvania. He also serves on the facuty of the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School where he teaches musicianship and composition to some of Pennsylvania's finest young musicians.

            Mr. Goodman has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for his work with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra as well as grants from the University of Colorado Entrepreneurship Center for his work, Symphony No. 1 “Fields of Crimson”. Mr. Goodman has also won such notable prizes as the international project piccolo rebirth 2007 prize for his work Echos: prelude and dance [2007] for piccolo and piano, the prestigious Gold Farbe award from the University of Colorado film department for his scores to two short films Hypnotic Reverie and Light Autumn by writer/director Ryan McVeigh. As well as the 1998 and 1999 Anderson Award for composition and the Milan Desi Derri prize for his Concerto for Alto Saxophone [2005].

          The world premiere of his Symphony No. 1 “Fields of Crimson” was released on CD through Wrong Note Media in July 2003, marking the 140th anniversary of the subject of this work, the battle of Gettysburg. This work has been very well received throughout the United States and Europe. In late-2007 the Duquesne Wind Ensemble will release a recording of Mr. Goodman's River of Sorrows along with other works by David Stock and Indiana University composer Don Freund.

         Mr. Goodman's current commissions include
Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra commissioned by Bruce Lauffer and the Beaver Valley Philharmonic which will be premiered on April 17, 2008 and Mass for a Time of War for the Beaver Valley Philharmonic for the orchestras 2009-2010 season and Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra for Pittsburgh Symphony principal oboist, Cynthia Koledo De Almeida and the Beaver Valley Philharmonic.

Rick Sowash. Composer

12 April 2008

World Premiere of Rick Sowash  Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, recorded live at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra, Jamie Morales Matos conducting, Angelo Santoro, Clarinetist

  http://www.sowash.com/recordings/concerto.html

 Cincinnati, Ohio USA

   Allegro Moderato, 11:36.

    Moderato "The View from Carew", 9:20.

    Allegro, 10:20.

                The Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra is Rick Sowash’s newest major work, completed in December of 2007. This work was written in response to almost seven years of gracious but tireless pestering on the part of Rick’s friend Angelo Santoro, to whom the concerto is dedicated. Back in 2000 Angelo asked Rick to write for him a one-movement Romance for clarinet and orchestra. Rick complied with a work evoking the view from Cincinnati’s highest building, entitled “The View from Carew.” Angelo loved the piece and duly premiered it with the Cincinnati Community Orchestra. Angelo felt, however, that the Romance would serve best as the slow, middle movement of a full-length three-movement concerto. In the summer of ‘07, Rick finally accepted the challenge of writing the substantive outer movements that such an expansive middle movement would require. This proved to be a major challenge, requiring several months of demanding but very exciting work. After the April 12, 2008 premiere, Rick has come to feel that this concerto is one of his finest works to date.

Rick Sowash (b. 1950) claims to be the only American composer of classical music ever elected to a public office — he served four years as a County Commissioner in his native Richland County, Ohio. Unlike most composers, Sowash has not sought an academic or commercial career in music. Following the example of Charles Ives, Sowash chose to retain his art as a passionate avocation, earning most of his living in non-musical ways. He has been a politician, theatre manager, radio broadcaster, and innkeeper. He is the author of two books: Rispsnorting Whoppers: Humor from America’s Heartland and Heroes of Ohio: 23 True Tales of Courage and Character. He is a member of ASCAP, both as a composer and publisher. Many of his 200+ works are published, performed and broadcast around the world. Today Sowash lives in Cincinnati with his wife Jo (whom he wed in 1972), their daughter Shenandoah and son John Chapman.

My name is Rick Sowash. I'm 52 years old, and have been composing what most people would call "classical" music since my early teens.

I'm completely freelance, associated with no institution of higher learning nor with any corporation. I do not depend upon composing to support myself and my family (good thing!) Rather, most of my earnings arise from my work as a humorist (author, performer, storyteller, banquet speaker, with a line of books, audio tapes of me telling funny stories, etc.).

Though I am a successful humorist, and although there is humor in much of my music, nonetheless I am a serious composer, a member of ASCAP and the American Music Center. A dozen of my chamber works have been commercially recorded and twenty-five of my scores have been published. All together I've written about 160 compositions, mostly for chamber ensembles, choral ensembles, also a great many art songs and a handful of orchestral works.

"... the music of Rick Sowash ... is cheerful, unpretentious, exuberant, and heartfelt, with a disarming freshness and innocence ... what really holds one's attention is the soaring, folk like lyricism that ... pervades Sowash's compositions."
-- Walter Simmons, Fanfare magazine

In the career sense, my model has long been Charles Ives -- nonacademic, writing his own stuff, out there earning money part of the time and back home parenting and composing the rest of the time.

My music, however, bears scant resemblance to Ives'. To my ear, my music bears some resemblance to the music of Beethoven, Sibelius and Vaughan Williams. Others tend to make comparisons with Barber, Thomson, Thompson, Copland, sometimes even Gershwin, Sousa and Billings ... I'm a latter-day Americanist, a regionalist who has explored means by which to express the America I know as an Ohioan. I write tonal, accessible, melodic, often pastoral music. My French friends call it "Anti-Boulez." (The French love to be Anti-Something.) Another musician described my work as "folky but not hokey"after hearing a good selection of it at the Adirondacks Festival of American Music ... I was a featured composer there in mid-July of 1995 and enjoyed hearing 13 of my art songs and 5 of my choral works wonderfully performed by the Gregg Smith Singers.

"Sowash is a true American original who combines an ear for sonority and natural musical structure with an unerring sense of what will please an audience."
-- Douglas B. Moore, Sonneck Society Bulletin

As a composer my goal is to write music that will help me connect with other people -- listeners and musicians alike. Happily, I don't need to make money from my music. But I do need to make friends. Doesn't everybody?

 

Matthew Weiss, Composer

Jeffrey Brooks, Clarinet Soloist

24 February 2008

World Premiere of Matthew Weiss Clarinet Concerto

Seattle, Washington USA

          Matthew Weiss has composed over 30 works of various genres, many of which will be available on this website once the Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra is finished and time can be devoted to revising earlier compositions. Along with being a fine composer, he is also a solo, orchestral, and chamber violinist of the highest caliber. He spent 2 years at the Evergreen State College where he studied Western Literature and Computer Science. Following this he transferred to the University of Washington School of Music and in 1991 earned a degree in Violin Performance while studying with Steven Staryk and serving under the baton of Maestro Peter Erös. He previously studied violin with Walter Schwede, Gwen Thompson, Mara Dvonch, Emanuel Zetlin, Denes Zsigmondy, Mari Nakamura, and Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Matt studied music theory and composition with Ken Benshoof, Diane Thome, and James Beale at the University of Washington and privately with William McGreal and James William Clarke who also instructs him in piano, voice, and conducting.

           Matthew Weiss has been a soloist with numerous orchestras including performances of the Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op.77, Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen, Op.20, No.1, the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in a minor Op. 28 by Camille Saint-Saëns, the Scottish Fantasy in E-flat major, op. 46 by Max Bruch, the Mozart Violin Concerto in G major No.3, KV 216, the Mozart Violin Concerto in D major No.4, the Mozart Violin Concerto in A major No.5, KV 219, the Bach Violin Concerto in E major, BWV 1042, the Bach Concerto for Two Violins in d minor, BWV 1043, the Bach Concerto in c minor for Oboe and Violin, BWV 1060, the Bach Concerto for 3 Violins in D major, BWV 1064, and the Corelli Concerto Grosso No. 8 in g minor (Christmas Concerto).

          Matthew Weiss is the concertmaster of the Octava Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Johan Louwersheimer, is the first violinist of the world-renowned Trio Con Brio®, is a member of the Lake Union Civic Orchestra directed by Maestro Christophe Chagnard, and has been the concertmaster of a number of orchestras including the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra with the late Maestro Nico Snell, the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Peter Erös, and the world-renowned Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Vilem Sokol.

          Matt performed frequently in recital and in live radio broadcasts on Classical King FM 98.1 with the late pianist Joel Salsman. The repertoire included works of the great composers such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, etc. as well as contemporary Northwest composers such as Alan Hovhaness, John Verrall, James Beale, Gloria Swisher, and others.

         Matt also has a keen interest in the classical and folk music of India and currently studies tabla from the world-renowned tabla virtuouso Vishal Nagar and North Indian violin from the talented vocalist Ujwal Nagar, both of the Delhi gharana, and recently appeared in recital as tabla accompanist for sarod player extraordinaire Phil Georgas.

        Matt's other interests include Star Trek, Meditation, Eastern and Western Philosophy, Sanskrit, and the study of Hindu texts such as the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana, and the Yoga Vashishta.

        For a look at Matt's lighter side, please visit his MySpace Page.
 

         The Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra originally began as a Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra in Eb major composed in a style akin to Mendelssohn that I began writing back in the mid 90's and then shelved after completing about half of the first movement. Subsequently, I completely forgot about it until coming upon it last winter during the Indian holiday known as Shivarati. For some reason, I was compelled to go through the old material that remained on my computer and decided to listen to a MIDI rendition in order to show my kids some examples of what could be done with the tools that modern composers have available to them. To my surprise, the "sketch" as it were sounded great and I immediately decided to rekindle my interest in classical composition---after a hiatus of over a decade---and finish it.

      The opening theme in the french horns was screaming for a larger sized orchestra, so I decided to add timpani, two more horns, flutes, and bassoons. Soon, I decided that I wanted a richer sound than the oboe could offer, as well as a greater range, and the opportunity for more virtuosic passage work, so I decided to score it instead for solo clarinet.

      As the first movement was reborn, the question of course remained what to do with the other two movements. So I began to dig around in the computer to see what other sketches might be left that could be resurrected. To my great happiness and surprise, I found part of a slow movement to an unfinished symphony in G minor, composed about the same time as the original oboe concerto, that contained wonderful thematic material composed in an Italian style akin to Verdi that related to surprisingly well to what is now the 1st movement of the Clarinet Concerto. The orchestral introduction to the 2nd movement of the Clarinet Concerto comes from there.

     The 3rd movement in C minor again is based upon a scherzo from the same unfinished symphony, with an added Wagner-like introduction and a quasi cadenza for the soloist. Following the Presto-Vivace is a nice pastoral Andante that takes an unexpected turn to quickly present some original melodies in 3 North Indian Ragas (Bhairavi, Jog, and Ramkali) all set to a seven beat pattern known as Rupak Tal (tin- tin- na- dhindhin nana dhindhin nana) . The solo clarinet, flute, and oboe play the melodies of the ragas while the orchestra imitates the sounds of the tabla and tamboura. Following the ragas, we quickly transition into a direct quote of a Vedic chant whose melody uses only 3 notes, the pitches and rythmn determined by the Sanskrit text.

    After this, the bass drum rockets us back into the scherzo, slightly changed in the orchestration, followed by some 19th century style transitional material which gets us back into Eb major, thematic material from the first movement super-imposed over the same, and then finally a rambunctious coda in which the trumpet finally gets to play the opening theme from the first movement, however in a much more sarcastic form. This comes off sounding more like added fluff to the contrapuntal melee of the coda and soon the movement concludes like an old jalopy car revving itself up, back-firing and stalling a few times, and then riding off to glory in a puff of blue smoke.

About the Soloist

     Jeffrey Brooks has been Principal Clarinetist of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra since 2000 and has performed as soloist with the Everett, Yakima, Walla Walla, and Wenatchee Symphony Orchestras, and as section clarinetist for Seattle Symphony and the Tacoma Opera. Jeff holds a BA from Central Washington University and his teachers include Eddie Daniels and Laura DeLuca. Jeff is adjunct clarinet lecturer at CWU in Ellensburg, WA and lives in Olympia, WA where he maintains a full-time teaching studio. In addition to his orchestral and freelancing work, Jeff is a recitalist, jazz performer/composer, and is in the process of recording his first jazz album.

25 January 2008

Clarinetist Michael Norsworthy Performs World Premiere of Ezra Sims' Concert Piece II at Special Boston Modern Orchestra Project Concert at New England Conservatory

Boston, Massachusetts USA

             This special concert of contemporary premieres is a proactive move which will have a long lasting affect on the presentation of New Music.  Many soloists of this medium as listed on the program, attest to the quality being performed of many of the leading composers of this time. Of interest to Clarinetists, the below premiere performed by luminary Michael Norsworthy, tells all about virtuosity, along with his Clarinet co-part Amy Advocat, who performed the below work with intense credibility.

Ezra Sims (b. 1928)
Concert Piece II

             The world premiere on this program  by Ezra Sims (born January 16—last week marked his eightieth birthday), the most prominent composer of music using a 72-part equal division of the octave in the Just Intonation system.* Sims has been writing microtonal music for nearly 50 years, beginning with quarter-tone works and eventually moving to the current system, which he is largely responsible for developing and refining. His notational convention (an extension of the sharps-flats idea) based on the common five-line staff is probably the most universally employed of any such method. Sims’s approach involves pitched-centered modes, usually of eighteen or twenty-four pitches (within the octave—that is, eighteen or twenty-four “pitch classes,” to use the technical jargon), for any given moment in his music, allowing for a more accurate tuning of just intervals. This is incompletely analogous to the use of a key or mode, usually seven pitches drawn from the twelve pitches of the chromatic scale. (Joe Maneri, by contrast, uses the 72-pitch octave in a manner analogous to Schoenberg’s egalitarian equal-tempered twelve-tone scale, without pitch-centered hierarchies based on the acoustic series.)

            Born in Alabama, Ezra Sims studied with Quincy Porter at Yale and, like William Bolcom, with Darius Milhaud at Mills, where he also worked with Leon Kirchner. He was a Berkshire Music Center Fellow in 1960. He began writing microtonal music in about 1960, at first working with equal-tempered quarter-tone scales. His quarter-tone work culminated in his Third Quartet before he moved into the subtler 72-pitch octave. Its subtlety, in fact, was too much for most performers and led Sims to the electronic music studio, where he produced most of his pieces of the 1960s, often working with dance groups. (He taught briefly at New England Conservatory at this time and also worked as a programmer for the Harvard Library.) His return to acoustic instruments and the current phase of his composition began in the early 1970s and corresponds in part to his acquaintance with the musicians of Boston Musica Viva and of the New England Dinosaur Theater, of which he was music director from 1969 to 1978. The Dinosaur Annex ensemble was formed in 1975, becoming the most important advocate of Sims’s music over the past three decades. The first work of Sims’s new phase was a quintet for flute, clarinet, and strings called String Quartet No. 2 (1962) (its misleading title a reaction to an error in Baker’s Biographical Dictionary), written for Boston Musica Viva. Among many commissioned works are several for Boston Musica Viva and several for Dinosaur Annex, his Elegie nach Rilke for soprano and ensemble, commissioned by the Goethe Institut Boston, and his String Quartet No. 4, a Koussevitzky Foundation commission premiered by the Huyghens Quartet in Amsterdam.

        Concert Piece II is in three movements, fast-slow-fast, totaling about twelve minutes. The rhythmically free-floating, fluid melodic line with a restless accompaniment is characteristic of Sims’s style, and can be found as early as his Third Quartet. The two clarinets deliver their lines in loose imitation. In the first movement the first plays the whole upward-tending first phrase solo, to be answered by the second clarinet with nearly the same phrase but in a new harmonic field, namely 5/12ths of a tone higher. (The same melody, in a new context, reappears in the third movement.) The phrases shorten, with the canonic intervals changing, throughout the movement, with the oboe picking up on the clarinets’ opening gesture. The last few measures give us a clear cadence.

         The canonic linear motion in the second movement, shared initially between the two clarinets, gradually spreads to the orchestral instruments—horns, bassoons, strings, flute, etc. Two flutes in a new tempo lead the music back around to a recapitulation of the beginning of the piece that builds to the final cadence.

16 September 2007

World Premieres (belated) Recordings with Eddie Daniels of Frank Proto

        Over the last 4 years there have been new works written for Jazz Great Eddie Daniels by composer Frank Proto, works that are showcased below with information about each work.  All these works are CD available from Liben Records and Publications

        Daniels is that rarest of rare musicians - who is not only equally at home in both jazz and classical music but excels at both with breathtaking virtuosity. He has performed with orchestras all over the world and is the recipient of unreserved accolades from his peers, critics and the public. On July 6, 2006 he performed the world premiere of Proto's Sketches of Gershwin for Clarinet and String Orchestra, written especially for him, at the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival with Frank Proto conducting the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

  

Frank Proto

Sextet for Clarinet and Strings

          Sextet for Clarinet and Strings was written between August and November 2006 as part of a two-part project to showcase the unique talents of Clarinet virtuoso Eddie Daniels. The work - scored for 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass and clarinet - is especially intended for players comfortable in a wide range of musical styles.

          In the late 1950s Eddie Daniels and I were classmates at The High School of Performing Arts in New York City. After graduating in 1959 we went off in different but similar directions, working in a musically wide range of our profession. Our paths crossed rarely but when they did we usually spoke about doing something together. On one of those occasions Eddie was engaged as a soloist with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. I learned of it a few weeks before the concert, called him, and after a short conversation it was decided that I would compose a piece for him to be premiered at that concert. The "Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra" was born on May 8, 1987. Unfortunately it was one of those programs for which only one rehearsal was scheduled, leaving no opportunity to make changes to the music or even play through it more than once. Luckily, with the combined skills of the soloist, orchestra and conductor, the piece managed to get around all of the usual sight- reading pitfalls and end without serious incident.

         About ten years later our paths crossed again and once more we talked about doing something together. This time there was no performance scheduled and we had more time to think about what direction we'd like to take. For starters we elected to go with a smaller ensemble - a string orchestra. We also decided that the music should try to inhabit that betwixt world - on those Bridges - between jazz and classical music. That treacherous ground that never fails to bring out the guardians, the protectors-of-the-faith and divine messengers of both musical camps to weld their swords against any contamination that might infect their precious charges. This is a delicate area, laced with mine fields and other traps that have tripped up many composers and performers over the years. But after having navigated its waters for close to 50 years - Eddie playing consistently with premiere jazz artists, while at the same time regularly performing the staples of both the clarinet concerto and chamber music repertoire with major ensembles throughout the world, and I having had the opportunity to compose for world-class soloists in both of those worlds - we both felt confident that we could come up with something musically worthwhile, and if not, we were determined to have a good time trying! It also happened that we were coming up on the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin's birth (1898). Gershwin was probably our first true cross-over composer, not so much because of what he had already accomplished, but more for where he was surely headed before his untimely death at the age of 38. The resulting work, "Sketches of Gershwin," which we decided to dedicate to George on his 100th Anniversary, sat dormant for nine years. A suitable performance opportunity just didn't present itself.

         In early 2006 I was perturbed about never having heard the Sketches and was discussing this with Eddie. We both wanted to hear the piece under the best possible circumstances - i.e. not at a quick read-through rehearsal for a concert - and decided that the best route to go was to record the piece with a small string orchestra made up of very strong players. We began to plan the sessions, and as we searched for dates and availability of players thought that it might be fun to also include some companion pieces to the Sketches. This led to even more grandiose ideas. By the time our conversation had finished it was decided that we would do a whole project together calling on our long experiences in both styles of music. Our self-imposed challenge was to keep Gershwin in mind during the whole adventure. Using some of his melodies in separate arrangements is always great fun but keeping a bit of his essence present in some less obvious ways is even more rewarding.

        What does it mean to be working in this (for lack of a better term) crossover world? To many the term itself is off-putting. But if we're able to get past arguments of definitions - especially the old standbys about what is or isn't jazz - and all of the preconceptions that accompany them and cut to the matter at hand: what does this mean for the music itself? - we might see that one important puzzle that must be solved is: how do we combine the improvisational aspects of one style with the importance of formal structure of the other. While it certainly isn't necessary, or even expected to use the common forms of older music, they can be really valuable in helping to keep us (composers) coherent. Delving deeper into this subject is far be- yond the scope of this program note, but it's helpful to know that when we introduce foreign matter into any musical style it's a sure road to chaos when all the rules are thrown out. Of course chaos in itself can be a great tool, but when and how to use it for great effectiveness is another point that needs our attention.

       Introducing the aspect of improvisation, especially jazz improvisation into an otherwise classical situation presents its own set of questions: How do we make it work logically within the context of the material that we are using? How do we avoid making it sound like an alien add-on that makes no musical sense? Answers to these questions always lead to more questions: How much freedom do we give the performer? How much do we control the material that is improvised upon? We are sure to find ourselves in deep water without a life jacket when we dive into this risky sea unprepared. If we try to control every aspect of the performer's improvisation it's sure to sound stilted. If we just say improvise here and give very little or no guidance we run the risk that it will just sound like a big splice from one unrelated piece into another. Maybe it becomes time to think about Duke telling us: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing." Surely this is one of those situations where the success of each performance changes radically depending on the skill and inspiration of the improviser. But since we already know that everything has its own kind of swing, we listeners and performers can look forward to each performance being a premiere.

      The "Sextet for Clarinet and Strings" is in three movements. The first is the most conventional, serving to introduce the material much the piece is based upon. The second is basically in two parts - slow and fast. If Gershwin seems to come to mind now and then, don't forget we are thinking about him. There are several improvisations - in different styles - in this movement which closes quietly. The last movement, after an introduction reminiscent of the beginning of the first, puts all of the previously played material together with enough twists and turns to bring things to a rousing finish.

Frank Proto Feb. 12, 2007
from the DVD Bridges - Eddie Daniels Plays the music of Frank Proto

 

Paganini in Metropolis
for Clarinet and Wind Symphony

The University of Texas Wind Ensemble
Eddie Daniels, Solo Clarinet
Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Junkin

 World Premiere Performances
February 20, 2002 - University of Texas at Austin
February 21, 2002 - Lila Cockrell Theater, San Antonio

                   

Paganini in Metropolis draws its inspirations from the flamboyant showpieces composed for the violin by Niccolo Paganini, specifically the Caprice No. 24. The work completes a series that Proto has written for three unique virtuosos - Trumpeter Doc Severinsen (Capriccio di Niccolo), Double Bassist François Rabbath (Nine Variants on Paganini) and finally Paganini in Metropolis for Clarinetist Eddie Daniels. In February, 2003 Eddie Daniels premiered the Paganini in Metropolis for Clarinet and Orchestra with the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra

 

 Sketches of Gershwin for Clarinet and String Orchestra

Sketches of Gershwin was composed in 1998. The idea behind the piece, besides providing a new vehicle for clarinet virtuoso Eddie Daniels to showcase his unique talents, was to celebrate George's 100th anniversary.

In thinking about Gershwin and his influence on American music it is only natural to wonder where his music would have gone had he not died at the age of 38 and was able to keep the creative juices flowing for another 25 or 30 years. This is not an easy question on which to speculate. In our youth-oriented culture, conventional wisdom likes to tell us that creative artists are the most productive in their early years, and there is plenty of evidence to support that supposition: Richard Strauss had written almost all of his most important tone poems by the age of 35. Trumpeter Clifford Brown died at the age of 25 but is still celebrated as one of the most influential improvisors the jazz world has ever seen. Pianist Glenn Gould had accomplished enough for any five human beings by the age of 30 and continued to thrive until his death a few days after his 50th birthday. On the other hand we have the Italian Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi who created two of his greatest masterpieces late in life: Othello at the age of 73 and Falstaff when he was 80! Franois Rabbath, in his 76th year continues to push the bar ever upwards for double bassists. Not enough? How about composer Elliot Carter, born in 1908, who in November 2005 had world premiere performances by the Boston and Chicago Symphonies of two new works on two successive evenings!

Conventional wisdom aside, it is always fascinating to theorize on what roads Gershwin might have traveled had his health not failed him. His prodigious song catalog alone has guaranteed singers and instrumentalists prime material for generations to come. His gift for melody was an inspiration to an elite golden-age generation of songwriters. Rhapsody in Blue - commissioned in 1922 by Paul Whitman for a concert billed as An Experiment in Modern Music - showed signs of a young composer wishing to push popular music in a more adventurous direction. By the time Porgy and Bess opened in 1935 Gershwin could be regarded as one of our supreme crossover artists. It is very difficult to instigate change in any institution that has gotten used to doing things its own way. Was Porgy an opera? Was it a musical? Both audiences and critics were confused (and probably suspicious too) and it closed after only 124 performances. Although some of Porgy's songs became popular before his death in 1937, Gershwin never knew of the huge success that it was to become.

While working on Sketches I tried to keep George in mind. His roots in the Ragtime and 1920s Jazz age served as an atmosphere or tableau for me. If the listener looks for overt quotes or even small hints at Gershwin tunes he'll be disappointed, as that was not what I was up to. If however, the overall essence and harmonies suggest a road he might have explored later, then she'll be on the right track.

It is fitting that the world premiere performance of Sketches of Gershwin took place at the 2006 Salt Lake City International Jazz Festival. To be honest it never occurred to me to present this kind premiere at a Jazz concert. Perhaps my own prejudices were at work here, but mulling things over I found the solution via another common link with George. This is exactly what I love doing: pushing audiences and their musical experiences in more adventurous directions!

 

 Preludes for Clarinet and String Orchestra

By Frank Proto

The Two Preludes were composed in 2006 for virtuoso clarinetist Eddie Daniels. Both can stand alone as short miniatures or used as introductions - i.e. Preludes - to two George Gershwin songs: I Loves you Porgy and Fascinating Rhythm. They are also meant to be companion pieces to Proto's Sketches of Gershwin.

Like Sketches of Gershwin, the Preludes can be said to explore the questions of which musical roads Gershwin might have traveled had tragedy not taken him from us just as he was entering his prime.

Using the Preludes as introductions I am hoping to set up an ambience where twisting the harmonies and form of George's melodies seems logical rather than incoherent. Although a superb pianist and quite a decent improviser himself, Gershwin never did get around to exploring the area of improvisation within his larger works. I am certain, had he lived, it would have only been a matter of time before he got there.

The Preludes and the arrangements of their associated songs take slightly different paths to get to their destinations. No. 1 (to I Loves you Porgy), the more serene of the two features a freely played (written) clarinet cadenza, which melts into a short improvisation to end the Prelude. This sets up the beautiful Porgy melody, which is reharmonized and later combined with elements of the Prelude.

No. 2 (to Fascinating Rhythm) is a more elaborate affaire, the Prelude being extended for both soloist and orchestra. The tune goes through several variations moving from the familiar (and comforting?) through the bizarre and back again sometimes within just a few bars culminating with a wild mixture of elements from both Prelude and song to bring it to a fiery close.

Both of these works received their world premiere performances at the 2006 Salt Lake City International Jazz Festival. The soloist was Eddie Daniels with Frank Proto conducting the Utah Symphony Orchestra. While certainly not straightforward jazz pieces it is fitting that they be brought to life before the kind of audience that George would have loved to play for.

 

10 March 2007

Premiere of John Melby's Concerto No. 2 for Clarinet and Computer at the SEAMUS 2007 National Conference at the University of Iowa performed by Esther Lamneck, an exponent performer of New Music and faculty at New York University

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa USA

           The final concert of the 2007 National Conference of SEAMUS (Society for Electroacoustic Music in the U.S.), which took place on Saturday, March 10, 2007 at Iowa State University, featured clarinetist Esther Lamneck of New York University in the premiere performance of the Concerto No. 2 for Clarinet and Computer by John Melby, Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A versatile performer and an advocate of contemporary music, Lamneck is known for her work with electronic media, including interactive arts, movement, dance and improvisation. Her collaborations with composers have produced new compositions in many genres for the clarinet and the tárogató. Melby's concerto, composed especially for Prof. Lamneck, makes use of some of the extended techniques for which Lamneck is renowned. The concerto, which is about 17 minutes in length, is available from American Composers Alliance. The concert also included Mario Davidovsky's new Synchronism No. 12 for clarinet and electronically-generated sounds, performed by Allen Blustine.

Miller Theatre at Columbia University

Zahler Concerto rehearsal

Norsworthy in rehearsal

Norsworthy and composer Noel Zahler

Columbia University entrance

10 March 2007

New York Premiere of  Noel Zahler's  Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra, Interactive Computer with Soloist Michael Norsworthy with the Columbia Sinfonietta under Jeffrey Milarsky performed at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University 10 March 2007

New York City, USA

           A superby performed program of New Music was performed at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University featuring the acclaimed Columbia Sinfonietta, one of the 1st tier Chamber Orchestras and New Music Ensembles specializing on the performance of Contemporary Music.  Of special interest was the New York Premiere of the Noel Zahler Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra, Interactive Computer with Soloist Michael Norsworthy, well known for his performance of this music and a major player and teacher in the USA, particularly in Boston where he is on faculty at the Boston Conservatory, Harvard University, Columbia University in New York, and active as a private teacher.  This work is unorthodox in its use of computer programmed technology, adding the clarinet with microphone attached to pursue the thematic and effects used throughout the work.  This Concerto was world premiered in 2003 and this is a revised version.   Information about the work and composer Noel Zahler included in the gallery above.  Under virtuosic conductor Jeffrey Milarsky, who handled the entire program with ultimate skill and effective interpretation,  made this program very successful.  Mr Norsworthy was well versed on the demands of this piece with incredible technical control and virtuosity.   The  two other works, Ronald Bruce Smith's Flux for Chamber Ensemble (1993), also a New York Premiere, and Roger Reynolds The Angel of Death (1999-2001), also a New York Premiere, were equally performed impeccably. 

14 January 2007

Louisville Project Recording Premieres with Richard Nunemaker of the Houston Symphony Orchestra

Houston, Texas USA

The Louisville Project


Louisville project photos, cover, tray and back cover courtesy of Rick Gardner Photography.

The Louisville Project is music that was commissioned by Richard Nunemaker and premiered by Nunemaker in performances in Louisville, Kentucky and Chicago, Illinois with the composers present. This CD was recorded in Louisville, Kentucky immediately following performance on the campus of the University of Louisville and is another example of new music by some of America’s finest composers.

Richard Nunemaker, Executive Producer
Paul English, Producer
Andy Bradley, Engineer, Sugarhill Studios, Houston, Texas
Tim Haertel, Engineer, TNT Productions, Louisville, Kentucky, assisted by Brad Thorp. Mastered by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio, Inc. Austin, Texas

This recording made possible in part by funding from the
University of Louisville, School of Music
 

Purchase this CD from
Arizona University Recordings

Download the press release for this CD.

            


Track Listing

 
Song Title Length Samples
Rothko Landscapes (2000) Jody Rockmaker *†    
1.  I.   Maroon on Blue (05:38) Listen
2.  II.  Number 7 (04:52) Listen
3.  III. Abstract Expressions (05:08) Listen
Clarinet Quintet (2002) Marc Satterwhite *†    
4.  I.   Allegro brilliante (06:56) Listen
5.  II.  Presto delicato (03:24) Listen
6.  III. Espressivo con moto (08:17) Listen
7.  Just a Line From Chameleon (2001) M. William Karlins *† (09:34) Listen
8.  Improvisation on “Lines Where Beauty Lingers” for Solo Bass Clarinet (2002) M. William Karlins (09:13) Listen
9.  Las viudas de Calama (The Widows of Calama) (2000) Marc Satterwhite After a poem by Marjorie Agosín † (09:48) Listen
10. Shevet Achim (Brothers Dwell) (2001) Meira M. Warshauer (11:52) Listen

* Commissioned by Richard Nunemaker
† Recorded with the composer present

 

                         Richard Nunemaker has been clarinetist, bass clarinetist, and saxophonist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra since 1967. As saxophone and clarinet soloist with the Houston Symphony,  Nunemaker has given the Houston Symphony premieres of works by Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Max Dubois, Alexander Glazunov and Heiter Villa-Lobos. He has appeared as soloist with such conductors as Lawrence Foster, Jorge Mester, Sergiu Comissiona, William Harwood, Toshiyuki Shimada, Stephen Stein, David Allen Miller, Thomas Wilkins and Mariusz  Smolij. Richard Nunemaker has also recorded with the Houston Symphony Orchestra as soloist in tributes to Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw with Newton Wayland, conducting. He has appeared in live Houston Symphony Orchestra television broadcasts as soloist with Newton Wayland, Sergiu Comissiona and David Allen Miller, conductors.

In addition to being a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Richard Nunemaker is also past president and music director of the Houston Composers Alliance (HCA). HCA presents and commissions new works for several annual concerts in the Houston area. Richard Nunemaker is an artist in residence and master teacher for the Las Vegas Music Festival. Richard Nunemaker is a founding member of Airmail Special, a quartet of Houston musicians that performed original material for student and family concerts in the Houston area. During its 16-year existence, Airmail Special presented approximately 350 live performances in the Greater Houston area schools forapproximately 70,000 children.

 

      

16 December 2006

Christopher Ball Clarinet Concerto Premiere and Recording with Leslie Craven

Royal Welsh College of Music, United Kingdom

 

         The concerto for clarinet was written this year (2006) for Leslie Craven, Principal Clarinetist 
of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and is dedicated (on the front cover of the score and 
clarinet part) to him.   The work is tonal, perhaps having the flavor of Vaughan Williams but also has 
a uniquely chromatic Celtic sound which is the composer's hallmark. The premiere of this work was 
given in July at All Saints Church in Weston Super Mare by Leslie Craven and the Composer conducting 
the Emerald Concert Orchestra and was enthusiastically received.
 
        Christopher Ball began his musical life as a clarinetist in the Halle Orchestra but ill health cut 
that career short. He then studied conducting with (among others) Solti and Silvestri and became a 
member of the conducting staff at the Royal Opera House until the 1970's when sweeping economic 
cuts made many ROH staff redundant.
 
       He continued conducting and also formed a very successful early music ensemble - the Praetorius 
Consort which won international acclaim and has several award winning C.D.'s to its name.  Christopher 
was Professor of clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music for 41 years (he himself taught by the great 
Jack Brymer, Reginald Kell and Gervase de Peyer) where he taught Leslie in the Junior Dept. aged 10 – 
Leslie studied with Christopher for 7 years and has always kept in touch and has appeared on several 
orchestral  and chamber music C.D.'s of Christopher's compositions.  The other works on the C.D. are 
a flute concerto played by phenomenon Adam Walker (age 18/19) winner of the BBC Young Musician 
Woodwind Prize (whilst
only 16 years old) and in many people's view should have won the competition outright.  Bonus works 
on the CD (over 70 minutes long) feature a trio for Clarinet, Oboe and Flute with Leslie Adam and oboist 
Paul Arden Taylor and several  arrangements of Irish music by Chris Ball.
For more details of Christopher Ball or Leslie Craven see:
 
www.christopherballcomposer.com  and www.lesliecraven.co.uk
 
 

Artist:  BALL, CHRISTOPHER

Title:  Clarinet Concerto / Flute Concerto

Label:  Quantum
 

Cat No QM7040

Leslie Craven is Principal Clarinet of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and is a leading exponent of the British school of clarinet playing. The clarinet concerto was specially written for him by Christopher Ball, who was himself an orchestral clarinettist and played regularly with the Halle orchestra for a number of years. The Four Dances for wind trio were written as a companion piece to Malcolm Arnold’s Divertimento for the same trio combination of flute, oboe & clarinet. The flute concerto is performed by its dedicatee, Adam Walker, who first came to prominence in 2004 as a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, performing Nielsen’s flute concerto. In his Irish Suite, Christopher Ball has arranged four well-known traditional tunes for orchestra, whose forces even include the authentic sound of a tin whistle in one of the suite’s movements.


 

BALL, CHRISTOPHER - Clarinet Concerto / Flute Concerto

CHRISTOPHER BALL

Clarinet Concerto / Flute Concerto


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            Recently I was honored to have a concerto written for me by Christopher Ball whom I have known since 
I was a pupil of his at the Royal Academy. It was a “bolt from the blue” in as much as I had not kept up 
correspondence with Chris until he emailed me about my book “Instant Help for Playing and Teaching the 
Clarinet”.

            He was very enthusiastic about the book (putting it mildly) and mentioned that he would write me a concerto

(this was in January this year).   I never in my wildest dreams though that he would write it so quickly and that we would

record it (along with several other works by Chris)  with Chris conducting, all in the space of 7 months!

            Christopher  was born in 1936 and studied clarinet with some of Britain’s most eminent players, notably Jack Brymer,

Reginald Kell and  Gervase de Peyer. His career has taken many forms, clarinettist (freelance with the Halle), recorder

player and founder of the Praetorius Consort which enjoyed tremendous success in the 1970’s and beyond, conductor

(Royal Opera House), arranger (numerous B.B.C. broadcasts of his “light music”) and more recently returned to composition

after several years of inactivity. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department for forty one years and among

his many successful former pupils are the winner of the Leeds competition Robert Bramley, Richard Stockall and myself, 

Leslie Craven.

         Christopher Ball started composing in his teens (there were early pieces for the piano and the clarinet), but like many other

composers of his generation he was disillusioned by the William Glock ethos, and felt keenly that the type of modern music

that he personally enjoyed was not welcome in the rarefied avant-garde musical climate of the '60s and 70s. It is only in the

last fifteen years or so that his flair for composition has blossomed, and he has produced a clutch of works for the recorder

that are much loved and have justifiably taken their place in the instrument's repertoire (as well as other chamber and

orchestral music). The composer himself explains this gap in his composing activities by pointing out that he was totally

involved in the serious "classical" side of music-making and it was only when he realised that other composers

had been continuing to write “light – classical” music in a traditional style, aimed at a much wider audience, that the urge

to create returned.  Serious original composition began in earnest with the substantial Recorder Concerto, written in 1995

and following the success of this Chris wrote  an Oboe Concerto for the skills of Paul Arden-Taylor, who was equally adept

on the recorder, and who is the soloist in both concertos on the Pavane label CD. The Oboe Concerto does in fact make use of

a setting of John Masefield's "Sea Fever" that Chris composed at the age of eleven.

         The work of Christopher Ball has a hallmark of tonality and a strong Celtic resonance which harks back to the "early" 

(Renaissance and Mediaeval)  music that he was so much involved in during the 1970's. The Clarinet concerto is written for

and dedicated to me and the flute concerto for Adam Walker (- youngest winner of the British Flute Society Competition and 

finalist B.B.C. young musician).The works were premiered in All Saints Church Weston Super-Mare on 26th July during the

heat wave of this summer (2006). Both Concertos were recorded the next day along with other arrangements of Irish folk music

by Christopher Ball. The “4 Dances” were recorded during the morning of  July 28th.

           The clarinet concerto, written this year between January 16th and February 13th is beautifully lyrical (somewhat

reminiscent of the style of Vaughan Williams and the great British tonal composition school) yet with its own unique Celtic

flavour strongly imbued with chromaticism.  There are the usual three movements, a lyrically flowing first movement with an

integrated cadenza (written by the composer), a haunting slow movement (also containing a short cadenza) and a jaunty fast

moving finale which is  brilliant yet has several memorable, fluid, beautiful  melodic themes to counter the rapid scale and

arpeggio pyrotechnics.    The finale has a brilliant coda and this concerto will undoubtedly be a winner with audiences and

clarinettists alike. The Clarinet solo part is written by a master craftsman and teacher of the instrument hence whilst it sounds

brilliant is not beyond the technical reach of the average clarinettist with A.B.R.S.M. grade 8 or similar. The Clarinet concerto

is scored for Clarinet and String Orchestra and the Flute Concerto for  Flute, Strings, Harp, Clarinet, Oboe and Horn.

               The new clarinet concerto by Christopher Ball, is to be released on the Quantum label (Euravent) Soloists:

Leslie Craven Clarinet Adam Walker Flute, Oboist and recording engineer Paul Arden Taylor

Leslie Craven

 

14 September 2006

Kalamazoo Gazette

Fontana opening concert successfully bridges East and West

By  C.J. Gianakaris

Special to the Gazette

Recent seasons programmed by the Fontana Chamber Arts have stretched listening capacities of audiences by commissioning original works by gifted composers and by programming more ecumenical compositions from broader geographic areas of the musical world.

Wednesday evening's season opener, ``Bridges from the East,'' featured four newly commissioned works that required exotic musical instruments from China. The program at Dalton Center Recital Hall was largely successful.

Wang Guowei on the erhu (a two-stringed instrument) and Yang Wei on the pipa (a four-stringed, pear-shaped lute) are exceedingly fine artists who know how to coax extraordinary music from their instruments. Wang Guowei opened the program playing ``Song of Henan,'' a Chinese traditional piece. Sounding a bit like a fiddle, the erhu defined a thin, plaintive melodic line comparable to a singing voice.

Yang Wei followed on the pipa with ``Traditional Folksong of the Yi Tribe.'' Strumming and plucking the strings, he produced music akin to the banjo or mandolin. With picks on several fingers, Yang Wei brilliantly elicited full-ranged melodies.

John Bruce Yeh and Teresa Reilly, playing different-ranged clarinets, performed two works together -- the commissioned piece ``Little Cabbage,'' by Bright Sheng (present in the audience), and several selections from ``Two & Three Part Inventions,'' by J.S. Bach.

The work by Bright Sheng held greater interest because of his masterful scoring for E-flat and B-flat clarinets. Peng (Pamela) Chen's commissioned work ``Spring Silk II'' was also performed by the ensemble.

Rousing Wednesday's audience the most were commissioned works by Victoria Bond (who was present) and Lu Pei. ``The Birds and the Queen Phoenix,'' by Lu Pei, requires erhu, pipa, soprano clarinet and bass clarinet. Composed to artistically replicate the sounds of nature, particularly birds, the piece was a delight.

Uncanny naturelike sounds emerged from each of the instruments, including chirps, trilling, buzzing, tapping, croaking and, finally, a deluge of bird-whistle chirpings. The players seemed to enjoy performing the work as much as the audience enjoyed taking it in.

Victoria Bond stepped on stage to comment on the design of ``Bridges,'' her work for the ensemble. Four actual bridges inspired her, and each bridge was musically

transform their natural sounds into a lovely, meditative aura.

Two other bridge sections proved valid and interesting, but forced the erhu and pipa into traditional roles of fiddle and banjo, depriving them of their full attributes.

 

©2006 Kalamazoo

© 2006 Michigan Live. All Rights Reserved.

Bonade Clarinet Quartet

Bonade in performance

Quartet in bow after performance

1 April 2006

New Jersey Clarinet Symposium Premiere with Bonade Clarinet Quartet

Bernardsville, New Jersey USA

        A new work performed by this professional Clarinet Quartet entitled 'Drummer Dances' by Gene Pritsker

includes the following information of interest:  the work is based primarily on rhythms from 2 famous drumsolos. 

The first 30 bars take the rhythms from Max Roach's solo in Delihah Dances, as recorded on the Clifford Brown

and Max Roach album. The music develops further using the 4 bar drum breaks from the same composition.

Elvin Jones' drum solo on 'Monks Dream' is the other rhythmical source material in this piece. There are 32 bars

of this solo in a more linear development. Two distinct melodies are heard throughout this piece, they appear in

different variations within the various rhythms the 2 drum solos provide.

USMA Solo Clarinetist with Dana Wilson

LTC Holton presenting Mr Wilson with Appreciation

Combs performing Liquid Ebony with Band

Dana Wilson demonstrating work

Combs soloing with band

18 March 2006

West Point Clarinet Summit and Premiere of Dana Wilson's 'Liquid Ebony' for Clarinet and Band

West Point, New York USA

        The USMA Band performed its finale Gala Concert in conjunction with this 2 day symposium for Clarinetists with

artist alumni Steve Girko and soloist Larry Combs.  This work was originally composed for Mr Combs in 2002 and

premiered in its Clarinet/Piano version at the 2003 ClarinetFest in Salt Lake City. This work was scored for Band

utilizing many color concepts that were quite effective using these resources.  Mr Combs performed with high momentum

and intensity and the Band collaborated to a very high tribute.  Prior to the performance, Mr Wilson held a presentation

explaining fully the ideas behind this piece with demonstration and active audience questions about the work.  Information

about Mr Wilson is presented below.

                  

14 March 2006

An evening of Contemporary Music with William Powell and friends

REDCAT Theater - Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles, California USA

          This program of contemporary works with a number of premieres showcases the wealth of new music for

clarinet and varied combinations of instruments and venues.  The program was well received and the performance

was stellar in its programming and delivery. Below is specific information about each work performed and background

of the composers and players.

performers:   William Powell, clarinet, Lorna Eder, piano, Mark Menzies, violin, Eric KM Clark, violin, Nancy Uscher, viola

Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, cello, David Johnson, conductor

The CalArts Percussion Quartet

       Neili Sutker

       John T. Wash IV

       Joshua Tariff

       Alan Goldenberg

Program:

James Tenney

Seegersong #1 (1999) for solo clarinet

Los Angeles Premiere

Arturo Márquez

Zarabandeo (1995) for clarinet and piano

Steven Hoey

Black Ice (1999) for clarinet, violin and piano

Jane Brockman

Scenes from Lemuria (2006) for clarinet and string quartet

World Premiere

Olivier Greif

Ich ruf zu dir (1999) for piano, clarinet and string quartet

       I. Scream

       II. Roundabout

       III. Ghost

       IV. Sambor

American Premiere

Eugene Kurtz

Logo I (1979) for clarinet, piano and percussion quartet

          I. Introduction

          II. Breakdown

Los Angeles Premiere

About the Music -

Program Notes and Composers' Biographies

James Tenney

Seegersong #1 (1999) for solo clarinet

Los Angeles Premiere

       Seegersong #1 is one of a set of pieces for various melodic instruments, inspired by the notion of a

“dissonant counterpoint” (defined in such a way as to be applicable even to a single melodic line) as

advocated by Charles Seeger and exemplified in the works of Carl Ruggles and Ruth Crawford Seeger.

Commissioned by Michele Verheul with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council.

        James Tenney was born in 1934 in Silver City, New Mexico, and grew up in Arizona and Colorado,

where he received his early training as a pianist and composer. He attended the University of Denver, the

Juilliard School of Music, Bennington College, and the University of Illinois. His teachers and mentors

have included Eduard Steuermann, Chou Wen-Chung, Lionel Nowak, Carl Ruggles, Lejaren Hiller,

Kenneth Gaburo, Edgard Varèse Harry Partch, and John Cage.

       A performer as well as a composer and theorist, he was co-founder and conductor of the Tone

Roads Chamber Ensemble in New York City (1963–70). He was a pioneer in the field of electronic

and computer music, working with Max Mathews and others at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in the

early 1960s to develop programs for computer sound-generation and composition. He has written

works for a variety of media, both instrumental and electronic, many of them using alternative tuning

systems. He is the author of several articles on musical acoustics, computer music, and musical form

and perception, as well as two books: META / HODOS: A Phenomenology of 20th-Century Musical

Materials and an Approach to the Study of Form (1961; Frog Peak, 1988) and A History of ‘Consonance’

and ‘Dissonance’ (Excelsior, 1988).

       He has received grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for

the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and

Letters, the Fromm Foundation, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and the Jean A. Chalmers

Foundation. He has taught at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, the University of California, and at

York University in Toronto, where he was named Distinguished Research Professor in 1994. He now

holds the Roy E. Disney Family Chair in Musical Composition at the California Institute of the Arts.

His music is published by Sonic Art Editions and the Canadian Music Centre, and is distributed by

them and by Frog Peak. Recordings are available from Artifact, col legno, CRI, Hat[now]ART, Koch

International, Mode, Musicworks, New World, Nexus, oodiscs, SYR and Toshiba EMI, among others.

The Bavarian Broadcasting Company has commissioned a new work for orchestra to be premièred by the

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in 2007.

Arturo Márquez

Zarabandeo (1995) for clarinet and piano

        Composed in 1995, the Zarabandeo for clarinet and piano was commissioned by the Director of

Music Activities of UNAM, and was first performed by pianist Joseph Olechovsky and clarinetist Luis

Humberto Ramos to whom I have dedicated the piece. The Zarabanda (Sarabande) was a popular dance

of unknown origin. There are records of this dance being performed in Mexico during the second half

of the sixteenth century. During this same period, the dance was condemned and its performance was

prohibited in Spain. In the next century, the Sarabande “reappeared” as part of the Baroque instrumental

“suite” form, but in a character very different from the original. These concepts were introduced to

me by the Cuban musicologist Rolando Perez. I have no idea how the original Zarabanda sounded, but

I feel certain that its prohibition came about due to the fact that it was a very sensual dance. I am fascinated

with how the Sarabande we know now could be related to the Zarabanda which has disappeared. In my

“Zarabandeo,” I have incorporated a “Tangueo” and a “Danzoneo,” two of my favorite dances, because

of the relationship between people, music and dance, and because I hoped to write something for clarinet

and piano that might inflame the passions.

     Arturo Márquez was born in Alamos, Sonora in 1950. Today, he is widely recognized as the most

outstanding Mexican composer of his generation. He began formal music studies in 1966 with Thomas

Rosseti and Eva McGowen in La Puente, California. In 1969 and 1970 he was conductor of the Navojoa

Sonora Band. He pursued further studies at the Conservatory of Music of Mexico; The Taller de Composicion

of the Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico with Joaquin Guttierez Heras, Hector Quintanar, Razi Pavsn and

Federico Ibarra; in Paris with Jacques Casterède and Ivo Malec; and at the California Institute of the Arts

with Morton Subotnick, Lucky Mosko, Mel Powell and James Newton.

       He has received grants from the Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico, the French Government, and the

Fulbright Foundation. He was part of the interdisciplinary group MUSICA DE CAMERA with Angel

Cosmos and Juan Jose Diaz Infante. He is composer for Irene Martinez’s modern dance troupe

MANDINGA. He has received commissions from the OAS, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana,

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Festival Cervantino, Festival del Caribe, Festival de la

Cuidad de Mexico, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has taught at the National University of

Mexico Superior School of Music, and worked for CENIDIM (National Center of Research,

Documentation and Information of Mexican Music). In 1991, he received the composition scholarship

of the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, and in 1994 he received a three year scholarship

from the Sistema Nacional de Creadores. Besides the numerous performances of his work in Mexico,

his music has been performed in Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Steven Hoey

Black Ice (1999) for clarinet, violin and piano

         Work on Black Ice began in January after returning from the winter storms and dangerous “black ice”

on the roads of northern Illinois. The image of the rural countryside covered with patches of snow and

hardened by bitter cold, almost crystalline in its nighttime stillness, was with me as I wrote the opening

section of the trio. Whispery, high harmonics in the violin and enigmatic-sounding multiphonics in the

clarinet are used throughout the piece, glistening and glinting like ice. Through-composed in five sections,

Black Ice develops from a sense of shadowed repose to a highly energetic scherzo section whose motivic

material is drawn freely from intervals of major and minor thirds. Jazz influences can be felt from time

to time as the piece moves into the much slower middle sections (marked dark, spectral and drifting,

lyrical) quietly announced by rolled chords in the piano that hearken back to the opening measures.

The piece concludes with a return to the scherzo-caprice material of major/minor thirds, and blindingly

fast chromatic passage work by all three performers drives the work to its finale.

— Steven Hoey

Black Ice was premiered by William Powell and members of the Titan Trio on March 3, 1999 at

California State University, Fullerton.

        Steven Hoey is an American composer who has been performed widely on the west coast of the

States as well as New York City and France. A winner of the Dutilleux Prize for International Composition

for his solo piano work, Artifact I, Hoey has written for a wide array of soloists and ensembles including

the Ensemble Green, the California EAR Unit, The New Millennium Players, the New Century Players as

well as faculty ensembles at the University of California at San Diego. A founding member of the composer

consortia Different Trains in Los Angeles and Auralia and CLOSE RANGE in San Diego, he is committed

to building new audiences for contemporary music. His solo harp work Sudden Travel, commissioned and

premiered by Susan Allen, has been selected for performance at the 2006 World Harp Conference in San

Francisco. His solo oboe work m/ODE/s was written for Jacqueline Leclair in 2005; and his orchestral

work m/ODE/s on Three Ancient Greek Fragments was performed in April 2005 by the La Jolla Symphony

Orchestra. He was a Composition Fellow at the 2005 Wellesley Composers Conference, where his chamber

work, a Seraph’s Shadow for eleven players was premiered. His new work, Sirens in December for soprano,

flute, and cello, will be premiered in San Diego in April 2006. He is currently completing a commission for

bassoon and harp for Julie Feves and Susan Allen, and a work for soprano and cello for Scott Kluksdahl,

Professor of Cello at the University of South Florida, to be premiered in New York City in 2007.

       After completing his Masters degree at the California Institute of the Arts, Hoey served as a faculty

member there two years before relocating in San Diego to pursue his doctoral studies. Steven is working

on his PhD dissertation in composition at the University of California at San Diego with Chinary Ung,

and is an Associate Instructor in Theory and Composition. He also holds degrees from Harvard University

and Oxford University where he studied on a Marshall Scholarship.

         On March 1, 2006, the American Academy of Arts and Letters announced that Mr. Hoey was

awarded a prestigious Charles Ives Scholarship.  The award will be presented at the Academy's annual

Ceremonial in May.

Jane Brockman

Scenes from Lemuria (2006) for clarinet and string quartet

World Premiere

      Many years ago, Bill Powell gave me a recording of an amazing improvisation he did, which he had

labeled, From Lemuria. Lemuria, I learned, was an ancient mythical place which disappeared into the

sea much like Atlantis, but in Lemuria, the arts and creativity were the focus of civilization.

       Bill's improvisation, done completely extemporaneously, seemed to be pulling magic out of the ether.

That's really what composition (and perhaps all creativity) seems to be. We study and theorize about much

preexisting music, but when composing becomes 'flow', it's almost as if one is accessing information on

another plane. The music seems already to exist. (Which is not to imply that there is no sweat.) And the

ability to access this plane seems to require various types of preparation.

       Such was the process of this piece. Thoughts of an ancient mythological civilization also brought

to mind music by another composer who resided in Los Angles, which I couldn't resist paraphrasing —

you'll know it when you hear it.

— Jane Brockman

 February, 2006

          Raised in upstate New York, Jane Brockman is the first woman to have earned a Doctorate in Music

Composition in the 150-year history of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She also studied in Paris with

Max Deutsch on a Fulbright/Alliance Française fellowship and in Vienna on a Rackham Prize fellowship.

She has been awarded honors and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony (3 years), the State of Connecticut,

Meet the Composer, and the Composers Conference (directed by Mario Davidovsky). Her first orchestra piece

won the Sigvald Thompson Prize for orchestral composition. Brockman's mentors include Pulitzer Prize winners

Ross Lee Finney and Leslie Bassett, as well as George Balch Wilson, Wallace Berry and Eugene Kurtz. Brockman

taught music theory and composition at the University of Connecticut for 9 years, where she founded the

University's Computer Music Studio and produced electronic music concerts. She has also been on the faculties

of the Hartt School of Music, the University of Rhode Island and the University of Michigan. She was one of

four composers selected nationally for a Sundance Institute Film Composers' Lab fellowship, working with

Henry Mancini, Bruce Broughton, Alan Sylvestri, David Newman and the Utah Symphony.

       Afterward, she left her tenured professorship at the University of Connecticut to freelance as a

composer in the Los Angeles are, writing concert music and scoring low budget films and television.

       Today, in Santa Monica, her focus is entirely on concert music. That work is informed by the diversity

of her experience with other media: dance, film, and television, as well as the formal structure of academia.

Her music is recorded on the Loenarda, Opus One, Coronet, Drimala and Capstone labels, and published

by Arsis Press, Washington, D.C. and Diaphanous Music, which is distributed by Theodore Front Music

Literature Inc. Her music has been in the touring repertoires of Continuum and the New Music Consort in

NYC, and virtuoso clarinetists F. Gerard Errante and William Powell.

       She has served on the Boards of Directors of New York's Composers Concordance, as well as Women

in Film, and the Society of Composers and Lyricists in Los Angeles. She also served for three years on

review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, D.C. and produced concerts with the

LoCal Composers Ensemble.

Olivier Greif

Ich ruf zu dir (1999) for piano, clarinet and string quartet

American Premiere

        Ich ruf zu dir is a suite of four movements, three of which (I, II and IV) are traversed by the

presence (more or less audible) of Martin Luther's chorale, Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (I call on you,

Lord Jesus Christ).

       The first movement — "Scream" — (in which the theme of the chorale is more insinuated than actually

heard) is a meditation on nothingness. I wished to give the feeling of an ocean of silence from which emerge

little by little always more vehement-sonorous elements stolen from the void, as if gradually freed of its grip.

What is not heard matters as much as is possible that which is.

       The music tries to say what is not possible to say — that something unnamable so dear to Paul Celan —

an impression of fear such that it literally loses its voice. The title of this movement is a direct allusion to the

painting of Edvard Munch, The Scream.

       The second movement — "Roundabout" — of which the first motif is made up of four notes extracted

from Luther's chorale. What's more, the entire theme of the chorale arises bit by bit from the inexorable

progression of this movement, until it appears (almost triumphantly) near its conclusion.

       The third movement is a vision, a hallucination — I call it "Ghost" — citing one of the last pieces

written by Mozart — the Adagio for glass harmonica — a bloodless, disincarnate music from beyond the grave.

       Finally, the fourth movement — subtitled "Sambor" in reference to the name of the area in eastern

Galacia where my father was born — concludes the work with a Chaconne followed by seven variations.

Recognizable — as well as Luther's chorale trying to reconstitute itself and reemerge — are citations of

the Eighth Prelude (in e flat minor) BWV 853 from the First Book of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and from

the Largo e mesto of Beethoven's Seventh Sonata, Opus 10, No. 3.

       Ich ruf zu dir was composed in November 1999. It is dedicated to the memory of my father who

died during its composition — and to Alice Ader and her ensemble. It was played by them for the

first time during the Presences festival, February 13, 2000, in the Olivier Messiaen auditorium of the

Radio France studios.

— Olivier Greif

          Olivier Greif was born in Paris and died there.  As a student at the Conservatoire National Supérieur

de Musique in Paris he was as brilliant as he was precocious, obtaining first prize for chamber music

(Jean Hubeau), composition (Tony Aubin) and orchestration (Marius Constant), and second prize for piano

(Lucette Descaves). In 1969 he completed his studies in composition in New York with Luciano Berio

(then a teacher at the Juilliard School), subsequently becoming his assistant.  At this period he associated

with a number of artists, among them Salvador Dali.

       His double career as composer and pianist led him to perform in many European countries, as well as

in the U.S. and in Japan.

       During the 1970s, Olivier Greif taught composition, analysis and chamber music at the Académie-Festival

des Arcs, which he directed from 1983 to 1986. In 1978 and 1979 he also taught at Annecy for the Pâques

Musicales. At the height of this first part of his career, the Paris Opera and IRCAM commissioned the chamber

opera Nô, premiered in 1981 at the Georges Pompidou Centre for the Paris Autumn Festival.

       In 1976, Olivier Greif embarked on a spiritual quest which was to last more than twenty years. He

attached himself to an Indian guru living in New York, making frequent trips to the United States and other

parts of the world as a consequence.

       In 1978 he was given the name 'Haridas' ('servant of God' in Sanskrit). This withdrawal into an inner life,

in response to a profound spiritual aspiration, resulted in the suspension of his personal musical creativity

for some 10 years, following the Sonate de Requiem, Le Livre du Pèlerin and the opera Nô. During these

years he made numerous polyphonic arrangements of Indian devotional songs.

       His musical career gradually resumed in the course of the 1990's, with commissions from Radio

France and from various music festivals in France (La Prée, Deauville, Cordes-sur-Ciel) and abroad

(Kuhmo, Warsaw, Berlin), etc., reaching a peak at the time of his sudden death.

       Spurred on by a sense of urgency, he produced a series of magnificent works in the last months

of his life. Even without those that he was unable to bring to completion (a symphony, a large-scale

Vêpres and other substantial orchestral and choral works he had either been commissonned or had planned),

he left a sufficient body of major compositions - from the Chants de l,Ame to the Requiem - to satisfy the

most demanding and diverse criteria.

       Olivier Greif wrote more than a hundred works, dating back to 1961. As well as the recordings of

both composer and pianist currently available, a great many radio and other recordings of concerts

and interviews bear witness to his achievements as a composer, his numerous performances as a pianist,

and his profound and subtly caustic observations.

       Though a French composer, he no doubt owed to his Polish and Jewish origins a broader, more

fluid conception of his self and of his art. Everything about Olivier Greif was exceptional. To the end, there

were still traces of the child prodigy that he had once been. Every manifestation of homo musicus was so

natural to him that it verged on the supernatural. As well as being an inspired and prolific composer, he was

a pianist of inexhaustible resources and an astounding sight-reader: a visionary.

       Yet, for this born musician, the mystical call of silence proved, during long years, the strongest.

Composing, playing, meditating, writing hundreds of pages of his private diary, apparently for him

involved the same activity of the spirit. The musician, nonetheless, took the lead again, composing

powerful works whose inspiration and titles are often tragic, haunted by the spectre of death. Most of

them are, however, illuminated by the intuition — ecstatic, incantatory or hymn-like — of a possible

sublimation; when it is not their vivid colour and humour and furious rhythms that chase away black thoughts.

       Though he received his musical training in Paris, this Frenchman, whose family origins were in the

more culturally mixed regions of central Europe, early on felt 'foreign' in relation to those qualities

considered typically French — perfection, concision, restraint — and likewise to the prosody of his

native tongue. He felt more at ease with German and English, or even with Latin, which he discovered late,

when writing one of his last compositions, the Requiem.

       His music combines a profusion of original ideas and allusions, religious (Hebrew or Gregorian chant,

Lutheran chorales, Anglican hymns) and secular (melodies from every country and period), polyphonically

intermingled. Difficult and complex, these scores demand a total commitment from their performers. The

piano was at first Olivier Greif's workshop: 'My thought was not only expressed by the piano, it was

conceptualized by it' (Piano magazine, 1998); but, fundamentally eloquent, his music often had recourse to

words, with a preference for English.

       Olivier Greif's clearest affinities lie with Mahler, Britten and Shostakovitch, but he never forgot

Beethoven, the 'creator' par excellence. His extraordinary instinct, coupled with the perfect

technique acquired during his youth, enabled him to feel free from any academicism, conservative or

avant-garde. What he sought was a total art form, at the crossroads of the past and the future, the erudite

and the popular. He aspired to an authenticity of expression, independent of every kind of aesthetic

trend or fashion.

Eugene Kurtz

Logo I (1979) for clarinet, piano and percussion quartet

Los Angeles Premiere

       According to most dictionaries, “logo” is an abbreviation of “logogram” and is defined as a

character or symbol used to represent a word or phrase, as CBS, NBC, and ABC represent the three

major American television networks. Perhaps the best justification for the word as a title for my piece

might be the fact that each of the two movements, “Introduction” and “Breakdown,” seemed to be

a sort of “logo” in itself. Each one of them seemed to represent or characterize precise and

perhaps contradictory ways of thinking at the time I was composing the piece. The “Introduction” tries

on occasion to recall certain nocturnal sounds that fascinated me when I was a child and is in turn

meditative, poetic, and assertive. It advances in a somewhat discontinuous flow in the form of a dialogue

that is enriched with moments of silence and ever changing patterns of thought.

       The “Breakdown,” which follows the first movement without pause, is in complete opposition to

the “Introduction.” It is minimal as regards musical material, obsessive in character, and inexorable as

regards rhythmic flow. The principles of ostinato and repetition are exploited to the fullest, and both

of the instruments, especially the clarinet, seem to be caught up in a marathon of notes that can end

only as abruptly as it began. The piano part alternates between diatonic and chromatic clusters, and

the clarinet part might remind one of the riffs played by Benny Goodman in some of his recordings

from the 1930’s and 1940’s. The title, “Breakdown,” comes from an obscure and supposedly frenetic

African American dance of the nineteenth century. Nothing remains of the dance but its name, so I felt

completely free to deal with the rhythmic element according to my own fancy.

— Eugene Kurtz

Eugene Kurtz (b. 1923) is an American composer who has made his home in Paris, France, for many years.

He studied there with Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud and Max Deutsch and has since returned to the

United States on different occasions to teach at The University of Michigan, The Eastman School of Music,

The University of Illinois and The University of Texas. In Paris, Mr. Kurtz has written music for the theatre,

radio, television and the cinema. His works for orchestra and chamber ensembles have been widely performed

both in the U.S. and in Europe. He has received commissions from The Musical Arts Association of Cleveland,

Radio France and the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Radio France honored Kurtz on October 27, 1979,

with “Eugene Kurtz Day,” for which he selected two programs of music — chamber and symphonic —

of past and present composers who are important to him and also included three works of his own. In 1983,

Mr. Kurtz was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant.

About the Performers -  Biographies

           Clarinetist William Powell received the Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School and a master's degree

from California Institute of the Arts. In 1993-94 Powell lived in India on a Senior Research Grant from the J.

William Fulbright Commission. Under the auspices of Brhaddhvani Research and Training Centre for Music

of the World, he presented concerts of American music throughout India, collaborated in cross-cultural

performances with clarinetists A.K.C. Natarajan and Narasinhalu Wadavati, and recorded for All India Radio

with Indian pianist Handel Manuel.        Powell has commissioned many new works for clarinet and has

premiered over 300 compositions. He has performed at major concert venues throughout the U.S., Europe

and Asia including Avery Fischer Concert Hall; Merkin and Carnegie Halls; Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium

at the United Nations in New York; the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the North American New Music

Festival as soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic; and at the International Congresses on Women in Music in

Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Bremen. He has performed with the Aspen Festival and Chamber Orchestra,

the contemporary music ensemble Sonor, the Sierra Wind Quintet, the Naumburg Award-winning Aulos Wind

Quintet and, as principal clarinetist with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the Las Vegas Symphony and the

Reno Philharmonic. Powell has served on the faculties of UC and CSU in San Diego; CSU, Long Beach;

and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has recorded for Cambria, CRI, Electra/Asylum, Nonesuch,

Nine Winds and Innova.  For more information about William Powell, visit his website:

http://www.williamepowell.com/

            Pianist Lorna Eder received a Bachelor of Music from Washington State University and a

Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts.  Her teachers were Istvan Nadas, Bruno

Seidlhofer and Leonid Hambro.  Ms. Eder has worked as staff accompanist at CalArts and College

of the Canyons, and was piano faculty at the California State Summer School for the Arts.  She is

currently a faculty member at CalArts and is a member of the California Music Teachers Association.

          An accomplished accompanist, Ms. Eder performs chamber music with the finest artists in

the Los Angeles area.  She is an active performer of contemporary music and was a member of

the California E.A.R. Unit for many years.  She has worked with composers such as John Cage,

Louis Andriessen, Morton Subotnick, Elliott Carter, Stephen L. Mosko and Mel Powell. 

Recordings with the E.A.R. Unit include Zilver, works by Louis Andriessen, and Indigenous Music,

works by Stephen Lucky Mosko.  Her most recent CD appearance is on Five Decades of Music,

works by Mel Powell.

       Residing in the United States since 1991, Violinist Mark Menzies has established an important,

world-wide reputation as a new music violist and violinist. He has been described in a Los Angeles

Times review, as an 'extraordinary musician' and a 'riveting violinist.' At 35 years, his career as a viola

and violin virtuoso, chamber musician and advocate of contemporary music, has seen performances

in Great Britain, Germany, France, Austria, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand and across the United

States, including a series of appearances at New York's Carnegie Hall.

       Mark Menzies made his concerto debut with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with an invitation

from Mstislav Rostropovich to perform at the opening of the 1988 International Festival of the Arts, in

Wellington, New Zealand. The performance, conducted by Maxim Shostakovich, received rave reviews.

Mark Menzies' solo career has continued to fulfill this auspicious beginning with critically praised concerto

and solo recital performances across the globe.

       While pursuing post-graduate studies in London, he formed the Salomon Ensemble with

Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard, and was the ensemble's Artistic Director and concertmaster.

The Salomon Ensemble's CD recording of the complete string works of Edvard Grieg was

nominated for the equivalent of a Grammy in Denmark. A large part of the ensemble's commitment

was to the performance of contemporary music, and this saw Mark Menzies give the world premiere

of his commissioned transcription of Paul Patterson's Harmonica concerto as well as the British premiere

of the Schnittke Sonata for violin solo, harpsichord and strings.

       Mark Menzies is renowned for performing some of the most complex scores so far written and

he has been personally recommended by composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Roger Reynolds,

Michael Finnissy, Vinko Globokar, Philippe Manoury, Elliott Carter, Liza Lim, Christian Wolff,

Richard Barrett and Sofia Gubaidulina for performances he has given of their music. An early

success was performing at the Lutoslawksi Festival in London (1989) and subsequent highlights have

included appearances at the Ojai Festival 2000, at the June in Buffalo 1996/9 and 2000 festivals, the

Mirror of the New Festival in Hawai'i 1997, and as featured guest soloist in the 09/03 International

Festival (of new music) in Auckland, New Zealand, 2003.

       There has been considerable international critical applause for Mark Menzies' leadership in e

nsembles formed to perform contemporary and twentieth century, such as the Bloomington-based New

Vienna Ensemble, Los Angeles's Southwest Chamber Music, San Diego's Sirius Ensemble and the New

York-based Ensemble Sospeso. It was with Ensemble Sospeso that he organized a joint venture with

the California Institute of the Arts to present the first professional concerts in the US dedicated to

Brian Ferneyhough's music in December 2002. At present, Mark Menzies is in the process of initiating

 a new collective ensemble based in Los Angeles, called Inauthentica.

       Mark Menzies is featured on a large number of CD recordings. This includes Process and Passion,

a Pogus label release of chamber music by Roger Reynolds, as well as the world premiere recording of

...above earth's shadow by Michael Finnissy to be released shortly. Mark Menzies is a National

Recording Artist of Radio New Zealand for whom he has made numerous studio recordings.

       Mark Menzies is currently viola and violin professor at the California Institute of the Arts where he

also teaches chamber music. Drawing from his innovative professionalism and artistic leadership, he

initiated a successful collaborative series called Chamber Music Wednesdays that has contributed

to the programming content of concerts presented by CalArts at their new theatre REDCAT at

the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He currently curates a series called Classics at CalArts, a fall festival

presented annually at the Valencia campus.

          Eric Kenneth Malcolm Clark is a composer and violinist from Victoria, BC, Canada. Eric is

currently completing the performer/composer MFA at the California Institute of the Arts, where

he is studying violin with Mark Menzies and composition with James Tenney. Compositionally, his work

explores disordering methods and the use of hearing-deprivation as a medium for creating complexity out

of supposed simplicity. As a performer, Eric enjoys free improvisation along with new music, and is

interested in interpreting most any form of music. He has performed new music throughout Canada, the

US, and Australia, most recently with the experimental jazz trio Misinterprotato at the Woodford Folk

Festival in Brisbane, Australia; in the obscurity festivette in Toronto; in New York City with his trio

Fragments; and in the Creative Music Festival at RedCat in LA. Eric has attended residencies as a

performer and/or composer at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute (2004 and 2005); the Banff Arts

Centre (2005); the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2004); and ARRAYMUSIC (2003).


      Nancy Uscher, Provost, violist and faculty member in the School of Music at the California Institute

of the Arts, has appeared in recital on six continents and recorded for a number of the major radio

networks of Europe. For five seasons she led the viola section of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Uscher has appeared at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Kennedy Center Mozart Festival,

Grand Teton Music Festival, Round Top Festival in Texas, Venice Biennale, Montepulciano Festival,

Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Italy, and the Moab Music Festival in Utah. In addition, she has

performed and presented master classes at the Brazilian international festivals Oficina de Musica XIV

in Curitiba and Campos do Jordao's Festival de Inverno. She has been corresponding editor of Strings

magazine and is the author of two books, The Schirmer Guide to Schools of Music and Conservatories

Throughout the World and Your Own Way in Music: A Career and Resource Guide.

          Nancy Uscher has previously been Professor of Music and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

at The University of New Mexico. In addition, she was the Director of the UNM Center for the Arts in

Society, a unit of the Institute of Public Law that explores arts-related public policy issues. In viewing

art as an agent for social change, she has created an Arts-in-Prisons concert series and the National

Endowment for the Humanities-funded project "A New Mexico Conversation: Music as a Symbol of

American Pluralism and Identity."

          Ms. Uscher received a Ph.D. from New York University in 1980.  She was awarded a Masters

of Music degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974 and received a

Bachelorís Degree in Music from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in

1972. During 1998-1999 Uscher was a fellow of the American Council on Education at Brown University.

          Cellist Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick is an active soloist, chamber musician and specialist in contemporary

music. She has performed world and local premieres of solo and chamber works throughout the U.S.

and Europe including the Los Angeles Olympic Festival, the Computer Music Festival in Zurich, the Ars

Electronica Festival in Linz and the San Francisco Symphony New and Unusual Music series. She recently

recorded Elliott Carter's Enchanted Preludes, a work written for her and flutist Dorothy Stone. She has

toured with Joan LaBarbara and Morton Subotnick since 1981. Jacob's Room, on Wergo Records,

marks her fourth appearance in recordings of Mr. Subotnick's music. She is a founding member of the

California E.A.R. Unit, a Los Angeles-based new music ensemble, with whom she tours throughout the

U.S. and Europe. She has also given master classes and recitals under the auspices of the U.S.I.A.

Arts America Program in Central and South America. A native of Los Angeles, her principal studies

were with Cesare Pascarella and she has been coached by Mischa Schneider, William Pleeth and Pierre Fournier.

         Conductor David Johnson plays vibraphone, marimba and percussion regularly with the Vinny Golia

Large Ensemble, the Kim Richmond Jazz Orchestra, the World At Peace with Yusef Lateef, pianist Roger

Williams, Dual Force, the CalArts New Century Players and XTET. He has worked with a wide range of

artists including Dave Brubeck, Mel Torme, Maureen McGovern, Green Day, Pierre Boulez, Dean Drummond,

Stephen Hartke, George Benjamin and Mauricio Kagel.

       Johnson has played in the percussion sections of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Long Beach

Symphony, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival, the Ojai Festival, the Berkshire Music

Festival at Tanglewood and occasionally in the Los Angeles television and film industry. He has

performed with the California E.A.R. Unit, the Southwest Chamber Music Society, the Independent

Composers Association, Composers Inc., Pacific Serenade and the Philharmonic New Music Group.

From 1974 to 1977 he was in residence at Northern Illinois University with the historic Blackearth

Percussion Group. He has recorded for CRI, Opus One, Delos International, Nine Winds, Seabreeze,

K2B2, Jazz Harp, Meta YAL, Warner Brothers and New World. He was the winner of the 1995 Percussive

Arts Society composition competition with his piece Quartz City for vibraphone soloist and percussion

quintet. He was a featured artist/clinician at the 1997 Percussive Arts Society International Convention

in Anaheim California. He has been teaching at the CalArts since 1990.

The CalArts Percussion Quartet

Alan Goldenberg

Neili Sutker

Johsua Tariff

John T. Wash IV

       Alan Goldenberg is a third year BFA student in Multi-Focus Percussion at Cal Arts.  He was born in

Berkeley, California and  started percussion studies with his fifth grade music teacher Leonora Gillard. 

He has been playing percussion for ten years.

       Neili Sutker is a 3rd year Bachelors student at CalArts where she studies Multi-Focus Percussion.

She grew up in the San Fernando Valley and began playing percussion in her high school marching band

after playing the flute and piccolo for 6 years. Neili transfered to CalArts from Los Angeles Pierce College,

where she studied Percussion Performance and toured parts of the world with the Los Angeles Pierce

Symphonic Winds. Neili's ambitions include touring the world and performing/composing pieces that

compare different musical techniques and structures from around the world.

       Joshua Tariff has been a percussionist since age 11.  Growing up in Massachusetts, Josh was selected

to play in numerous ensembles throughout the New England Area through high school, including performing

in the National Band and Orchestra festival at Carnegie Hall in 1998 and again in 2000.  Josh then continued

to perform and teach in various ensembles, music festivals, and clinics all around the country as well as

Canada. In 2003, Josh performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Columbus Ohio. 

In 2005, Josh received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Akron under the direction of Dr.

Larry Snider.  Besides participating in the symphonic band and orchestra at Akron, Josh was also a member

of the Steel Drum band and the African Drumming Ensemble.  During his stay at the University of Akron,

Josh studied with and performed alongside professional world musicians such as Matt Dudack, Tom Miller,

Liam Teague, Bernard Woma and Michael Spiro among others.  Josh has premiered over 25 different works

for Band, Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble and Percussion solo and this April he will be premiering two

works for solo steel drum.  Now at age 23, Josh is currently attending CalArts where he is in the process

of completing his Masters Degree in Multi-Focus Percussion.

       John T. Wash IV will be graduating from CalArts this spring with a BFA in multi-forcus percussion. 

He transferred from Long Beach City College to CalArts in 2002.  He works with various percussion

ensembles and bands in the Los Angeles area.  After graduation from Cal Arts, he will be going on a U.S.

tour with The Procrastinators Urban Percussion Trio.

4 March 2006

American Chamber Ensemble Premiere of Joelle Wallach's After Alcyons Dream for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano

Weill Recital Hall - New York City USA

        This illustrious ensemble, led by Directors Naomi Drucker and Blanche Abram,  which performs annually here at the

Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, offered an array of music of Long Island composers, standard works and this new work

which is explained below. Performance was before a sold out audience with a powerful display of artistic accomplishment

with a 41 year track record  of performances throughout the New York City and Long Island areas.  Program included

Irwin Swack Profiles for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, Brahms Sonata #1 Op 38 for 'Cello and Piano, David Diamond

Quintet for Flute, Violin, Viola, 'Cello and Piano, and the above new work. 

      

                 

Michael Burritt, composer and Director of Winds, Brass, and Percussion at Northwestern

University, with Molly Yeh and John Bruce Yeh

19 February 2005

Northshore Concert Band Performance

Evanston, Illinois, USA

Concert Preview

Evanston Review, Thursday, February 16, 2006

Father and daughter play world premiere

BY DOROTHY ANDRIES
CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC

Clarinet and percussion -- it's not a combination of instruments heard often in classical pieces.

So when the idea arose for a duet between Glenview resident John Bruce Yeh, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's assistant principal

clarinetist, and his daughter, award-winning percussionist Molly Yeh, a new work had to be commissioned. The two Yehs will perform

with the Northshore Concert Band on Sunday, presenting the world premiere of Duo Concertante for Clarinet and Percussion by Michael

Burritt of Gurnee, professor of percussion at Northwestern University's School of Music.

The 12-minute piece was co-commissioned by the band and Glenbrook South High School, where Molly is a junior. "It's a huge honor

for us and it's a wonderful challenging piece," John Bruce Yeh said last week, talking on his cell phone backstage during a CSO

intermission. "Molly has a lot more notes than I do."

Indeed. The 16-year-old, who is the recipient of the band's John P. Paynter scholarship, will be running back and forth between a

concert-size marimba, four concert tom-toms and two bongos. "It's very athletic for her," Yeh said, laughing.

The idea for the piece was first mentioned in a casual conversation Yeh had with Molly's first percussion teacher, Kathy Colson.

"We were both in the stands at a GBS football game more than a year ago," he said. "Molly was in the marching band." Colson's

husband, Roland, plays in the Northshore Concert Band, and Yeh had been a soloist with the group twice, once with John Paynter

conducting and more recently under the baton of current music director Mallory Thompson.

After Molly was named scholarship winner, she and her father were invited to play with the band. "We could have each done a

number, but I thought how nice if we could play a piece together -- perhaps commission a piece," Yeh said. "Mrs. Colson said

that was a wonderful idea."

GBS band director Greg Wojcik was consulted and the school agreed to co-commission the work with the band. NU's Burritt was

well-known to both Yeh and his daughter. "Michael played one of his own compositions with the Midwest Young Artists Symphony

Orchestra," Yeh said. "Molly is in that orchestra and she knew his music." MYA, as the Highwood-based ensemble center is known,

has been a crucial factor in Molly's musical development, her father said.

And she agrees. She was a member of the Rattan Trio, which won the Fischoff Competition in 2004, the first percussionists to ever

to take first prize in that prestigious contest. "And the year before that, we were the first percussionists to ever enter the competition,"

Molly declared. "MYA is my home away from home," she continued. "That's what got me really started in music. I didn't know where

I was going with my percussion studies. I was ready to give it up, then Dad introduced me to MYA. Now I definitely want to go into

music professionally."

'Circus' sounds

She is particularly enthusiastic about Burritt's composition. "It sounds like a circus on steroids," she said, laughing. "My dad just walks

on stage with his clarinet. It takes forever for my set up."

"There are a lot of influences in my music, including jazz and contemporary," Burritt acknowledged. "And I listen to pop music and play a

lot of classical, so this piece is a mix." Putting clarinet and drums together is not such a radical idea, he insisted. "Think about Gene

Krupa on drums and Benny Goodman on clarinet in 'Sing, Sing, Sing,'" he said, citing the memorable collaboration from the Swing Era.

"We'll have Molly drumming away on the tom-toms and John's clarinet screaming above her. He's a world-class musician and Molly is

so smart and such a good player. It was very rewarding to write something for them."

For Yeh, a duo concerto with his daughter will be special. "It's a great joy for Molly and me," he said, then sounding very much like a

 father, added, "a great joy."

Dennis Smylie with Bass Clarinets

Colonial Symphony program

Review of Concert

Smylie with Clarinet and Bass Clarinet

28 January 2006

 World Premiere of Fred Cohen’s ‘Smiling Dennis’ for Bass Clarinet & Strings with Colonial Symphony

 Morristown, New Jersey, USA

           The Colonial Symphony, conducted by Paul Hostetter, performed a varied program including a new work

written by Fred Cohen with soloist Dennis Smylie, renowned Bass Clarinetist for which this work ‘Smiling Dennis’

was written.  A review of the concert and Fred Cohen’s notes are posted above.  

           Dennis Smylie, a well established New Yorker, earned his Bachelor and Masters Degrees from the Juilliard

School having studied with Joseph Allard.  Other teachers have included Alfred Zetzer, Stephen Freeman, Kalmon

Opperman, and Bill Street.  Mr Smylie is a member of the American Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and has

performed with the New York Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York City Ballet and Opera

Orchestras. The Buffalo Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center,

the St Louis and Montreal Symphonies, and Speculum Musicae.  Mr Smylie was soloist in the world premiere of

Donald Martino’s Triple Clarinet Concerto.   Recitals include appearances at Juilliard, Oberlin, Yale, Princeton,

Kent State University, Florida State University, and the University of Washington at Seattle.  He has recorded for

labels such as Deutsche Grammophone, Nonesuch, New World Records, CRI, RCA, and Virgin Classics. He serves

on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival each summer in Colorado.

8 January 2006

National Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra

Steven Gerber Clarinet Concerto Premiere with Jon Manasse

New York City USA

In presiding over the world premiere of Steven Gerber's new Clarinet Concerto at Rockville's F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre

on Saturday, Piotr Gajewski and his National Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra have participated in an important musical

event. Written for Jon Manasse, who is the principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the evening's

soloist, the concerto is the work of a composer whose idiom is a coherent and logical amalgam of centuries of musical thought.

Its opening thematic material, angular but immediately memorable, serves as a structural element when it reappears in each

of the two movements. The character of the solo line and its textural orchestral support evolve easily from sharply defined

and disconnected points of sound to passages of easy lyricism, and all of this develops naturally and without any sense of

gimmick or premeditation.

Most compelling, however, is Gerber's orchestration. Within the context of a spare pizzicato texture, he has the harp, in

its lowest and most sonorous range, functioning as almost a second solo instrument. There are times when the solo clarinet

line is answered by the clarinet from the orchestra rather than by an expected contrasting timbre, and the development

of the second movement's fugue theme in the low woodwinds is delightful.

Manasse gave this fine new work the wonderfully straightforward and assured reading it deserved, and Gajewski and

the orchestra supported him admirably.

The rest of the program included a cheerful and incisive performance of the Grieg "Holberg" Suite and a perhaps

overly careful reading of Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony No. 45, that saw (as tradition dictated) the orchestra members

leave the stage one by one (one oboist, with a cell phone glued to his ear) as the last movement dribbled to a close,

leaving the conductor to drag two violinists back to finish the last phrase.

-- Joan Reinthaler

"Steven R. Gerber has one of the most direct and readily accessible voices in contemporary American music...Gerber's urgent, highly charged language arouses graphic emotions, even at first hearing." (Amazon Rough Guides/online)

"...an important addition to music in the late 20th century, its sense of evolution from previous generations welcome at a time when change seems to have become a virtue in istelf." (Fanfare)

 

Steven R. Gerber was born in 1948 in Washington, D.C. and now lives in New York City. He received degrees from Haverford College and from Princeton University, where he received a 4-year fellowship. His composition teachers included Robert Parris, J. K. Randall, Earl Kim, and Milton Babbitt.

Two CDs of Gerber's orchestral works were released on major labels in 2000. Chandos issued his Symphony No. 1, Dirge and Awakening, Viola Concerto, and Triple Overture, played by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra under Thomas Sanderling, with Lars Anders Tomter, viola, and the Bekova Sisters Trio. [CD details] KOCH International Classics, under a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, released his Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, and Serenade for String Orchestra, played by the National Chamber Orchestra under Piotr Gajewski, with soloists Kurt Nikkanen and Carter Brey. [CD details] After the American premiere of his Violin Concerto at the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1995 by Nikkanen and the National Chamber Orchestra under Gajewski, the Washington Post called it "a major addition to the contemporary violin repertoire: lyrical, passionate, beautifully tailored to the instrument's character and capabilities...Gerber has revived the spirit of romanticism in this work, with a strong sense of tonal melody and of the dramatic effects and surprises still possible in traditional forms...one of the year's most memorable events." And when Carter Brey premiered his Cello Concerto with the same orchestra and conductor in 1996, the Washington Post said, "Gerber's concerto seems to have what it takes to establish a foothold.... The music is composed with a fine sense of instrumental color.... Gerber has given his soloist some fine, expressive melodies."

Recent works of Gerber's include a Viola Concerto written for Yuri Bashmet and premiered by Bashmet at his summer festival in Tours, France; String Quartets No. 4 and 5, written respectively for the Fine Arts and Amernet String Quartets; "Spirituals" for clarinet and string quartet, commissioned by Concertante Chamber Players for performances in 2000 at the Library of Congress and Merkin Hall (NYC) and in Harrisburg; a Clarinet Concerto for Jon Manasse, premiered by him with the National Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro Piotr Gajewski, and "Fanfare for the Voice of A-M-E-R-I-C-A," commissioned to celebrate VOA's 60th anniversary, and premiered at the VOA auditorium on a 9/11 memorial concert in 2003. The Fanfare has since then been performed by the Wheeling Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) Orchestra, and by the National Philharmonic Orchestra at the new Music Center at Strathmore as part of the 2005 ASOL convention.

Gerber's music is well-known also in Russia and Ukraine, where he has had numerous tours with literally dozens of performances of his orchestral works as well as many concerts of his solo and chamber works. Several of his major works were given their world premieres there, including "Dirge and Awakening" by the Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Violin Concerto by the Novosibirsk Philharmonic under Arnold Katz, with soloist Kurt Nikkanen, and Serenade Concertante by Chamber Orchestra Kremlin under Misha Rachlevsky at the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Gerber has written several works for famed Russian violinist Tatyana Grindenko.

Current projects include a new orchestral work for Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy and a commission from The Lark Ascending for a new work for woodwinds. In spring, 2006 KOCH International will issue a new CD of nine of his solo and chamber works, spanning the period 1967-2001, all performed by violinist Kurt Nikkanen, along with violinists Cho-Liang Lin and Cyrus Beroukhim, cellist Brinton Smith, and pianist Sara Davis Buechner.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verdehrs in Mill's Double Concerto with Michigan State Chamber Orchestra

Concerto conclusion

Verdehr Trio

Trio in performance

Trio in world premiere

10 October 2005

 Michigan State University Clarinet Spectacular – Jazz Meets Classic

Verdehr Trio Premieres

 East Lansing, Michigan USA

      During this weekend at this major festival involving the many clarinetists and alumni of this great Clarinet

department at the School of Music, the acclaimed Verdehr Trio, famous for its virtuosity and proactive support of

this repertoire for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, performed 3 premieres, to be explained below.

      The Michigan State Chamber Orchestra, under conductor Leon Gregorian, performed with Elsa Ludwig-Verdehr

and Walter Verdehr the Richard Mills Double Concerto for Clarinet, Violin, and Orchestra in its American premiere.

Mills is a major composer from Australia, and also Music Director of the West Australian Opera. This work was written

 for the Verdehrs in recognition of their artistry and commitment to the creation of new music.  The duo is a continuous,

evolving story based on the opening bars- the intervals of the violin’s music (inspired by the calls of the Australian Magpie)

contrasting in tension with compressed 12 note scales for the clarinet.  Important contributions from the Orchestra are made

by the piano,percussion, and harp but the essential musical argument is concentrated in the violin and clarinet gestures who

explore the potentials of the opening music through a multi-faceted interdependent relationship.  The composer has been

inspired by the dramaturgy of classical forms and has endeavored to incorporate the clarities and logic into his compositional

language.  This concerto was world premiered in Taiwan with the Taipei Symphony in June 2004 conducted by the composer.

        The Verdehr Trio performed at the Finale concert 2 world premieres for them, including ‘Songs’ (2004) by Akane

Tsuji-Nakanishi from Japan, this work consists of 12 Songs inspired by Japanese haiku, Waska, and other poetry from

ancient times to the 20th Century. The 12 songs circle around the seasons and return to the first introduction of the next

spring’s sparkle.  The violin, clarinet, piano combination is perfect for this work; talkative without words, and dynamic enough

to tell the story about the whole year. 

       Peter Dickinson, the 2nd premiere work, Lullaby (2004), was an adaptation of a song written in 1967 for an unfinished

opera, and became part of a cycle for soprano and brass called the Unicorns, and evolving to this ensemble combination.

      The Verdehr Trio performed brilliantly on all 3 works performed these last 2 days.  The current number of works

commissioned exceed over 20 years of constant input into their repertoire.  The Verdehr Trio has several recordings

on Crystal Records. International tours are always in focus, with future performances coming in Moscow, London,

Athens, and Vienna.

Thelema Trio with composers

Thelema Trio performing new works

Trio Performing new music

Composers at concert

13 October 2003

Ghent, Belgium

Thelema Trio premieres 2 new works

The young Belgian ensemble Thelema Trio keeps working with composers and promoting new music. After their concert

debut in April 2003, they have premiered a new composition every single concert.

 Last concert the 13th of October was no exception. Thelema Trio offered a 2 hours-plus evening at the Rode Pomp Hall in

Gent, Belgium. Four composers attended the performance of their works.

 Philemon Mukarno (Indonesia/Nederland) composed ‘Ameleth’ for Thelema Trio and it was premiered in March 2004.

This powerful piece is scored for clarinet, contrabass clarinet, alto and baritone saxophone, piano and synthesizer. Since

the day of the premiere, this piece has been performed every month with much success.

 Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson (USA/Switzerland) worked with Thelema in May 2004 on his piece ‘Sight-seeing’ for clarinet,

contrabass clarinet, baritone saxophone and piano.

 The first world premiere was ‘Ice Poems’ by the Icelandic artist Hallveig G. K. Ágústsdóttir. This young artist

(also a clarinettist) has collaborated with Thelema since the ensemble begun its career. Her work is scored for

bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, piano, keyboard and percussion. The work is dedicated to Thelema and it was

warmly received by the audience.

 From Denmark came Thorkell Atlason to work with the trio. He composed ‘Cross-fire’ especially for Thelema,

inspired on a previous visit to Belgium. The title makes reference to all the war monuments that are found in Belgium.

The work is scored for clarinet, alto saxophone and piano.

 All these compositions will be soon heard on a Peruvian tour the trio will start from 19th October till 4 November.

Many works will be performed for the first time in Peru, including the world premiere of Euryale by Finnish composer

Tomi Räisänen and works of American composers Kevin Walczyk and Burton Beerman.  Visit Thelema’s web site from

the title above this article.

Tel Aviv Chamber Orchestra introduction

Mosaic for 3 Clarinets & Orchestra

Soloists Eddie Daniels, Giora Feidman, and Philippe Cuper

Soloists performance of Mosaic

Schlome Gronich, composer with soloists

29 August 2004

 Tel Aviv Golda Mier Performing Arts Center Opera House - Israel

 Clarinet & Klezmer in the Galilee Music Festival with Giora Feidman - Israel  (August 2004)

World Premiere of ‘Mosaic’ for 3 Clarinets and Orchestra by Schlome Gronich

        At the Finale Gala concert of the Clarinet & Klezmer Music Festival in the Galilee, this new work was performed by

 the Tel Aviv Chamber Orchestra with special soloists Giora Feidman (Klezmer), Philippe Cuper (Classic), and Eddie

Daniels (Jazz), written specifically for this event, culminating the tri- fusion of the above styles.  Each performer, noted

for his musical acclaim was considered in the writing of the work.  Giora Feidman performed both on Clarinet and Bass

Clarinet. The work was in three movements with elements and flexibility to accommodate all three soloists.  The thematic

simplicity of this piece opened opportunity to ‘play’ with this concerto to each’s advantage.  This piece will surely be

performed as often as this tri-combination can make it possible.  Schlome Gronich is a well known composer in Israel.

Thelema Trio

Trio in Premiere performance in Ghent, Belgium

23 May 2004

 Ghent, Belgium

Thelema Trio premiered new works of Kevin Walczyk, Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson and Ward De Vleeschhouwer

 The Thelema Trio is a raising ensemble in the music world. In their young career they are responsible for several world

premieres. Their unique instrumentation (clarinet, contrabass clarinet; alto, tenor, baritone saxophones; piano and synthesizer)

and high technical skills have inspired composers from all over the world.

 This concert took place Sunday 23 May in Gent, Belgium at the Bijloke small concert hall. This event was attended by a full

audience.

American composer Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson is a former pupil of Yannis Xenaquis and has also worked with John Cage. His

work entitled "Sight - Seeing" is scored for clarinet in Bb, contrabass clarinet, bariton saxophone and piano. The composer

 has worked directly with the Thelema Trio and he came specially to attend the premiere from Switzerland, where he currently

lives.
Kevin Walcsyk sent his work "Incantation" to Thelema Trio to has its European premiere. The work is scored fo clarinet,

alto saxophone, piano and digital tape.  This work was very well received by the audience. Dr. Walczyk is currently Associate

Professor of music at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon where he teaches electronic music, composition,

jazz arranging, film scoring, aural skills, and horn performance.

Finally, Ward De Vlesschhouwer "Dingle Way" was introduced to the audience. This piece is also scored for clarinet,

alto saxophone and piano, ad it was inspired to a trip he made to Scotland. Ward is the pianist of the Thelema Trio and

this work is his first contribution to the ensemble's repertory. Together with the compostions of saxophonist Peter Verdonck,

Thelema Trio brings back the tradition performer-composer into the classical world.

This ensemble is probably the only one where the contrabass clarinet is used as a solo voice, played by the Peruvian

clarinettist Marco Antonio Mazzini. 

American Symphonic Clarinet Choir

William Wright, Mike Kelly, and John Stephens

Choir in rehearsal

Wright rehearsal of solo parts of Teo Macero

9 May 2004

 American Symphonic Clarinet Choir

 Green Room at ‘An die Musik’  Baltimore, Maryland USA

         This quickly emerging professional ensemble performed a Baltimore concert with 2 premieres written for this

ensemble by 2 American composers, along with an interesting array of other works and transcriptions covering a broad

historical musical spectrum.  The venue for this performance was a recital hall designed in concept to support all musical

styles, including jazz, chamber music, and recital.   The ensemble was conducted by Dr John Stephens and former

National Symphony  (Washington, DC) Clarinetist (and principal clarinetist in this ensemble) William Wright who was

soloist in the Teo Macero ‘Ice Chips’, a work showing a structure well established in jazz elements but with solid

compositional techniques of our time. This piece has elements of improvisation as well as avant-garde free-style

approaches. Its many approaches to the aspects of jazz-classical fusion serves the work well for the Clarinet Choir

medium.  The composer Teo Masero, a composer and past Chief Recording Producer for Columbia Records during

the prime days of Benny Goodman and Miles Davis and responsible for the production of these great recordings,  

The 2nd  Premiered work was written by Stephen Makofski named ‘A Fraction Before’ for Double Clarinet Quartet

with Narrator Ljiljana Jovanovic, which works in the capacity of employing current contemporary compositional style.

Its content for 2 Clarinet Quartets with the infusion of Narrator reciting a text being abstract and commemorate with

the instrumental components of the piece. The 2 Quartets trade off between highly complex cells opposed to a quiet

section of quartet one interspersed with the narrator’s text.  Both premiered works reflected different contemporary

approaches and flexibilities.  Other works on the program included works of Ravel, Rossini, JS Bach, Desire Dondeyne,  

Robert Rodan, and Johann Molter.  The Concerto #3 was performed by soloist Ben Redwine.  This is one of the only

Professional ensembles of its kind in the United States.

Salander as Clarinet soloist with Moravian Philharmonic recording of Leo Kraft Clarinet Concerto

Recording Concerto with Joel Eric Suban, conductor

Moravian Philharmonic in Hall

Mr Salander and Conductor Mr Subec in conference

2 May 2004

 Leo Kraft Clarinet Concerto Recording Premiere

 with Moravian Philharmonic – Roger Salander, Soloist

 Olumouc, Czech Republic

        A new Clarinet Concerto Recording of the above work by American composer Leo Kraft  was performed with

noted American soloist Roger Salander who performs and teaches in Vienna and directs the Chamber Music Festival  

Heiligenkreuzen Herbst (Chamber Music Festival at Heiligenkreuzen Monastery) - Austria .  Mr Kraft,  well known in New

York and a past student of  Karol Rathaus, has written many diverse works for all combinations of instruments and

several concertos.  Several recordings, especially the CD’s which he heard (Romantic Vienna Live - the live concert

recording of the Frühling and Zemlinsky trios, decided Mr Salander as choice for this concerto.   Joel Eric Suben, an

American conductor from New York who performs as a recording conductor and specialized in New Music conducted

the project.   Mr Salander is a highly recognized soloist and has more pending concertos upcoming within months. 

For Clarinetists, it would be of interest that the clarinet used is a special design instrument co-produced by Mr Salander

and the Austrian firm Otmar Hammerschmidt. named the RS Clarinet.  

Sylvan Winds

Davide Zannoni - Italian composer

8 April 2004

  The Renee Weiler Concert Hall, Greenwich House (Greenwich Village)

New York City, USA         

 

Cutting Edge Concert

Conceived and Hosted by Victoria Bond

 Fresh Air

 The Sylvan Winds

 

The celebrated Sylvan Winds  premièred Davide Zannoni's work for woodwind quintet, Quattro Quadri ('Four Paintings'), for Cutting Edge Concerts series.

 

Quattro Quadri is a four movements work, inspired each by a 20th century painting:

 

1. Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie
2. René Magritte, Le Chateau des Pyrénées

3. Lucien Freud, Portrait of my Brother

4. Edward Hopper, Nighthawks

 

The concert  featured large reproductions of each work on stage during the performance.

The concert program included new music for wind quintet by Judith Shatin, Jon Deak, and Frank J. Oteri.

-------------------

Davide Zannoni was born in Spoleto, Italy. He started his career as a jazz drummer, subsequently joining the Maggio Fiorentino Orchestra, under the direction of Zubin Mehta in Florence, Italy as a percussionist. He also received a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Bologna.

After studying composition and piano privately in Italy, he accepted a scholarship from Queens College, where he studied with Thea Musgrave and received his M.A.

Davide Zannoni has written numerous solo, vocal, chamber and orchestral works. He has received various commissions from different performers and organizations such as the New York Festival of Song, The Downtown Chamber Players, The Darkwood Consort, Tetraktis Percussion Quartet, The Risorgimento Project, flutist Joanna Goldstein, trumpet player Ivano Ascari, soprano Lynne Hayden Findlay, percussionists James Preiss, Greg Giannascoli and Federico Poli, and pianist Carlo Levi Minzi.

He has received several grants and awards from The American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and NYSCA. Some of his works have been recorded by
Federico Poli and Ivano Ascari on the CMT and AZ labels. His works have been choreographed in Italy and the U.S. by such groups as Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and he wrote the music for "Where Did Forever Go", an award-winning documentary film.

His music is regularly performed in the U.S., Italy and abroad, most recently in Canada, Israel, Brasil, Australia, Finland, Japan, Lithuania and England.

DAVIDE ZANNONI ON HIS MUSIC:

Trying to describe music with words is never easy. Nevertheless, I would say that my works encompass a variety of styles. A piece typically can mix chromaticism and tonality, can be lyrical and then rhythmically very energetic, quiet and meditative and subsequently explode in loud dissonant sections. Often my music is spiced with my first love, jazz. I try to give each piece a strong sense of form and balance. My objective is to reach people, general audiences as well as musicians, to move and stir them. The results so far are more than just encouraging: I have an ever enlarging circle of supporters, and my works, performed more and more frequently in the U.S. and the world, are always received enthusiastically. My goal is to develop my music, let more people know my work, and collaborate with as many performers as possible.

WORKS for/with CLARINET by DAVIDE ZANNONI:

    The Scent of Light for flute,viola,bass clarinet - 15

    Nottinsonni for clarinet, violin, cello, piano – 18’

    The River of Silence - for soprano, bass, clarinet, cello, 2 percussion sets – 15’

    Quattro Quadri for wind quintet – 15’

    Figliol Prodigo for solo bass clarinet – 1’30

    2 solos from “The Book of Friends”

for solo bass clarinet / solo Bb clarinet – 7’ / 5’

The Sylvan Winds has been an integral part of New York City’s cultural offerings for close to three decades, earning both critical and audience acclaim for its spirited performances and innovative programming. The group has established a reputation as one of New York's most versatile chamber music ensembles. They appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Town Hall and in many other venues.

       Founded in 1976, the group regularly tours in the USA and internationally. Guest artists who have joined the group include: Gerard Schwarz, Ransom Wilson, the Guarneri String Quartet, Claude Frank and many others.

       Hailed by the New York Times for “venturesomeness of programming and stylishness of performance,” the quintet was chosen to perform at the 1994 Governor’s Arts Awards. The Sylvan Winds Quintet has presented a number of New York, United States and world premières of works by Gustav Holst, Gunther Schuller and Arthur Weisberg. A self-titled debut recording, a program of French and Belgian chamber music works for winds, was released on Koch International Classics. Another CD with American works was released on CRI (now New World).

Cutting Edge Concerts series features the newest of the new in an intriguing lineup of composers and performers. All featured composers will be present for the performance of their work as well as to discuss them beforehand with host and moderator Victoria Bond.

 

New Juilliard Ensemble

Guus Janssen Clarinet Concerto

Kinan Azmeh

Ensemble in Performance

Ensemble in Alice Tully Hall

1 April 2004

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center - New York,  USA

World Premiere Performance of Guus Janssen's Clarinet Concerto performed by Kinan Azmeh

          The New Juilliard Ensemble concluded its 2003-04 season on April 1 with another premiere-packed program in Alice Tully Hall, including the Guus Janssen Clarinet Concerto. Performed magnificently by Kinan Azmeh, Postgraduate student of Juilliard faculty Charles Neidich.  An explanation by Dr Joel Sachs of the New Juilliard Ensemble summarizes this work and soloist from Syria Kinan Azmeh.

          Kinan Azmeh is the only Syrian and first Arab to win the first prize at the Nicolay Rubinstein International Youth Competition in Moscow, Russia (1997).  He holds a BMus in Clarinet performance from Damascus High Institute of Music and Drama where he studied with Anatoly Moratof and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Damascus.  Kinan received his Masters degree in music from the Juilliard School in New York, student of Charles Neidich.

        He has appeared as a soloist in Lebanon, Jordan, Italy, Greece, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Russia, and Syria, including a solo performance with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra during its first American tour with Solhi Al-Wadi conducting.  Kinan has performed as principal clarinetist under such conductors as John Adams, Sir Roger Norrington, Charles Dutoit and Daniel Barenboim .  He has appeared with Sylvain Kassab, Marcel Khalife, Kani Karaca and the Hot House Jazz Band, he is the director of  the Arabic-Classical-Jazz fusion quintet "Dialogue"  for which he writes the music and with which he completed an 8 cities US tour last month including a performance at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC. This season will include solo performances in Germany, Italy, Japan, France  England, Lebanon and Syria.

        Dr Sachs continues… One story begins in Holland, in December 2002, when I had the pleasure of my third visit as an observer at Dutch Music Days, an annual December festival in Utrecht. A showcase for Dutch music, the concerts include jazz, sometimes film music, and even some rather peculiar corners of Dutch traditional music (such as an ensemble of elderly rural women playing watering cans, teapots, etc. the following year). One of the highlights in 2002 was a new violin concerto by Guus Janssen, a concert composer and superb jazz pianist, whom I had known for some 10 years. Much of the concerto, written for New York's multicultural virtuoso Mark Kaufman, is improvised—most of the solo part, and some of the orchestral accompaniment. No two performances will sound alike.

         I decided to ask Janssen whether he contemplated making a version for small orchestra. Although he had not, he seemed to like the idea, especially if I meant the New Juilliard Ensemble. I assured him that finding a suitable soloist among the students was no problem, adding that I actually imagined the piece as a clarinet concerto. He said he would give it some thought. After several weeks with no word from him, I assumed he had dismissed the idea. Then he e-mailed that he needed the instrumentation and my thoughts about a soloist. I supplied the names of three students: Hideaki Aomori, a classical clarinetist with an excellent reputation as a jazz player; Erica vonKleist, an alto saxophone player from the jazz program; and Kinan Azmeh, a clarinetist from Syria with great experience in Middle Eastern traditional music. Janssen jumped at the idea of giving his concerto a Middle Eastern embodiment—at least on this occasion. But the drama still had one more episode, for when Kinan graduated in May 2003 he would become ineligible. I think the concerto helped persuade him to stay another year for the Graduate Diploma program. Guus Janssen's Clarinet Concerto was on its way. Of interest, this Concerto is in 8 sections and 60% improvisation.

Ben Redwine performing Mozart Quintet

Clarinet & Strings

Redwine explaining new work by John Stephens

John Stephens about his Clarinet Quintet

Jazz piece by Jerry Neil Smith

7 March 2004

World Premiere of new Clarinet Quintet by John Stephens

Arnold, Maryland USA

    In the course of a Chamber Music series presented by members of the United States Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland, this very special concert presented a Clarinet and String Quartet performance of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet K581, a special arrangement of La Vita e Inferno from Verdi's La Forza del Destino, John Stephen's new Clarinet Quintet, written for the clarinetist Ben Redwine, and Jerry Neil Smith's 'Amazing Brown' including Bass in addition to the strings.  The major work of interest composed by Dr Stephens has of interest the use of Eb, A, and Bb clarinets within the framework of this work featuring the skills of the clarinetist, the thematic structure and intent of the piece, and the total relationship within the ensemble.  The style of composition is that of Stephens in its total language which is unique like other composers with a 'trademark' of recognition like Hindemith or Alban Berg.  This piece has the makings of a major addition in the Clarinet Chamber repertoire.  Of further interest, Dr Stephens is Director of the American Camerata for New Music, and been active with this ensemble at the 3 Klar/Fests held in 81, 82, and 83 in Washington.  This performance was of very high standard as performed by Mr Redwine and the Sunrise String Quartet who perform in the Washington DC area.   The performance took place inside the Gloria Dei! Lutheran Church in Arnold, Maryland.

Paul Meyer, Michel Portal, and Alain Billard as soloists in Generations for 3 Clarinets & Orchestra

3 Soloists and composer Jean-Louis Agobet

26 February 2004

Performance of Major work for 3 Clarinettes & Orchestra by Jean-Louis Agobet

Paris, France

   This performance at the Paris Radio-France Festival 'Presences 2004' of the Generations Concerto Grosso for 3 Clarinets (2nd and 3rd doubling with Bass Clarinet and Contrabass Clarinet) by Jean-Louis Agobet signals a milestone in repertoire for this Concerto combination with full Orchestra. Donald Martino composed a similar work, his Triple Clarinet Concerto and it was performed at the Clar/Fest 82 in Washington DC at Catholic University.  ³Génération² was given its World Premiere performance in Strasbourg in January 2004 where it was very warmly received by both interpreters and audience.  Last week, it was given another performance in the Paris Radio-France Festival  “Présences 2004³, where it was a huge success and ended in a standing-ovation for the composer.  Agobet¹s music is modern and ³avant-garde² but not in an aggressive or inapproachable manner. He leads the listener through the argument of his score with a skillful hand and gives the soloists enough technical business to keep them well occupied. The soloists in France were the young virtuoso Paul Meyer, the well-known performer and improviser Michel Portal, and the Contra Bass Clarinet part was interpreted by the soloist of Paris¹ Ensemble Intercontemporain,  Alain Billard.  It should be of vital interest to explore and increase performance of this work. The piece is available through Editions Jobert and through Theodore Presser in the USA.

 

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Revised: August 29, 2010