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Clarinet World Premieres 2009

Clarinet World Premieres Archive


                       Marga Richter explaining her work and performance by Ensemble members

                            Jay Anthony Gach explaining his work followed by performance

3 May 2009

World Premieres of Long Island Composers with them present with the American Chamber Ensemble, Naomi Drucker and Blanche Abrams, Directors, performed at the Park Avenue United Methodist Church in New York

New York City USA

         A formidable concert of prominent American composers from the Long Island area gave a stellar concert of diverse styles and instrumental ensemble formats with this ensemble dedicated to promoting the valuable works of composers.  Programs and biographies galleried above attest to the high level of performance and this ensemble's popularity, having performed all over New York including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, many times sold out.  Composers were present o explain their works and dedications, and legendary New York Philharmonic Soloist and Principal Clarinetist was a guest artist like many times before supporting the mission of this group.  This is the 43rd year of this group, started in 1978 and built up over this period to what it is today.  Credit is due with high marks for the growth and dedication to make this group what it is and for the directors who kept it alive and growing.  Naomi Drucker and Blanche Abram are to be credited with stars.

20 February 2009

Fang Man: Resurrection - Clarinet Concerto (World Premiere, ACO/Underwood Commission) performed by Soloist Derek Bermel and the American Composers Orchestra at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York 20 February, 2009

New York City USA

            Fang Man’s Resurrection is a result of the 2006 Underwood New Music Readings and Commission. The work is a clarinet concerto influenced by Kandinsky’s Composition V–Resurrection in which Eastern and Western music traditions are juxtaposed. In two continuous movements, the work first utilizes Western techniques and then material from a Beijing opera titled The Battle of Jiu Jiang Kou, along with electronic manipulation of various sounds. For this premiere, ACO’s Music Alive Composer-in-Residence, Derek Bermel, is the featured soloist.

       Originally from China, Ms. Fang received her undergraduate degree in composition from Beijing Central Conservatory in 2000. She was subsequently awarded a fellowship from the Cecil Effinger Foundation to pursue further studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since fall 2002, she has been pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Cornell University, where she studies composition with Steven Stucky and Roberto Sierra, piano with Xak Bjerken, and digital/computer music with David Borden. In 2006, she was one of ten composers chosen by IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique, Centre Pompidou Paris, France) to participate in the computer and composition program.

Derek Bermel, clarinet

          Derek Bermel’s clarinet playing has been hailed by The New York Times as “brilliant” and “first rate.” He premiered his own critically acclaimed clarinet concerto, Voices, with the American Composers Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, and revisited it with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the BBC Symphony in London, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic (John Adams conducting). Bermel is the founding clarinetist of Music from Copland House, a creative center for American Music. He has premiered dozens of new works for clarinet in appearances as soloist throughout the U.S. and Europe, including recitals in New York, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Detroit, Jerusalem, The Hague, Paris, and radio broadcasts on the BBC (London), NCRV (Amsterdam), and WQXR (New York). Bermel is also the ACO Music Alive Composer-in-Residence and will have a new orchestral work premiered on the May 1 ACO Orchestra Underground concert.

A New York Times Review is below --

Music Review | American Composers Orchestra

Computer Effects? Add With Drama



Published: February 22, 2009

In a video posted on the American Composers Orchestra Web site, Derek Bermel demonstrated how he learned the solo clarinet part in Fang Man’s “Resurrection,” a work included in a program the orchestra presented at Zankel Hall on Friday night. The video (at showed Mr. Bermel mimicking, Berlitz style, flamboyantly curling phrases derived through a computer analysis of vocal lines from “The Battle of Jiu Jiang Kou,” a traditional Beijing opera.

Enlarge This Image

Derek Bermel performing on clarinet in Fang Man's "Resurrection," at Zankel Hall.

The similarity to acquiring a new language seemed pertinent, since three works in the program prominently featured electronics. “This is the struggle of our age,” Mr. Bermel said in the video, also shown during the concert, “how to incorporate technology into a dramatic context. And it’s not often that a composer can reconcile these two things.”

You could as easily say that every composer of consequence has developed that skill. The history of orchestral music has always been linked to the implementation of new instruments. In a sense laptop computers and sampling keyboards are just the latest keyed flutes and valved horns.

During the first part of Ms. Fang’s 17-minute work Mr. Bermel leapt, slurred and growled over roiling instrumental textures, jagged rhythms and electronic effects that hissed and jabbered around the hall through loudspeakers. Amid the din — and despite a soloist amplified to occasionally ear-splitting effect — you heard constant evidence of Ms. Fang’s inventive palette.

A barking clarinet line, distantly echoed by the concertmaster and a muted tuba, is followed by a limpid solo melody set against tingling harp and metal percussion. The second part, more densely electronic, includes a breathtaking passage that suggests phantom voices lost in a purple-gray Ligetian fog.

In Rand Steiger’s achingly lovely “Cryosphere” Mr. Steiger and Miller Puckette used computers to manipulate sounds meant to evoke the formation and dissolution of glaciers and icebergs. Rolling cymbals stretched into enveloping hums that swirled around the hall. Clattering vibraslaps and brittle synthesizer notes ricocheted; long tones wobbled through microtonal inflections. The effect was like sitting in a huge, resonant Tibetan prayer bowl.

Ronald Reagan and “Reefer Madness” shared screen time in “Breakdown,” billed as a “sample-based hybrid opera in one act.” Kasumi, a video artist, plundered old films for an uproarious bricolage of alien-invasion panic, financial distress, military might and patriotic sentiment. The composer Margaret Brouwer responded with speech-inflected melodies and sharp-witted musical puns. A contemporary political resonance was obvious, but robust humor deflected any hint of preachiness.

George Manahan, the conductor, asserted admirable control in holding these intricate works together. The playing was less convincing in David Schiff’s “Stomp (re-lit)” a James Brown homage that stuttered when it should have strutted. “Pearls,” by Kati Agócs, was filled with attractive ideas, but the work’s six tiny parcels scarcely allowed them room to breathe.

Go here, and when you see a photo you want, click  on “All Sizes” at the top, then click on “Original,” then click “Download Original Size.” There are about 28 photos to look through.


31 January 2009

Clarinetist Michael Norsworthy Featured in Japan-USA Musical Perspectives Concerts with Four World Premieres in New York  on January 31 and upcoming in Boston on February 7,  2009‏                                      

New York City USA

             Clarinetist Michael Norsworthy was featured in the first of 2 concerts presented by Japan-USA Musical Perspectives on Saturday, January 31 – 4 PM at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43a West 13th Street (between 5th and 6th Ave) in New York,  and upcoming on Saturday, February 7 – 8 PM at Fenway Center at Northeastern University, 77 St. Stephen Street in Boston, Massachusetts.

           The January 31 concert repertoire  included Christopher Bailey’s SL III for clarinet, cello and piano, Lyudmila German’s 6 Miniatures for
clarinet and cello, Miyuki Ito’s Darwin’s Dream for clarinet and cello, Hiroya Miura’s Shore for bass clarinet solo (World Premiere – written
for Michael Norsworthy) and Ronald Bruce Smith’s Something Suspicious (Small) for bass clarinet and live electronics. Other performers included
clarinetist Meighan Stoops, cellist Dave Eggar and pianist Augustus Arnone.

             A dedicated and persuasive champion of the music of our own time, Michael Norsworthy has given premieres of over 80 works in collaboration with composers Harrison Birtwistle, Elliott Carter, Chris Dench, Pozzi Escot, Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy, Lukas Foss, Hans Werner Henze, Magnus Lindberg, Ralph Shapey and Marc Anthony Turnage, among others.
              As soloist, Michael Norsworthy has performed an extensive repertoire of concerti, ranging from Mozart to Ferneyhough, with the Aspen
Contemporary Ensemble, Callithumpian Consort, NEC Contemporary Ensemble, Pottstown Symphony, Soria Chamber Players, Southern Illinois Symphony and Symphony Pro Musica, while audiences have heard his numerous recitals in New York , Boston, Cambridge, Chicago and St. Louis.
Conductors he has worked with include Boulez, DePriest, Knussen, Levine, Muti, Robertson, Ozawa, Tilson Thomas and many others. Michael
Norsworthy plays on Buffet Clarinets and mouthpieces by Kalmen Opperman.  Mr Norsworthy is a WKA Artist VIP

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Revised: August 29, 2010