Monday, April 19, 2010

Dallas Composer gets reading

2010 Underwood New Music Readings Composers & Their Works

Matti Kovler: Unsung Serenade
For more information and audio:
Matti Kovler (b. 1980) is a doctoral candidate at the New England Conservatory, and a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship for study in the US. Born in Moscow and educated in Israel and the US, Kovler wrote his first opera at the age of 17. Among his awards are fellowships at the Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festivals, first prize in the Dorfman International Composers Competition (Germany), and the Theodore Presser Award. His music has been described as “graceful” (New York Times), and “notable for its pacing and bold orchestral colors” (The Boston Globe). Recent projects have included a monodrama commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the Upshaw/Golijov Professional Training Workshop, Here Comes Messiah! for soprano and chamber ensemble, premiered in 2009.
Kovler’s Unsung Serenade is inspired by Shakespeare’s sonnet number 73. His musical influences include “third stream” improvisation, a deep fascination with Janácek and Bartok polymodality, Kurtag’s subtlety, and the cult writings of the French theatre philosopher Antonin Artaud. His works include solo and chamber music for winds, strings and piano, symphonic poems, musical theater pieces and a children’s opera based on Hansel and Gretel. Recent compositions have been inspired by a range of Jewish traditional sources, from Sephardic liturgy to contemporary Israeli poetry.

Hannah Lash: Furthermore
For more information and audio:
Hannah Lash (b. 1981) completed her undergraduate degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music. Currently she is a candidate for a Ph.D. in composition at Harvard University and will be enrolled in the Artist Diploma program at Yale School of Music in composition in the fall. Her composition teachers have included Augusta Read Thomas, Robert Morris, Steven Stucky, Bernard Rands, and Martin Bresnick. Her music has been performed at the Tanglewood Music Center and on the American Opera Project’s stage in New York City. She has written pieces for such ensembles as the Arditti Quartet, the JACK Quartet, and Alarm Will Sound. Lash’s honors and prizes include the Barnard Rogers Prize in Composition, the Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky Prize in Composition, and Honorable Mention in BMI’s International Women’s Music Commission. In April 2008, her string quartet Four Still was performed in Kiev in the Ukraine’s largest international new music festival, Musical Premieres of the Season.
Of her work Furthermore, she says, “It is a deep expression of my love for rich orchestral sonorities and textures in evolving characters and shapes. The opening three-note motive begins as the main driving force of the piece: the source of harmonic material as well as motivic/melodic material, undergoing various transformations and extensions.”

Eric Lindsay: Samba Koocho Hairy Boocho
For more information and audio:
Eric Lindsay (b. 1980) is a composer, pianist, and teacher. His scores are published and distributed through Peermusic Ltd. and the Theodore Presser Company, making him the youngest composer to be published in Peermusic’s New Voices Series. Lindsay holds composition degrees from Indiana University-Bloomington and the University of Southern California, and also studied at King’s College in London. He is the recipient of several national honors, including a 2009 commissioning grant from the Serge Koussevitsky Music Foundation, as well as awards from ASCAP, The Society of Composers Inc., the Aspen Music Festival, Volti’s Choral Arts Laboratory, and the Truman State/MACRO Competition.
Lindsay’s work, Samba Koocho Hairy Boocho, is influenced by New York City’s role as the birthplace of both salsa and hip hop, as well as a thriving home for jazz, rock, and blues. Of the work, he says, “New York’s Brazilian population, concentrated largely in Astoria and Manhattan’s Rua 46, is one such community that is becoming an increasingly vital part of New York’s cultural landscape. With Brazilian Day reportedly drawing over 1 million people into the city last year, many can identify with the impromptu formations of an intricate, ebullient samba batucada on the corners of city blocks, where amateur musicians create grooves enviable by many professional bands in other parts of the world.” Samba Koocho Hairy Boocho illuminates the samba genre – itself a result of five centuries of Portuguese, African, and Amerindian rhythms, dances, and harmonies working together – to symbolize the powerful results of shared ideas.

Tamar Muskal: Water Colors
Educated both in Israel and the United States, Tamar Muskal’s (b. 1965) music harmonizes the unique cultural aspects of both places. Her music is always in a counterpoint style, carefully structured, and with great attention for details. She was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and is a 2009 Guggenheim Foundation fellow. She studied viola, music theory, and composition at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem and earned her B.A. in 1991, having studied with Mark Kopytman. Muskal came to the United States in 1994 and subsequently earned her Master’s degree from Yale University, where she studied with Jacob Druckman and Martin Bresnick. She continued her studies at the City University of New York, where she studied with David Del Tredici and Tania Leon. She has written music for eighth blackbird, cellist Maya Beiser, oud player Bassam Saba, 2009 GRAMMY-winning soprano Hila Plitmann, soprano Lucy Shelton and the Colorado String Quartet, pianist Lisa Moore, among others. Muskal has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships, from institutions such as ASCAP, Meet The Composer, the Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the Academy of Arts and Letters.
Muskal’s piece, Water Colors, is inspired by the act and art of painting. It is based on two alternate themes: The first is played by the strings section and occasionally is accompanied by chords in the piano and harp. Like a painter who lets his brush move freely on the canvas, the melodic line moves freely up and down. The second theme is in complete contrast and is very rhythmic, loud, and played by the brass.

Ricardo Romaneiro: Sombras
For more information and audio:
Composer Ricardo Romaneiro (b. 1979), in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and currently lives in New York City. He earned his undergraduate degree in composition at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Richard Danielpour. Following private studies with Mexican composer Samuel Zyman, he completed his Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School, studying with Pulitzer-Prize composer Christopher Rouse. His music has been commissioned and performed from such ensembles and institutions as Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden Series, Wordless Music, Metropolis Ensemble, Alvin Ailey, Maya, New Juilliard Ensemble, Quintet of the Americas, Colorado Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and New York Miniaturist Ensemble.
Recent premieres include The Rite: Remixed (2008), a re-imagination of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring for brass ensemble, percussion, and live electronics, commissioned by Wordless Music Series. This concert was performed in Prospect Park for an audience of 10,000 and nationally broadcast live on WNYC and NPR. Also featured in this performance was Two Part Belief, a new vocal commission performed by GRAMMY winner soprano Hila Plitmann and the Metropolis Ensemble. Combining his electronic and classical technique, Storm King (2008), composed specifically for the Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden Series, further explored his electro-classical style and performance. Romaneiro’s composition process and music was featured in Esquire Magazine’s annual issue of America’s Best and Brightest in 2007.
Of his new piece, Romaneiro says, “Sombras means ‘shadows’ in Portuguese – the conceptual inspiration for the work. Sombras depicts multiple, colored shadows as orchestral textures, motifs, and gestures. Light is represented through time; as the piece progresses, shadows overlap and transform, sculpting the structure of the composition.”

Christopher Stark: Ignatian Exercises
For more information and audio:
Christopher Stark (b. 1980) is a composer deeply rooted in the American West. Having spent his formative years in rural western Montana, his music is always seeking to capture the expansive energy of this quintessential American landscape. He currently studies music composition as a doctoral student at Cornell University with Roberto Sierra and Steven Stucky. Stark has previously studied at the Freie Universität Berlin, the Cincinnati Conservatory, and the University of Montana. At these institutions and abroad in Vienna, he studied with notable composers Samuel Adler, Michael Fiday, Joel Hoffman, David Maslanka, Charles Nichols, Wolfram Wagner, and Patrick Williams. Stark’s music has been performed in venues around the world from the Neue Synagoge Berlin to Carnegie Hall. He has worked with ensembles such as Brave New Works, the Momenta Quartet, the Israeli Chamber Project, Janus Trio, NeXT Ens, the Tipping Point Saxophone Quartet, and Juventas.
Ignatian Exercises is a reference to two things: The famous Catholic Spiritual Exercises penned by the Basque saint and founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignacio de Loyola, and the town of Stark’s birth, St. Ignatius, MT. Stark found the Spiritual Exercises while researching the early cultures of western Montana. He discovered the dark history of St. Ignatius, and more specifically, the heartbreaking and disgraceful conflict between the early Catholic settlers and the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreilles tribes. He decided to write a work drawing inspiration from memories of St. Ignatius, his Catholic upbringing, and the pan-tribal culture of the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Xi Wang: Symphony No. 1
For more information and audio:
Xi Wang (b. 1978) received a B.M. from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and a M.M. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She finished her doctoral degree in Music Art at Cornell University in 2009. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at the Meadow School of Arts at Southern Methodist University. Her orchestral music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Shanghai Philharmonic, and the Spokane Symphony. Xi Wang has received five prizes from ASCAP, and her music has been spotlighted on Minnesota Public Radio, Aspen Public Radio, and Radio-China. Xi Wang was also one of the eight young composers featured in the project New Voices from China at Bard College. She is also a conductor as well as a pianist.
Symphony No. 1 is an homage to the earthquake victims in Sichuan Province in May 2008. Xi Wang says, “On May 12, 2008, the Great Sichuan Earthquake killed around 70,000 people in China. About 380,000 people were injured and more than 18,000 were missing. The deadly earthquake left thousands and thousands of orphans, widows, and widowers. Homes were gone and hearts were broken. I was living in Manhattan at that time. I could not help watching the news with watering eyes. The beautiful May and bustling Manhattan aggravated my grief of the lives lost in the earthquake.”

No comments: