Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 9, 2013 - Fellow Travelers


SAN FRANCISCO
COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mark Alburger, Music Director

Fellow Travelers

8pm, Saturday, November 9, 2013
Old First Presbyterian Church, 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA
Mark Alburger and John Kendall Bailey, conducting



Program

Davide Verotta

   Invitation

              Davide Verotta, Piano
       
 
Philip Freihofner
     Filled with Moonlight

              Philip Freihofner, Oboe
              Davide Verotta, Piano
       

David Sprung
     Haiku for Tenor, Wind Quintet, and Piano (2013)

             Michael Desnoyers, Tenor
          

Lisa Scola Prosek   
     The Lariat
            I. El Vaquero
            II. Las Otno Ayam

                 Desirae Harp, Soprano

Eduard Prosek       
     The Curse (2013)

               Eduard Prosek, Voice and Guitar

Mark Alburger   
     Double Piano Concerto ("Fellow Travellers"), Op. 204 (2012)
         I.  Allegro troppo

               Eytan and Gabriel Schillinger-Hyman, Piano

SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Mark Alburger                    Music Director and Conductor
Erling Wold                        Associate Music Director
John Kendall Bailey                    Associate Conductor
Martha Stoddard                    Associate Conductor

Flute       
Bruce Salvisberg

Oboe
Phil Freihofner
Peter Lemberg

Clarinet
Rachel Condry
Michael Kimbell

Bassoon
Michael Cooke
Michael Garvey
Lori Garvey

Trumpet
Eduard Prosek

Horn
Brian Holmes
Jan Pusina

Soprano
Desirae Harp

Tenor
Michael Desnoyers
Mark Alburger

Baritone
Eduard Prosek

Guitar
Eduard Prosek

Harp
Samantha Garvey

Piano
Miles Graber
Davide Verotta

Percussion
Victor Flaviano

Violin I
Monika Gruber

Violin II
Harry Bernstein

Viola
Nansamba Ssensalo

Cello
Ariella Hyman

Bass
John Beeman

MARK ALBURGER (b. April 2, 1957, Upper Darby, PA) studied with Gerald Levinson and Joan Panetti at Swarthmore College (B.A.), Karl Kohn at Pomona College, Jules Langert at Dominican University (M.A.), Tom Flaherty and Christopher Yavelow at Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D.), and Terry Riley.  He is Founder and Music Director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and The Opus Project, Conductor of San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions, and Instructor in Music Literature and Theory at Diablo Valley College.  As Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Monthly Journal (21st-centurymusic.com and 21st-centurymusic.blogspot.com), Alburger has interviewed many composers, including Charles Amirkhanian, Earle Brown, George Crumb, Alan Hovhaness, Steve Mackey, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros, and Steve Reich.  He has recently updated and expanded the articles on John Adams and Philip Glass for Grove Online and The Grove Dictionary of American Music, Second Edition.  Alburger has been the recipient of many honors, awards, and commissions -- including yearly ASCAP Standard Awards; grants from Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, MetLife, and Theatre Bay Area; funding from the Marra, Zellerbach, Hewlett, and Getty Foundations; and performances by ensembles and orchestras throughout the United States.  Alburger's concert and dramatic compositions combine atonal, collage, neoclassic, pop, and postminimal sensibilities -- often in overall frameworks troped on pre-existent material.  His complete works (220 opus numbers to date, including 16 concerti, 23 operas, nine symphonies, the 12-hour opera-oratorio The Bible, and Day 1-3 of The Decameron) are being issued on recordings from New Music.  500+ videos of his music may be found on the DrMarkAlburger YouTube channel, as well as on many other websites.

DOUBLE PIANO CONCERTO ("FELLOW TRAVELLERS"), Op. 204, was written for and is dedicated to Eytan and Gabriel Schillinger-Hyman in thanks for their wonderful work with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra over several years.  The piece is mapped over Francis Poulenc's Double Piano Concerto, taking in interlopers from Japanese, Hispanic, minimalist, and rock-n-roll traditions.  The first movement features a Dorian pentatonic scale (D E F A B).

PHILIP FREIHOFNER  has been a regularly performing member of SFCCO since 2004. He has a Bachelor's degree in Music from UC Berkeley.

FILLED WITH MOONLIGHT was written to fulfill a commission for a new duet for oboe and piano by the ensemble Dolci.  Oboist Ted Rust and pianist Viva Knight premiered the work December, 2012.  The music takes inspiration from the novel Blackberries in the Dream House, by San Francisco poet Diane Frank, a romance set in 1850's Japan.  In designing the musical world of this piece, the sources included elements of Japanese music and esthetic theory, of Poulenc's fabulous chamber works for winds and piano, and of the Koto work of Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner.

EDUARD PROSEK is a 22-year-old Californian native now residing in Brighton, UK.  His debut EP California (2012) gained him a strong online following, with its title track receiving over 40,000 YouTube views.  Following this initial interest, Prosek's cover of Paul Simon's Homeward Bound was chosen as the soundtrack to a major TV advertisement for Cathedral City last year in the UK taking Prosek to a national audience.  His latest release, Willow Tree, showcases his impressive abilities as composer and arranger.  A full UK tour and album are set for release in 2014.

    THE CURSE is the second track on Prosek's newest EP, Willow Tree, released September, 2013.

        We're all born innocent, it's how you lose it,
        that keeps me interested in you
        and you speak so softly I don't catch a thing but,
        when you take a breath, the angels sing.

        So I'll take it as it comes, win or lose I'd
        rather nothing at all, then to choose
        between the one I love, or my instincts
        so I'll keep my mouth shut, and keep listening.

        She's a blessing but, just like any curse she's
        so beautiful it, makes it so much worse.
        She's a blessing but, just like anything you
        never have enough, and when you do it's all too much

LISA SCOLA PROSEK is  a  graduate of  Princeton  University  with  a  degree in  Music  Composition,  her teachers  include  Edward  Cone,  Milton  Babbitt,  Lukas  Foss,  Margherita  Kalil,  and  Gaetano  Giani- Luporini. Scola Prosek has composed and premiered seven operas with librettos in Italian and English.

Excerpts from THE LARIAT, a new opera by Scola Prosek, based on Jaime De Angulo’s 1927 novella, with a poetic libretto in Esselen by Louise Miranda Ramirez, Tribal Chair of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation, sung by Desirae Harp.  The work will premiere in 2014, at the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, and in 2015 with the San Francisco International Arts Festival.  The piece is made possible by a grant from Theatre Bay Area.

Bear, you have taken my love Koltala name yukla nish kolo! I cannot live without him, Eni anpapiake cha’a  anhuyake huniki! Creator, take me too. Las Otno Ayam yukla nicha.

Louise Miranda Ramirez is Esselen, Chumash and Yaqui. She is an enrolled member of the Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation, from the Greater Monterey County and the current Tribal Chairwoman.  Her goal as a linguist is to work to return the Esselen language, which she says, “Has been sleeping for over 100 years.” Supported by the California Indigenous Language Survival (ACILS), she attended the Breath of Life Program and Language is Life Conference. ACILS supports research, for California Indian Languages with no speakers that is held at the University of Berkeley. In collaboration with linguist David L. Shaul she worked at reviving the Esselen Language and created a dictionary translated from oral stories and prayers. She has subsequently made pamphlets and books in the Esselen language.

Desirae Harp (Ashi Akxi, The Esselen Girl) is a descendant of the Mishewal Wappo Tribe and Dine Nation and is a multi-talented singer and songwriter. Her songs include themes that focus on decolonization of mind, body and spirit. She sings with numerous groups including Audiopharmacy and is a community activist and mentor for urban youth programs throughout the bay area. She is also a co-founder of the Mishewal Wappo Language Revitalization Project. She is currently attending San Francisco State University.

DAVID SPRUNG (b. Jersey City, NJ) was raised in New York City. An honors graduate from Queens College, where he studied composition with Vittorio Rieti and Luigi Dallapiccola, Sprung also has a Master’s Degree in Composition from Princeton University, where his mentors were Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt.  He has had a dual track career as educator and performer, having served on the faculties of Queens College, City College of New York, Wichita State University, Sonoma State University and California State University, East Bay where he now holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Music.  Additionally, Sprung has been a prominent French horn player, having played principal horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, and most recently, the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.   Formerly, he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  Since retiring from active teaching and playing, he has been devoting himself to composing and conducting.

Composed in 2013 and being performed for the first time, the texts for HAIKU come from the collection Japanese Haiku (1956, Peter Pauper Press). In a prefatory note, translator Peter Beilenson notes: “There are only seventeen syllables in the haiku; the first and third lines contain five, the second seven. There is almost always in it the name of the season, or a key word giving the season by inference ….. But there is also, in a good haiku, more than a statement of feeling or a picture of nature: there is an implied identity between two seemingly different things.”  The mood of the music is intended to reflect these ideas, although with elaborations using text repetitions and complementary thematic material.   For the entire set, there is a high degree of musical integration; motives and other musical gestures recur throughout, as a means of providing stylistic unity.

                  I
 IN THESE DARK WATERS
    DRAWN UP FROM
    MY FROZEN WELL….
GLITTERING OF SPRING
                Ringai

                    II
STANDING STILL AT DUSK
    LISTEN… IN FAR
    DISTANCES
THE SONG OF FROGLINGS!
                Buson

        III
I DREAMED OF BATTLES
    AND WAS SLAIN…
    OH SAVAGE SAMURAI!
INSATIABLE FLEAS!
                Kikaku

        IV
ARISE FROM SLEEP, OLD CAT,
    AND WITH GREAT YAWNS
    AND STRETCHINGS…
AMBLE OUT FOR LOVE
                Issa

        V
DARTING DRAGON-FLY…
    PULL OFF ITS SHINY
    WINGS AND LOOK…
BRIGHT RED PEPPER-POD
                Kikaku
       
                           VI
[Reply: follows V without pause]
BRIGHT RED PEPPER-POD…
    IT NEEDS BUT SHINY
    WINGS AND LOOK…
DARTING DRAGON-FLY!
                Basho

        VII
A WHITE SWAN SWIMMING…
    PARTING WITH HER
    UNMOVED BREAST
CHERRY-PETALED POND
                Roka

        VIII
ROARING WINTER STORM
    RUSHING TO ITS
    UTTER END…
EVER-SOUNDING SEA
                Gonsui

        IX
AH! I INTENDED
    NEVER NEVER
    TO GROW OLD…
LISTEN: NEW YEAR’S BELL!
                Jokun

DAVIDE VEROTTA was born in a boring Italian town close to Milano and moved to the much more exciting San Francisco in his late twenties. He studied piano at the Milano and San Francisco Conservatory, and privately with Julian White, and composition at San Francisco State University (MA) and the University of California at Davis (PhD), as well as having a parallel-track academic life in mathematics as a professor at the University of California at San Francisco.  He is actively involved in the new music scene in the San Francisco Bay Area (as soloist, chamber player, member of  SFCCO, National Composer Association, SF,  Irregular Resolutions, co-organizer of the Festival of Contemporary Music).  He teaches piano and composition privately and at the Community Music Center in San Francisco. Recent compositions include works for orchestra with the Berkeley Symphony, chamber opera, dance, piano solo, percussion, and various chamber ensembles.  Upcoming in Spring 2014 is the "tone poem" Il Ponte, for piano, percussion and strings.  For more information, please visit his web site at davideverotta.com.

INVITATION is a short piece for piano, that is the introduction of a large work for piano, percussion, strings,and voice, Il Ponte -- which will be presented in the Bay Area in the Spring of 2014.  As the title indicates the piece represents an invitation to the player and the audience, a luring to enter a different place, leaving behind for a while normal everyday realities.

DONATIONS:

Archangel
(Contributing $1000 +)
Mark Alburger
Alexis Alrich
Lisa Scola Prosek
Sue Rosen
Erling Wold

Angel
(Contributing $500-$999)
Adobe, inc
John Beeman
Michael & Lisa Cooke
Anne Dorman
David & Joyce Graves
Ken Howe
Anne Baldwin
Hanna Hymans-Ostroff
Anne Szabla
Davide Verotta

Benefactor
(Contributing $100-$499)
Christopher & Sue Bancroft Kenneth & Ruth Baumann
Susan M. Barnes
Marina Berlin & Anthony Parisi
Bruce & Betsy Carlson
Patrick & Linda Condry
Rachel Condry
Connie & George Cooke
Steven Cooke
Patti Deuter
Thomas Goss
James Henriques
Marilyn Hudson
John Hiss & Nancy Katz
Susan Kates
Ronald Mcfarland
Ken & Jan Milnes
James Schrempp
Martha Stoddard
James Whitmore
Vivaty, Inc

Donor
(Contributing $50-$99)
Paul & Barbara Boniker
Mark Easterday
Sabrina Huang
Donna & Joseph Lanam
Harriet March Page
Larry Ochs
CF Peters
Barbara & Mark Stefik
Roberta Robertson

Patron
(Contributing up to $49)
Susie Bailey
Schuyler Bailey
Harry Bernstein
Joanne Carey
Hannes & Linda Lamprecht
Elinor Lamson
Anthony Mobilia
Deborah Slater

To make a tax-deductible donation, please send a check made out to:
Erling Wold's Fabrications
629 Wisconsin Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Please include a note saying you want the money to go to the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 4, 2013 - Moving Day


SAN FRANCISCO
COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mark Alburger, Music Director


Moving Day

8pm, Saturday, May 4, 2013
Lick-Wilmerding High School Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
Mark Alburger, John Kendall Bailey, and Martha Stoddard, conducting



Program


Harry Bernstein   
Sonata for Flute, Oboe, and Piano (2003)
I. Playful, Vigorous



Plan B for 


String Quintet (2013)

 
John Beeman   


Sprites (2013)


Davide Verotta



Dances for Orchestra (2013)
     


                     I. Lullaby


                    II. Paidushko



                    III. Pyrrixios
                    IV. Syxnyse
                    V. Halay Halaylar

Intermission

Michael A. Kimbell
Time Does Not Move (2006) (Keller)
   
Michael Cooke   
Incomplete Thoughts: A Passacaglia    (2013)

Martha Stoddard   
Gait Changes (2013)


SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Mark Alburger                    Music Director and Conductor
Erling Wold                        Associate Music Director
John Kendall Bailey                    Associate Conductor
Martha Stoddard                    Associate Conductor

Flute       
Bruce Salvisberg
Harry Bernstein

Oboe
Phil Freihofner

Clarinet
Michael Kimbell
Rachel Condry

Bassoon
Michael Cooke

Trumpet
Cindy Collins

Horn
Priscilla Nunn

Trombone
Alex Bond

Narrator
Emmanuel Williams

Piano
Allan Crossman
Davide Verotta

Percussion
Victor Flaviano
Anne Szabla
Mark Alburger

Violin I
Monika Gruber

Violin II
Alise Ewan

Viola
Raphael Gold
Harry Bernstein

Cello
Ariella Hyman

Bass
John Beeman

HARRY BERNSTEIN has been involved in San Francisco Bay Area music for many years as a composer, performer and teacher. He began his musical training on the trumpet, later learning the recorder as well as the Baroque the modern flutes. More recently, his life has been altered by the invasion of a viola. This occurred a few years after Bernstein began his association with City College. Why take up a stringed instrument in one's fifties? In his case, he took on the challenge of learning the viola in order to explore both orchestral and chamber music, and to learn how to write more effectively for strings.  Not long after earning a D.M.A. in early music performance from Stanford University, he moved 30 miles north to San Francisco where he has lived ever since. He has studied composition with Jerry Mueller and has written vocal and instrumental music.  Bernstein is co-founder of the Golden Age Ensemble, a duo presenting varied programs of instrumental and vocal music around the Bay Area and is a partner in Micro Pro Musica Press, SF, which offers music engraving, arranging and transcription services. He is currently active with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra (flute), the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (viola), and that unpredictable composers' circle known as Irregular Resolutions. Bernstein is an instructor in both the Music and Older Adults Departments at City College of San Francisco, and also teaches privately.

"SONATA FOR FLUTE, OBOE, AND PIANO in 2003 for a concert by Irregular Resolutions. We built a program around a cellist and also multi-instrumentalist Nik Phelps, of the Sprocket Ensemble, who could play flute, oboe, clarinet, and trumpet. The trio is of humorous intent, even though it is hard to play a wind instrument with your tongue in your cheek (not at all chic)!  There are short contrasting sections, with the winds sometimes playing 'against' the piano, and occasional quotations of other music, which come to a head with a virtual quotation duel."

The string quintet movement, PLAN B, was the piece that came up after the original plan to write a quartet, a sextet and another "ette,” as yet unnamed, failed to materialize within the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra time restraints—probably due to a lack of “etiquette” on my part. Plan B arose because of my enjoyment of playing string quintets and sextets in recent years. There are three short sections, each one a little faster than the last. The first section is slow, with a touch of Cole Porter world-weariness; the second has elements of tango and the third takes on something of the mood of swing.

JOHN BEEMAN studied with Peter Fricker and William Bergsma at the University of Washington where he received his Master’s degree.  His first opera, The Great American Dinner Table was produced on National Public Radio.  Orchestral works have been performed by the Fremont-Newark Philharmonic, Santa Rosa Symphony, and the Peninsula Symphony.  Beeman has attended the Ernest Bloch Composers’ Symposium, the Bard Composer-Conductor program, the Oxford Summer Institutes, and the Oregon Bach Festival, and has received awards through Meet the Composer, the American Music Center and ASCAP.  Compositions have been performed by Ensemble Sorelle, the Mission Chamber Orchestra, the Ives Quartet, Fireworks Ensemble, Paul Dresher, the Oregon Repertory Singers and Schola Cantorum of San Francisco.

Sprites are immense, but brief, flashes of red light that appear above thunderstorms.  This unusual weather phenomenon was only first documented in 1989.  Blue jets, similar optical phenomenon, are cones of blue light shooting above the clouds.  The cause of these flashes, though not yet determined, may be connected with electrical discharges from storms.  SPRITES (2013) was inspired by these unusual weather events.

Multi-instrumentalist MICHAEL COOKE is a composer of jazz and classical music. This two-time Emmy, ASCAPLUS, and Louis Armstrong Jazz Award winner can be heard on soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones, flute, soprano and bass clarinets, bassoon and percussion. A cum laude graduate with a music degree from the University of North Texas, he had many different areas of study; jazz, ethnomusicology, music history, theory and composition. In 1991 Cooke began his professional orchestral career performing in many north Texas area symphonies.  He has played in Europe, Mexico, and all over the United States.  Cimarron Music Press began published many of Cooke's compositions in 1994. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been exploring new paths in improvised and composed music, mixing a variety of styles and techniques that draw upon the creative energy of a multicultural experience, both in and out of America.  In 1999, Cooke started the jazz label Black Hat Records (blackhatrecords.com) and is currently on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. The San Francisco Beacon describes Cooke's music as "flowing out color and tone with a feeling I haven't heard in quite a while. Michael plays with such dimension and flavor that it sets (his) sound apart from the rest." Uncompromising, fiery, complex, passionate, and cathartic is how the All Music Guide labeled Cooke's playing on Searching, Statements, and The Is. His latest release, An Indefinite Suspension of The Possible, is an unusual mixture of woodwinds, trombone, cello, koto and percussion, creating a distinct synergy in improvised music.

"INCOMPLETE THOUGHTS: A PASSACAGLIA was born out of the news that the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra would not have our customary three bassoons.  I stopped the piece on which I was working, and came up with another: a contempoary passacaglia where the bass line was in one time and the other instruments in others.  I was thinking to use either multiple conductors or metronomes with earpieces.  Desiring inspiration, I looked though some of my incomplete compositions for a bass line, and found something useable in a draft of an opera from many years ago.  The figure went through some modifications and was given a lazy lilt in 7/8.  I wanted to layer fragments of music on top, which were inspired by scraps of music not yet finished and other incomplete utterances.  As I felt the work should be written in a stream-of-conscious-manner, an interruption motif came into being as a way to switch thoughts.  While I eventually decided that the original idea of multiple times might be hard to pull off, I came up with other ways to have multiple times.  In the end, I hope to have created a thought-provoking work that is more than the collection of Incomplete Thoughts that began it."
   
MICHAEL A. KIMBELL (b. 1946) studied composition with John Davison, Alfred Swan, Robert Palmer, and Karel Husa, and received his DMA in composition from Cornell University in 1973.  Ten of his orchestral compositions have been performed by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Sinfonietta.  His Arcadian Symphony won the 1998 Southern Arizona Symphony Competition and was also performed by the San Jose Mission Chamber Orchestra.  Kimbell's Poème for Violin and Harp has been performed in Austria and Germany and at the 2011 World Harp Congress in Vancouver.  Other chamber works as well as songs and the short opera The Hot Iron have received numerous performances.

TIME DOES NOT MOVE features the poem Die Zeit geht nicht by Gottfried Keller (1819-1890), the greatest German-Swiss writer of the 19th Century.  The complete poem (English version by Edith and Michael Kimbell) is spoken in melodrama fashion.  The music incorporates an 1821 Swiss folksong melody by Wilhelm Müller, variously titled “Ich stand auf hohem Berge” (“I stood on a high mountain”) and “Im Krug zum grünen Kranze” (“In the Jug and Green Garland”).  The melody appears very gradually, first as melodic fragments, then as a fugue based on the second phrase of the melody, and finally in full quotation by the flute.

MARTHA STODDARD earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Humboldt State University and her Master of Music degree from San Francisco State University, where she studied flute, conducting and composition.  She was named Program Director for the John Adams Young Composers Program at the Crowden Music Center in 2012 and has held the position of Artistic Director of the Oakland Civic Orchestra since1997. She is Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Composers’ Chamber Orchestra and Director of Instrumental Music at Lick-Wilmerding High School.  Other activities include operatic engagements as Musical Director for Lisa Scola Prosek's Belfagor and Trap Door, John Bilotta's Trifles, Mark Alburger's Job: A Masque, and the collaborative Dieci Giorni, which premiered in San Francisco in 2010.  In August, 2012 she conducted the premiere of Scola Prosek's Daughter of the Red Tsar, featuring tenor John Duykers.  A three-time recipient of AscapPlus Awards, her music has been performed in San Francisco through the American Composers Forum, by the Sierra Ensemble, Avenue Winds and in the UK by flutists Carla Rees and Lisa Bost.  She has had performances by the San Francisco Choral Artists, Schwungvoll!, the Community Women’s Orchestra, Oakland Civic Orchestra, Womensing, Bakersfield Symphony  New Directions Series, in the Trinity Chamber Concert Series and the New Music Forum Festival of Contemporary Music.  Recent commissions include Points of Reference, Outbursts: an Homage to Brahms, Orchestral Suite for the Young of all Ages, and Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano.  Stoddard is a featured performer on alto flute in John Bilotta’s Shadow Tree (Capstone Records CPS-8787), and as conductor for Janis Mercer’s, Voices (Centaur Recordings, CPS 2951). 

"The idea for GAIT CHANGES (2013) came to me as I was walking the loop around the top of San Bruno Mountain.  While walking I  imagined different rhythmic patterns associated with  my footsteps. To these patterns  I  infused  melodies themselves over undulating rhythms, noting the changes in gait with different interludes and musical character.  I specifically crafted a soloistic piano interlude for my friend and mentor, Allan Crossman, whose love of walking is often conveyed in his own compositions which I have been privileged to conduct."

DAVIDE VEROTTA was born in a boring Italian town close to Milano and moved to the much more exciting San Francisco in his late twenties.  He studied piano at the Milano and San Francisco Conservatories, and composition at the San Francisco State University and University of California at Davis.  He is actively involved in the new music scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. [Don't miss the 11th Festival of Contemporary Music, of which I am one of the organizers!  With more than 30 composers it is coming up in June,  July and August http://newmusicforum.com.] He teaches piano and composition privately and at the Community Music Center in San Francisco.  Recent compositions include works for orchestra with the Berkeley Symphony, chamber opera, dance, piano solo, percussion quartet, and various chamber ensembles.  For more information, please visit davideverotta.com.

DANCES FOR ORCHESTRA (2013) is the orchestral version of Dances to Mytilini, a quartet inspired by the folkloric traditions of the eastern Balkans and Turkey. The piece, about twice the length of the quartet, is organized in a cycle of five dances that metaphorically depicts a geographical and episodic journey. The geographical journey starts in Rumania and descends to the final destination, Mytilini, through Bulgaria, Thrace, and Attica.  The five episodes correspond to early life (a lullaby dance), early adulthood (the quick-paced Paidushko), war (Pyrrixios) followed by confusion and dismay (Syxnyse), and finally by a joyful, exuberant ending, Halay Halaylar.


DONATIONS:

Archangel
(Contributing $1000 +)
Mark Alburger
Alexis Alrich
Lisa Scola Prosek
Sue Rosen
Erling Wold

Angel
(Contributing $500-$999)
Adobe, inc
John Beeman
Michael & Lisa Cooke
Anne Dorman
David & Joyce Graves
Ken Howe
Anne Baldwin
Hanna Hymans-Ostroff
Anne Szabla
Davide Verotta

Benefactor
(Contributing $100-$499)
Christopher & Sue Bancroft Kenneth & Ruth Baumann
Susan M. Barnes
Marina Berlin & Anthony Parisi
Bruce & Betsy Carlson
Patrick & Linda Condry
Rachel Condry
Connie & George Cooke
Steven Cooke
Patti Deuter
Thomas Goss
James Henriques
Marilyn Hudson
John Hiss & Nancy Katz
Susan Kates
Ronald Mcfarland
Ken & Jan Milnes
James Schrempp
Martha Stoddard
James Whitmore
Vivaty, Inc

Donor
(Contributing $50-$99)
Paul & Barbara Boniker
Mark Easterday
Sabrina Huang
Donna & Joseph Lanam
Harriet March Page
Larry Ochs
CF Peters
Barbara & Mark Stefik
Roberta Robertson

Patron
(Contributing up to $49)
Susie Bailey
Schuyler Bailey
Harry Bernstein
Joanne Carey
Hannes & Linda Lamprecht
Elinor Lamson
Anthony Mobilia
Deborah Slater

To make a tax-deductible donation, please send a check made out to:

Erling Wold's Fabrications
629 Wisconsin Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Please include a note saying you want the money to go to the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.

Special thanks to Lick-Wilmerding High School, for providing concert and rehearsal space.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 20, 2012 - Adventures Around the Lake...

  
SAN FRANCISCO
COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Mark Alburger, Music Director

Adventures Around the Lake with a Unicorn

8pm, Saturday, October 20, 2012
Old First Church, San Francisco, CA
Mark Alburger and Martha Stoddard, conducting

Program


 Davide Verotta

        Dances to Mytilini (2011)
                    Lullaby dance
                    Paidushko
                    Pyrrixios
                    Syxnyse
                    Halay Halaylar

Edgar Varese
        Octandre (1923)
                    I. Assez Lent, Lourd et sauvage, Tempo I
                    II. Tres vif et nerveux
                    III. Grave, Anime et jubilatoire, Subitement tres vif et nerveux,
                        Anime et jubilatoire
           

Allan Crossman
        Two Walks (2012)
                    I. A Walk at Lake Merced
                    II. A Walk at Lake Merritt

        Intermission
           

John Bilotta
        Thurber Country (2012)
                    Amused by its presumption
                    Scene with rabbits
                    A mythical beast
                    The damp hand of melancholy
                    Let your mind alone
           

Lisa Scola Prosek
        Overture to "L'Avventura" (2012)
                    I. Si, che sono triste, perche' mi mancano le stelle
                    II. Bocca baciata
       

Mark Alburger       
        Triple Concerto for Bassoon, Contrabassoon, and Harp ("Family"), Op. 201 (2012)
                    I. Allegro
                    II. Largo
                    III. Rondo a la Pole Dance


SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Mark Alburger                    Music Director and Conductor
Erling Wold                        Associate Music Director
Martha Stoddard                    Associate Conductor
John Kendall Bailey                Associate Conductor

Flute       
Bruce Salvisberg
Piccolo, Alto Flute
Harry Bernstein

Oboe
Phil Freihofner

Clarinet
Michael Kimbell
Eb Clarinet
Rachel Condry

Bassoon
Michael Garvey
Lori Garvey
Contrabassoon

Trumpet
Cindy Collins

Horn
Monika Warchol

Trombone
Don Howe

Soprano
Maria Mikheyenko
Lisa Scola Prosek

Harp
Samantha Garvey

Piano
Davide Verotta
Lisa Scola Prosek

Percussion
Victor Flaviano
Anne Szabla
Colin Boltz
Vibraphone

Violin I
Hande Erdem

Violin II
Christina Wong

Viola
Nansamba Ssensalo

Cello
Ariella Hyman

Bass
John Beeman

MARK ALBURGER (b. April 2, 1957, Upper Darby, PA) studied with Gerald Levinson and Joan Panetti at Swarthmore College (B.A.), Karl Kohn at Pomona College, Jules Langert at Dominican University (M.A.), Tom Flaherty and Christopher Yavelow at Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D.), and Terry Riley.  He is Founder and Music Director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, Conductor of San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions, and Instructor in Music Literature and Theory at Diablo Valley College.  As Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Monthly Journal (21st-centurymusic.com and 21st-centurymusic.blogspot.com), Alburger has interviewed many composers, including Charles Amirkhanian, Earle Brown, George Crumb, Alan Hovhaness, Steve Mackey, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros, and Steve Reich.  He has recently updated and expanded the articles on John Adams and Philip Glass for Grove Online and The Grove Dictionary of American Music, Second Edition.  Alburger has been the recipient of many honors, awards, and commissions -- including yearly ASCAP Plus; grants from Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, MetLife, and Theatre Bay Area; funding from the Marra, Zellerbach, Hewlett, and Getty Foundations; and performances by ensembles and orchestras throughout the United States.  Alburger's concert and dramatic compositions combine atonal, collage, neoclassic, pop, and postminimal sensibilities -- often in overall frameworks troped on pre-existent material.  His complete works 204 opus numbers to date (including 16 concerti, 20 operas, nine symphonies, and the 12-hours-and-counting opera-oratorio The Bible) are being issued on recordings from New Music.  500+ videos of his music may be found on the DrMarkAlburger YouTube channel, as well as on many other websites. 

TRIPLE CONCERTO FOR BASSOON, CONTRABASSOON, AND HARP ("FAMILY"), Op. 196, was written for and is dedicated to Michael, Lori, and Samantha Garvey -- in thanks for their wonderful work with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and Diablo Valley College Philiharmonic over many years.  The work is mapped on Ludwig van Beethoven's Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano, and takes its sensibilities from the likes of Dmitri Shostakovich, John Cage, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass.  The second movement features a half-step augmented scale of Ab B C Db E# F# G Ab (a2, m2, m2, aa2, m2, m2, m2), and the third a blues-swing of C D Eb E F G A C.

JOHN G. BILOTTA (b.Waterbury, Connecticut) has spent most his life in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he studied composition with Frederick Saunders. His works have been performed by Rarescale, Earplay, the Talea Ensemble, the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, Chamber Mix, Musica Nova, the Avenue Winds, the Boston String Quartet, the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, the Kiev Philharmonic, the Oakland Civic Orchestra, San Francisco Cabaret Opera, Bluegrass Opera, Boston Metro Opera, and VocalWorks. His music is available on Capstone Records, New Music North, Beauport Classical Recordings, Navonna Records and are distributed by Naxos. His first chamber opera Aria da Capo was a finalist at the New York City Opera. His comic opera Quantum Mechanic won the 2007 Opera-in-a-Month Challenge as well as a 2010 AmericanaFestival Award. His most recent opera Trifles premiered in 2010 as part of the Fresh Voices X Festival of New Works. John co-directs with Brian Bice and Davide Verotta the Festival of Contemporary Music. He is a member of the Society of Composers, Inc., where he serves on the Executive Committee and for which he edits SCION, the Society’s opportunities newsletter; and he is a member of the Board of Directors for Goat Hall Productions.

THURBER COUNTRY is a high-speed road trip through an unexpected landscape—the brilliant and unique world to which James Thurber welcomed us. The music can touch on only a few of the land’s varied sights. It is neither literal nor programmatic, offering instead impressions of things that are likely better seen peripherally than examined too closely. For those familiar with Thurber’s country, teetering as it does on the edge of laughter and terror, the music’s sectional descriptions may offer a few glimpses

Over the years, ALLAN CROSSMAN has had the special pleasure of collaborating with Bay Area musicians, actors, directors, dancers, librettists, music teachers, students, and technicians, including SFCCO members at occasions other than these Old First Concerts. Recipient of awards and grants, his music has recently been presented in Brazil, Connecticut, Australia, Oakland, and on radio. On November 9th, on this same stage, pianist Jerry Kuderna will perform his Moto Atlantico at a concert of 20th/21st-century music.

About TWO WALKS, for chamber orchestra, the composer writes: "1. A Walk at Lake Merced: On my first-ever walk there, it was very quiet and beautiful, and found myself talking in a low voice so as not to disturb the peacefulness of the place.  This piece is a translation into music of that deeply-felt serenity.

2. A Walk at Lake Merritt: This was a very different experience from Lake Merced - more about things appearing and happening. No sooner had I arrived at the Lake than a whole barrel of things rolled out, in this order: crowds and lots of kids; the birds; then the eight-oar sculls skimming silently across the water; some smooth runners; a cat (this point in the score is marked felino); and finally Children's Fairyland, which I overheard, since you're not allowed to enter without a child... Then walking back in the opposite direction produced it all in reverse order - very conveniently offering me a symmetrical form for the piece!"

LISA SCOLA PROSEK was raised in Rome, Italy, and graduated from Princeton University.  She studied with Edward Cone and Milton Babbitt, and Gaetano Luporini in Florence, Italy.  To date, Scola Prosek has composed seven operas in Italian and English. On August 24, 2012, Daughter of the Red Tzar, commissioned by Thick House Theater, premiered to capacity audiences, in a production starring John Duykers as Winston Churchill.

 L’AVVENTURA, also commissioned by Thick House for 2013, is an operatic tribute to the musical culture of Naples.

Although his complete surviving works only last about three hours, EDGAR[d Victor Achille Charles] VARESE (December 22, 1883, Paris - November 6, 1965, New York) has been recognized as a major influence in 20th-century music and beyond.  He grew up in Le Villars, Burgundy, and Turin, before returning to his birthplace in 1904 to study with Albert Roussel, Vincent d’Indy, and Charles-Marie Widor. From 1907 to 1915 became acquainted with Claude Debussy, Ferruccio Busoni, and Arnold Schoenberg. After moving to New York in December of 1915, virtually all his European compositions were either lost or destroyed in a Berlin warehouse fire.  With Carlos Salzedo, he founded the International Composers' Guild, whose 1922 manifesto declared that, "The present day composers refuse to die."  Varese composed many of his ensemble pieces under the auspices of the ICG during its six year existence, including Offrandes, Hyperprism, OCTANDRE, and Integrales.  He became an American citizen in 1926, and four years later composed Ionisation, the first stand-alone composition to feature only percussion instruments.  Le Corbusier was commissioned by Philips to present a pavilion at the 1958 World Fair and insisted (against the sponsors' resistance) on working with Varese, who developed his Poème électronique for the venue, where it was heard by an estimated two million people.

OCTANDRE (1923) -- for flute (piccolo), oboe, Bb (Eb) clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, horn, trombone, and bass -- references a flower with eight stamens, and is the only multi-movement work (attaccas notwithstanding) by the composer, with each section reflecting a roughly ternary form.  It was first heard on January 13, 1924, at New York's Vanderbilt Theater, conducted by E. Robert Schmitz, the work’s dedicatee, and published later that year by J. Curwen, London.  The first movement begins with an oboe phrase evoking a bassoonian-Stravinskian Rite of Spring, where most of the intervals have been transformed into seconds, sevenths, and ninths.  After bundles of repeated notes and brass pulsations, the section ends a tritone away as it began: "a little anxious."  A second part begins as a scherzo-glorification the piccolo’s repetitive impulses, with a call-and-response of asymmetrical brass-and-woodwind outbursts, and a fierce crescendo.  The final section opens as a solemn bass solo, leading to "jubilant" fugato (seemingly singular in Varese's output), broken into component parts and subjected to rhythmic transformations, at times perhaps inspired by the Rite's Glorification of the Chosen One.  The original contrapuntal subject returns at the very end, only to be overpowered by another signature Varesian sound mass.

DAVIDE VEROTTA was born in a boring Italian town close to Milano and moved to the very much more exciting San Francisco in his late twenties. He studied piano at the Milano Conservatory and piano and composition in California at the San Francisco Conservatory and State University, and at the University of California at Davis. He is an active solo and ensemble piano recitalist, and he is actively involved in the new music composition scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information please visit his web site at http://www.davideverotta.com.

DANCES TO MYTILINI is a quartet inspired by the folkloric traditions of the eastern Balkans and Turkey. The piece is organized in a cycle of five dances that metaphorically depicts a geographical and episodic journey. The geographical journey starts in Romania and descends to the final destination, Mytilini, through Bulgaria, Thrace, and Attica.  The five episodes correspond to early life (a lullaby dance), early adulthood (the quick-paced Paidushko), war (Pyrrixios) followed by confusion and dismay (Syxnyse), and finally by a joyful, exuberant ending, Halay Halaylar.

DONATIONS:

Archangel
(Contributing $1000 +)
Mark Alburger
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Lisa Scola Prosek
Sue Rosen
Erling Wold

Angel
(Contributing $500-$999)
Adobe, inc
John Beeman
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Anne Dorman
David & Joyce Graves
Ken Howe
Anne Baldwin
Hanna Hymans-Ostroff
Anne Szabla
Davide Verotta

Benefactor
(Contributing $100-$499)
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Susan M. Barnes
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Thomas Goss
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Donor
(Contributing $50-$99)
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Larry Ochs
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Roberta Robertson

Patron
(Contributing up to $49)
Susie Bailey
Schuyler Bailey
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To make a tax-deductible donation, please send a check made out to:

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Please include a note saying you want the money to go to the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.

Special thanks to Lick-Wilmerding High School, for providing rehearsal space.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9, 2012 - 10th-Anniversary Gala!



SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA



Mark Alburger, Music Director



Tenth Anniversary Gala



8pm, Saturday, June 9, 2012
Old First Church, San Francisco, CA
Mark Alburger and Martha Stoddard, conducting

Program


John Beeman
Collage (2011) (Carla Brooke)
Garden
Fire Ribbon


Sheli Nan
"Saga" Overture (2012)

Michael A. Kimbell
Concertino for C Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra (2012)
Moderato lirico
Andante un poco adagio
Allegretto grazioso

Intermission


William Severson
The Mystic Trumpeter (2009) (Walt Whitman)
II.


Martha Stoddard
Points of Reference (2012)


Samuel Ostroff
Academy (2012)


John Cage
4'33" (1952)
I. 30''


Igor Stravinsky
Greeting Prelude (1955)


Mark Alburger
Triple Concerto for Bassoon, Contrabassoon, and Harp
("Family"), Op. 201 (2012)
I. Allegro

Davide Verotta
Solar Wind II  (2011)

SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Mark Alburger  - Music Director and Conductor
Erling Wold - Associate Music Director
John Kendall Bailey - Associate Conductor
Martha Stoddard - Associate Conductor

Flute
Bruce Salvisberg
Harry Bernstein
Piccolo, Alto Flute

Oboe
Philip Freihofner

Clarinet
Michael Kimbell
Ron Kerst

Bassoon
Michael Garvey
Lori Garvey
Contrabassoon

Horn
Brian Holmes

Trombone
Don Howe

Tuba
Nathan Riebli

Soprano
Maria Mikheyenko

Mezzo-Soprano
Megan Stetson

Harp
Samantha Garvey

Piano
Davide Verotta
Sheli Nan

Percussion
Victor Flaviano
Anne Szabla

Violin
Monika Gruber

Violin II
Hande Erdem

Viola
Nansamba Ssensalo

Cello
Ariella Hyman

Bass
John Beeman

MARK ALBURGER (b. April 2, 1957, Upper Darby, PA) studied with Gerald Levinson and Joan Panetti at Swarthmore College (B.A.), Karl Kohn at Pomona College, Jules Langert at Dominican University (M.A.), Tom Flaherty and Christopher Yavelow at Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D.), and Terry Riley.  He is Founder and Music Director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, Conductor of San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions, and Instructor in Music Literature and Theory at Diablo Valley College.  As Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Monthly Journal (21st-centurymusic.com and 21st-centurymusic.blogspot.com), Alburger has interviewed many composers, including Charles Amirkhanian, Earle Brown, George Crumb, Alan Hovhaness, Steve Mackey, Meredith Monk, and Pauline Oliveros.  He has recently updated and expanded the articles on John Adams and Philip Glass for Grove Online and The Grove Dictionary of American Music, Second Edition.  Alburger has been the recipient of many honors, awards, and commissions -- including yearly ASCAP Awards; grants from Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, MetLife, and Theatre Bay Area; funding from the Marra, Zellerbach, Hewlett, and Getty Foundations; and performances by ensembles and orchestras throughout the United States.  Alburger's concert and dramatic compositions combine atonal, collage, neoclassic, pop, and postminimal sensibilities -- often in overall frameworks troped on pre-existent material.  His complete works  (203 opus numbers to date, including 16 concerti, 20 operas, nine symphonies, 12-hours-and-counting opera-oratorio The Bible, and Boccaccio's The Decameron) are being issued on recordings from New Music.  500+ videos of his work may be found on the DrMarkAlburger YouTube channel, as well as on many other websites.

TRIPLE CONCERTO FOR BASSOON, CONTRABASSOON, AND HARP ("FAMILY"), Op. 201 (2012), was written for and is dedicated to Michael, Lori, and Samantha Garvey -- in thanks for their wonderful work with San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and the Diablo Valley College Philharmonic over many years.  The work is modally mapped over Ludwig van Beethoven's Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano, and takes its angular and contrapuntal sensibilities from Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Steve Reich.

JOHN BEEMAN studied with Peter Fricker and William Bergsma at the University of Washington where he received his Master’s degree.  His first opera, The Great American Dinner Table was produced on National Public Radio.  Orchestral works have been performed by the Fremont-Newark Philharmonic, Santa Rosa Symphony, and the Peninsula Symphony. Mr. Beeman has attended the Ernest Bloch Composers’ Symposium, the Bard Composer-Conductor program, the Oxford Summer Institutes, and the Oregon Bach Festival and has received awards through Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, and ASCAP.  Compositions have been performed by Ensemble Sorelle, the Mission Chamber Orchestra, the Ives Quartet, Fireworks Ensemble, Paul Dresher, the Oregon Repertory Singers and Schola Cantorum of San Francisco.

COLLAGE is a set of poems written by Carla Brooke that has been transformed into a song cycle for soprano, clarinet, violin, and cello.  In 2011 the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra premiered the first two songs, Phoenix and The Other Side.   Brooke notes, "Poems often come to me through visual images that I cut and paste into collage artwork.  The two poems performed tonight embrace elements of air and fire.  GARDEN offers a delicate floating perspective from a butterfly or bird’s eye view.   Finally, a full circle reunion with creation’s fiery origins is expressed in FIRE RIBBON.

GARDEN

I float with silver wings
glistening each time a flower opens.
One and another cradled inside fallen petals
reaching out, no longer alone.
Leaves become rose petals,
cocoons grow wings,
all of us joined in a seamless sky full of freedom.

Moon-sized flowers grow from teardrops
no longer held back.
Fear dissolves with my first step
along this well lit path

Nothing left to do but open
wide as the sun
above my bowed head.

FIRE RIBBON

I trace a steamy map with my fingertips,
so long ago before there were names for life.
Just one fiery ribbon,
we felt or way through.
From clouds to rain, to flowers
that grew from snow melt.

So long ago there was no me,
there was no you between the spaces,
only nature’s endless melody.

Heartache comes when I pretend
I am anything more than this.
Just one fiery ribbon of life
dissolves into the next.
One more teardrop fades
into the endless tide of creation.

JOHN [MILTON] CAGE [JR.] (September 5, 1912 - August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was Cage's partner for most of their lives.

Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is sometimes assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance.  The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance...  San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra presents the first movement of 4'33'' in this the centenary year of the Cage's birth.

MICHAEL A. KIMBELL studied clarinet with Donald Montanaro of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He took composition with John Davison, Alfred Swan, Robert Palmer and Karel Husa and received his DMA in the subject from Cornell University in 1973. Ten of his orchestral works have been performed by San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and the San Francisco Sinfonietta. His Arcadian Symphony won the 1998 Southern Arizona Symphony Competition and was also performed by the San Jose Mission Chamber Orchestra. Poème for violin and harp has been performed in Austria and Germany and at the 2011 World Harp Congress in Vancouver. Other chamber compositions as well as songs and the short opera The Hot Iron have received numerous performances.

CONCERTINO FOR C CLARINET AND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, based on the composer's Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, explores classical forms and means of expression with a modern sensibility. The three movements of the original version have been combined into a continuous whole with additional material. Although equally performable on the standard Bb instrument, the work was written to exploit the youthful and lyrical character of the slightly smaller C clarinet, which is rarely encountered today and has a very limited solo repertory.

SHELI NAN is a Berkeley composer, musician, arts educator, and performer whose life’s work focuses on the creation, performance, distribution, and teaching of music. She has been professionally involved in the musical landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area for more than three decades. The Music Studio is an umbrella for her various musicals enterprises, including composition, performance, recording and teaching, privately and in school programs, as well as written publications. Sheli is the author of two books, many articles on music and has had 20 editions of music published and performed including her symphony, Signatures in Time and Place. Her latest large scale musical work is Saga: Portrait of a 21st Century Child, an opera for our time, with a libretto by the composer. She is a member of ASCAP and the consistent recipient of the Standard Awards Panel. She is also a member of the New York Composers Circle, The Western Early Keyboard Society, Early Music America, The San Francisco Early Music Society, The Society of Composers International, and the American Composers Forum.

In the spirit of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, SAGA: PORTRAIT OF A 21ST-CENTURY CHILD, is social commentary through a musical lens. In this tragedy our heroine becomes the sacrifice that society demands. No-one needs her, wants her, has time for her. As a result, she is energy run wild, with no moral compass, bereft of compassion except for herself. The music is achingly beautiful and allows the listener to digest the harsh truth of the underbelly of the very greedy who pursue their own ends to the detriment of their offspring and society. She sings,... "How did I find myself alone, so full of toys without a home..." and we travel with her on her tortuous journey toward self definition and violence both coming toward her and emanating from her. The OVERTURE is a combination of themes from the opera that at once disarm and place the listener on guard.  For reviews and more information please visit www.shelinan.com and click on Saga.

SAMUEL OSTROFF is a Bay Area composer.  His debut work Before You Read, was performed last year by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.  His ventures into other forms of music include his role as singer songwriter in The Lysdexics, and attending Stanford Jazz Workshop.  Ostroff currently studies classical piano and composition with Lisa Scola Prosek.

ACADEMY was originally written at the piano with the intention of creating a piece that could be related to by many. It is meant to describe the emotion that we as humans feel during our moments of malaise. To a child, it might be reminiscent of the dark: not an evil thing, but strange and unlikable. To a teenager, it might represent the feeling that school often evokes, hence the name.

WILLIAM SEVERSON is a Bay Area composer who has been featured with San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and Irregular Resolutions.

Severson writes, "I've been working on setting Walt Whitman's THE MYSTIC TRUMPETER for several years, having completed five sections of the eight-section 87-line poem.  The text for the second movement is  the third section, as the initial two were combined in the first setting, which was premiered on October 3, 2009, at San Francisco Community Music Center.  While the forces required for the complete work are clarinet, piano, and a solo quartet (SATB), the second movement is an alto solo. I use a clarinet as a mystic trumpet, and this is the world premiere."

Blow trumpeter free and clear, I follow thee,
While at thy liquid prelude, glad, serene,
The fretting world, the streets, the noisy hours of day withdraw,
A holy calm descends like dew upon me,
I walk in cool refreshing night the walks of Paradise,
I scent the grass, the moist air and the roses;
Thy song expands my numb'd imbonded spirit, thou freest, launchest me,
Floating and basking upon heaven's lake.

MARTHA STODDARD earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Humboldt State University and Master of Music from San Francisco State University, where she studied flute, conducting, and composition.   She was recently named Program Director of the John Adams Young Composers Program at the Crowden Music Center and has held the position of Artistic Director of the Oakland Civic Orchestra since 1997.  Stoddard is Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and Director of Instrumental Music at Lick-Wilmerding High School.  Other activities include engagements as Musical Director for Lisa Scola Prosek's Belfagor and Trap Door, John Bilotta's Trifles, Mark Alburger's Job: A Masque, and the Erling Wold / Davide Verotta / Scola Prosek / Stoddard Dieci Giorni, premiered in San Francisco in 2010.  In October 2012,  she will conduct the premiere of Scola Prosek's The Daughter o the Red Tsar, featuring tenor John Duykers.  A  2009 and 2010 recipient of AscapPlus Awards, her music has been performed in San Francisco through the American Composer’s Forum, by the Sierra Ensemble, Avenue Winds and in the UK by flutists Carla Rees and Lisa Bost.  She has had performances by the San Francisco Choral Artists, Schwungvoll!, the Community Women’s Orchestra, Oakland Civic Orchestra, Womensing, Bakersfield Symphony  New Directions Series, in the Trinity Chamber Concert Series and the New Music Forum Festival of Contemporary Music.  Recent commissions include Points of Reference, Outbursts: an Homage to Brahms, Orchestral Suite for the Young of all Ages, and the Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano.

POINTS OF REFERENCE was commissioned by violist Ayako English for members of the Oakland Civic Orchestra and premiered on June 3, 2012.  The work focuses on the development and variation of motific material in a series of melodic episodes derived from a simple chorale. At the heart of the work is the conversational interplay between instruments and the spinning out of thematic material.  Scant musical references may suggest strains of Debussy and Copland, the irony of Shostakovich, the wit of Stravinsky  and jazz harmony. The composer would like to thank Allan Crossman for his remarkable insights on multiple drafts of the work.

IGOR [FYODORVICH] STRAVINSKY (June 17 [O.S. June 5] 1882 - April 6, 1971) was a Russian, and later French and American composer, pianist, and conductor. He is acknowledged by many as one of [and by some as] the most important and influential composer[s] of the 20th Century.

Stravinsky relates, "I gave the downbeat to begin a rehearsal of Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony in Aspen one day in the summer of 1950, when instead of the doleful opening chord, out came this ridiculously gay little tune. I was very surprised, of course, and quite failed to 'get it,' as Americans say -- the 'it' being that one of the orchestra players had just become a father. I confess that the shock of the substituted music and the change of emotions piqued me, and that for some time I considered myself the victim of a practical joke." Pursuing the jest, however, the composer worked out a series of canons on Mildred J. Hill's Happy Birthday to You in 1951, then laid the tune aside as he began experimenting with serialism in the Cantata (1952), Septet (1953), and Three Songs from Shakespeare (1953). By the time he returned to the melody in 1955, the first of his truly serial (In Memoriam Dylan Thomas, 1954) and 12-tone works (a movement from Canticum Sacrum) had appeared.  With this background, GREETING PRELUDE bursts forth, as an ingenious little energetic trope for the 80th birthday of Pierre Monteux, who conducted The Rite of Spring premiere in 1913.  The theme is subjected to offbeat accentuation, octave displacements, contrary articulations (simultaneous staccatos and legatos, a Stravinskian decades-old technique), free counterpoint, augmentation, diminution, inversion, and retrograde.  And through 1991 (assuming death in 1916 + 75), the estate of Mildred Hill received a royalty cut for each performance...  San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra performs this work on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, and Stravinsky's 130th.  If the reader has perused these notes during the performance, the brevity of the piece (c. 52'') is such that it is now over.

DAVIDE VEROTTA was born in a boring Italian town close to Milano and moved to the very much more exciting San Francisco in his late 20's. He studied piano at Milano Conservatory and piano and composition at the San Francisco Conservatory and State University, and at the University of California at Davis. He holds a MA in composition, is an active solo and ensemble piano player, actively involved in the new-music composition scene in the Bay Area.  Recent performances of his compositions have included works for orchestra, chamber opera, string quartet, and piano solo. For more information please visit www.davideverotta.com.

SOLAR WIND II is an orchestral version of Solar Wind I (a quintet) and Solar Wind (a trio originally written as a dance piece). The composition takes inspiration from a YouTube video of the Sichuan Dance Academy and the movie Sunshine. The YouTube video provides the theme of the piece, and Sunshine the idea of the solar wind, an overwhelming force of nature that wipes you away. These elements are put together in a dream like narrative, where we wake up into an alternate reality and proceed to an encounter with the Sun. This is necessarily more imagined than real, and we re-enter ordinary reality at the end of the piece by falling back asleep. Compositionally the piece is inspired by Igor Stravinsky, with an oblique reference to The Rite of Spring, and the consistent use of a compositional technique (rotational sequencing of a series of pitches, in this case the pitches making up the theme of the piece) that can be found in his late works. Different from Solar Wind and Solar Wind I, orchestral harmonies are derived using a number of spectral techniques. In addition Solar Wind II has grown in length due to the presence of the full orchestra.

DONATIONS:

Archangel
(Contributing $1000 +)
Mark Alburger
Alexis Alrich
Lisa Scola Prosek
Sue Rosen
Erling Wold

Angel
(Contributing $500-$999)
Adobe, inc
John Beeman
Michael & Lisa Cooke
Anne Dorman
David & Joyce Graves
Ken Howe
Anne Baldwin
Hanna Hymans-Ostroff
Anne Szabla
Davide Verotta

Benefactor
(Contributing $100-$499)
Christopher & Sue Bancroft Kenneth & Ruth Baumann
Susan M. Barnes
Marina Berlin & Anthony Parisi
Bruce & Betsy Carlson
Patrick & Linda Condry
Rachel Condry
Connie & George Cooke
Steven Cooke
Patti Deuter
Thomas Goss
James Henriques
Marilyn Hudson
John Hiss & Nancy Katz
Susan Kates
Ronald Mcfarland
Ken & Jan Milnes
James Schrempp
Martha Stoddard
James Whitmore
Vivaty, Inc

Donor
(Contributing $50-$99)
Paul & Barbara Boniker
Mark Easterday
Sabrina Huang
Donna & Joseph Lanam
Harriet March Page
Larry Ochs
CF Peters
Barbara & Mark Stefik
Roberta Robertson

Patron
(Contributing up to $49)
Susie Bailey
Schuyler Bailey
Harry Bernstein
Joanne Carey
Hannes & Linda Lamprecht
Elinor Lamson
Anthony Mobilia
Deborah Slater

To make a tax-deductible donation, please send a check made out to:

Erling Wold's Fabrications
629 Wisconsin Street
San Francisco CA 94107

Please include a note saying you want the money to go to the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.

Special thanks to Lick-Wilmerding High School, for providing rehearsal space.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15, 2011 - The Dark Serenade


SAN FRANCISCO
COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mark Alburger, Music Director

Dark Serenade

8pm, Saturday, October 15, 2011, Old First Church, San Francisco, CA
8pm, Sunday, October 16, 2011, Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, CA
Mark Alburger, John Kendall Bailey, and Martha Stoddard, conducting

Program

Phil Freihofner - Carmilla
   Lisa Scola Prosek, Soprano

Lisa Scola Prosek - The Goldfish Pond
   John Duykers, Tenor

Davide Verotta - Facing Chaos

David Graves - Amaranthine Silence

Mark Alburger - Regime Change (Solomon Suite)
   Lisa Scola Prosek, Soprano
   Olivia Flanigan, Contralto

Loren Jones - Graveyard 

**

SAN FRANCISCO
COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mark Alburger, Music Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2010

CONTACT:
SFCCO (707) 474-7273
mus21stc@gmail.com

SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PRESENTS

"THE DARK SERENADE"

8:00PM, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15,
OLD FIRST CHURCH,
1725 SACRAMENTO STREET (AT VAN NESS), SAN FRANCISCO, CA

AND

8:00PM, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16,
CHAPEL OF THE CHIMES
4499 PIEDMONT AVENUE, OAKLAND, CA

SAN FRANCISCO, OAKLAND, AND WORLD PREMIERES OF WORKS BY
PHILIP FREIHOFNER, DAVID GRAVES, LOREN JONES, LISA SCOLA PROSEK, DAVIDE VEROTTA, AND MARK ALBURGER

SAN FRANCISCO, May 15, 2011 -- The days are growing shorter, the economy is not improving, and it's time for The Dark Serenade. Join the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, on either side of the Bay -- at 8pm, October 15 (Old First Church, San Francisco) or 16 (Chapel of the Chimes) -- in a haunted landscape of works by Philip Freihofner, David Graves, Loren Jones, Lisa Scola Prosek, Davide Verotta, and Mark Alburger.

Freihofner sets the mood in Carmilla, a beautiful post-minimalist setting of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu's short story of vampires and women, featuring Lisa Scola Prosek. This talented soprano-composer will then showcase her own luminous Night at the Kremlin excerpt entitled The Goldfish Pond, where world-renowned tenor John Duykers will hold forth as Winston Churchill on Stalinesque situations.

Keeping to matters historically ominous, Verotta's Facing Chaos illuminates a passage from Seneca the Younger's Thyestes ("Trembling are our hearts, lest all things fall shattered in fatal ruin . . .") in a juxtaposition of aggressive Indian talas with plangent basal melodies. Such contrasts are perhaps even more extreme in the grave Graves Amaranthine Silence, where animated contrapuntal complexities are counterpoised with various pre-recorded "silences" from gardens, restaurants, and parking garages.

Alburger's Regime Change takes the terror of Ancient and Contemporary civilizations through a kaleidoscope of found musics, sung by Scola Prosek and contralto Olivia Flanigan, as a prelude to Jones's signature over-the-top outpourings in Graveyard, where the orchestra will be augmented by bouzouki and tombstones. In the spirit of Erling Wold's In the Stomachs of Fleas, resoundingly presented a few concerts back, be prepared for Haloweenic smoke-and-mirrors. Fog. Strobe lights. Maybe even a small explosion....

Be afraid. Be amazed. And prepare for The Dark Serenade.


TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra's The Dark Serenade -- on Saturday, October 15, 8:00 p.m., at Old First Church (1725 Sacramento Street @ Van Ness), San Francisco; and on Sunday, October 16, 8;00 p.m., at Chapel of the Chimes (4499 Piedmont Avenue), Oakland -- are $17 general, $14 students and seniors. Tickets for 10/15 are available through the OFC Box Office at (415) 474-1608 and for both concerts at the door. For more information, please call Old First Church Box Office, the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra (707- 474-7273), or visit the organizations' respective websites at www.oldfirstconcerts.org and www.sfcco.org. Tickets are also available at www.ticketweb.com. Other links to the show may be found at myspace.com/sfcco, sfcco.blogspot.com, and markalburgerevents.blogspot.com.

###


CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:

OLD FIRST CONCERTS AND CHAPEL OF THE CHIMES PRESENT

Saturday, October 15, at 8:00 p.m.
Old First Church
1725 Sacramento Street at Van Ness
San Francisco, CA
(415) 474-1608

Sunday, October 16, at 8:00 p.m.
Chapel of the Chimes
4499 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA

THE DARK SERENADE
San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra,

Program:

Mark Alburger - Regime Change
Philip Freihofner - Carmilla
David Graves - The Amaranthine Silence
Loren Jones - Graveyard
Lisa Scola Prosek - The Goldfish Pond from Night at the Kremlin
Davide Verotta - Facing Chaos

Tickets: $17 general, $14 students and seniors, available for October 15 through the Old First Church Box Office at (415) 474-1608, for both concerts at the door, and at www.ticketweb.com.

More information at sfcco.org, sfcco.blogspot.com, and markalburgerevents.blogspot.com