Saturday, May 4, 2013
COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mark Alburger, Music Director
8pm, Saturday, May 4, 2013
Lick-Wilmerding High School Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
Mark Alburger, John Kendall Bailey, and Martha Stoddard, conducting
Sonata for Flute, Oboe, and Piano (2003)
I. Playful, Vigorous
Plan B for
String Quintet (2013)
Dances for Orchestra (2013)
V. Halay Halaylar
Michael A. Kimbell
Time Does Not Move (2006) (Keller)
Incomplete Thoughts: A Passacaglia (2013)
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
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.
(Contributing $1000 +)
Lisa Scola Prosek
Michael & Lisa Cooke
David & Joyce Graves
Christopher & Sue Bancroft Kenneth & Ruth Baumann
Susan M. Barnes
Marina Berlin & Anthony Parisi
Bruce & Betsy Carlson
Patrick & Linda Condry
Connie & George Cooke
John Hiss & Nancy Katz
Ken & Jan Milnes
Paul & Barbara Boniker
Donna & Joseph Lanam
Harriet March Page
Barbara & Mark Stefik
(Contributing up to $49)
Hannes & Linda Lamprecht
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.