Lyric Arts Trio performs When Great Trees Fall at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, KS, September 23, 2018

(from Kansas Public Radio) The Lyric Arts Trio from Lenexa, Kansas, will perform at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery on Sunday, September 23, 2018, at 2 p.m., with a special pre-concert talk by Elena Talley at 1 p.m. The trio is composed of coloratura soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson, clarinetist Elena Lence Talley, and pianist Dan Velicer. They will be performing all American music with selections commissioned by the Lyric Arts Trio. This 2017-18 chamber music series concert is sponsored in part by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. In How Music Comes to Be, Lyric Arts Trio founder and clarinetist Elena Lence Talley will do a pre-concert talk on the behind-the-scenes view of the commissioning process in classical music. The Lyric Arts Trio has commissioned over 20 new works by composers from Kansas and beyond, and Talley will share how the music begins as an idea and comes to fruition as a world premiere. The performance beginning at 2 p.m. includes Robert Pherigo’s Serenity, which sets the poem of Fort Scott poet/photographer Gordon Parks and Charles Griffin’s When Great Trees Fall, which sets Maya Angelou’s famous poem of the same name. Additionally, three Robert Frost poems provide the inspiration for a selection by Stella Sung and compositions by Aaron Copland and Stephen Foster will be featured. Submitted by: Ron Michael Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery

Tambuco performs The Persistence of Past Chemistries in Guadalajara, Mexico, September 21, 2018

(by Édgar Velasco)

En una de sus cartas, el filósofo Friedrich Nietzsche escribió a su confesor, Peter Gast, que “la vida sin música es sencillamente un error, una fatiga, un exilio”. Y eso mismo podría decirse de una fiesta. ¿Puede alguien imaginarse una fiesta sin música?

Por eso, para cerrar con broche de oro los festejos por sus 60 años de historia , el ITESO, Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara, ha preparado un festejo musical que tendrá como escenario el Auditorio Pedro Arrupe, SJ, y como protagonistas al cantante Juan Pablo Villa ya los grupos Muna Zul y Tambuco .

Ricardo Gallardo, director del ensamble de percusiones Tambuco, explica que su relación con el ITESO se remonta años atrás, ya que han ofrecido conciertos en la universidad en diferentes momentos.

Esto, dice Gallardo, “nos ha permitido mostrar a la comunidad universitaria diversos lenguajes de la música para percusiones. Nos alegra saber que el ITESO tiene un área de difusión cultural y artística muy importante y dinámica, lo que nos ha permitido desarrollar una relación artística muy saludable”.

El director del ensamble señala que la celebración va por partida doble, ya que el ITESO celebra 60 años de vida y Tambuco 25. Por esta razón, detalla, el ensamble “ha decidido hacer conciertos con repertorio importante que nos ha acompañado durante estos años, además de las obras de reciente estreno”.

Entre las piezas que se podrán escuchar durante la participación de Tambuco se encuentran “The Persistence of Past Chemistries” (1998), “El devenir de la noche” (2012), “Stone Song, Stone Dance” (2000) y “Third Construction” (1941), entre otras.

El gusto por participar en los festejos de la universidad es compartido por Juan Pablo Villa, artista vocal, compositor e intérprete mexicano que centra su obra en la improvisación vocal, la música tradicional mexicana, la canción de autor y la música de cámara.

En su caso, refiere que es “una alegría” poder sumarse a la celebración del ITESO porque “ha sido una institución que en repetidas veces ha apoyado mis proyectos”.

Al explicar la participación que tendrá en el concierto de cierre, comenta que presentará lo que describe como “parte de mi universo sonoro a través de la voz, donde confluyen improvisaciones con técnicas extendidas y un repertorio de música tradicional cardenche, pirecuas y piezas de mi autoría”.

El repertorio de Villa para esa noche incluirá piezas como “Ya se van las golondrinas”, “Mi niña lítica”, “Malva Rosura” y “Yembaguá”.

Además de estas piezas, Juan Pablo Villa también presentará unas más junto con otro ensamble que ya es conocido por la comunidad universitaria del ITESO: Muna Zul, que se describe como “tres sorprendentes mujeres que con sus voces abren las puertas de la música y, con ella, los corazones de quienes las escuchan”.

Dora Juárez Kiczkovsky explica que a ellas les encanta “celebrar cantando. Cantar y bailar es la mejor celebración siempre, para cualquier ocasión, así que estamos muy honradas de que nos inviten a su gran fiesta”.

Para esta celebración, Muna Zul presentará un repertorio de música mexicana, por lo que prepararon piezas como “Llorona”, “Serenata huasteca” y “Deja que salga la luna”, entre otras.

Además, junto con Juan Pablo Villa presentarán “Los horizontes” y “Al pie de un árbol”. Sobre esta colaboración, Juárez Kiczkovsky explica que el trabajo se dio de manera muy natural, ya que han colaborado juntos en diversas ocasiones. En la misma línea se expresa el cantante, quien señala que “el trabajo ha sido arduo y generoso, sobre todo de mucho aprendizaje”.

El concierto de clausura de los festejos por los 60 años del ITESO, a cargo de Tambuco, Muna Zul y Juan Pablo Villa, tendrá lugar el próximo 21 de septiembre, a las 19:30 horas, en el Auditorio Pedro Arrupe, SJ. La entrada es libre.

Fernwood String Quartet plays set fire to have light June 3, 2018 at Timucua in Orlando

(From https://timucua.com/) The Fernwood String Quartet has been formed by players of Timucua’s own orchestra in residence, the Alterity Chamber Orchestra. The quartet focuses both on contemporary composers and on the repertoire from Joseph Haydn to the 20th century. All players – Caitlin Pequignot, Andreas Volmer, Daniel Cortes, and Hanrich Claassen – also regularly play with other orchestras across Central Florida including the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra.

The quartet will open with one of Haydn’s most popular string quartets, “The Lark,” followed by Maurice Ravel’s string quartet in F Major. Finally, the quartet will perform Charles Griffin’s quartet “Set Fire to Have Light,” an exuberant work that is influenced by Arabic melodies and rhythms. Griffin lives in Orlando, and orchestral works of his have been performed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

$10-$20 suggested donation. Please bring food or wine to share.

Special exhibition of works by Don Moon

Faith Partners

After 26 years, in early June, the American Composers Forum will be shutting down its novel composer-in-residency program called Faith Partners.I was a participant in that program, having shared a residency with composer Gerald Cohen in three powerhouse institutions of worship in New York City: St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Bartholomew’s, and Temple Emanu-El.

I will elaborate more on this post shortly.

El Paso de la Siguiriya to be performed by Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus April 15

The Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus, directed by Debra Golata will perform my El Paso de la Siguiriya, a flamenco-inflected setting for women’s voices of the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. Flamenco dancer Holly Shaw will be featured in this performance. The concert will take place Sunday, April 15 at 4pm at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California.

BACKGROUND OF THE WOMEN’S CHORUS: In response to the overwhelming interest in Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, which has a full membership, a new women’s chorus was developed, directed by Debra Golata. We hold to the high standards of BCCO–singing in 2 to 4 part harmony, in a variety of languages with development of vocal and musical skills.

DIRECTOR DEBRA GOLATA received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in choral conducting from San Jose State University. She has studied modern and flamenco dance, acting, and classical voice in San Francisco, New York City and Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Her vocal performance experience includes solo recitals, opera, musicals, and professional choral singing. She sang with the acclaimed Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Chorale for 15 years, and she has concertized throughout the United States and Mexico with classical guitarist Jon Harris. For Oakland’s Rockridge Chorale she performed as vocal soloist in India and England and has served as accompanist, assistant conductor and vocal coach for the San Francisco Lyric Chorus. She is organist and music director at Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley and teaches private voice and piano lessons, as well as general music classes for schools in the Bay Area.

Frontispiece on J.S. Bach’s Prelude in G major commissioned by Eric Jacobsen and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Premiere on April 7

On Saturday, April 7, 8pm, at the Bob Carr Theater (401 W Livingston Street, Orlando), the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will premiere my Frontispiece on J.S. Bach’s Prelude in G major, a 4+-minute work that features as part of it J.S. Bach’s solo cello Prelude in G major. Music director Eric Jacobsen will play the featured cello part himself. The piece presents the prelude in its entirety at the center of it and is fully orchestrated, with countermelodies, and an introduction and closing based on the main Bach motive. The orchestra is the exact same instrumentation as Brahms’s Symphony #1: double winds, four horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings, with the added solo cello. The Bach Prelude exhibits that special magic that he’s so famous for amongst composers, particularly the outlining of chord structures and polyphonic lines within the solo cello part. He also, once G major is established, takes a kaleidoscopic detour away from the home key before returning to the spectacularly sunny opening motive. I tried to capture the various tonal worlds and motives that Bach crafts in the original and amplify them with my orchestration.

Click here for tickets.

Also on the program:
Brahms – Symphony No. 1 in C minor
Rimsky-Korsakov – Excerpts from Capriccio Espagnol
De Falla – Master Peter’s Puppet Show

Eric Jacobsen, conductor; Awet Andemicael, soprano; Alexander Elliot, baritone, William Ferguson, tenor; Kevork Mourad, visual artist

Guest lectures at the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Between January 19 and February 19, I will give five different thirty minute invited lectures as part of the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts. The lectures were great fun to prepare and to give to an enthusiastic audience of park-goers at the Odyssey Festival Showcase. The lectures are:
The Evolution of Flow in Hip Hop. Here, I trace the growth in lyrical and rhythmic complexity in Hip Hop from the late 1970s onward, with a special emphasis on the musical, Hamilton.
Maverick Composers. American music history from its very beginnings before the Revolution to the present has its strain of independent thinkers that changed how we all see things. Composers included here are William Billings, Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, John Cage and George Crumb.
A brief history of Jazz. I trace the several musical threads that lead to the birth of Jazz, with a close look at New Orleans itself, because understanding its specific culture helps us better appreciate jazz. We end with a quick tour of the trail blazed by the giants of this uniquely American genre.
The music of John Williams. We put John Williams’s music in context both in film music history and classical music history, with a special emphasis on how Williams so successfully navigates the special demands placed on composers for film.
Women Composers. From a small handful of historically recognized women composers prior to World War II, women have fought and powerfully earned a central place on the world stage of the concert music tradition. We’ll survey this history, with special emphasis on the amazing and varied voices that women composers represent today. Composers featured in this lecture include Hildegard von Bingen, Joan Tower, Jennifer Higdon, Wendy Mae Chambers, Julia Wolfe, and Sarah Kirkland Snider.

City Night performed by the Piano Duo Gastesi-Bezerra at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach on November 19

The Piano Duo Gastesi-Bezerra will be performing a selection from my suite of pieces for piano four-hands From the Faraway Nearby, inspired by paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach on Sunday, November 19 at 3:00 p.m. This and other works will be performed as part of Climate Keys, a worldwide series of concerts in which pianists play music and scientists lead discussions about climate change.