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PIANO SPHERES AT REDCAT PRESENTS SATELLITE SERIES ARTIST NADIA SHPACHENKO TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27 WITH “IN FULL SAIL”
Program of Works for Piano, Toy Piano, Percussion, Electronics, and
Multimedia Featuring Three World Premieres
The Piano Spheres Series at REDCAT opens with Satellite Artist pianist Nadia Shpachenko. Described by critics as “spellbinding in sensitivity and mastery of technique,” she enjoys bringing into the world powerful pieces that often possess unusual sonic qualities or instrumentation. The program IN FULL SAIL will feature piano, toy piano, percussion, electronics, and multimedia in works composed for Nadia by seven American composers in 2013 and 2015. The composers in the program are Tom Flaherty, Annie Gosfield, James Matheson, Harold Meltzer, Adam Schoenberg, Lewis Spratlan, and Peter Yates. The Satellite Series is co-presented with REDCAT, with recitals held at Walt Disney Concert Hall’s REDCAT THEATRE, 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Tickets are available at REDCAT or the box office, or for information go to www.pianospheres.org.
The title of the concert IN FULL SAIL is taken from Frank Gehry’s description of the IAC Building in Manhattan as “a tall ship in full sail” with a similar reference from the Los Angeles Times to the Walt Disney Concert Hall as “a galleon in full sail.” Harold Meltzer’s new piano piece, In Full Sail, was written about the first building, but will have its World Premiere at REDCAT – part of the second. This concert presents the world premieres of three architecture-inspired works commissioned by Piano Spheres. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan’sBangladesh conveys the transformative hope of Louis Kahn’s Government Center in Dhaka. The American Academy in Berlin fellow Annie Gosfield’sThe Dybbuk on Second Avenue reflects the changing mix of influences in one theater in the Lower East Side’s “Jewish Rialto” over the years: from Yiddish theater to burlesque, from Chekhov to William Burroughs. Pulitzer Prize finalist Harold Meltzer’sIn Full Sail responds to Frank Gehry’s IAC Building in Manhattan, reflecting the structure and the movement of people around and through it.
This concert also features works from Nadia’s recently released album Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013. Tom Flaherty’s composition Airdancing for piano, toy piano, and electronics “is based on stunning videos of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space, the second stage of a rocket falling from edge of space into the ocean, and people jumping off cliffs in wing suits. Many of the musical gestures fall or float, and pitches, rhythms and sounds often turn to frenzied dance,” according to the composer. Peter Yates’ piece Finger Songs uses various means to bring to the keyboard the syllabic accents, timbres and articulations of speech or vocal music. Off-beat dissonances resolve to on-beat pure tones, with syncopations flickering around beats present or implied. Adam Schoenberg’s composition Picture Etudes started as a commission to write a 21st century Pictures at an Exhibition. The composer says of the pieces “Unlike Modest Mussorgsky, who set all of his movements to the work of Viktor Hartmann, my piece brings eight seemingly disparate works of art to musical life. In honor of Mussorgsky and his original work for solo piano, four of the ten movements were conceived in the form of piano etudes and later orchestrated.” James Matheson’sCretic Variations is a virtuosic fantasy on the simple rhythmic motif of long-short-long “which is enormously versatile in music and can be alternately thunderous and playful, melancholy and spirited. There is scarcely a measure in which this rhythm or some closely-related version of it is not sounding somewhere on the instrument.”
In 2016 Nadia will premiere three more new works written for the architecture-inspired program by Amy Beth Kirsten, Hannah Lash, and James Matheson at the New Music Gathering and at Boston Court.
Nadia Shpachenko – “In Full Sail”
October 27, 2015, 8:30pm
Tom Flaherty – Airdancing for piano, toy piano, and electronics (2013)
with Genevieve Feiwen Lee
Peter Yates – Finger Songs (2013)
Adam Schoenberg – Picture Etudes (2013)
James Matheson – Cretic Variations (2013)
Harold Meltzer – In Full Sail – World Premiere, Piano Spheres commission
Annie Gosfield – The Dybbuk on Second Avenue – World Premiere, Piano Spheres commission
Lewis Spratlan – Bangladesh – World Premiere, Piano Spheres commission
Steinway Artist Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman has performed extensively in solo recitals and with orchestras in major venues across North America, Europe and Asia. Nadia enjoys bringing into the world things that are outside the box – powerful pieces that often possess unusual sonic qualities or instrumentation. She performs on piano, toy piano, harpsichord, and percussion in concerts that often feature recitation, electronics and multimedia.
An enthusiastic promoter of contemporary music, she has performed world and national premieres of numerous piano, string piano, and toy piano works by Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Tom Flaherty, Yuri Ishchenko, Leon Kirchner, James Matheson, Adam Schoenberg, Diego Vega, Iannis Xenakis, Peter Yates, and others.
Nadia’s concerts included solo recitals at Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Bargemusic, the Phillips Collection, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, chamber performances at the Hear Now, Sarasota, and Montecito Music Festivals, and concerto appearances with the Kharkov Philharmonic and the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestras. As a chamber musician, Nadia frequently collaborates with prominent artists, including Emanuel Borok, Martin Chalifour, Justin DeHart, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Maja Jasper, Genevieve Lee, Timothy Loo, Jerome Lowenthal, Marek Szpakiewicz, Nick Terry, and the Lyris Quartet.
Described as “an exceptional recording of newly composed piano works,” Nadia’s World Premieres CD Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013 was released worldwide on the Reference Recordings label in November 2014. Her upcoming recording project The Poetry of Places will bring together music and architecture in works written for her by Annie Gosfield, Amy Beth Kirsten, Hannah Lash, James Matheson, Harold Meltzer, and Lewis Spratlan. Nadia currently serves on the faculties of Cal Poly Pomona and Claremont Graduate Universities. Born in Ukraine, and now a long time Southern Californian, Nadia Shpachenko resides in the Los Angeles area with her husband and twin sons.
On Monday, October, 26, 3:00-4:30pm there will be a free workshop at Boston Court with Nadia and composers Lewis Spratlan and Harold Meltzer, facilitated by Piano Spheres artist Vicki Ray. The workshop allows the audience an opportunity to interact with all the principals. The mentee, mentor, and composers will address the audience to describe the process of creating.
The Satellite Series is a central component of Piano Spheres’ 20th Anniversary Celebration and offers a direct tie to the spirit of the organization’s founding. When the late Leonard Stein launched Piano Spheres in 1993, he did so with four young pianists whom he had mentored at USC. In the two decades since, these four Piano Spheres artists – Gloria Cheng, Vicki Ray, Mark Robson and Susan Svrcek – have become recognized as among the foremost interpreters of contemporary works for piano. Much as Stein mentored them, they now mentor the next generation of pianists in introducing these emerging artists to a broader audience.
Piano Spheres supports and encourages the composition and performance of major new works for the piano. It expands the piano repertoire by commissioning new music and sustaining a concert series of the highest artistic quality which focuses primarily on pieces by contemporary composers. In its concerts, Piano Spheres provides a context for these new works by including lesser-known music by established composers whose compositions influenced the course of piano music.
On Tuesday July 29th, 2014, composer Carlos Jose Castro will be in New York for his World premiere performances of his newest works — Nocturno, for alto flute solo, Tres Bagatelas for clarinet and piano, and Concerto Serenata de la Luna for viola (version with piano). The performance will be part of a concert program titled CONCIERTico held at the Somethin’ Jazz Club on East 52nd Street in New York City and organized by the CRNGNYC.
CONCIERTico is curated by Edmundo Ramirez, a Costa Rican-American violist based in New York City. Ramirez is no newcomer to promoting Latin American music. He is the former Artistic Administrator of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas in Washington DC, as well as the founder and artistic director of Ensamble America in New York City. He continues to promote Costa Rican Classical Music including works by composers Alejandro Cardona, Vinicio Meza and Allen Torres Castillo. Most recently he premiered Castro’s work for solo viola Kerwa and revived and performed Benjamin Gutierrez’s Concerto for viola and Orchestra with the National Orchestra of Costa Rica and other orchestras in Europe. (watch Edmundo Ramirez performing the Russian Premiere of Benjamin Gutierrez’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra ). Ramirez will also be performing the World premiere performance of the version with piano of Castro’s Concerto Serenata de la Luna.
Celebrating Costa Rican music, CONCIERTico features works by renowned Costa Rican composers Carlos Jose Castro and Benjamin Gutierrez.
Castro won the Latin Grammy award in 2008 for Best Classical Contemporary Composition with his Concierto del Sol para guitarra y orquesta and is three times winner (1992, 2002, 2004) of the Premio Nacional de Música de Costa Rica, Aquileo J. Echeverría, which is the highest award given by the Ministry of Culture. Castro’s music has been performed in the US and many countries including Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, England, Spain, Poland, Germany and Portugal. His compositions range from solo guitar, chamber instrumental works, orchestral works and opera. He has also composed and produced numerous scores for dance, theatre, video, film and radio, including collaborations with Radio Nederland for a series of radio dramas and documentaries. As well as teaching at the Instituto Nacional de la Música and the Universidad de Costa Rica, he has featured in Festivals worldwide as a composer and performer including at the Seminario de Composición Musical de Costa Rica, the Festival Latinoamericano de Caracas in Venezuela, the Festival de Compositores del Caribe in Habana, Cuba, the Iberoamericana Guitar Festival in Washington D.C., and the International Guitar Festivals de Costa Rica and Morelia. Castro is also a Board member of the Asociación de compositores y autores musicales de Costa Rica.
Carlos Jose Castro’s works featured in the concert on July 29th include Ascenso, Arrullo, Como brisa de montaña, Recuerdas and Parrandera; his new work for clarinet and piano, Tres Bagatelas (being premiered during the concert); the 2nd movement of his viola Concerto Serenata de la Luna (receiving its premiere of its version with piano); and his newest work for alto flute Nocturno receiving its World premiere performance by flutist Laura Falzon
Castro’s Nocturno was written for flutist Laura Falzon. When asked whether he writes new works with particular musicians in mind as interpreters, Castro explained that, “a composer has to be aware for whom he writes and in what context. That’s essential.”
Described in the London-based Music & Musicians magazine as “an excellent instrumentalist”, Laura Falzon has performed widely across the US and across the globe in countries including England, Scotland, Malta, France, Italy, Greece, Finland, the Jersey Islands and even India. An ardent advocate and passionate performer of contemporary music, Falzon has collaborated with composers from around the world on new works for flute in a variety of combinations, ranging from the conventional flute solo, flute & piano, and flute & orchestra, to works with electroacoustics as well as non-western instruments like the zheng, sitar, tabla, yoruba drums and tanpura. She has commissioned and premiered many flute works including Padma Phool by the Anglo-Indian composer John Mayer (mostly known as the founder of Indo-Jazz Fusion and, in the flute world, for his flute Concerto for Sir James Galway), and works by composers including compositions by Mohammed Fairouz, Bushra El-Turk, Theodore Wiprud, Alice Shields, Jan Gilbert, Shirish Korde, Nickos Harizanos, Dai Fujikura, John Mayer, Geoff Poole, Charles Camilleri. see
To better understand the intentions behind Carlos Jose Castro’s new work, Laura Falzon interviewed the composer and published the conversation on her site (read Interview with Composer – Laura Falzon talks to Carlos Jose Castro). Castro explains that his music “is a voyage of self-discovery,” and that “every piece has to be a window for something beyond music.” For Castro, melody is a very important part of his music and, as he explained to Falzon, he believes that “musical themes are meant to be remembered and treasured” adding that nonetheless “rhythm has to be vital.” The composer tells Falzon that he finds inspiration and ideas from his varied interests and personal experience with nature, literature, arts, drama and other musics. When asked whether there are any particular influences on his music, Castro explained that he “take[s] from everywhere, from Latin popular music, rock, folklore from all over the World, minimalism, expressionism, African tribal music, romanticism, classicism, protest songs, all kinds of jazz, Bach, et al.,” He adds that he does not “believe in barriers, musically speaking, and tries in [his] musical language to integrate as many dialects as possible.” This allows him “to express better the human experience.”
In Castro’s words, “Polyphony is ever present, even in a single line [in his works]. Modality, tonality, atonality, classicism, romanticism, modernism, minimalism, impressionism, all coexist in my music.”
Castro’s other work for woodwind being performed during the evening, Tres Bagatelas, will also receive its World premiere performance by clarinetist Ana Catalina Ramirez, together with pianist Graciela Arguedas who will also perform solo piano works by Benjamin Gutierrez including his Añoranza and Preludio para la Danza de la Pena Negra.
Composer Benjamin Gutierrez, one of the co-founders of the composition school in Costa Rica and winner of many National and International prestigious music awards, studied with Darius Milhaud and Alberto Ginastera. Many of his works reflect literary and historical influences. Divergent tonalities move his music into post-romanticism. Just like Carlos Castro an important characteristic of Gutierrez’s work are the lyrical melodic lines in his music.
Clarinetist Adrian Sandi will perform composer Andres Soto’s Variaciones Patrioticas for bass clarinet and piano and Soto himself, who will be present at the concert, will perform his work Melus Purus for piano solo.
Other performers on the program include Felipe Fournier percussion & composer; Max Esquivel bassist, composer; Andres A. Marín composer, drummer; and, Dani Blau singer/songwriter.
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On Sunday, March 9 at 3 pm, Mexican born pianist Juan Pablo Horcasitas will host a CD Release Party for his first solo album “Among Songs and Dances” in the Benay Benuta Hall at Lighthouse Guild, 111 East 59th Street, New York (Directions and Map). “Among Songs and Dances” includes music from Bach to Zyman creating a beautiful journey through original and arranged songs and dances for the piano. Works include those by Samuel Zyman, Manuel M. Ponce, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Astor Piazzolla, Franz Schubert, Johann S. Bach, José Pablo Moncayo and Ricardo Castro.
The event features a performance byMr. Horcasitas followed by a conversation with producer Juan Pablo Mantilla, composer Samuel Zyman of The Juilliard School, and Caterina Toscano of the Mexican Cultural Institute. Wine and hors d’oeuvres as well as a CD signing conclude the party.
This CD project is Mr. Horcasitas’s first studio recording. Having performed in many places around the world for the last 15 years, Mr. Horcasitas felt inspired to create a professional CD with some of his favorite pieces in his repertoire.
The eight pieces Mr. Horcasitas selected for recording all relate in some way to “song” or “dance”- hence, the title of the CD. From Busoni’s transcription of Bach’s Chacone in D minor for solo violin to Heitor Villa-lobos “Festa no sertao” from his Ciclo Brasileiro, featuring the batuca rhythm, this album will portray the way composers from different countries have interpreted these two styles.
In addition to producer Juan Pablo Mantilla, Mr. Horcasitas also collaborated with noted audio engineer Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio. The recording itself was made possible by the support of 83 backers of a Kickstarter campaign.
A portion of the CD sales will benefit Lighthouse International, a beacon of hope for the visually challenged, and where Mr. Horcasitas is a faculty member at the Lighthouse’s Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School (the only community music school in the country for those visually impaired). Mr. Horcasitas recently served as the pianist for the School’s acclaimed production of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde (see the New York Times review). A resident of New York, Mr. Horcasitas received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Nina Svetlanova. He has an active career as a soloist as well as a collaborative pianist.
The March 9th CD Release event is made possible with the support of Lighthouse Guild and the Mexican Consulate General in New York.
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Patricia Caicedo, one of the leading interpreters of the Latin American Art Song repertoire, will present her only New York recital of the season on May 2.
The free-admission concert sponsored by North/South Consonance, Inc. will take place at the intimate and acoustically superior auditorium of Christ & St Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th St, Manhattan). It will commence at 8 PM.
The multi-lingual program will include songs in Catalan, Spanish, Nahautl (the language of the Aztecs), Quechua (the language of the Incas) and Portuguese. Ms. Caicedo will sing songs by among others, Mexican composers Manuel M. Ponce, Salvador Moreno and Sivestre Revueltas; Peruvian composer Theodoro Valcarcel; Colombian composer Jaime Leon; Argentinean composer Alberto Ginastera; Catalan composer Edmund Toldra; and Brazilian composers Camargo Guarnieri and Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Caicedo has resided in Barcelona, Spain for more than 10 years where she is active as both performer and musicologist. She is the founder and director of the Barcelona Festival of Song, held during the summer and now entering its 6th edition.
Her books The Latin American Art Song: A Critical Anthology and Interpretative Resource for Singers (Ediciones Tritó, 2005) and The Colombian Art Song – Jaime Leon: Analysis and Compilation of his works for voice and piano Vol. 1 & 2 (Mundo Arts Publications, 2009) have become reference books in the field of vocal pedagogy.
She has performed throughout Europe and Latin America and has presented lectures and workshops at numerous American universities.
Her acclaimed albums include: De mi corazón latino – Latin Songs of All time (Mundo Arts, 2010), A mi ciudad Nativa – To My Native City (Mundo Arts, 2005), Lied: Art songs of Latin America (Albert Moraleda, 2001) and La Felicidad, recorded with the Banda Sinfónica Santafé de Bogotá in 1997.
Ms. Caicedo will be accompanied at the piano by the versatile Max Lifchitz. Born in Mexico City. Lifchitz has resided in New York City since 1966 and has appeared on concert stages throughout Latin America, Europe and the US. He has released 9 solo piano albums and appears as conductor and collaborative artists in many more.
Ms. Caicedo will be available for interviews and media events while in New York City. She may be contacted through the North/South Consonance office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EAR Unit, Los Angeles’ fearless new music ensemble, performs David Dvorin‘s “As Alice” with live electro-acoustic manipulations of tea cups, saucers, playing cards, clocks, doors, cats, dogs, baby sneezes and children’s voices along with interactive video. In special coordination with REDCAT, the Los Angeles premiere will feature an immersive performance of the twenty-five minute new work by the trio (violin, piano, electronic percussion), which includes specially mixed surround sound, and visuals projected onto 8 foot suspended spheres.
“As Alice” uses Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to reflect upon a series of childhood situations or acts of imaginative play with both aural and visual references. The electro-acoustic score was created solely from recorded sounds chosen because of their association with the Alice story, and include recorded conversations with Dvorin’s six year-old daughter. All of the collected sounds (including voice) were manipulated, processed, and ultimately used as fodder for invented (or imagined) instruments that are performed live by the percussionist in conjunction with the violin and piano.
Dvorin collaborated with Switzerland-based visual designer Ted Davis on the creation of interactive visual elements that are projection mapped onto large spherical objects situated around the performers. The raw visual material consists of both Cecil Hepworth’s age-deteriorated 1903 film of Alice in Wonderland, as well as whimsical illustrations drawn by Dvorin’s young daughter. Similar to the music, these images are also processed, triggered, and controlled by the musicians interactively, and react to their performance.
From the composer:
“I strongly feel that imaginative play is the source of all creativity in our lives. As children we relish the pleasures of pretending to be something we’re not, visiting a fabricated universe, constructing ‘rules’ and situations with which to interact, and ultimately transcending oneself, if just for a moment, in play. I recognize these same thrills when composing music: pretending, fabricating, constructing and hopefully transcending. Perhaps that is why I am still in love with children’s literature, whimsy, and nonsense. We are “as Alice”, exploring the fantastical without asking “why”; in imagination, dreaming and waking have no delineation.”
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Wunderkabinet is an experimental multi-media opera developed by composer/performer Pamela Z in collaboration with cellist/composer Matthew Brubeck and media artist Christina McPhee. Scored for voice & electronics, cello & electronics, & video, the piece is inspired by and based on the exhibits displayed at the enchanting and renowned Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. Wunderkabinet (which premiered in September of 2005 with a two-week run at The LAB Gallery in San Francisco) will be presented at REDCAT in Los Angeles October 12-15, 2006.
The boundary between reality and imagination is blurred as Wunderkabinet’s central character “Alice May Williams” makes her strange and magical journey in search of the scientists of the Mount Wilson Observatory to whom she has been sending abundant correspondence, only to find herself in a strange cabinet of curiosities where she eventually becomes a docent.
For the REDCAT performances, Pamela Z (voice and live electronic processing) will be joined by Alex Kelly on cello & electronics. The piece is performed in a multi-layered set (designed by Pamela Z) which constantly shifts and changes as it is bathed in Christina McFee’s projected images and Elaine Buckholtz’ lighting design, evoking the dark yet radiant focus of the museum’s dioramas. The score (composed by Z and Brubeck) utilizes bowed and plucked strings, sampled text and objects, and a wide range of vocal work ranging from operatic bel canto to experimental extended vocal techniques and spoken text. The libretto is derived from passages of actual descriptive texts from the Museum of Jurassic Technology’s exhibitions and stories inspired by them.