THE MYRIAD TRIO Demarre McGill, flute Che-Yen Chen, viola Julie Smith Phillips, harp
Cinquieme Concert Trio
e Myriad Trio
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)
La Forqueray La Cupis La Marais
Jan BACH (b. 1937)
Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Pastorale. Lento, dolce rubato Interlude: Tempo di Minuetto Finale. Allegro moderato ma risoluto
- I N TE R MI S SIO N Trittico Botticelliano
Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936)
La Primavera L'adorazione dei Magi La nascita di Venere
The Eye of Night*
David BRUCE (b. 1970)
Commissioned by Art of Élan for The Myriad Trio I II III IV
www.themyriadtrio.com This concert is generously sponsored by Mr. Sam B. Ersan Founding Sponsor Exclusive Print Sponsor Photographing or recording this performance without permission is prohibited. Kindly disable pagers, cellular phones, and other audible devices. Although rare, all dates, times, artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.
Rameau: Pieces de clavecin: cinquieme conceRt The great French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), best known for his solo harpsichord music as well as his operas, composed only one work of chamber music, the Pièces de Clavecin en Concerts. The “Pièces,” widely considered masterworks of the baroque chamber music repertoire, consist of five separate Concerts, or works, many of which were later reworked by Rameau himself into his highly successful operas. Originally scored for harpsichord, violin, and viola da gamba, the 5th work, Cinquième Concert, was arranged for flute, viola and harp by The Myriad Trio. In 1741, when Rameau published the Pièces de Clavecin, this new style of writing was considered to be the height of the avant-garde. Rameau, along with the “modern” composers of C.P.E. Bach and Haydn, were among the first to explore the idea of the harpsichord being accompanied by string or wind instruments, therefore being more involved and requiring more virtuosic performers. Inspired by the sonatas for violin and harpsichord by a now-forgotten composer, Jean-Joseph Casanea de Mondonville, Rameau considered the Pièces de Clavecin collection quite satisfactory for harpsichord alone, with the other instrumental voices even optional. However, breaking away from traditional French chamber works and style, Rameau gives the three instruments equal roles and encourages a unified ensemble even from the onset of reading the parts: it is typical for the harpsichord (or, in this case, harp) to read from the score but not usually for the other two instruments. Here, all instruments play from the score for more ensemble awareness and to achieve proper balance and blend. Concert No. 5 works beautifully with this arrangement, providing various opportunities for solo exposure and highlighting the group’s intricate ensemble playing.
about the PRoGRaM
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 8PM Irvine Barclay Theatre
about the PRoGRaM
BacH: eisteddfod foR flute, HaRP and viola Jan Bach is one of those fortunate “university” composers whose works, through their many performances, have extended far beyond the borders of his campus to reach an international audience. An Illinois native born in 1937, he studied at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, receiving the Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition in 1971. From 1966 until his “final” retirement at the end of 2002, he taught theory and composition courses at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, sixty-five miles west of Chicago, where, in 1978, he was selected as one of three professors to receive the Excellence in Teaching award and, in 1982, was awarded one of the university’s first eight prestigious Presidential Research Professorship grants. A performer on piano and French horn, his composition teachers have included Roberto Gerhard, Aaron Copland, Kenneth Gaburo, Robert Kelly, and Thea Musgrave. He enjoys writing music on commission, particularly if it is for a combination of performing forces for which he has not yet written. Eisteddfod for flute, harp, and viola was written in the summer of 1972 at the request of the Orpheus Trio, to whom the work is dedicated. Its title (literally, a “sitting down together”) refers to a legendary Welsh contest in which the heroes fought against each other with games and musical instruments. The only surviving musical relic of these contests is the Penillion, an ancient form of Welsh music practice in which a harpist plays a well-known air while a singer extemporises a somewhat different melody over it. “In this work, the competition takes its form as a set of variations and penillion on Ymadawiad y Brenin (Departure of the King), a tune first appearing in the Welsh Harper of 1839, and first heard by the composer in a recorded performance by Osian Ellis. The opening viola cadenza exposes the textures and motives which will shape each of the twelve variations to follow. Only at the end of the work is the tune heard in its original form, played by the harp and serving as the harmonic basis for the return of previously heard material in the other two instruments.” (From 1979 Aldeburgh Festival Programme Booklet) Jan Bach successfully organizes this skillfully composed set of 12 variations into a multi-sectional structure that uses all three instruments in solo and ensemble format creating a wonderful variety of timbres and lyrical lines. -Program notes by Andrea Lamoreaux & Jan Bach
deBussY: sonata foR flute, viola and HaRP A highly influential figure in turn-of-the-century Europe, French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918) has often been labeled as an Impressionist composer, along with his younger colleague Maurice Ravel, although he loathed his works being categorized as such. But like Impressionist artwork, Debussy’s compositions are filled with an abundance of muted colors and tones, often with no obvious structure or form. His melodic lines come across like flourishes of paint on a canvas, and his harmonies sound foreign, as if they originated in an exotic land. He was one of the first major European composers to use Eastern-sounding chords in his music, which entered his compositional style after his hearing Javanese gamelan music at the 1889 World Fair in Paris. Although Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp was written quite late in his life, it was one of the first major chamber music compositions for this unique combination of instruments and kindled an entire genre of chamber music from its conception. Written in three movements, this haunting work begins as if telling a story, with all three instruments serving both as narrators and as sustaining atmosphere. ResPigHi: tRittico Botticelliano Inspired by three famous Botticelli paintings which hang in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, Respighi’s Trittico Botticelliano was composed in 1926 and captures the imagery depicting the scenes from the paintings. One of the Renaissance’s most masterful painters, Botticelli’s “La Primavera,” “L’Adorazione Dei Magi” and “La Nascita Di Venere” are represented in the musical arrangement with lively motifs, vibrant bird songs, poignant plaintiff lines, and pastoral dances. Like miniature tone poems, each movement is orchestrated with sparkling colors and translucent textures. Even in the trio version, arranged by cellist Dan Reiter and adapted for viola by The Myriad Trio, the combination of the flute, viola, and harp convey the same energy and vibrancy yet with the color combinations, there still maintains an air of transparency. Respighi, forever fascinated by the music and art of earlier times, was not only influenced by the work of early Italian and European artists, but he seemed to also have absorbed something of their belief and values as well. During an era when surrealism and other mechanical/mathematical music was being played in concert halls and artists were fighting against the realms of “old tradition,” Respighi, along with ten other Italian musicians, issued a document re-establishing the sacred traditions of the art: “We are against art which cannot and does not have any human content and desires to be merely a mechanical demonstration and a cerebral puzzle… A logical chain binds the past and the future—the romanticism of yesterday will again be the romanticism of tomorrow.” This romanticism that Respighi writes of formed the basis of his works and shines through brilliantly in the Botticelli Triptych.
BRuce: tHe eYe of nigHt foR flute, viola, and HaRP The Eye of Night was commissioned by Art of Élan and The Myriad Trio in San Diego and is dedicated to Gordon Brodfuehrer. It is a series of four tender movements, each in their own way a kind of nocturne. “The night, and in particular the night sky, has long held a fascination for me. We all know the awe-inspiring sight that awaits us if we are lucky enough to find ourselves away from the city lights in front of a cloudless night sky—I think the awe we experience on such occasions is not just because of the beauty and grandeur of the spectacle—but because it’s one of the few times we are directly faced with the vast mystery of the universe. I have made an oath to myself that at least once every year I will make a pilgrimage to somewhere where I am able to lose myself in such a spectacle. Continuing a source of inspiration from one of the songs in my song-cycle for Dawn Upshaw, “The North Wind was a Woman,“ I have been drawn to the image, first discovered in a short story by Aimee Bender, of the night sky as a giant eye looking down on us, unblinkingly. The image fascinates me because it captures the complexity of feelings one experiences when staring up into space—it is friendly, familiar and constant, whilst at the same time being overwhelming, dizzying and quietly terrifying. The first of the movements has a dark atmosphere, that falls somewhere between sensual and plaintive. The melodic flute lines draw inspiration from the ornamental style of Indian bansuri flute playing. The second, very short movement has a sweeter atmosphere, showing a more tender and blissful side of night. The third, while still in a largely piano or pianissimo dynamic register, is more active and flowing. The final movement is a lullaby, or “song without words,” inspired by William Blake’s “cradle Song,” where he imagines the “little sorrows and quiet desires” of a sleeping baby. “ - Program notes by David Bruce aBout tHe mYRiad tRio A unique ensemble of soloists and chamber musicians, three dynamic instrumentalists have joined together to embark on the beautiful combination that Debussy made famous with his Sonate for Flute, Viola and Harp. Playing both traditional and contemporary works, Demarre, Che-Yen, and Julie arrange and commission new works for this ensemble of flute, viola and harp. Demarre McGill, flute Demarre McGill was named principal flutist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra beginning in September 2013. Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Demarre McGill is one of the most entertaining and sought-
M ci h th M a w st ce C th
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after flutists of his generation. Mr. McGill has performed with numerous orchestral and chamber ensembles around the world. Concerto solos include performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and Milwaukee Symphony, among others. In May of 2012, Mr. McGill and his brother Anthony McGill performed the world premiere of Joel Puckett's Concerto Duo for Flute and Clarinet with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra where they began their careers. As an active chamber musician, Mr. McGill is a member of the Jacksonville, Florida-based Ritz Chamber Players and has been a member of Chamber Music Society Two, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s program for emerging young artists. He is a founding member of San Diego-based The Myriad Trio and has participated in the Music from Angel Fire, Santa Fe, Kingston, Cape Cod, Charlottesville, Music@Menlo, Bay Chamber Concerts, Mainly Mozart, La Jolla and Marlboro music festivals. International festivals include the Stellenbosch Chamber Music Festival in South Africa, St. Bart’s Music Festival in the Caribbean, and the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival in South Korea. A featured performer on numerous broadcasts and recordings, Mr. McGill has performed on a PBS “Live From Lincoln Center” broadcast with the Chamber Music Society playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2. He has recorded Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (album entitled Play Bach) with pianist Awadagin Pratt and the St. Lawrence String Quartet on the Angel Records Label, as well as a flute, viola and harp album entitled The Eye of Night with The Myriad Trio. His television appearances include the A&E Network Series “The Gifted Ones,” NBC’s “Today” show and “Nightly News,” and as a teenager, the “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” television program. In addition to his performance schedule, Mr. McGill is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Art of Élan, a chamber music organization in San Diego that aims to expose new audiences to classical music.
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H p M ci S N co o L T C C Jo w in H
C a o B M g T a E v K T o
Che-Yen Chen, viola Taiwanese-American violist Che-Yen Chen has established himself as an active performer and educator. He is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, recipient of the First Prize and the Amadeus Prize winner of the 10th London International String Quartet Competition. Since winning the First-Prize in the 2003 William Primrose International Viola Competition and the “President Prize” of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Chen has been described by The Strad Magazine as a musician whose “tonal distinction and essential musicality produced an auspicious impression” and by San Diego Union Tribune as an artist whose “most impressive aspect of his playing was his ability to find not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music.” Having served as principal violist of the San Diego Symphony for eight seasons, he is principal violist of the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra and has appeared as guest principal violist with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two and participant of the Marlboro Music Festival, he is a member of Camera Lucida, Concertante Chamber Players and The Myriad Trio, which just released its debut album The Eye of Night. Chamber music festival appearances include the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music International, La Jolla Summerfest, Seattle Chamber Music Society and Taiwan Connection. In the summer of 2013, Formosa Quartet inaugurated its Formosa Chamber Music Festival in Hualien, Taiwan. Currently teaching at both USC Thornton School of Music and California State University, Fullerton, Chen has previously served on the faculties of Indiana University South Bend, UC San Diego, San Diego State University and McGill University. He has taught and performed in programs such as National Youth Orchestra Canada, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Camp, and Mimir Festival, and has given master-classes at the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music, Rice University, University of Tennessee, University of Missouri Kansas City, UC Santa Barbara, and various universities in Taiwan. As a laureate, Chen was invited to serve on the jury of the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition.
A native of Taipei, Chen is a four-time winner of the National Viola Competition in Taiwan. He came to the U.S. in his teens to matriculate at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, studying with such luminaries as Michael Tree, Joseph de Pasquale, Karen Tuttle and Paul Neubauer. Julie Smith Phillips, harp Principal harpist of the San Diego Symphony, Julie Smith Phillips is one of the most prominent American harpists today, performing as both an orchestral musician and concert artist. Silver medalist in the 2004 USA International Harp Competition and Bronze medalist in 2001, she made her National Symphony Orchestra debut in 2003 and has been honored in numerous competitions throughout the country. As a recitalist and soloist with orchestra, Ms. Phillips’ appearances include performances with the San Diego Symphony, the New World Symphony Orchestra, the South Dakota Symphony, the West Los Angeles Symphony, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. She has been the featured recitalist for the 2006 American Harp Society National Conference, the 2007 USA International Harp Competition and was guest artist for the 2010 Young Artist Harp Seminar in Rabun Gap, Georgia. Equally experienced as a chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Phillips is a founding member of The Myriad Trio and collaborates with renowned musicians on concert series each season. During the 2006-07 season, she was the acting principal harpist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and prior to that held the position of principal harpist for the New World Symphony Orchestra. She has served as principal harpist for the San Diego Symphony since 2007. An active teacher, Ms. Phillips is on faculty at Arizona State University and the University of San Diego. She maintains a private harp studio and supplements her performance schedule with master-classes across the country. Ms. Phillips holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in harp performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Yolanda Kondonassis. She has two recordings: her solo album, The Rhapsodic Harp, which are available from her website, www.harpjas.com, and her trio’s album, The Eye of Night, available from their website, www.themyriadtrio.com. A native of Hastings, Nebraska, Ms. Phillips began studying the harp at age eleven.
about the aRtIStS
Mr. McGill came to the Dallas Symphony after being principal flutist of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. Mr. McGill has held the same position with the San Diego Symphony, the Florida Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. Mr. McGill received his Bachelor’s Degree in Flute Performance from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. He continued his studies with Mr. Baker at the Juilliard School, where he received his Masters of Music degree. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Demarre McGill began playing the flute at the age of 7.