CCCC: Grossman Ensemble Program Book March 2019

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Grossman Ensemble James Baker, conductor Friday, March 15, 2019 / 7:30pm Logan Center Performance Hall Grossman Ensemble March 2019 | 1

WELCOME Dear Music Fans and Music Lovers, We are delighted to welcome you to the second Grossman Ensemble concert of the year, and the sixth concert in the 2018/19 season of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition, here at the University of Chicago.

Tonight I welcome you as a Co-Director of the ensemble (along with Augusta Read Thomas and Anthony Cheung.) However, last December I had the thrilling experience of working with the group as a composer. It was one of the most fruitful and delightful experiences I have had in my professional life, and the work that I created, I consider among my best. I would like to share with you why I think this opportunity is so special.

Composers are dreamers of sound worlds, prophets of future realities invented in the soundscapes of our minds. With such lofty goals, the process of composition is often messy. Imagine the means by which each of these pieces you hear tonight was created! The composer dreams a sound, a phrase, or a form. This abstract sonic image is transferred to paper, translating sonic matter in the mind of one person to thousands upon thousands of tiny dots on a page, spread across a set of instruments, each with its own personality, timbre, and physical reality. This paper is given to 14 different individuals, masters of their crafts, who are able to mine the hundreds of years of knowledge embedded in metal and wood instruments that they have spent their entire lives learning to play. The conductor waves their arms in time, and 14 different humans communicate through sound as one body, reinterpreting and reimagining their own role in the collective sonic whole of the work. 2 | Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition

It is an enormous challenge to do this well, as there are so many places where communication and translation can break down in the process. Furthermore, creative opportunities for composers are seldom ideal. Time, space, and labor are often compromised. Rehearsals only occur at the end of the process, and often-times performers are unavailable to answer questions about possibilities, technicalities, and realities. The Grossman Ensemble, made possible by generous support from the Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust, was formed with a vision to produce the ideal situation for the creation and performance of new concert music. Each composer has the incredible luxury of five rehearsals and a recording session, spread over the course of the three month quarter. This is a true workshop situation. For each rehearsal, the composer can bring in new ideas, reorchestrations, and questions. These incredible performers and human beings, who care so deeply about this music and about each other, are able to try different things, give feedback, and communicate issues directly to the composer. Chances can be taken. Sounds can be tweaked. The wildest ideas can be attempted, and most importantly, failure is an option. The works you will hear tonight are the result of months of thought and preparation, the meeting of the minds of 18 thinkers in sound. I hope you will join us at our upcoming concerts, and in June for the final concert of the season featuring the Grossman Ensemble. — Sam Pluta and the entire CCCC Team


The Grossman Ensemble Anthony Cheung, Sam Pluta, Augusta Read Thomas, Co-Directors James Baker, conductor This is the world premiere of each work on tonight’s program.

CARLOS SANCHEZ-GUTIERREZ New Short Stories b. 1964 featuring Daniel Pesca, piano CHEN YI Fire b. 1953 JACK HUGHES Dream Labyrinths b. 1992 RODRIGO BUSSAD O Cais b. 1985

The program is performed without an intermission, although there will be brief pauses for resetting the stage. Please hold your applause for a moment of silence after each piece, for everyone’s enjoyment. Please join us for an after-party in the Gidwitz Lobby with the artists. The Grossman Ensemble is made possible thanks to generous support from the Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust.

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Carlos is a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte (Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Secretaría de Cultura, Mexico) with whose support this work was completed.



Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez was born in Mexico City in 1964 and now lives in the New York tundra, where he chairs the Composition Department at the Eastman School of Music.

He studied with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey, and Henri Dutilleux at Yale, Princeton, and Tanglewood, respectively. He has received many of the standard awards in the field (e.g. Barlow Prize, Guggenheim, Fulbright, Koussevitzky, Fromm, American Academy of Arts and Letters.) He likes machines with hiccups and spiders with missing legs, looks at Paul Klee’s Notebooks everyday, and tries to use the same set of ears to listen to Bach, Radiohead, or Ligeti.

The words of Italo Calvino were on my mind when composing my New Short Stories. In this piece I aspire to convey the qualities that provide music its quickness: above all agility, mobility, and ease. I follow the thread spun by the first gesture (heard on bar one and present in a myriad of ways in the obbligato piano part), losing it a hundred times, finding it again after a hundred more twists and turns, and jumping around from one subject to another. I hope that the moment my initial “subject” appears in the narrative, “it will already be charged with a special force and become like the pole of a magnetic field, a knot in the network of invisible relationships.” New Short Stories was written for the Grossman Ensemble with support from the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition at the University of Chicago and the Hanson Institute for American Music of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. 4 | Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition

Excerpt sketch from Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez’s New Short Stories

CHEN YI – FIRE Fire was commissioned by the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition directed by Prof. Augusta Read Thomas at the University of Chicago for the Grossman Ensemble. It’s dedicated to and premiered by the Grossman Ensemble tonight. Fire is written for flute, oboe, clarinet in B flat, French horn in F, 2 percussion (I. snare drum and suspended cymbal; II. bass drum), harp, piano, 2 violins, viola and cello. The music reflects the fire in nature, as well as in tension and emotion.

........... As a prolific composer who blends East and West traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries, Chinese-American composer Dr. Chen Yi is the Distinguished Professor at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the recipient of Charles Ives Living Award from the

American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has been commissioned by Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, Chanticleer, Shanghai and Ying quartets, Rascher and Prism sax quartets, the Cleveland Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle, Pacific, BBC, Singapore symphonies and the Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden, and recorded on Bis, New Albion, New World, Teldec, Albany, Bridge, Naxos. Major fellowships and commissioning awards were from Guggenheim, Fromm, Roche, and Koussevitzky Music Foundations, AAAL, Meet The Composer, Barlow Endowment for New Music, Chamber Music America, ACDA, NYSCA and NEA. Honors include the first prizes from the Chinese National Composition Competition, CalArts/Alpert Award, UT Eddie Medora King Composition Prize, ASCAP Concert Music Award, Elise Stoeger Award from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She holds BA and MA from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and DMA from Columbia University in New York. Major composition teachers were Profs. Wu Zu-qiang, Chou Wen-chung and Mario Davidovsky. She has taught at Peabody Conservatory (96-98), and served as Residence Composer of The Women’s Philharmonic, Chanticleer and Aptos Middle School supported by Meet The Composer’s New Residences (93-96). A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is a Distinguished Visiting Professor in China since 2006.

JACK HUGHES – DREAM LABYRINTHS One of the goals of this piece is to bring various musical dualities into conversation with one another. Tonality and atonality exist side by side, pitch is often melded together with noise into a single sonority, sharply formed musical objects are contrasted with nebulous and hazy sounds, and an almost obsessive sense of forward motion and development alternates with a more meandering and capricious flow of ideas. I wanted to create a music that sounded simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar in a way that mimicked the flow of a dream. While dreaming we obtain an incredible openness, implicitly accepting every image or event without judgment. It is only upon waking that we realize the strangeness of our dreamworld, which has already become a quickly-fading memory. My compositional process was guided not by a desire for narrative coherence or a structural rigor but by a complete acquiescence to the sense of flow: the forward motion that guides us through the labyrinth like a thread.

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........... Composer Jack Hughes is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Chicago, where his principal teachers have been Augusta Read Thomas, Sam Pluta, Shulamit Ran, and Marta Ptaszyńska. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2014 as a double major in theory and composition, studying in the studio of Keith Fitch. He has recently composed works for Volti (as the recipient of their 2016 Choral Arts Lab), the Imani Winds and the Bozzini quartet. Jack served as the Composer Fellow of the Canton Symphony Orchestra for the 2013-2014 season, and his work Ripple for pierrot ensemble was awarded a 2016 BMI student composer award. A native of Reston, Virginia, he plays the trumpet, piano, and viola.

RODRIGO BUSSAD - O CAIS A pier at a placid haven…is an otherworldly image full of symbolism, a portal that connects earth and water, this world with the next. A symbolism exercised in the poetry of Blake, Neruda, Coleridge, and Quintana. It is a place of arrival, and of departure where contours become tarnished and often disappear. In O Cais, the sounds ringing also become tarnished, creating a sonic “memory game” of perception. Sounds from my home country are added to the soundscape, like the sound of the berimbau; a signifier of coastal regions and sea shanties.

........... Rodrigo Bussad (Sao Paulo, Brazil. b. 1985) is the winner of the 2014 American Prize in Composition category in the Student Chamber Music Division with the work Loin. He was also winner of the same competition in two other occasions. Bussad is the winning composer of the 2017 Ukho Ensemble Workshop and the 2015 Valencia International Performance Academy

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(VIPA). He’s had his works premiered on three continents and selected for Music festivals and conferences such as the IRCAM’S Manifeste, Ukho Ensemble Workshop, Mise-en Festival, Composit, SoundSCAPE Festival among others. His music has traveled to the Americas, Italy, Spain, France, Ukraine, Moldova, Taiwan and Korea. Renowned ensembles highlighting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Frost Symphony Orchestra, Spektral Quartet, Imani Winds, Ukho Ensemble, Brower Trio:B3, Ensemble motoContraio, Ensemble, Ensemble Paramirabo, NanaFormosa Percussion Duo, and performers such as Svet Stoyanov, Ermis Theodorakis, Allison Balcetis, Céline Papion and Pedro Gadelha, have commissioned/ worked with him. Bussad is currently pursuing his PhD degree in Composition at The University of Chicago.

Excerpt sketches from Rodrigo Bussad’s O Cais

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The newly formed Grossman Ensemble is a key component of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition’s performance series. The ensemble comprises 13 of the nation’s leading contemporary music specialists. Members of the Grossman Ensemble include: Tim Munro, flute Ben Melsky, harp Andrew Nogal, oboe Daniel Pesca, piano Katherine Schoepflin Jimoh, clarinet Taimur Sullivan, saxophone Matthew Oliphant, horn Greg Beyer, percussion John Corkill, percussion Spektral Quartet Maeve Feinberg, violin Clara Lyon, violin Doyle Armbrust, viola Russell Rolen, cello

Over the course of each season, the ensemble performs three times at the Logan Center for the Arts, each with a focus on the process of creating new work. There are eight rehearsals leading up to each performance, enabling composers to write, workshop, and review new works in close collaboration with the ensemble. The public is invited to attend an open rehearsal prior to each concert, allowing them unprecedented access to the creative process. The ensemble workshops and performs 12 world premiere works by University of Chicago faculty, students, and guest composers in this inaugural season. The Grossman Ensemble is made possible thanks to generous support from the Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust.

“The Grossman Ensemble filled the evening with wonder and, at times, awe.” — Third Coast Review

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James Baker is Principal Percussionist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He is Music Director and Conductor of the Composers Conference at Brandeis University and Director of the Percussion Ensemble at the Mannes College of Music. Mr. Baker is Principal Conductor of the Talea Ensemble. He was the Conductor of the New York New Music Ensemble for a number of years. He has led the Orchestra of the League of Composers, the Slee Sinfonietta at the Institute for 21st Century Music in Buffalo, Speculum Musicae, the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensembles, Ensemble ACJW at Carnegie Hall, the Cygnus Ensemble, the Decoda ensemble, the ensemble Tactus at the Manhattan School of Music, Musica Nova at the Eastman School of Music, Ensemble 21 and DaCapo among many others.

he has premiered music by many of the great composers of the 20th and 21st centuries including: Boulez, Billone, Cage, Carter, Messiaen, Dillon, Harvey, Wourinen, Davidovsky, Glass, Aperghis, Ferneyhough, Saariaho, Reynolds, Henze, Crumb, Babbitt, Saunders Neuwirth, Furrer, Bernhard Lang, Gander, Poppe, Romitelli, Zorn, Georg Haas, Meadowcroft, BarraquĂŠ, and many, many others, often working closely with the composers. Through his work with his groups and at conferences, universities, and festivals, he is an advocate for the music of a whole new generation of composers from around the world, premiering hundreds of new works. Mr. Baker was for many years a conductor of Broadway shows, conducting at The King and I, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, Oklahoma, An Inspector Calls and La Boheme among others.

He has conducted at the Darmstadt, Wien Moderne, Warsaw Autumn, Transit Belgium, Contempuls Prague, June in Buffalo, Nouvelles Voix Royaumont, reMusik St. Petersburg Russia, Contempo Chicago, Musikprotokoll Graz, and Beijing Modern music festivals. He has both played and conducted at the Bang on a Can Marathon and has conducted at the Monday Night Concerts in Los Angeles and Fromm concerts at Harvard. He has conducted a number of Composers Portrait concerts at Miller Theater including those of Pierre Boulez (where he led the US premier of Derive II), Toru Takemitsu, Jason Eckardt, John Zorn and Chou Wenchung. As instrumentalist or conductor

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The Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition at the University of Chicago is a dynamic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary environment for the creation, performance and study of new music and for the advancement of the careers of emerging and established composers, performers, and scholars. Distinguished by its formation within an uncompromising, relentlessly searching, and ceaselessly innovative scholarly environment that celebrates excellence and presents new possibilities for intellectual dialogue, the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition is comprised of ten integrated entities: an annual concert series with the resident Grossman Ensemble, CHIME (Chicago Integrated Media Experimental Studio), visiting ensembles, distinguished guest composers, performances, recordings, research, graduate student-led projects, workshops, and postdoctoral research positions.

FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR Augusta Read Thomas ADVISORY BOARD Seth Brodsky Anthony Cheung Jennifer Iverson Amy Iwano Travis Jackson Sam Pluta Barbara Schubert STAFF & PARTNERS Reba Cafarelli, Manager Claire Snarski, Graphic Designer Margo Strebig, Director of Communications Amy Iwano, Executive Director, UChicago Presents Landon Hegedus, Communications & Production Assistant, UChicago Presents Daniel Meyers, Marketing Coordinator, UChicago Presents Hugo Seda, Director of Production, UChicago Presents 10 | Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition

The Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition relies on the financial support of its patrons and friends to present world-class contemporary music programs. You, and other supporters like you, are at the core of the CCCC. Please consider sharing your love of contemporary music by making a contribution. Visit to donate. CCCC COMMISSION CLUB We are committed to creating new works by a variety of composers, from senior luminaries in the field of new music to exceptional junior composers. You can help create new music and support a composer by joining the CCCC’s Commission Club. Leave a legacy in the form of music, or honor a special person or event in your life. Partner with us today! SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS CCCC is sponsored in part by generous gifts from Carolyn (Kay) Bucksbaum, Gay Stanek, and the Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust.

UPCOMING EVENTS - Featuring over 10 world premieres! SPACES INSIDE SPACES Friday, April 12, 2019 / 8:30pm Hairpin Arts Center ~NOIS saxophone quartet premieres new works by UChicago composers connecting music and performance to the design and architecture traditions of Chicago. By creatively staging the multiple works throughout the Hairpin Arts Center gallery, the composers and musicians engage with physical space and architecture as a compositional parameter. Commissioned lighting design accentuates the space and sonic qualities of the music, both of which lead the audience through a continuously flowing, immersive aesthetic experience. Free



Thursday & Friday, May 2 & 3, 2019 Logan Center Penthouse

Friday, June 7, 2019 / 7:30pm Logan Center Performance Hall

The CHIME Studio presents a meeting of electronics performers and improvisers from around the globe, with leading artists and researchers from the United States, the UK, and Europe. The two-day event will include talks and concerts focused on themes of interaction and experimentation. Performers include Rage Thormbones, Anne La Berge, Lauren Hayes, Katie Schoepflin Jimoh, and Pedro Lopes. Free

In the final concert of the season, the Grossman Ensemble presents four world premiere works by acclaimed soprano Kate Soper, Steve Lehman, UChicago composer Joungbum Lee, and David Dzubay, who will also conduct the concert. Tickets: $15, students free with ID or call 773.702.ARTS (2787)Â

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Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition

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