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FEBRUARY 04 2010

MUSIC OF Martin Bresnick Jordan Kuspa Omar Surillo

Robert Blocker, Dean



Wild and Ferocious Plants Domenic Salerni, violin Kyung Mi Anna Preuss, cello Jaehee Choi, clarinet Yun-Chu Chiu, vibraphone


At the Theatre Jane Kim, violin Jung Min Han, cello Itay Lantner, flute Martin Leung, piano


Trio for Piano, Violin, and Violoncello Semplice, Inesorabile Leggiermente, con accenti diversi (Cat’s Cradle) Parlando, Affetuoso Ardente, Sperduto Soo Ryun Baek, violin Jacques Wood, cello Jessica Osborne, piano

As a courtesy to the performers and to other audience members, turn off cell phones and pagers. Please do not leave the theater during selections. Photography or recording of any kind is not permitted.

JORDAN KUSPA Wild and Ferocious Plants

: Notes

: Biography

Wild and Ferocious Plants was written for the Music09 festival in Blonay, Switzerland. In this piece, I conceived of the ensemble as a composite “super-instrument” rather than as four distinct voices. All four performers play in almost every measure, although the clarinetist has both slightly more time to rest and slightly more room for soloistic outbursts. The musical material is almost entirely derived from the opening gesture, which develops organically into florid runs and prickly syncopations.

Jordan Kuspa’s compositions have been performed and workshopped by the New York New Music Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, California E.A.R. Unit, Third Wheel Trio, Gang of Two, Duo Scordatura, organist Chelsea Chen, violist Brett Deubner, the Enso and Kailas String Quartets, the Kensington Sinfonia (Canada), the Young Artists Chamber Players (Utah), and the Woodlands Symphony (Texas), among others. His music has been performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall, The title came from a photo my friend Catherine and his works have been commissioned by the Branch sent me while traveling in Ireland. The Greater Bridgeport Symphony, the Norfolk picture was taken at a botanical garden, and the Chamber Music Festival, and the American caption read, “This picture is for Jordan. This Festival for the Arts Summer Conservatory. greenhouse was full of wild and ferocious plants.” I immediately wrote back, “I’m touched. At age 16, Jordan founded the Houston Young I’m also going to write a piece called Wild and Musicians, a group that sought to broaden Ferocious Plants.” I was, and I did. interest in classical music among new listeners as well as promote the works of American and other contemporary composers. Jordan was also co-founder and artistic director of the Sonus Chamber Music Society, an organization that presented an interactive concert series in the Houston museum district. Educational and community outreach, in schools, churches, and hospitals, was a central component of each of these programs. Jordan was homeschooled his entire life before entering Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Currently, he is a graduate student in composition at the Yale School of Music, studying with Martin Bresnick, Ingram Marshall, and Christopher Theofanidis.

OMAR SURILLO At the Theatre

: Notes

: Biography

I first met Tommy [Moran] three years ago in Orlando when he signed up for piano lessons. Two things I remember clearly were his love for classical music and devotion to the piano. “It soothes my soul and keeps me sane,” he said during one of our lessons.

Omar Surillo (b. 1979, San Juan, PR) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from the Orlando area. He has performed nationally and internationally in various ensembles ranging from classical to jazz to rock.

In the summer of 2009, before leaving for New Haven, I offered to compose a biographical piece as a token of gratitude for being such a supportive patron of music and piano lessons. Tommy expressed that he always wanted to write a book about his life, a biography of sorts, entitled “April Fool’s Day” – the title is in respect to the day his partner passed away – and needless to say, I felt compelled to write him a piece. At first, when assembling the piece, I intended for it to contain five movements. Each movement was to articulate chapters of his life and exercise certain dispositions the listener could relate to. Rather than having these so-called chapters dictate the music, I let our last conversation determine the narrative of the piece. In essence, I created a “theatrical adaptation” of our conversation, which proved to be more suitable than my original plan.

Omar gave birth to his musical nucleus at the age of five when he began taking piano lessons. Soon after, he learned to play the guitar, followed by alto saxophone and drumset. Between 2000 and 2004, he toured extensively as drummer and guitarist for the rock groups Mashlin, Unsung Zeros and Agent Felix, opening for acts such as the Ataris, Thursday, MxPx, Yellowcard, The Sleeping, and Punchline. Feeling that being in a commercial band constrained his musical aspirations, he decided to leave those restrictions behind to pursue music theory and composition. He went on to receive his undergraduate degree from Stetson University, where he studied composition with Sydney Hodkinson and Manuel DeMurga. While at Stetson, Omar was awarded the title of Stetson Piano Scholar, selected as an associate artist for the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and inducted into the music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda. After graduating magna cum laude in December of 2008, Omar went on to teach music theory fundamentals at Stetson University and a course in composition and songwriting at Valencia College. Currently, he is a student at the Yale School of Music, where he studies with Aaron Jay Kernis.


: Notes Martin Bresnick’s Trio is four movements, each with a suggestive title reflecting the spirit of the movement. The first movement, “Semplice, Inesorabile,” translates as Simply, Inexorably. The second movement, subtitled “Cat’s Cradle,” makes reference to the children’s game in which the players pull symmetrical string patterns from each other’s hands – a kind of folk calculus. “Leggiermente con Accenti Diversi” refers to the lightness of the movement as well as its varied accentual patterns. The third movement, “Parlando, Affetuoso” (Spoken, Tenderly), ends with a piano cadenza that leads without pause into the fourth movement. In this final movement, marked “Ardente, Sperduto” (Ardently, Lost), aspects of the first three movements, now transformed, are recalled as the composition moves towards an ambiguous conclusion.


: Biography Composer Martin Bresnick was born in New York City in 1946 and he is presently a professor of composition and coordinator of the composition department at the Yale School of Music. He was educated at the High School of Music and Art, the University of Hartford (ba ’67), Stanford University (ma ’68, dma ’72), and the Akademie für Musik, Vienna (’69-’70). His principal teachers of composition include György Ligeti, John Chowning, and Gottfried von Einem. Mr. Bresnick has taught at many schools in the United States and Europe, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1971-72), Eastman School of Music (20022003), New College in Oxford (2004), and the Royal Academy of Music in London (2005), among others. In 2006, Mr. Bresnick was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Fromm Foundation (1995), Lincoln Center Chamber Players (1997), Meet-the-Composer (1998), and Chamber Music America (1999). He has received many prizes, the most recent the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Elise L. Stoeger Prize for Chamber Music (1996), Charles Ives Living award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998), the ascap Foundation’s Aaron Copland Prize for teaching (2000), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2003).

Mr. Bresnick has written music for films, two of which, Arthur & Lillie (1975) and The Day After Trinity (1981), were nominated for Academy Awards in the documentary category (both directed by Jon Else). Mr. Bresnick’s music has been recorded by Cantaloupe Records, Composers Recordings Incorporated, Centaur, New World Records, Artifact Music, and Mr. Bresnick’s compositions cover a wide range Albany Records and is published by Carl Fischer of instrumentation, from chamber music to Music, New York; Bote and Bock, Berlin; and symphonic compositions and computer music. CommonMuse Music Publishers, New Haven. His orchestral works have been performed by major symphonies around the world, including the San Francisco Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Münster Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, and Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka. His chamber music has been performed in concert by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Da Capo Chamber Players, Bang on A Can All Stars, and MusicWorks!, among others. His music has been heard at numerous festivals, including Prague Spring, Tanglewood, Banff, New Music America, and New Horizons. He has also received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts (1992),



Faculty Artist Series Free Admission / Sprague Hall A rediscovered work for solo violin and music for voice, piano, and chamber ensembles. Ilya Poletaev, piano, and James Taylor, tenor, with guests Jennifer Curtis, violin, and Mihai Marica, cello.

Feb 06 / Sat / 8 pm


THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Feb 12 / Fri / 8 pm Feb 13 / Sat / 8 pm Feb 14 / Sun / 2 pm yale school of music Robert Blocker, Dean

203 432-4158 Box Office E-mail Us Watch online

Yale in New York Tickets $15-25 / Students $10-20 / Carnegie Hall Premieres and rarities from opera to ballet by the Russian composer, featuring faculty, alumni, student, and guest performers. Preview concert on Monday, February 8 at 8pm in New Haven at Sprague Hall.

Yale Opera Tickets $19-41 / Students $13 / Shubert Theater Doris Yarick-Cross, artistic director; Vera LĂşcia CalĂĄbria, stage director. Christoph Campestrini conducts the Yale Philharmonia. In Italian with projected English translations. concerts & media Vincent Oneppo Dana Astmann Monica Ong Reed Danielle Heller Elizabeth Martignetti

new music new haven Christopher Theofanidis Artistic Director

operations Tara Deming Christopher Melillo

Roberta Senatore Production Assistant

piano curators Brian Daley William Harold recording studio Eugene Kimball Jason Robins

Krista Johnson Managing Director

Renata Steve Music Librarian

New Music New Haven  

Featuring the Piano Trio of faculty composer Martin Bresnick, as well as music by Omar Surillo and Jordan Kuspa.

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