march 29, 2012 Morse Recital Hall Thursday at 8 pm artistic director Christopher Theofanidis featured composer Steve Reich and music of Feigenbaum Gardiner Gilbertson Kuspa Tierney Wohl
Robert Blocker, Dean
Vermont Counterpoint (1982) Ransom Wilson, conductor Anouvong Liensavanh, live flute Conor Nelson, tape flute Kelli Kathman, Ryan Rice, Peng Zhou, flutes Ginevra Petrucci, solo piccolo Mindy Heinsohn, Kyeong Hoon Seung, James Devoll, piccolos Amanda Baker, Francois Minaux, Sara Andon, alto flutes
Proverb (1995) Marguerite Brooks, conductor Jessica Petrus, Megan Chartrand, Virginia Warnken, sopranos Robert Strabendt, Scott Mello, tenors Noah Horn, Sara Marks, keyboards Adam Rosenblatt, Leonardo Gorosito, vibraphones
Gatekeeper Colin Brookes, viola
Nitwit, Oddment, Blubber, Tweak Piotr Filochowski, violin Joonhwan Kim, cello Peng Zhou, flute Ashley Smith, clarinet Paul Kerekes, piano intermission
hedgehog Gregory Robbins, conductor Laura Keller, violin Timothy LaCrosse, viola Andrew Hayhurst, cello Matthew Rosenthal, double bass Kyeong Hoon Seung, flute Igal Levin, bass clarinet Victor Caccese, percussion Dan Schlosberg, piano Trevor Babb, electric guitar
Blue Tigers Benjamin Firer, conductor Emile Greer, clarinet Soo Jin Huh, basset horn Gleb Kanasevich, bass clarinet Yun-Chu Chiu, percussion Jonathan Allen, percussion Suzana Bartal, piano
Nocturne Anouvong Liensavanh, flute Graham Banfield, guitar
Slow Wave Jonathan Allen, percussion Victor Caccese, percussion Cristobal Gajardo-Benitez, percussion Leonardo Gorosito, percussion
As a courtesy to the performers and audience, turn off cell phones and pagers. Please do not leave the hall during selections. Photography or recording of any kind is prohibited.
PROFILES + NOTES
STEVE REICH composer Steve Reich has been called “America’s greatest living composer” (Village Voice), “...the most original musical thinker of our time” (New Yorker), and “...among the great composers of the [twentieth] century” (New York Times). His music has been influential to composers and mainstream musicians all over the world. He is a leading pioneer of Minimalism, having in his youth broken away from the “establishment” that was serialism. His music is known for steady pulse, repetition, and a fascination with canons; it combines rigorous structures with propulsive rhythms and seductive instrumental color. It also embraces harmonies of non-Western and American vernacular music (especially jazz). His studies have included the Gamelan, African drumming (at the University of Ghana), and traditional forms of chanting the Hebrew scriptures. Different Trains and Music for 18 Musicians have each earned him Grammy awards, and his “documentary video opera” works—The Cave and Three Tales, done in collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot—have pushed the boundaries of the operatic medium. Over the years his music has significantly grown both in expanded harmonies and instrumentation, resulting in a Pulitzer Prize for his 2007 composition Double Sextet. Reich’s music has been performed by major orchestras and ensembles around the world,
including the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; London, San Francisco, Boston, and BBC symphony orchestras; London Sinfonietta; Kronos Quartet; Ensemble Modern; Ensemble Intercontemporain; Bang on a Can All-Stars; and eighth blackbird. Several noted choreographers have created dances to his music, such as Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Jirí Kylían, Jerome Robbins, Wayne McGregor, and Christopher Wheeldon. “There’s just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history, and Steve Reich is one of them.” — The Guardian (London) Steve Reich is published by Boosey & Hawkes. Biography reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.
Vermont Counterpoint (1982) notes
Proverb (1995) notes
Vermont Counterpoint (1982) was commissioned by flutist Ransom Wilson and is dedicated to Betty Freeman. It is scored for three alto flutes, three flutes, three piccolos, and one solo part all pre-recorded on tape, plus a live solo part. The live soloist plays alto flute, flute, and piccolo and participates in the ongoing counterpoint as well as more extended melodies. The piece can be performed by eleven flutists but is intend primarily as a solo with tape.
The idea for Proverb was originally suggested to me by the singer and conductor Paul Hiller, who thought of a primarily vocal piece with six voices and two percussion. What resulted was a piece for three sopranos, two tenors, two vibraphones, and two electric organs, with a short text from Ludwig Wittgenstein. Since Paul Hiller is well known as a conductor and singer of early music and since I share an interest in this period of Western music, I looked once again at the works of Perotin (Scholl of Notre Dame, twelfth century) for guidance and inspiration.
The duration is approximately ten minutes. In that comparatively short time four sections in four different keys, with the third in a slower tempo, are presented. The compositional techniques used are primarily building up canons between short repeating melodic patterns by substituting notes for rests, and then playing melodies that result from their combination. These resulting melodies or melodic patterns then become the basis for the following section as the other surrounding parts in the contrapuntal web fade out. Though the techniques used include several that I discovered as early as 1967, the relatively fast rate of change (there are rarely more than three repeats of any bar), metric modulation into and out of a slower tempo, and relatively rapid changes of key may well create a more concentrated and concise impression.
The three sopranos sing the original melody of the text in canons that gradually augment or get longer. The two tenors sing duets in shorter rhythmic values against held tones from the sopranos. The two electric organs double the singers throughout (except at the very beginning when they sing a capella) and fill in the harmonics. The piece is in constantly changing meter groupings of twos and threes, giving a rhythmically free quality to the voices. After about three minutes of voices and organ only, the vibraphones enter, enunciating these interlocking shifting groups of two and three beats. The original theme in the voices is then inverted and moves from B minor to E-flat minor. In this contrasting section, the original descending melodic line becomes a rising one. The last part of the piece is one large augmentation canon for the sopranos, returning to the
PROFILES + NOTES
original key of B minor with the tenors singing their melismatic duets continuously as the canon slowly unfolds around them. This is concluded by a short coda which ends, as the piece began, with a single soprano. Though the sopranos sing syllabically with one note for each word (and every word of the text is monosyllabic), the tenors sing long melismas on a single syllable. Perotin’s influence may be heard most clearly in these tenor duets against soprano, which clearly resemble three-part organum. That same influence plays a more indirect role in the soprano augmentation canons, which are suggested by the augmentation of held tenor notes in Perotin’s organum. The short text – “How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life!” – comes from a collection of Wittgenstein’s writing entitled Culture and Value. Much of Wittgenstein’s work is ‘proverbial’ in tone and in its brevity. This particular text was written in 1946. In the same paragraph from which it was taken Wittgenstein continues, “If you want to go down deep you do not need to travel far.”
STEPHEN FEIGENBAUM composer Stephen Feigenbaum is a 22-year-old composer from Winchester, Massachusetts. His work draws on aspects of popular music, from the grittiest to the most lyrical. In 2010, Stephen was the ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Fellow at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He was also the 2010 winner of the Sacra/Profana (San Diego) choral composition contest. He is a past winner of an ASCAP-Morton Gould Young Composer Award and of competitions sponsored by the New York Art Ensemble, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and Albany Symphony Orchestra. He received a fellowship for study at the Norfolk (Connecticut) Chamber Music Festival. His compositions have been performed at Jordan Hall and the Hatch Shell in Boston, the Green Room in San Francisco, Lincoln Center and Le Poisson Rouge in New York, and in cities from Vancouver to Berlin to Prague. One of his works was performed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, directed by Erich Kunzel, on a CD released by Telarc in 2009. Stephen is a music major at Yale, where he conceived Sic Futuristic, a high-energy, multimedia show for new chamber music, including his own compositions. Stephen’s composition work at Yale has been featured on the Yale College website. He has studied with Kathryn Alexander, Martin Bresnick, Michael Gandolfi, Martin Amlin, Rodney Lister, Samuel Adler, and Claude Baker. He
will continue his studies at the Yale School of Music beginning in the fall. Trio notes Neither rhyme nor reason; simply, “no”.
PROFILES + NOTES
WILLIAM GARDINER composer William Gardiner is an Australian composer currently studying at the Yale School of Music with David Lang. Born in 1987, William Gardiner previously attended the University of Sydney, where he received degrees in Arts and Law. In Australia Gardiner took courses in composition with several of the nation’s leading composers, including Matthew Hindson, Paul Stanhope, Anne Boyd, Michael Smetanin and Damien Ricketson. William Gardiner is the product of a diverse musical pedigree. He was born to a pair of passionate early music enthusiasts, and spent his earliest years immersed in early music, most notably that of Bach, as performed by the likes of Ton Koopman, the Kuijken brothers, and the Savall family. His teenage years were accompanied by the revelation of rock music, leading to Gardiner taking up the drum set and contributing to his strong rhythmic sense. During his later school years, his interest in composing was provoked by hearing in concert the music of composers such as Astor Piazzolla, Pēteris Vasks, George Crumb, and Alfred Schnittke. Upon finishing high school, Gardiner’s first compositional efforts, works written in imitation of Bach and Piazzolla, received perfect scores in the matriculation exams, resulting in performances at the Sydney Opera House. More recently, Gardiner’s work has taken on the influence of inventive contemporary rock groups such as Animal Collective and Canada’s Do Make Say Think, the seething, virtuosic compositions of Italy’s Fausto Romitelli, and the meticulous electronic soundscapes of countryman Ben Frost.
hedgehog notes hedgehog is a piece with several contrasting, seemingly incompatible sections, but there are common threads which run through them all. I tried to give the illusion that they all spring from the same essence. This aspect of the way the piece is constructed reminded me of the philosophy of Ronald Dworkin— who famously defends the ‘hedgehog’ view of moral philosophy—and this is part of the reason for the piece’s title. Not that I am attempting to engage with that philosophy by writing a piece of music! I thought some people might be curious about the title so I felt I should provide a little explanation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the performers for their dedication and musicianship.
MICHAEL GILBERTSON composer Michael Gilbertson, a native of Dubuque, Iowa, studied composition with Samuel Adler, John Corigliano, and Christopher Rouse at the Juilliard School. Gilbertson’s works have been programmed by ensembles including the Juilliard Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Symphony in C, Cedar Rapids Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Plymouth Symphony, Flint Symphony, Rockford Symphony, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, Musica Sacra, and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. His recent commissions include a guitar concerto for the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, a major choral work for Musica Sacra, a ballet for the New York Choreographic Institute, and a work for the OSU Wind Symphony that will be released on the Naxos label in 2012. Gilbertson’s music has earned Morton Gould Awards from ASCAP in 2006, 2007, and 2009, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Israel Prize from the Society for New Music. His music can be heard in the 2006 documentary Rehearsing a Dream, which was nominated for an Academy Award. In 2009, Michael founded Juilliard in June, an annual music festival which brings six Juilliard musicians to Dubuque, Iowa for concerts and educational outreach. His published music includes choral works with Boosey & Hawkes and G. Schirmer, as well as orchestral works with Theodore Presser. He is currently a master’s degree student at the Yale School of Music, where he studies with Ezra Laderman and Christopher Theofanidis.
Nocturne notes This short Nocturne was composed for Red Cedar Chamber Music, a chamber group in Iowa of which I am composer-in-residence. It was specifically written for their rural outreach concert series, which takes classical and folk music to isolated communities. One such community is the town of Spillville, Iowa, where Antonin Dvorak spent the summer of 1893. As I wrote this piece, I thought of Dvorak in Iowa, dreaming of home.
PROFILES + NOTES
JORDAN KUSPA composer Jordan Kuspa’s music has been praised in the New York Times as “consistently alive and inspired.” His compositions have been performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony, 21st Century Consort, Xanthos Ensemble, Ensemble SurPlus, Third Wheel Trio, Linden String Quartet, organist Chelsea Chen, violist Brett Deubner, Yale Camerata, and the Yale Philharmonia, among others. He has been a composition fellow at June in Buffalo, MusicX, and the Chamber Music Institute at UNL with the Chiara String Quartet. Jordan was the winner of the 2011 Pittsburgh Symphony Audience of the Future Competition, the 2010 League of Composers–ISCM Competition, and the 2007 Robert Avalon Young Composers Competition. His work Iterations was selected for the 2011 American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings. A second degree black belt in traditional karate, Jordan was homeschooled before entering Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Jordan also holds the M.M. degree from the Yale School of Music, where he is currently studying with Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, Ingram Marshall, and Christopher Theofanidis. Nitwit, Oddment, Blubber, Tweak notes When I begin a new piece, I often search for an extramusical stimulus to jumpstart my musical thinking. In the case of Nitwit, Oddment, Blubber, Tweak, my inspiration was a literary
one. The four words of the title comprise the entirety of a speech made by a rather important character in a particularly popular book. I loved the idea of juxtaposing four seemingly unrelated ideas and constructing a dubious unity out of them, so I responded by comp0sing four miniatures that run without interruption. For the character of each section, I again used the title to spur my musical thoughts, but only in the most oblique ways. “Nitwit” is not about anyone in particular, nor is “Oddment” made of fragments of other material. Nitwit, Oddment, Blubber, Tweak was composed for the inaugural New Music on the Point festival held on the shore of Lake Dunmore in Vermont, and directed by Yale’s own Kathryn Alexander. The two weeks spent there in the summer of 2011 were idyllic and inspirational, and I’m immensely grateful to have been asked to take part.
JUSTIN TIERNEY composer Justin Tierney (b. 1984, New Haven, CT, the son of an electrician and brother of a plumber) is finishing an Artist Diploma in music composition at Yale University, where he has studied with Aaron Kernis, Martin Bresnick, Christopher Theofanidis, and Ezra Laderman. His music was declared “superb, robust, and grand” by the Boston Globe. Regarding his aesthetic, Tierney states that “natural phenomena can be admired from either a scientific or aesthetic view, yet the coupling of the two modalities creates an experience greater than their sum.” An aspect of this philosophy is apparent in Tierney’s affective musical surfaces supported by rigorous formal structures. Before dedicating himself to music, Tierney raced BMX (bicycles) competitively, becoming Connecticut State Champion in 1997. In high school, on a whim, he wandered into an orchestral concert for the first time and felt “a dam break inside of me.” A performance of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps pushed him over the edge to give up his career in BMX and abandon his philosophy major to devote himself to music. Mr. Tierney has studied composition with Jeffrey Johnson and Douglas Townsend at the University of Bridgeport (B.M., 2007), John McDonald at Tufts University (M.A., 2010), and privately with Ryan Vigil. He also studied violin, programed robots to play violin with Kurt Coble, and studied cello with In-Hwa Lee. Tierney is currently an adjunct professor of music at the University of Bridgeport and a teaching fellow at Yale College in music composition.
Blue Tigers notes Blue Tigers is inspired by the short story of Jorge Luis Borges of the same name. In the story, Alexander Craigie, professor of logic, investigates reports of blue-colored tigers in a remote Indian village, but instead, to the villagers’ dismay, discovers mysterious blue stones. The stones pop into and out of existence, multiply and disappear, without any apparent logic. Craigie becomes obsessed with the “obscene miracle” of the stones that violate the laws of physics and begin to haunt his dreams. He wishes he was mad, since that would be “less disturbing than the discovery that the universe can tolerate disorder. If three plus one can be two, or fourteen, then reason is madness.” He thinks of “those Greek stones that were the first ciphers… Mathematics had its origin and now has its end in stones.” Blue Tigers is dedicated to my friend and former teacher Ryan Vigil.
DANIEL WOHL composer French-American composer Daniel Wohl draws on his background in electronic music to create works that intimately merge electronic and acoustic elements. Recently reviewed by The New York Times as a composer whose music runs “deeper than the cleverness at its surface,” his pieces have been commissioned and/or performed by leading ensembles such as Eighth Blackbird, the Calder Quartet, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Mass MoCA, the Dia Beacon, and over media outlets including France 2, PBS, and NPR. Current events and projects include performances of “Aorta” for piano and electronics, a piece hailed as “mesmerizing” by the NJ StarLedger, at the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition (Amsterdam) and at Merkin Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival; commissions from the Albany Symphony, So Percussion, TwoSense, and pianist Kathleen Supove, as well as an album dedicated to his electroacoustic music on New Amsterdam Records. Daniel Wohl is a three-time ASCAP Young Composer Award winner, and has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, and the Brooklyn Arts Council, among others.
Slow Wave notes The electronics in Slow Wave involve processed and detuned crotales, as well as distorted drum machine sounds. I would like to thank the Yale percussion studio for their work and creativity in helping me choose particular percussion timbres. Slow Wave was commissioned by So Percussion in 2011.
MARGUERITE BROOKS conductor
RANSOM WILSON conductor
Professor Brooks was named to the faculty in 1985 to chair Yale’s graduate program in choral conducting and to direct the choral activities at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. She conducts the Yale Camerata and serves as director of music at the Church of the Redeemer (UCC) in New Haven. She has taught at Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Amherst College, and was director of choral music at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. B.A., Mount Holyoke College; M.M., Temple University.
Ransom Wilson was educated at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Juilliard School, and continued his postgraduate studies as an Atlantique Scholar in France with JeanPierre Rampal. As flute soloist he has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the chamber orchestras of Nice, Stuttgart, Cologne, and the Netherlands. He is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As a conductor, Mr. Wilson is the music director and principal conductor of Solisti New York, which he founded in 1981. He is music director of Opera Omaha and the San Francisco Chamber Symphony, as well as artistic director of the OK Mozart Festival in Oklahoma. He was honored by the Austrian government with the Award of Merit in Gold in recognition of his efforts on behalf of Mozart’s music in America, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alabama. A strong supporter of contemporary music, Mr. Wilson has had works composed for him by Steve Reich, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, Randall Woolf, Joseph Schwantner, Peter Schickele, John Harbison, Jean Francaix, JeanMichel Damase, George Tsontakis, Tania Léon, and Deborah Drattel. In 2007 he was appointed director of the symphony orchestra and teacher of conducting at the North Carolina School of the Arts. He joined the Yale faculty in 1991.
NEW MUSIC NEW HAVEN
artistic director Christopher Theofanidis managing director Krista Johnson
Thursdays at 8 pm Morse Recital Hall Free admission
music librarian Roberta Senatore production assistant Kate Gonzales conducting fellows Paolo Bortolameolli Yang Jiao assistant Benjamin Firer music librarians Cristobal Gajardo-Benitez Timothy Hilgert Wai Lau Qizhen Liu Rachel Perfecto Holly Piccoli Matthew Rosenthal Kathryn Salfelder Kaitlin Taylor stage crew John Allen Jonathan Allen Jeffery Arredondo Colin Brookes Timothy Hilgert Michael Levin Jonathan McWilliams Shawn Moore Matthew Rosenthal Aaron Sorensen Gerald Villella
APR 12 Featuring Kaija Saariaho: Serenatas for cello, piano, and percussion, and Terrestre for solo flute with violin, cello, harp, and percussion. Feigenbaum: Sonata for double bass and piano Kuspa: Picaresque Episodes Schlosberg: Once Tierney: Escritura del Dios Wang: Monodrama of Old Haven
Beethoven Symphonies Yale School of Music 203 432-4158 firstname.lastname@example.org music.yale.edu/media
concerts & public relations Dana Astmann Danielle Heller Dashon Burton new media Monica Ong Reed Austin Kase operations Tara Deming Christopher Melillo piano curators Brian Daley William Harold recording studio Eugene Kimball
march 30 Morse Recital Hall | Fri | 5 pm The School of Music’s conducting fellows, Paolo Bortolameolli and Yang Jiao, lead the Yale Philharmonia in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 7. Free Admission
St. Lawrence String Quartet april 3 Morse Recital Hall | Tue | 8 pm Mozart: Quartet in D minor, K. 421; Korngold: String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 34; John Adams: String Quartet (2008). Tickets $20–30, Students $10
Lunchtime Chamber Music april 11 Yale Center for British Art | Wed | 12:30 pm Music for a variety of chamber ensembles. Free Admission
Yale Cellos april 11 Morse Recital Hall | Wed | 8 pm Aldo Parisot, director. Music of Albinoni, Schumann, Villa-Lobos, Scott Joplin, Ginastera, Davidoff, and more. Tickets $10–20, Students $5