UC San Diego's Department of Music

August 04, 2008

August 1, 2008
News from the Department of Music and beyond

If you're feeling old at 30 or 50 or 70, consider that some of your best years may still lie ahead of you. Composer Elliott Carter (at left) celebrates his 100th birthday this year and he's still working hard.

Department of Music Chairman and composer Rand Steiger's "Cryosphere" is set for American Composers Orchestra performances Feb. 20, 2009 at New York City's Zankel Hall (at Carnegie Hall), with NYC Opera's George Manahan conducting; and Feb.• at Philadelphia's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Rand says this piece for live electronics and orchestra "draws inspiration from the Earth's frozen surfaces, particularly the way glaciers and icebergs are formed and destroyed. It embraces the beauty and mystery of these structures, while also lamenting their precipitous and unnatural loss. The winds, brass, harps, principal strings, and percussion instruments play into microphones, and their signals are transformed by a computer that runs software developed at UC San Diego by Miller Puckette. These transformed instrumental sounds then emerge from small speakers located within the orchestra and blend naturally with their original sources."

We picked up this July 31 blog about Attacca Quartet's performance of UCSD composer Chinary Ung's "Spiral X: In Memoriam," at Summergarden festival in NYC.

La Jolla SummerFest opened Aug. 1. This year's concert lineup includes UCSD's Mark Dresser, Steven Schick and red fish blue fish.

Clarinetist Anthony Burr from UCSD's music faculty performs live music (with Skuli Sverrisson and Ted Reichman) to accompany for Jennifer Reeves' new film "When It Was Blue, on Oct. 29 and 30, 8 p.m., at The Kitchen in New York City.

UCSD grad Jeff Kaiser blogs this update on KaiBorg, his collaboration with UCSD faculty David Borgo.

Percussionist Steven Schick is barnstorming through summer (with a few days off in Costa Rica) and recently earned upbeat notices in Pittsburgh.

Schick's thoughts on composer (and former UCSD faculty) Brian Ferneyhough's "Bone Alphabet" appear on the "Curve and Lattice" blog (and that's UCSD Ross Karre performing the piece).ϑ5

Another blogger compares UCSD faculty Miller Puckette's Pure Data sound software with MAX/MSP.

A composition by UCSD's Lei Liang was on the program for the Ying Quartet's recent concert in Aspen, Colorado.

UCSD contrabassist Mark Dresser's collaboration with Roswell Rudd was on a recent playlist for the "Jazz Euphoria" program on 90.3 FM in Montreal.

Trombonist and UCSD music alum Michael Dessen receives a lengthy profile on All About Jazz, the premiere jazz website. After the profile you'll want to hear him in person. Luckily, he's in the Department of Music's fall concert lineup. He performs with his trio (drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Christopher Tordini) Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. in Mandeville Recital Hall. Here's the article:

UCSD's Braden Diotte's "Public Works: Music for Libraries" premieres Aug. 8, chiming forth from the Geisel Library's carillon.

Improvisation in classical music is often referred to as a "lost art," but Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero takes requests from audiences and extemporizes classical interpretations of popular songs ranging from "Happy Birthday" to "Yesterday".

Minnesota Orchestra gets an injection of swing with the addition of a new artistic director of jazz.

Along with rising gas prices, the loopy stock market, foreclosed houses and job layoffs - another symptom of recession is the state of American symphony orchestras. They're canceling tours and looking for other ways to save money at a time of falling fundraising.

Most every American symphony orchestra programs a Pops series - as in Pop-ular and presumably good for the bottom line. These concerts always stir debate between classical purists and music fans with broader tastes. Minnesota Orchestra's associate conductor says musicians need to be less elitist (a word that sounds familiar from the current presidential campaign).

Boston Symphony Hall can be seen in a new light now that several windows covered over during World War II have been uncovered. At the time, they were seen as potential targets for enemy bombers. Our inside sources report that Boston is not under immediate threat of air strikes.

Violinist Laurie Anderson receives this review for her recent "Homeland" tour.ϑ&ref=music&oref=slogin

Grad composer Nicholas Deyoe is back from Darmstadt and provides this report of UCSD's strong showing:

As usual, there was a large group of UCSD students participating in the 2008 Darmstadt summer courses (IMD).  Nicholas Deyoe and Nicholas DeMaison both received scholarships to participate in the conductor's forum with Lucas Vis.  They were two of the four conductors invited to participate.  Matthew Jenkins and Jonathan Hepfer received scholarships to work with Christian Dierstein and Emmanuel Séjourné. The percussionists worked tirelessly to perform a very difficult program halfway through the festival.
Incoming grad saxophonist Eliot Gattegno was a member of the IMD Preisträgerensemble made up of exceptional performers awarded scholarships at the end of the last IMD festival in 2006.  Eliot was recognized this year and awarded the 2008 Kranichsteiner Performance Award. 

Four UCSD composition students were also in attendance: Clint McCallum, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, Alec Hall, and incoming MA student Tania Lanfer.  Marianthi was a scholarship winner from the 2006 festival and was commissioned to write her new piece "Yarn" for the IMD Preisträgerensemble.  Clint got the attention of several people with the performance of his piece "In a  Hall of Mirrors Waiting to Die" and was awarded a scholarship prize for the IMD 2010.

Below is a (hopefully) complete list of the pieces performed by UCSD people:

Nicholas Deyoe
Conducted Ensemble Ascolta and IMD Preisträgerensemble
Marta Gentilucci: Radix Ipsius for ensemble and Electronics
Marco Momi: Iconica II for ensemble
Laura Bowler: My Friend Annie for mezzo soprano and ensemble
Andile Khumalo: ISO[R] for flute, cello, and piano

Nicholas DeMaison
Conducted IMD percussion ensemble and IMD Preisträgerensemble
Wolfgang Rihm: Tutuguri VI for 6 percussionists
Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri: Yarn for seven instrumentalists
John Hails: Love Songs for– players

Eliot Gattegno, Winner of 2008 Kranichsteiner Performance Award
Pieces performed:
Jimmy Lopez - "Incubis II" two saxophones, piano, and percussion
Simon Steen Anderson - "on and off and to and fro" saxophone, percussion, contrabass, 3 megaphones
Clint McCallum - "in a hall of mirrors waiting to die", saxophone and piano
David Brynjar Franzon - "closeness of materials", saxophone and accordion

Jonathan Hepfer, performed with IMD percussion ensemble
David Brynjar Franzon: A Spiral as seen from the view of a Drum (2005) for 6 percussionists
Liza Lim: City of Falling Angels (2007) for 12 percussionists
Philippe Manoury: Last for marimba and bass clarinet
Alec Hall: 10 small pieces

Matthew Jenkins, performed with IMD percussion ensemble
David Brynjar Franzon: A Spiral as seen from the view of a Drum (2005) for 6 percussionists
Liza Lim: City of Falling Angels (2007) for 12 percussionists
Evangelia Rigaki "...but only water" for prepared marimba

Clint McCallum - Awarded a scholarship prize for IMD 2010
"In a Hall of Mirrors Waiting to Die" performed by Eliot Gattegno and Kate Ledger

Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri
premiere of "Yarn" commissioned by the IMD and performed by the IMD Scholarship Ensemble

Alec Hall
"10 small pieces" performed by Jon Hepfer, John Popham, and Heather Roche

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