UC San Diego's Department of Music

August 05, 2008

  Soprano Susan Narucki, a leading interpreter of contemporary music, has joined the performance faculty. Narucki's repertoire ranges from Stravinsky to Oliver Messiaen, Gerard Grisey, Pierre Boulez and Elliott Carter. She earned a Grammy for her recording of George Crumb's "Star˜hild", and she has presented more than one hundred world premieres.

Now, she is ready for a new challenge.

"During the past few years, I've had quite a few opportunities to work with young singers, instrumentalists, and composers, in workshops and master classes on interpretation and collaboration in 20th/21st century music," Narucki says. "I've enjoyed it immensely. I have been wanting to make teaching a regular part of my life and this is the perfect opportunity. I am extremely impressed with the distinguished music faculty, and I look forward to collaborating with both faculty and students."

Since its founding in 1966, UCSD's Department of Music has become known as a leading center for new and experimental music, and Narucki is eager to carry on.

"I want to help singers who have an interest and passion for modern music to hone their skills so they will be able to perform this repertoire at the highest level," she says. "I'd also like to talk to young composers about writing for voice. There is already a spirit of collaboration at UCSD. Some of the most interesting things happen when students understand each other's creative and performance processes, and I want to facilitate that collaboration."

As a singer, Narucki is fascinated with brilliant composers who have dedicated significant energy to writing music for voice.

"In the last four weeks, I've performed pieces by Messaien, Berlioz, Earl Kim,  Boccherini and  Aperghis, a huge variation of style and musical languages," she says. "I guess what inspires me is each composer's integrity; they each have a compositional language that makes sense; all beautiful, but all completely different, like going from one planet to another. 

"I find it very interesting  to try to understand a composer's vision and to recreate that in sound; I've spent over twenty years doing this and I am still fascinated by the process.   The other thing is that forms are constantly changing:  the traditional formats for the concert experience also need to evolve, otherwise they aren't reflecting our times.  I am very interested in cross-genre and cross-disciplinary approaches which alter the concert format while still enhancing the experience of the listener.  This is already happening out in the world, and what is happening at UCSD is a reflection of this."

Narucki joins a faculty that also includes saxophonist David Borgo, clarinetist Anthony Burr, pianist Anthony Davis, contrabassist Mark Dresser, flutist John Fonville, bass-baritone Philip Larson, cellist Charles Curtis, pianist Aleck Karis, violinist János Négyesy and percussionist Steven Schick,

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