UC San Diego's Department of Music

November 01, 2008

  UCSD composer Lei Liang has been awarded an Aaron Copland Prize, which carries a cash award and a three- to eight-week residency at Copland's rustic retreat north of New York City in the Hudson River Valley. Copland, who died in 1990, spent the last 30 years of his life there. The dwelling has been restored and contains many of Copland's possessions, including a rough-hewn plank table where he composed. Lei will be in residence next summer, working on new piece for large ensemble. Other winners for 2008 are Yu-Hui Chang, Christopher Dietz, Du Yun, Geoffrey Gordon, Mark Kilstofte, Justin Merritt, Stephen Andrew Taylor, and Ushio Torikai. They were selected by a jury of Daron Hagen, Tania Leon, and Zhou Long, from more than 100 applicants representing 31 states.

Pick up the trail of the department of music's Great Violin Mystery (you need to check the website every day):

UCSD music grad Eliot Gattegno is the first saxophonist and one of the few Americans ever to win the Kranichsteiner Music Prize for outstanding new music performance from the Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt. The prize includes a cash award as well as commissions and concert engagements throughout Europe and invitations to perform and lecture at future Darmstadt summer courses. Founded in 1&Epsilonβ by the city of Darmstadt, the prize is considered the highest achievement for artistic creativity in the framework of the biennial International Summer Courses for New Music.

With La Jolla Symphony & Chorus opening a new season this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 1 and 2), Music Director and Conductor Steven Schick is in the limelight. Last year, Schick lured new listeners with a provocative program including composers Philip Glass and John Luther Adams. This year's THE DNA OF MUSIC season includes music by Smetana, Takemitsu, Brahms (this weekend), as well as Ziporyn, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Copland, Debussy, Beethoven, Elgar, Mahler-and UCSD composers Anthony Davis and Rick Snow. In these articles, Schick talks about the new season and about some of his own experiences.

La Jolla Light's piece has more reach than one might expect. In the interview, Schick mentions the Trust for Public Land. So someone at the organization discovered the article, and reported their find back to Steve's wife Brenda-who works as an attorney for the Trust. Schick is a diehard baseball fan, which he mentions in the La Jolla Light . Following the article, he received a message from Major League Baseball requesting an interview. As much as Schick loves baseball, he says there is no chance you'll find him performing the National Anthem at a ballpark in San Diego, Alaska, or any of the other places where he attends games.

UCSD faculty clarinetist Anthony Burr took part in last week's Darmstadt Presents/Essential Repertoire festival in Brooklyn:

Susan Narucki, vocalist and UCSD faculty member, is on a new 4˜D set on Bridge Records. It's titled "Americans in Rome" and brings together pieces by winners of the Rome Prize. Narucki's friend and colleague, pianist Donald Berman, curated the collection and performs on it. Narucki's performances include a piece by Roger Sessions.

"Americans in Rome" has other connections to UCSD. Composer Bun˜hing Lam, who wrote one of the pieces, earned a PhD in composition here in 1981, studying with Bernard Rands, Robert Erickson, Roger Reynolds, and Pauline Oliveros. Composer David Lang's "The Little Match Girl" is also included. Lang went to Yale not UCSD, but he co-founded Bang on a Can in 1987, and UCSD percussionist Steven Schick was one of the original members. You can watch Schick performing Lang's The Anvil Chorus on YouTube:

Anthony Davis's opera Amistad, with libretto by Thulani Davis, is out as a two˜D set, performed by the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra & Chorus.ϑ2254&Gamma&thetaι0&srϑ-2

David Borgo's book "Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age" is too challenging for your average book critic, but it's buzzing around the blogosphere:

Calling all composers and improvisers: Here's a kinetic building that might inspire some music:

A well-oiled orchestra brings new classical music and attention to the Middle East nation of Qatar with a debut concert conducted by Lorin Maazel.ϒ&item_noϒ512Γ&versionϑ&template_id=36&parent_idϑ6

Composer John Adams has published an autobiography that's being praised as a collection of well-written and fascinating tales about his life and work, dating back to his days driving a Karmann Ghia and living near San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Adams says writing is much easier than composing, all the more annoying for writers given that Adams is apparently a gifted writer. One human shouldn't have that much talent.ϒ&sq=john%20adams&st=cse

Election day may bring a tectonic shift in America. As the political landscape evolves around fresh ideas, "classical" music is also shifting. In his debut season as director of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert will showcase music by Messiaen, Lindberg (as composer-in-residence), and other challenging composers.ϑ9183&categoryidϑ

Jazz fanatics have hoped for decades that some sleuth might discover wax cylinder recordings said to contain turn-of-the-century recordings of New Orleans trumpet legend Buddy Bolden. While no attic or garage sale has yet yielded those treasures, classical music fans are ecstatic over the discovery of cylinders dating back as far as the 1890s and including the earliest recordings of works by Bach, Wagner, Verdi, Chopin, Schumann and many more, as well as performances by Josef Hofmann and other legendary musicians. Now, those recordings are available on CD.ϑ&ei=5070&emc=eta1&oref=slogin

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