UC San Diego's Department of Music

February 17, 2017

  Bringing you the latest news from the UC San Diego Department of Music's faculty, student and alumni networks.

Kamau Kenyatta wins Grammy Award
Department of Music lecturer Kamau Kenyatta was recognized by The Recording Academy last Sunday, February 12 for his contributions to Gregory Porter's fourth album Take Me to the Alley, released last May on Blue Note Records. Kenyatta, who first met Porter while teaching the aspiring jazz student at San Diego State University in the 1990s, co-produced Take Me to the Alley, which serves as Porter's second win in the Grammy Awards' Best Jazz Vocal Album category. Kenyatta was also the associate producer for Porter's first Grammy win, 2013's Liquid Spirit, and contributed similarly to Porter's first two albums.

UC San Diego Department of Music faculty members and alumni have been recognized by The Recording Academy in previous years for their outstanding contributions to the creation, recording and performance of new music. Nominees from past years include Professor Susan Narucki (who sang on George Crumb's Star Child, which won the Best Classical Contemporary Composition Grammy in 2000), Professor Mark Dresser (who was nominated in 2003 in the Best Chamber Music Performance category) and alumnus Nathan East (who has been nominated for multiple Grammys as a solo artist and with his jazz quartet Fourplay).

Anthony Davis to celebrate San Diego premiere of new work today
Professor Anthony Davis will present the San Diego premiere of his choral work Voyage Through Death to Life Upon These Shores today at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The chamber choir Sacra/Profana will perform the a cappella work at 7:30 p.m. and will be joined by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir under the direction of Department of Music faculty member Ken Anderson.

Presented in honor of Black History Month, this program explores the history of slavery with featured text from Robert Hayden's poem "Middle Passage." Today's event will be the sixth performance of Voyage Through Death worldwide and will be followed by a second local performance on Sunday, February 26 at the All Souls' Episcopal Church in Point Loma. Find more information about the performances here.

World premiere of work by Natacha Diels at second annual Frequency Festival on February 14
The second annual Frequency Festival, launched last year in Chicago as a celebration of new classical and experimental music, began on Tuesday, February 14 with the world premiere of a new piece by Assistant Professor Natacha Diels as performed by the Chicago-based ensemble Mocrep. The festival's first day also featured the performance of music by Department of Music alumna Carolyn Chen, who earned her Ph.D. in 2014. Read more about this year's Frequency Festival here.

Camera Lucida and red fish blue fish featured on La Jolla Light's Best Bets list
Next week's Camera Lucida and red fish blue fish concerts at UC San Diego both landed on the La Jolla Light's Best Bets list for February 16-22. Camera Lucida's fourth concert of its 2016-17 season will take place on Monday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Conrad Prebys Concert Hall and will feature performances of works by Robert Schumann, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Edward Elgar. UC San Diego's own percussion ensemble red fish blue fish will hold its next concert on Wednesday, February• and will feature performances of works by Johanna Beyer, Iannis Xenakis and the world premiere of A song of grecis., a new work by graduate composer Justin Murphy-Mancini.

Camera Lucida tickets are sold exclusively through the UC San Diego Box Office and are available for purchase here. red fish blue fish tickets are sold through the Department of Music Box Office and are available for purchase here.

Erik Carlson's January performance of Jurg Frey reviewed by Sequenza21
Assistant Professor Erik Carlson participated in a presentation of music by Jurg Frey last month at Cal Arts, a concert collectively titled The Path and the Expanse. Carlson opened the concert with Circular Music No. 7, a piece created in 2015-16 that Sequenza21 described as "both peaceful and reserved, like the dawn of a foggy morning."

Carlson's piece was followed with performances by notable Department of Music alumni, including soprano Stephanie Aston (an original member of the kallisti ensemble and current artist with San Diego New Music), conductor Nicholas Deyoe (the co-founder and artistic director of wasteLAnd) and percussionist Greg Stuart (an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Music). Click here to read Sequenza21's review.

Sequenza21 reviews performance by graduate cellist Jennifer Bewerse
Graduate cellist Jennifer Bewerse performed with the Southland Ensemble in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 28 with a special tribute to the poetry of Jackson Mac Low. Bewerse and the Southland Ensemble will follow their Los Angeles performance with a second concert today at UC San Diego's Conrad Prebys Music Center, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Experimental Theater and is free to attend. Click here to learn more about today's concert and read Sequenza21's review of the January 28 performance here.

Alumnus Mark Menzies reviewed by the Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times reviewed a recent performance of the 1989 Luigi Nono masterpiece La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura: Madrigale per piu "Caminantes" con Gidon Kremer, brought to life by Mark Menzies in collaboration with wasteLAnd on February 3 at Art Share L.A. Currently a professor and the head of performance at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Menzies received his Ph.D. from UC San Diego in 2010 and has earned a reputation internationally as a renowned violinist, violist, pianist, conductor and composer. Click here to read the Los Angeles Times' review.

Alumnus Steven Takasugi to return to UC San Diego
Department of Music alumnus and current Associate of the Harvard Music Department Steven Takasugi will return to UC San Diego on February 21 to present a lecture as part of the department's ongoing Composition Focus lecture series. Takasugi will discuss compositional practices and his own recent works during his presentation and will follow the lecture with a guest recital on February 23 at 6 p.m. in the Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater. The recital will feature performances by current graduate students Madison Greenstone, Tyler J. Borden and Kyle Adam Blair, who will bring Takasugi's original compositions Strange Autumn (2003-04) and Die Klavierubung (2007-09) to the stage. Both the seminar and the recital are free to attend.

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