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SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Presents "A Springtime Romance" at Old First Church
Saturday, March 10th, 2007 at 8 pm

Old First Presbyterian Church
1751 Sacramento Street/Van Ness, San Francisco, CA 94109


Sequenza 21 Review

PROGRAM
 
 

Katrina Wreede has been a professional symphony musician, a jazz violist, a member of the Turtle Island String Quartet, a concert soloist, a belly dancer, a police fingerprinter, a non-denominational wedding officiant, a player of Tango Nuevo, Persian, Central European and Roma (gypsy) music and a composer for soloists, chamber ensembles, orchestras, film, and dance, sometimes collaborating with other artists to create works about social injustice. Her works are distributed by MMB Music and performed internationally, including "Mr. Twitty's Chair", now in it's 10th touring season with the David Parsons Dance Group.

Katrina Wreede

Childrens' Garden    

Foreign Lands
Time to Rise
The Wind
Unseen Playmate
Whole Duty of Children

Lisa Scola Prosek is a graduate of Princeton University in Music Composition. Her teachers include Edward Cone, Milton Babbitt, Lukas Foss, and Gaetano Giani Luporini. Scola Prosek is the recipient of numerous grants, commissions and awards, including The NY Center for Contemporary Opera "Atelier" Award for The Lariat. Scola Prosek has composed and produced eight operas with librettos in Italian and English. In 2012, Daughter of the Red Tzar, written for acclaimed tenor John Duykers, premiered in San Francisco to capacity audiences, and is currently on the outreach season with Long Beach Opera. Lisa serves as General Manager and Director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, since 2001. Other awards have been from Theatre Bay Area, the LEF Foundation, The Argosy Contemporary Music Fund, Meet the Composer, the Hewlett Foundation, the American Composers Forum, The San Francisco Arts Commission, The Center for Cultural Innovation, The California Arts Council, the NEA and the Zellerbach Foundation.

Lisa Scola Prosek, Soprano

Lisa Scola Prosek is a graduate of Princeton University in Music Composition. Her teachers include Edward Cone, Milton Babbitt, Lukas Foss, and Gaetano Giani Luporini. Scola Prosek is the recipient of numerous grants, commissions and awards, including The NY Center for Contemporary Opera "Atelier" Award for The Lariat. Scola Prosek has composed and produced eight operas with librettos in Italian and English. In 2012, Daughter of the Red Tzar, written for acclaimed tenor John Duykers, premiered in San Francisco to capacity audiences, and is currently on the outreach season with Long Beach Opera. Lisa serves as General Manager and Director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, since 2001. Other awards have been from Theatre Bay Area, the LEF Foundation, The Argosy Contemporary Music Fund, Meet the Composer, the Hewlett Foundation, the American Composers Forum, The San Francisco Arts Commission, The Center for Cultural Innovation, The California Arts Council, the NEA and the Zellerbach Foundation.

Lisa Scola Prosek

Wedding Scene: From the opera "Belfagor"     

2. Le Tue Mani (Your Hands)  
1. Quello l¡ chi ¯? (Who is that guy?)  

Maria Mikheyenko, Soprano
Eliza O'Malley, Soprano
Gar Wai Lee, Alto
Aurelio Viscarra, Tenor
Micah Epps, Bass Baritone

Loren Jones began experimenting with composition as a child. He spent his early years dividing his time between film-making and music, and some of his film work was periodically broadcast on local San Francisco television. Eventually choosing to pursue music instead of film, Loren formed and was part of several bands performing and creating different genres of original music. To this point largely self-taught, in the 1980's Loren returned to serious study to acquire greater depth musical education in order be able to create the kind of music that he had always been the most passionate about. Loren has studied with Tom Constantine, Alexis Alrich and is currently working with David Conte at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he is also a member of the chorus. 

His music has been performed by his own chamber group, by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, and by students and teachers from around the Bay Area. He has produced several recordings, worked in radio and film, including creating the sound track for an animated short which won a special Academy Award. His 2006 release, Woodward's Gardens, features two guitars, piano, flute, oboe, harp, and cello.  He was the recipient of a 2007 Meet the Composer Grant. His project, Dancing on the Brink of the World, a fourteen movement piece for chamber orchestra and period instruments, on the history of San Francisco, has been an ongoing part of the repertoire of the past three seasons of SFCCO concerts. 

Loren Jones

Dancing On the Brink of the World San Francisco - 1600 to The Present  

5. The Barbary Coast March - 1860’s
6. Midwinter Exposition - 1894
7. The Outside Lands - 1900

Enzo Garcia, banjo

intermission

 

Alexis Alrich is presently living in Hong Kong but visits the Bay Area frequently. Her Marimba Concerto, which was presented by the SFCCO, will be played by the Plymouth Symphony in Plymouth, Michigan in 2009 with conductor Nan Washburn. Her piece Island of the Blue Dolphins was performed by the Santa Barbara Symphony on January 19, 2007. She attended an artists' colony in 2007, I-Park in Connecticut, where she wrote Fragile Forests II: Cambodia, next in the series after Fragile Forests I: California Oaks, which was premiered in December 2006 by the San Francisco Composers Orchestra. As one of the winners of a Continental Harmony grant from the American Composers Forum she has written a piece for chorus, orchestra and soloists for the state of Maine. Avenues, her first orchestra piece, was premiered by the Women's Philharmonic and has been played around the country. Her chamber compositions have been performed by members of the San Francisco ballet, opera and symphony orchestras and ensembles including Bay Brass, City Winds, the Ahlert and Schwab guitar and mandolin duo in Germany, the Ariel Ensemble, New Release Alliance and Earplay in San Francisco. Ms. Alrich is the director of the John Adams Young Composers program in Berkeley, California. This is an intensive training program for composers ages 9-18 in honor of and under the aegis of John Adams.

Alexis Alrich

Marimba Concerto     

Movement II  

Matthew Cannon, Marimba

Dr. Erling Wold is a composer and man-about-town. He recently premiered two large works, his Missa Beati Notkeri Balbuli Sancti Galli Monachi in St Gallen, Switzerland, and his solo opera Mordake for tenor John Duykers as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival. He is currently working on a personal autobiographical theater piece detailing his corruption and death with the help of James Bisso, which may never be finished, and just finished a more tractable violin sonata for the Denisova-Kornienko duo in Vienna. He is best known for his operas, including Sub Pontio Pilato, an historical fantasy on the death and remembrance of Pontius Pilate, a chamber opera based on William Burroughs' early autobiographical novel Queer, and his critically acclaimed work A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil, based on the Max Ernst collage novel.

Erling Wold

"Baron Ochs"    

1. The night before the festival   
2. Mohammed has a vision  
3. Confusion; the Baron arrives; all gather; Mohammed speaks  
4. A moment passes  
5. Valzaccho returns to the forest   

Christopher Carrasco is a burgeoning young composer, hailing from the San Francisco bay area. He is becoming fairly well known throughout the Contra Costa and Solano Counties and has been commissioned by several schools in that area to write works for band and percussion ensembles, many of which have received awards. An expert in the fields of brass and percussion, Christopher toured for two years with the world champion Concord Blue Devils. A combination of this strong wind band and percussion background along with a passion for minimalist music gives his music its unique sound that can be described as Drum Corps meets Philip Glass.

Christopher Carrasco

The Mind Suite    

I. The March of Lucidity
II. Final Dance of the Decaying Mind
III. A Closer Look

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PERFORMERS
 

Flute
Bruce Salvisberg
Harry Bernstein

Oboe
Philip Freihofner

Clarinet (Bass Clarinet**)
Rachel Condry
Michael Cooke **

Bassoon (ContraBassoon**)
Michael Cooke
Michael Garvey
Lori Garvey**

French Horn
Brian Holmes


Trumpet
Ken Olson

Euphonium
Christopher Carrasco

Piano
Alexis Alrich
Lisa Prosek

Synthesizer
Baron Wold

Harp
Esther Lee

Percussion
Victor Flaviani
Anne Szabla



Violin I
Monika Gruber

Violin II
Hande Erdem
Lucy Thrupp

Viola
Katie Wreede

Cello
Beth Snellings
Adrienne Chum

Bass
Ken Miller

 

 

Matthew Cannon's origins are in the Deep South. Seven years ago he tore up his Southern roots for the glory of the San Francisco Conservatory where he trained in the subtle art of the mallet under the instruction of Mr. Jack van Geem. It was during his tenure at the Conservatory that he met Ms. Alrich and the two discussed plans for collaborating on a marimba concerto. Mr. Cannon is honored to be performing this movement of the work tonight with the SFCCO. Matthew may be seen performing around San Francisco as a marimbist and keyboardist with the award winning cabaret ensemble, Cotton Candy.

Maria Mikheyenko, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, is actively involved in bringing Russian repertoire to audiences of all backgrounds. She has sung MussorgskyÁs Songs and Dances of Death with the Russian Chamber Orchestra of Marin, was a guest artist at the 2nd Annual Russian Confederation of San Francisco, and in January 2005 performed An Evening of Russian Romance with pianist Alexander Katsman at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Ms. Mikheyenko received her BM in voice from the University of Michigan, where she studied with renowned tenor George Shirley, and completed her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2002, where she studied with Sylvia Anderson. She now studies with Victoria Rapanan.

Aurelio Viscarra has been an active performer in the San Francisco bay area for over 20 years. Aurelio has appeared in Goat Hall's Fresh Voices programs since its inception and was featured in last year's performances of Leonardo's Notebooks and Joan of Arc: Fear of the Fire . He has also sung in other Goat Hall productions including Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mahagonny Songspiel, and The Fantasticks. Aurelio has also appeared in productions with Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma, Berkeley Opera, Eugene Opera, Not Quite Opera (SF), George Coates Performance Works, and LA Opera Theater. c concerts produced by Allen Shearer and Peter Josheff. This spring she will perform in Dido and Aeneas with the Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra. Eliza received training at AIMS in Graz, Aspen, the Wesley Balk Institute, BASOTI and Oberlin College. She earned a M.M. in Voice Performance at TTU School of Music.

Micah Epps earned his Bachelor of Music Degree at the University of Arizona. His experience ranges from opera to classical and sacred choral music. He has performed as soloist in such groups as the San Mateo Masterworks Chorale (European Tour soloist), San Francisco Symphony Chorus; and was Mozart Requiem soloist in Hermosillo, Mexico. His operatic roles include U.S. premieres with local composers such as David Conte in Firebird Motel and Erling Wold in Sub Pontio Pilato. In addition, he has created the roles of Eumolpus in Lisa Scola Prosek's opera Satyricon and Creon in Mark Alburger's Antigone.

Eliza O'Malley most recently appeared as Emma in a workshop production of Khovanshchina conducted by Kent Nagano. She has also sung roles with Oakland Opera Theater, Berkeley Opera, Goat Hall Productions, Solo Opera, BASOTI, Capitol Opera Sacramento, Labor Fest and for the past five years in the annual Harvest of Song new music concerts produced by Allen Shearer and Peter Josheff. This spring she will perform in Dido and Aeneas with the Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra. Eliza received training at AIMS in Graz, Aspen, the Wesley Balk Institute, BASOTI and Oberlin College. She earned a M.M. in Voice Performance at TTU School of Music.

Enzo Garcia plays guitar, banjo, accordion, musical saw, jaw harp, and percussion. He has been performing and recording professionally for over ten years, the last seven of which he has spent in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has recorded with Grammy nominees Darol Anger and Mike Marshall as well as Anti-RecordsÁ recording artist Jolie Holland. Enzo has recorded eleven full length CDs, nine of which are for families. Eight of the eleven CDs were made in a span of less than two years for "LMNO Music", a school of movement and music for infants, toddlers, parents and caregivers which Enzo founded in San Francisco in 2005. His "LMNO Pink CD" was a top twenty pick for children's CDs of 2006 on NPR's, "All Things Considered" and his "LMNO Green" CD is a "Parenting Magazine, Parenting Pick." He is in his fifth year of professionally teaching music and movement to children. You may see him perform for families on Saturdays from 10a.m. Çtil noon at a weekly concert in The Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (515 Cortland near Andover.) It's called, "Breakfast with Enzo".

Childrens' Garden is based on the collection of poems, "Childrens' Garden of Verses", by Robert Louis Stevenson, a resident of Oakland when they were written. It was originally composed as a soprano/viola duo as part of a program Lisa and Katie performed at the Shrine of St. Francis. With the formation of the Serafina Trio, it gained a piano part. The movements are: Foreign Lands; Time to Rise; The Wind Unseen Playmate; Whole Duty of Children

Wedding Scene: from the opera Belfagor is made Possible by a grant from the ARGOSY Contemporary Music Fund. Machiavelli's Belfagor, a comic novella about the evils of women and marriage, describes the story of the comic arch devil, who is compelled to return amongst the living to discover why women, and wives in particular, are the downfall of so many men. This movement describes the lavish wedding reception that is required bylaw, to promote the new couples social standing in town, all at the grooms (Belfagor) expense. Discovering that he is laden with cash, and dressed as richly as a Sultan, they hurry the priest in to perform the ceremony. But Belfagor is willing to be bankrupted by his new family, for he is hopelessly in love, and sings Le Tue Mani, to his new bride. This Opera Buffa is all about Commedia Dell'Arte gestures and characters, and will premiere at Thick House Theater in San Francisco on June 1,2,and 3, featuring the videography of Jakub Kalousek.

Dancing on the Brink of the World: San Francisco - 1600 to The Present is a blend of historical times and places and my own experiences from growing up in San Francisco. Parts 1 through 4 were performed by the SFCCO last year:
5. The Barbary Coast March - 1860’s
My uncle once owned an antique organ grinder that he said came from a place called the Barbary Coast Saloon. It had a maple box with wooden spoke wheels, and inside there were over a dozen musical instruments and a piano roll that was cranked by hand and produced incredible music. The Goldrush brought thousands of vessels to Yerba Buena Cove, later called the Barbary Coast, extending from the Bay Bridge to Nob Hill. There’s a graveyard of Goldrush ships buried beneath that part of the city. I listened to dozens of Civil War era tunes and finally came up with this march, which is more reflective of those lucky ones who didn’t get kidnapped or murdered in the wild coastal boomtown of early San Francisco.
6. Midwinter Exposition - 1894
The California Midwinter International Exposition, held in Golden Gate Park, was the first World’s Fair West of the Mississippi River. The Fair celebrated a town that in less than 50 years had gone from a village of fewer than 250 people, to a city that had become the commercial, financial and social capital of the West. It took place in the area of the park that the De Young Museum and Aquarium now occupy. The Japanese Tea Garden was one of the original exhibits from the Midwinter Exposition.
7. The Outside Lands - 1900
West of the new city was a desolate, windswept world of sand dunes called the Outside Lands. In 1870, William Hammond Hall began a project that most people thought was impossible, turning this vast wasteland into a park. In 1887, a landscape gardener from Scotland named John McLaren began his fifty-six year career as the Superintendent of Golden Gate Park. His father told him, "Me boy, if yea have nothing to do, go plant a tree and it’ll grow while yea sleep." In his lifetime he personally planted of over two million trees, many of them in Golden Gate Park. Today the park covers over a thousand acres. At three miles long and a half a mile wide, Golden Gate Park has over one million trees, numerous lakes, streams, waterfalls, and a small mountain, and is the one of the largest man-made urban parks in the world.

Marimba Concerto Movement II is the second movement of a three-movement piece; a slow movement sandwiched between two fast movements. The concerto was conceived as a dance piece. Movement II is in 6/8 time, a languorous, rolling meter. The beginning is a meditation on the note C. Low C, the instrument’s lowest and most beautiful note, is heard near the middle and end of the movement. This low note is the piece's metaphorical “high point.” The first musical figure starts with five repeated notes, then leaps an octave to a long rolled note. This is answered by other instruments in overlapping fashion, using suspended notes in close harmony to create layers like a carpet of wet leaves. Underneath is an undulating ostinato of 16th notes a step apart. The harmony includes half-diminished and 9th chords, resolved in various ways, which have a distinctive nostalgic mood. After this section the marimba breaks out with flourishes which lead to memories of a marimba band in Baja California, including dance rhythms, a trumpet solo and intentionally out-of-tune moments. The marimba plays challenging four-mallet music including rolls, runs and hand-crossings. The two main ideas are alternated and combined in the rest of the piece, concluding with an outburst and a quiet, shadowy finish.

Baron Ochs Ersatz opera con vivo; a pluralistic demonstration composed of a myriad of animistic elements: the puffy attractions of a porcine cockalorum surrounded by the greased trumpets of his sycophantic catamites, the naifish masochism of a vestal-skinned ward replete with bubbling womb, the soft squire whose tumescent lips add a wounded crimson to his otherwise pallid exterior, the dark servant with the dominating maw that feels so warm and reassuring, and the sublime Valzaccho whose turgid gasps and leering hands seem to add a certain beauty to the inexorable violence of this psychosexual drama. The ROSE BEARER provides an unctuously feral setting for this exploration of sexual confusion and its relation to religious conviction. Rather than presenting the basic theme in a simple diachronic form, it is unfolded in a synchronic fashion. At the same time, a wide variety of compositional techniques (linguistic, sonic, and theatrical) are used to produce a vibrant, if not scatological, environment certain to stimulate the most senseless of participants. While the vertiginously careening pace may upset the perineal appendages of meek and obese listeners, the spiritual confrontation that results amply justifies the risks. Questions of secular-sexual transgression (does god have a penis?) are universal and form an integral part of the personal experience of all salacious individuals in modern society. Nonetheless Baron Ochs does not go far enough into the psychoanalytic structures that support the occidental predisposition to hide or ratiocinate sexual misidentification with religious inculcation. Rather than destroying the baggage of Luther and the Calvinists, modern European society has added a shiny new patina, a hip-hop patois with tight pants. It is this preposterous "disco of the church" that continues to promulgate a false sense of procreative correctness. Despite this failing, Baron Ochs is an important and uplifting work, one that is certain to remain vivid, ominous, and as reckless as the brazen youth whose speeding motorcycle is moments from impact. - Earnest A. Z. Feathermouth

The Mind Suite is a three movement piece serving as a musical representation of the American mind and how it tends to function in our society. The American mind is an organism capable of accomplishing a great many tasks, if applied. In our modern society, however, with all of our “conveniences”, the mind is rarely applied; a condition that leads to a withdrawing level of intelligence and diminishing creativity. The first two movements show two common states of the American mind. In “The March of Lucidity” the American mind is presented in its most common form: Normal, dull, consonant -- marching onward as a drone for the betterment of society. “Final Dance of a Decaying Mind” is an escape from normality. In this movement the mind dances and moves freely, but doesn’t forget the despair caused by its previous state. The third movement, “A Closer Look” shows us the mind, then zooms in to examine the complex inner workings. As we look closer and closer the complexity seems to grow -- more cerebral events become visible (audible). We can hear synapses connecting and memory retrieval occurring, until we get too close to see what is taking place.

Mark Alburger Dr. Mark Alburger is the Music Director, Conductor and founder of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. Mark is an eclectic American composer of postminimal, postpopular, and postcomedic sensibilities. He is the Music Director of Goat Hall Productions / San Francisco Cabaret Opera, Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Journal, an award-winning ASCAP composer of concert music published by New Music, Instructor in Music Theory and Literature at Diablo Valley College, Music Critic for Commuter Times, author, musicologist, oboist, pianist, and recording artist.

Dr. Alburger studied oboe with Dorothy Freeman, and played in student orchestras in association with George Crumb and Richard Wernick. He studied composition and musicology with Gerald Levinson, Joan Panetti, and James Freeman at Swarthmore College (B.A.), Karl Kohn at Pomona College, Jules Langert at Dominican College (M.A.), Tom Flaherty and Roland Jackson at Claremont Graduate School (Ph.D.), and Terry Riley.
       Since 1987 he has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, initially producing a great deal of vocal music with assembled texts, including the opera Mice and Men (1992), the crisis-madrigal collection L.A. Stories (1993), the rap sheet For My Brother For My Brother (1997), and the hieratic Passion According to Saint Matthew (1997).

Since 1997, Dr. Alburger has gridded and troped compositions upon pre-existent compositions ranging from world music and medieval sources to contemporaries such as George Crumb and Philip Glass. To date, he has written 16 concerti, 7 masses and oratorios, 12 preludes and fugues, 20 operas, 6 song cycles, 9 symphonies -- a total of 130 opus numbers and more than 800 individual pieces. He is presently at work on Waiting for Godot and Diabolic Variations.


Alexis Alrich Alexis Alrich is presently living in Hong Kong but visits the Bay Area frequently. Her Marimba Concerto, which was presented by the SFCCO, will be played by the Plymouth Symphony in Plymouth, Michigan in 2009 with conductor Nan Washburn. Her piece Island of the Blue Dolphins was performed by the Santa Barbara Symphony on January 19, 2007. She attended an artists' colony in 2007, I-Park in Connecticut, where she wrote Fragile Forests II: Cambodia, next in the series after Fragile Forests I: California Oaks, which was premiered in December 2006 by the San Francisco Composers Orchestra. As one of the winners of a Continental Harmony grant from the American Composers Forum she has written a piece for chorus, orchestra and soloists for the state of Maine. Avenues, her first orchestra piece, was premiered by the Women's Philharmonic and has been played around the country. Her chamber compositions have been performed by members of the San Francisco ballet, opera and symphony orchestras and ensembles including Bay Brass, City Winds, the Ahlert and Schwab guitar and mandolin duo in Germany, the Ariel Ensemble, New Release Alliance and Earplay in San Francisco. Ms. Alrich is the director of the John Adams Young Composers program in Berkeley, California. This is an intensive training program for composers ages 9-18 in honor of and under the aegis of John Adams.