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SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Presents "MARCH MADNESS!" at Old First Concerts
Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 8 pm

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

PROGRAM

 

Philip Freihofner -- oboist, synthesist & composer, has been a member of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra since the fall of 2004. He has an A.B. in Music from the University of California in Berkeley, and works variously as a contract programmer, oboe performer, coach & "reed doctor," composer & sound designer, and as a retail clerk on Saturdays at Forrests Music in Berkeley. His diverse musical background includes classwork at the SF Conservatory of Music (Prep Dept), Blue Bear School of Music and the Ali Akbar College of Music, and appearances on a recording each by The Residents & negativland, performance with the groups "Flak" and J Poet's rock band "Young Adults," and scoring (artistic, commercial and experimental) for video, A/V, drama and dance. Credits include title music for the UC Berkeley "The Distinguished Teaching Awards" and the theme music for Harry Kreisler's "Conversations with History" series (over 400 episodes produced). He wrote and served as Music Director for Cheryl Koehler/Zig Zag Theatre's full-length dance theater production: "The Fish and the Fire" (performed at Julia Morgan Center in 1993, and the Cowell Theater in 1994) as well as three UC Berkeley Drama Department productions (with directors George House & Lorne Buckmann). The New Music group EARPLAY workshopped a sketch that has been further developed into a work-in-progress setting of the short story "Carmilla" by Sheridan Le Fanu (performed at SFCCO's December 2008 concert). His "Quartet #1 for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn & Bassoon" has been performed by the UC Santa Cruz Music Department faculty, and excerpts of his silent film score for "Der Golem" were recently released on CD by the double reed consort: "WiZARDS!". Most recent work includes electro-acoustic compositions, including "It's only the Wind" premiered at SFCCO Fall 2009 concert at Chapel-of-the-Chimes, "The Obelisk" performed by Steve Adams (SFCCO June 2009) and "What Are You Going to Dream Tonight?" (SFCCO Feb 2009). He also self-publishes and sells sheet music arrangements and original compositions for chamber music ensembles, with an emphasis on double reed quartets, and invented a tool to assist with oboe reed making, the "Blend-Guide Mandrel," currently being marketed by Forrests Music. As an oboist, in addition to working with SFCCO, he has recently performed with Bay Area Chamber Harmonies, and for Bay Area composers Harry Bernstein, Mark Alburger, Jan Pusina, and in Lisa Schola Prosek's Chamber Opera "Trap Door."

Philip Freihofner

The Bell Field  speaker  Program Notes

 

Martha Stoddard earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Humboldt State University and Master of Music from San Francisco State University, where she studied flute, conducting, and composition. She was recently named Program Director of the John Adams Young Composers Program at the Crowden Music Center and has held the position of Artistic Director of the Oakland Civic Orchestra since 1997. Stoddard is Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and Director of Instrumental Music at Lick-Wilmerding High School. Other activities include engagements as Musical Director for Lisa Scola Prosek's Belfagor and Trap Door, John Bilotta's Trifles, Mark Alburger's Job: A Masque, and the Erling Wold / Davide Verotta / Scola Prosek / Stoddard Dieci Giorni, premiered in San Francisco in 2010. In October 2012, she conducted the premiere of Scola Prosek's The Daughter o the Red Tsar, featuring tenor John Duykers. A 2009 and 2010 recipient of AscapPlus Awards, her music has been performed in San Francisco through the American Composer’s Forum, by the Sierra Ensemble, Avenue Winds and in the UK by flutists Carla Rees and Lisa Bost. She has had performances by the San Francisco Choral Artists, Schwungvoll!, the Community Women’s Orchestra, Oakland Civic Orchestra, Womensing, Bakersfield Symphony New Directions Series, in the Trinity Chamber Concert Series and the New Music Forum Festival of Contemporary Music. Recent commissions include Points of Reference, Outbursts: an Homage to Brahms, Orchestral Suite for the Young of all Ages, and the Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano.

Martha Stoddard

A Little Trip to Outer Space   Program Notes

I.  Leaving the Atmosphere speaker
II.  Walking in Space speaker
III.  In Search of Planet X speaker

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

Chainsaw  speaker   Program Notes

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

Fragile Forests   Program Notes    

II.  Cambodia

Charya Burt, Soprano

intermission

 

Dan Reiter is the Principal cellist with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Fremont Symphony and the Festival Opera orchestra. In 2007, the contemporary music ensemble "earplay" performed his trio for clarinet, viola and cello. At the Oakland symphonys Sound Spectrum series Dan recieved critical acclaim for his Pyramids, Canon and Raga, for 3 cellos and middle eastern drum. In 1997 he earned an "Izzy" award for his dance piece, Raga Bach D minor, for cello percussion and solo dancer Robert Moses. As arranger and performer, he has worked with Indias master musician,Ustad Ali Akbar Khan , on 2 recordind projects and the "Maihar" orchestra. In collaboration with his wife, harpist Natalie Cox, they have toured the U.S. performing his many transcriptions and compositions including a cello and harp sonata, a trio for flute, cello and harp, and a sonata for flute and harp.

Dan Reiter

Toccata and Fugue   Program Notes

The multi-instrumentalist Michael Cooke is a composer of jazz and classical music. This two-time Emmy, ASCAPLUS Award and Louis Armstrong Jazz Award winner plays a variety of instruments: you can hear him on soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones, flute, soprano and bass clarinets, bassoon and percussion. A cum laude graduate with a music degree from the University of North Texas, he had many different areas of study; jazz, ethnomusicology, music history, theory and of course composition. In 1991 Michael began his professional orchestral career performing in many north Texas area symphonies. Michael has played in Europe, Mexico, and all over the United States. Cimarron Music Press began published many of Michael's compositions in 1994. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been exploring new paths in improvised and composed music, mixing a variety of styles and techniques that draw upon the creative energy of a multicultural experience, both in and out of America. In 1999, Michael started a jazz label called Black Hat Records (blackhatrecords.com) and is currently on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. The San Francisco Beacon describes Michael's music as "flowing out color and tone with a feeling I haven't heard in quite a while. Michael plays with such dimension and flavor that it sets (his) sound apart from the rest." Uncompromising, fiery, complex, passionate, and cathartic is how the All Music Guide labeled Michael's playing on Searching by Cooke Quartet, Statements by Michael Cooke and The Is by CKW Trio. His latest release, An Indefinite Suspension of The Possible, is an unusual mixture of woodwinds, trombone, cello, koto and percussion, creating a distinct synergy in improvised music that has previously been untapped.

Michael Cooke

Sun & Moon  speaker   Program Notes      video Low / High

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

Mordake Suite Number 2  speaker  Program Notes

speaker Click on the links to listen to the music. video Click on the links for video.
MSMediaPlayer Microsoft Media Player or for Mac: VLCMediaPlayer VLC Media Player.

PERFORMERS
 

Flute (Piccolo* Alto Flute **)
Bruce Salvisberg *
Harry Bernstein **
Marty Stoddard *

Oboe
Philip Freihofner

Clarinet 
Rachel Condry

Saxophone
Michael Cooke

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


French Horn
David Sprung

Trumpet
Josh Silva

Piano
Alexis Alrich

Synthesizer
Erling Wold

Percussion
Victor Flaviani
Anne Szabla
Delphean Quan

Violin I
Monika Gruber
Clare Twohy

Violin II
Hande Erdem
Mari Morikawa

Viola
Charith Premawardhana
Katrina Wreede

Cello
Dan Reiter
Paul rhodes
Beth Snelings

Bass
Richard Duke

 

 

Charya Burt is a graduate and former dance faculty member of the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Her training began in 1982 under the direction of the foremost dance masters of Cambodia. As a member of Cambodia­s royal dance troupe, Charya toured nationally and internationally. After immigrating to Northern California in 1993, Charya performed throughout the United States, including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Jacob­s Pillow Festival at U.C.L.A., the AsiaFest Monoa in Honolulu, the opening of the new Getty Center in Los Angeles, and eleven times as a featured performer at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Charya has also conducted dance workshops at several colleges and universities around the country including the California State University Summer Arts Program at California State University, Long Beach. She received a B. A., Cum Laude, in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California. As teacher, performer, and choreographer, Charya has been awarded numerous grants including ones from the Irvine Dance in California Program, (3 times), the Fund for Folk Culture, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, the Creative Work Fund, and the CCI Investing in Artists grant. She is also a recipient of the Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Individual Performance. Currently, Charya is the artist-in-residence for the Khmer Arts Academy in Long Beach and the artistic director of Charya Burt Cambodian Dance, based in Windsor, California.

This is the second of a series of endangered forest portraits. The first was California Oaks which was also performed by SFCCO. Cambodia is known for its ancient forests which still harbor some of the last wild elephants and tigers in Asia. I visited the country in April 2007 and saw forests near Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. These included majestic hardwood forests with monkeys, mangoes, cashew trees, palms, coconuts, and even a rare pine forest. Cicadas in the afternoon and Cambodian pop music were background sounds throughout the trip. In this piece there are echoes of those plus layers of instrumental voices that remind me of the web of leaves, birds, light and shadow going up a hundred feet in the air.

The Sun & Moon have been center of mythology since the dawn of time. They represent the balance of man and woman, light and dark, the cycle of life. This musical representation of Sun & Moon consists of two sections and these sections are in a form known as circle music. Essentially, circle music uses phrases that can be played at any time and in any order.

This work combines “sound design” with composition. The digital component starts with the sound of a few small high bells (synthesized, not sampled.) In this musical “space”, the oboe plays a simple, consonant melodic line. Gradually, over the course of the composition, additional “bells” join in that are louder and lower in pitch, as the oboe climbs upward in range with increasingly large swooping motions. The “meaning” that might be attached to this music is not a settled matter, in my mind. Part of the beauty and mystery of music is the wide-ranging particularity of what it can suggest, like the crazy but inevitable logic of a dream.

This piece was started in 1981 and left unfinished for 25 years sitting in my closet. After a reasonable advance in my computer skills was I able to see and hear what I actually had. The Toccata introduces some of the themes that show up in the entire piece. The use of symmetrical shapes give the piece its uniqe tonality. Three voices working as one in a choral like setting function as the subject of the fugue. All the voices in this mostly 3 part fugue are 3 voice constructs all using symmetrical shape. There are three groups of players representing the voices of the fugue. First, the strings, second , the double reeds, and third, three flutes augmented by the piccolo, french horn. and contrabass- contra bassoon. As the piece goes on the voice groupings start to inter mingle. The piece ends with a grand statement of the subject. D.R., 2008.

Chainsaw is inspried by real events, ie. my neighbor's chainsaw.

A Little Trip to Outer Space is an allegorical piece inspired by how I imagine a trip into space might sound. Leaving the Atmosphere uses klangfarbenmelodie and minimalist devices to allude to sonic events upon leaving the earth. This transitions into episodes of fleeting gestures in strings, piano, marimba, perhaps painting the image of scurrying comets and burning stars, building in intensity as the journey continues. Finally a sense of quiet and spaciousness in deep space permeates and the movement closes with the soft strains of the marimba. Walking in Space is a gently flowing odd-meter melody, punctuated by percussion patterns and pizzicato strings that combine to create a rhythmic ostinato. A second theme features solo trumpet and horn, which is eventually woven into a more complex musical texture with the first theme and the ostinato. A short coda uses short fragments of the original themes to suggest a safe return to the comfort of the ship. In Search of Planet X begins with gentle melody in the strings. This quickly gives way to a sense of foreboding as the klangfarbenmelodie of the first movement is recalled. Tension mounts and persistent rhythms, increasing dissonance and bold utterances by the trumpet and horn lead to a loud tone cluster. Repeated melodic patterns are juxtaposed with a new lyrical theme which works it way back to a tonal center marked by the xylophone entrance. Once again, scurrying strings introduce a pattern that winds the movement to an understated close.

After hearing the first Mordake Suite at the last SFCCO, I decided to make a second, this time focusing on some of the darker and more evil themes from the work. Both pieces are from my latest opera, premiering in just a few months. The opera, Mordake: which talks to me forever of such things as they speak of only in hell, tells of the difficulties of integrating the diverse aspects of ourselves: male and female, the public self and its shadow; and the destruction brought about when we resist this union. The tale, from a book of medical curiosities of the nineteenth century, is the strange case of Edward Mordake and his ‘devil twin’ ­ a man tormented by a woman’s voice coming from a face on the back of his head. The voice taunts him and reveals to him his true nature but, unable to see this, and unable to integrate the masculine and feminine aspects of his personality, Mordake ultimately destroys himself and his family. The libretto for the work was written by Douglas Kearney, a poet and playwright from Los Angeles. This second suite starts with a moment of reflection; Edward listens to I pescatori di perle by Georges Bizet on the gramophone, but is led into a dark place by his twin. The music draws on the works of some youthful idols of mine who died recently, especially Ligeti's Lontano, which is quoted just a bit. The opera will premiere this May in the San Francisco International Arts Festival with John Duykers in the solo role.

Mi par d'udire
ancora, o scosa in mezzo ai fior,
la voce sua talora,
sospirare l'amor!
Dalle stelle del cielo,
Altro menar che da lei,
La veggio d'ogni velo,
Prender li per le ser!

Translation:
Once more
I hear her voice
Where golden lilies always bloom
And hear her softly sing
Her tender voice Rings through the gloom

‘Neath the stars
twinkly glowing
I see her bosom unveil
As the glory is showing
Then the moonlight is pale

additional performers/credits
tenor (recorded 1911) Aristodemo Giorgini
additional sound Thom Blum

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.


John Kendall Bailey John Kendall Bailey is an Associate Conductor with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and is Principal Conductor and Chorus Master of the Trinity Lyric Opera, Music Director and Conductor of Voices of Musica Sacra, and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Song Festival. In 1994, Mr. Bailey founded the Berkeley Lyric Opera and served as its Music Director and Conductor until 2001. Since then he has been a guest conductor with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Oakland Youth Orchestra, and Oakland Ballet, and music director and conductor for productions with North Bay Opera, Mission City Opera, Goat Hall Productions, Solo Opera, the Crowden School and Dominican University. From 2002-2006 he was the Chorus Master of the Festival Opera of Walnut Creek. Mr. Bailey is also a composer, and his works have been performed and commissioned in the Bay Area and abroad.

Mr. Bailey also maintains a busy performance schedule as a bass-baritone, oboist, and pianist, and has performed with the San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Oakland East Bay, Berkeley, Redding, Napa, Sacramento, and Prometheus symphonies, American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Midsummer Mozart and West Marin music festivals, San Francisco Bach Choir, Coro Hispano de San Francisco, Pacific Mozart Ensemble, California Vocal Academy, San Francisco Concerto Orchestra, Masterworks Chorale of San Mateo, Baroque Arts Ensemble, San Francisco Korean Master Chorale, the Master Sinfonia, the Mark Morris and Merce Cunningham dance companies, Goat Hall Productions, Opera Piccola, the Berkeley, Golden Gate, and Oakland Lyric Opera companies, and many other groups. He has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi, Koch International, Pro Musica, Wildboar, Centaur, and Angelus Music labels.

Mr. Bailey has been a pre-performance lecturer for the Oakland East Bay Symphony and the San Francisco Opera, a critic for the San Francisco Classical Voice, a writer of real-time commentary for the Concert Companion, and has taught conducting at the University of California at Davis.


Martha Stoddard, Associate Conductor earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Humboldt State University and her Master of Music degree from San Francisco State University, where she studied flute, conducting and composition. She was named Program Director for the John Adams Young Composers Program at the Crowden Music Center in 2012 and has held the position of Artistic Director of the Oakland Civic Orchestra since 1997.She is Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Composers’ Chamber Orchestra and Director of Instrumental Music at Lick-Wilmerding High School. Martha Stoddard Her most recent commissions include today's premiere and her Trio for Clarinet,Cello and Piano for the 2009 San Francisco Chamber Wind Festival at the San Francisco Conservatory.  She has held the position of Artistic Director of the Oakland Civic Orchestra since 1997. Other recent conducting activities include engagements as Conductor for the John Adams Young Composers' Orchestration Workshops at the Crowden School, Musical Director for the operas Belfagor and Trap Door by Lisa Prosek, Guest Conductor for the San Francisco All City High School String Orchestra and the Santa Rosa Youth Symphony Summer Academy Orchestra. She has also served as an adjudicator for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Santa Cruz Youth Symphony Concerto Competitions.  Ms. Stoddard is founding member and director of ChamberMix, and is a featured performer on alto flute in John Bilotta's Shadow Tree (Capstone Records CPS-8787) and in John Thow's Cantico  (Palatino label #1001) Marika Kuzma, conductor, and as conductor for Janis Mercer's, Voices (Centuar Recordings, CPS 2951).