YouTube Myspace

SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Presents "Return to Return to Sorrrento" at Old First Concerts
Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 8 pm

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

KFJC's interview of SFCCO Composers

PROGRAM

 

Kit Ruscoe, originally from Louisville KY, studied Classical Composition at the University of Louisville and Jazz Performance and Improvisation at the University of North Texas. He has over 25 years of experience in composing, performing, recording, and teaching music and guitar. Kit is currently working on film scoring and compositions for TV and documentaries as well as playing in several recognized Bay area bands.

Kit Ruscoe
Sorrento Spaghettio    notes  

Phil Lockwood is a composer of ambient and electronic music and soundscapes. His work has been featured on NBC, MTV, Bravo, and the SyFy channel. When he's not writing music, he's probably out playing jazz guitar or hunting mushrooms.

Phil Lockwood

A Blade of Grass       notes

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

Three Ways to Cook a Fish notes

II. The 2nd Way    

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

Sorrento Canzonetta    notes

Maria Mikheyenko, soprano

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

Duo Concertante for Flute, Marimba, and Chamber Orchestra     notes

Bruce Salvisberg, Flute
Anne Szabla, Marimba

Davide Verotta was born in a boring Italian town close to Milano and moved to the very much more exciting San Francisco in his late twenties. He studied piano at the Milano Conservatory and piano and composition at the San Francisco Conservatory and State University (MA in composition), and at the University of California at Davis (PhD). He is an active solo and ensemble piano recitalist, and he is actively involved in the new music performance and composition scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recent compositions include works for orchestra, chamber opera, dance, piano solo, and different chamber ensembles. For more information please visit his web site at http://www.davideverotta.com.

Davide Verotta

Come back but where!? (Torna ma dove?!)    notes

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

per Margherita Eugenia    notes

Dr. Mark Alburger (b. 1957, Upper Darby, PA) is a multiple-award-winning ASCAP composer of postminimal, postpopular, and postcomedic sensibilities. His compositions are generally assembled or gridded over pieces ranging from ancient and world music, to postmodern art and vernacular sources -- 174 opus numbers (markalburgerworks.blogspot.com), including 16 concertos, 20 operas, 9 symphonies, and the four-hours-and-counting opera-oratorio work-in-progress, The Bible. He is Music Director of San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra (sfcco.org) and San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions (goathall.org), Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Journal (21st-centurymusic.blogspot.com and 21st-centurymusic.com), Instructor in Music Literature and Theory at Diablo Valley and St. Mary's Colleges, and Music Critic for Commuter Times. He studied at Swarthmore College (B.A.) with Gerald Levinson and Joan Panetti, Dominican University (M.A., Composition) with Jules Langert, Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D., Musicology) with Roland Jackson, and privately with Terry Riley. Alburger writes daily at markalburger2009.blogspot.com and is in the fifth year of an 11-year project recording his complete works for New Music Publications and Recordings.

Mark Alburger

Salome Suite   notes

I. Dance of the Seven Veils
II. Bring Me the Head
III. The Execution

David Graves has been writing a variety of musical works since the 1970s, including jazz, pop, electronic and neoclassical pieces for film, theater, studio recordings and orchestra. He has studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and City College of San Francisco. In 2003 and 2005 David was a resident composer with the Djerassi Resident Artist Program where he was awarded the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellowship. He was also a resident composer with the Berkeley Symphony for two consecutive seasons and wrote six pieces that were performed as a part of their Under Construction series. His large-scale ambient works have been installed in a redwood canyon (tree/sigh), The LAB (Deciduous), and the renowned San Francisco AudioBus (Human Street Textures). For many years, he has been the Coordinator for the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and has had pieces performed annually by that ensemble as well as the Irregular Resolutions composer collective. In the late 2000s he released albums with the prog-rock group ScienceNV, recorded a collection of pop vocal tunes, received grants from the American Composers Forum and Meet the Composer, was sound designer for Miss Julie at the Aurora Theater, and developed a collection of short video dreams (Living in the Village of My Dreams). More recently, he was sound designer for Mary Stuart at Shotgun Theater, performed as AmbientBlack at various venues, created soundscapes for the featurette Alien Worlds at the California Academy of Sciences, and installed Fog and Expectations in the backyard garden of Urban Bazaar.

David Graves

Tickertape    notes

intermission

 

Dr. Mark Alburger (b. 1957, Upper Darby, PA) is a multiple-award-winning ASCAP composer of postminimal, postpopular, and postcomedic sensibilities. His compositions are generally assembled or gridded over pieces ranging from ancient and world music, to postmodern art and vernacular sources -- 174 opus numbers (markalburgerworks.blogspot.com), including 16 concertos, 20 operas, 9 symphonies, and the four-hours-and-counting opera-oratorio work-in-progress, The Bible. He is Music Director of San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra (sfcco.org) and San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions (goathall.org), Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Journal (21st-centurymusic.blogspot.com and 21st-centurymusic.com), Instructor in Music Literature and Theory at Diablo Valley and St. Mary's Colleges, and Music Critic for Commuter Times. He studied at Swarthmore College (B.A.) with Gerald Levinson and Joan Panetti, Dominican University (M.A., Composition) with Jules Langert, Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D., Musicology) with Roland Jackson, and privately with Terry Riley. Alburger writes daily at markalburger2009.blogspot.com and is in the fifth year of an 11-year project recording his complete works for New Music Publications and Recordings.

Mark Alburger

Pini di Surriento   notes
IV. Torna a Via Appia

John Bilotta

Quantum Mechanic   notes

I. Overture
II. Prologue
III. Trio and Lament
IV. Scene
V. Duet
VI. Scene and Invocation
VII. Aria and Finale

Dr. Mark Alburger (b. 1957, Upper Darby, PA) is a multiple-award-winning ASCAP composer of postminimal, postpopular, and postcomedic sensibilities. His compositions are generally assembled or gridded over pieces ranging from ancient and world music, to postmodern art and vernacular sources -- 174 opus numbers (markalburgerworks.blogspot.com), including 16 concertos, 20 operas, 9 symphonies, and the four-hours-and-counting opera-oratorio work-in-progress, The Bible. He is Music Director of San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra (sfcco.org) and San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions (goathall.org), Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Journal (21st-centurymusic.blogspot.com and 21st-centurymusic.com), Instructor in Music Literature and Theory at Diablo Valley and St. Mary's Colleges, and Music Critic for Commuter Times. He studied at Swarthmore College (B.A.) with Gerald Levinson and Joan Panetti, Dominican University (M.A., Composition) with Jules Langert, Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D., Musicology) with Roland Jackson, and privately with Terry Riley. Alburger writes daily at markalburger2009.blogspot.com and is in the fifth year of an 11-year project recording his complete works for New Music Publications and Recordings.

Mark Alburger , Aesop
Elizabeth Henry, Mrs. Schroedinger
Justin Marsh, The Quantum Mechanic
Erin Lahm, 1st Quark Sister (Miss Up-Down)
Maria Mikheyenko, 2nd Quark Sister (Miss Charm-Strange)
Laryssa Sadoway, 3rd Quark Sister (Miss Top-Bottom)


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

Arrivederci Sorrento      notes

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

The Lost Plateau   notes

I. Prologue and Cave of Spiders
II. The River of No Return
III. Whirlpool of Death
IV. Raptors
V. Dance of the Skeletons
VI. The Winged Messenger

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 (alto flute *)
Bruce Salvisberg
Harry Bernstein *

Oboe
Phil Freihofner

Clarinet (Bass Clarinet *)
Rachel Condry *

Alto Sax
Michael Cooke

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


Horn
George Hines

Trumpet
Cindy Collins

Piano
Davide Verotta
Lisa Scola Prosek

Keyboards
Lisa Scola Prosek

Percussion
Victor Flaviani
Anne Szabla
Loren Jones
Iskandar Rashid
Mark Alburger


Violin I
Monika Gruber

Violin II
Lydia Eyssallenne

Viola
Nansamba Ssensalo

Cello
Ariella Hyman

Bass
John Beeman

Electric Guitar
Kit Ruscoe

Harp
Esther Lee

 

TORNA A SORRENTO is a Neapolitan song said to have been composed in 1902 by Ernesto De Curtis. It has since become wildly popular, and has been sung by performers as diverse as Beniamino Gigli, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Meat Loaf, Mario Lanza, Franco Corelli, Robertino Loretti, Giuseppe Di Stefano, and Francesco Albanese.

SORRENTO SPAGHETTIO
We begin with a what will probably be a "Spaghetti Western" impression of Sorrento played on solo electric guitar by Kit Ruscoe, who has metamorphosized several irreverent versions at the beloved song. This will be his last.

A BLADE OF GRASS
This rich, vibrant electronic setting was composed by Phil Lockwood, with the oboe melody added by Philip Freihofner. Lockwood writes that the title derives of the phrase "the entire universe lies in the individual" and also references St. Thomas's pantheistic scriptures and Walt Whitman. Plus, "it kind of sounds like laying in a field, perhaps the ocean in the distance, a bit of summer rain. And the oboe is, at it's heart, a reed. It's two leaves of grass vibrating."

THE 2ND WAY from "Three Ways to Cook a Fish"
This piece is the second movement of a suite of three movements and two interludes, written to be performed either by Oboe and Piano (as was done at the Dec. 2005 SFCCO performance), or Oboe and "Electronic Gamelan" as is being done this evening. This suite is excerpted from a larger work: "The Fish and the Fire," a full-length dance work created in collaboration with Artistic Director and Choreographer Cheryl Koehler.

SORRENTO CANZONETTA
Un bel di' tornerai
ti aspettero',
ormai.
Saro cosi'
sempre cosi'
Io t'aspetto cosi'
Caro,
Perche' mi lasci cosi'?

DUO CONCERTANTE FOR FLUTE, MARIMBA AND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
As I was planning the 2008 - 2009 concert season for the Oakland Civic Orchestra I began exploring ideas for a flute concerto. As I began it, I knew I needed a marimba too. The combination of flute and marimba is an enchanting sound, and what I was looking for was to create a conversation with the two instruments within the lighter texture of a chamber orchestra. I consciously decided to remain mostly in a tonal and lyrical framework and I wanted to have a memorable primary theme that would bind the piece together. The principal theme of the piece is introduced by the string section. The flute restates it and is joined soon by the marimba and viola in its gradual spinning out. This idea generates a dialogue that extends to the entire wind section and evolves into a wind chorale. A brief odd-meter variation of the original theme bridges two major sections of the work. An energetic orchestral tutti adds intensity and forward motion, moving away from the simple lyricism of the opening theme. The music here becomes more chromatic and disjunct. Solo episodes follow, highlighting the individual voices of the solo instruments, interrupted by a brooding pattern in the lower strings. The orchestral tutti is repeated, with new sixteenth note motives added, leading to the climax of the piece, a dramatic return of the opening theme, expanded and transposed up a whole step. Drawing on these short motives and a few rhythmic ostinato patterns a cheerful exuberant coda spins outs of this thematic statement providing one last flourish for the soloists.

Come back but where!? (Torna ma dove?!) is my version of the classic Neapolitan song Turna a Surriento, expressing the longing of immigrants for their home country. My version is written for orchestra and alternates between a dreamlike quality and the awareness that once one leaves a place there is often little more but its remembrance to go back to.

PER MARGHERITA
Although my father was capable of some puccaloistic whistling, most of my musical talent came through my mother, who played in a piano-laden ersatz orchestra in her youth, a not uncommon animal in those areas bereft of a bona fide heterogeneous ensemble, performing multi-piano arrangements of familiar melodies, such as her favorite, my countryman Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, whose inexorably testosteronic accelerando rubbed her and her fellow pianistes to the brink of ecstasy. But the LP most in rotation in my boyhood home featured the trademark cascading strings of the Mantovani arrangements of Italian melodies, including Come Back to Sorrento, a calorie-lacking fluffball that I still cannot hear without bawling like a little baby, and a few flavonoids of which I have stolen for my variation here for an ensemble sadly lacking the three thousand strings necessary.

SALOME SUITE, Op. 178 (2009)
an instrumental triptych derived from John and Salome, Op. 80 (2000) -- is a decapitation of Richard Strauss's Salome and Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. The frenetic "Dance of the Seven Veils" manifests a palindromic metrical structure of 2-3-5-7-5-3-2, "Bring Me the Head" features a synthetic scale of A Bb C# D Eb F-double-sharp G# A (two successions of half-steps broken by minor- and major-third equivalents -- with occasional B-natural substitutions), and "The Execution" flashes a dark slice-of-death on the cutting edge of, shall we say, "necromanticism."

TICKERTAPE
Adapted from the telegraph, the tickertape machine became an essential device whose unique sounds evoked wonder, euphoria and dread for investors for more than a century. Before tickertape machines were invented, it was not unusual to learn of stock prices days, or even weeks, late; by the time computers supplanted tickertape in the 1960s, investors had become accustomed to trading in real time. This inexorable development has come to symbolize the ever-accelerating pace of information exchange during the 1900s -- and the emotional rollercoaster that results. Tickertape uses a variant of 4/4 (3+2+3) to rhythmically drive a series of “tickertape melodies.” Each instrument’s part has been carefully machined to interlink precisely with the others, an apocalyptic mechanical counterpoint.

PINI DI SURRIENTO, Op. 177 (2009) IV. Torna a Via Appia
The four movements of PINI DI SURRIENTO, Op. 177 (2009), are pitch pixels of Ernesto de Curtis's Return to Sorrento (1902) musically photoshopped into souvenirs of Ottorino Respighi's The Pines of Rome as I. Torna a Piazza Torquato Tasso, II. Torna a Catacombe di San Gaudioso, III. Torna a Monti Lattari, and IV. Torna a Via Appia. Return to the Appian Way instrumentally inverts Ancient Rome to an Italian tourist outing.

QUANTUM MECHANIC
Quantum Mechanic won the 2007 Opera-in-a-Month Competition and was premiered in American Fork, Utah, by the VocalWorks ensemble. It has since received nearly a dozen performances around the country but surely the most memorable were produced by the San Francisco Cabaret Opera company under the direction of Harriet March Page in November 2008. Most of tonight’s singers are recreating their roles from that production. Quantum Mechanic is a short operatic farce set in the distant future with a witty and improbable libretto by John F. McGrew. This satiric fable of quantum physics, indeterminacy, dark matter, gedankenexperiments, high technology and low ambitions, relativity, eleven-dimensional string theory, singularities, and anything else we could cull from back issues of Scientific American and Popular Mechanics, centers around the travails of Mrs. Schroedinger as she struggles to create an icebox soufflé for the Professor. A faulty Quantum Refrigerator, the incompetent Mechanic sent to repair it, the three ever-present Quark Sisters who arrive from the parallel universe next door, as well as Aesop, fabulist and prime-mover of the drama, round out the cast and facilitate the chaos. In a universe of anti-gravity pens, neurofuzzy rice cookers, and deflating wormholes, is there no one who can save us?

ARRIVEDERCI SORRENTO
This was one of songs that I grew up hearing my parents play. In 1963 we visited Sorrento and bought one of the music boxes that were being peddled to tourists all over town. In 1980 I began a song in my Punk / New Beatnik band with the Sorrento theme on accordion. This version owes its life to the music of Nino Rota.

THE LOST PLATEAU
The Lost Plateau was inspired by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Ray Harryhausen, Bernard Herrmann and Henry Mancini. It is an homage to all of the fantasy books, movies and music that fired and fed my imagination and influenced so many aspects of my creative life.

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).


A native of St. Petersburg, Maria Mikheyenko has sung with the Russian Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Russian Festival, and presents recitals of Russian Romances throughout the Bay Area. Opera credits include Berkeley Opera, Pocket Opera, Capitol Opera Sacramento, Bay Shore Lyric Opera, Opera Lafayette, Oakland Opera Theater, and the Austrian American Mozart Academy of Salzburg. In the world of contemporary music, she is a frequent collaborator with Bay Area composers. She has performed in three world premiere works by Lisa Scola Prosek: Leonardo's Notebooks, Belfagor, and Trap Door. With San Francisco Cabaret Opera, she has multiple San Francisco and world premiere roles in Mark Alburger's operas (including Lennie Small in Mice and Men, Delilah in Sex and Delilah, and Edward Gibbon in Diocletian: A Pagan Opera), as well as portraying The Prophetess in Henry Purcell's Dioclesian and a Quark Sister in John Bilotta's Quantum Mechanic. Ms. Mikheyenko has been a guest artist on the national radio show West Coast Live! and is a member of the award-winning Pacific Mozart Ensemble, collaborating with artists such as Meredith Monk and Dave Brubeck.