SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS
Presents "The Dark Serenade" at Old First Concerts & Chapel of the Chimes
Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 8 pm
Old First Presbyterian Church
1751 Sacramento Street/Van Ness, San Francisco, CA 94109
Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 8 pm
Chapel of the Chimes
4499 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA
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."
Dreams Laugh at Locksmiths
Lisa Scola Prosek, Soprano
Lisa Scola Prosek
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
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.
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.
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.
Let's Find a Young Woman
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.
Carmilla From Dr. Hesselius' files comes the narrative account of Laura, a half-English, half-Austrian young woman who lives with her retired father in a lonely "schloss" in Styria. Her mysterious friend, CARMILLA, turns out to be the vampire Countess Mircalla! Three of a projected seven songs are presented here, with text extracted from Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu's short story Carmilla, first published in 1872, predating Bram Stoker's Dracula by 25 years.
Facing Chaos is an orchestral piece inspired by a passage from the tragedy Thyestes (62 C.E.) by Seneca the Younger: "Trembling are our hearts, lest all things fall shattered in fatal ruin and once more gods and men be overwhelmed by formless Chaos; lest the lands, the encircling sea, and the stars that wander in the spangled sky, nature blot out once more." Chaos: in the cosmogony of Hesiod and Democritus, the initial state of the universe, a dark void, a primordial condition where out of nothing tiny atoms are formed and churn incoherently until they collide together to form larger units, including the earth. The passage inspires Facing Chaos with a sort of existential malaise that, as probably was the case for Seneca, is generated by our discomfort with the apparent contradiction between the presence of us, our relationships, our civilization, earth, and the much larger overwhelming dimension of space and time that surrounds it. Structure is one way we face this discomfort, and a complex form characterizes the piece. In juxtaposition with rather aggressive rhythmic sections (inspired by Indian talas), the main motives of the piece take shape, metamorphosing all the way to the end of the piece. In addition, two highly recognizable slow sections (played in a low register by the bassoons) serve as stopping points: they represent question marks expressing our wonder in the face of the gigantic structure that sprouted from the original chaos to form the universe.
Amaranthine Silence is a novel piece that uses electronics derived from field recordings of presumed silence (a garden, an empty restaurant, a parking garage, and so on). Between intense orchestral gestures, these apparent silences will cause the audience to focus on what is rarely given attention: the "silence" between the notes.
The Goldfish Pond : Emerging from his room in Villa #7, Churchill, in the opera Night at the Kremlin, is looking at The Goldfish Pond, when the spy assigned to his surveillance brings him a message: Stalin will meet him at midnight in the Kremlin. At first surprised by this odd schedule, he is distressed to wait all day for a meeting. Churchill then decides he would much rather watch the fish anyway, and spends a happy day in the Moscow garden.
Regime Change, Op. 196, is excerpted from the opera-oratorio Solomon, Op. 70, detailing the reign transition from David to his son in Ancient Israel. The work references G.F. Handel's like-named oratorio, Ralph Vaughan Williams's Sinfonia Antartica (David's inability to keep warm late in life without the comfort of a young warm body in his bed), polytonality, and George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children (and his allusions to Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde).
Graveyard is a celebration of Halloween, an homage to the great Universal monster movies of the 1930's and 1940's and a spiritual celebration of death and it's mystical aspects, with lighting effects, black light, fog and a surprise ending. it was written by an unseen hand, holding a feather pen, floating by a lone candle in the middle of the night, scribbling away by itself. The work is dedicated to Edward Valentine.
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 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. 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).
John Duykers Tenor, made his professional operatic debut with Seattle Opera in 1966. Since then he has appeared with many of the leading opera companies of the world including The Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Netherlands Opera, the Grand Theatre of Geneva, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Frankfurt Opera, Opera de Marseille, Canadian Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. His repertoire currently encompasses both standard works as well as contemporary. He is particularly well known for his performances of contemporary music, having sung in 100 contemporary operas including 67 world premieres. Among these, in 1987 he created the role of Mao Tse Tung in John Adams' Nixon in China which was premiered with Houston Grand Opera and he has performed throughout the world. Nixon in China was telecast over PBS' "Great Performances" winning an Emmy and recorded for Nonesuch, winning a Grammy.
Contralto and Flutist Olivia Flanigan is a Senior at Tamalpais High School (Mill Valley), who has performed with The Marin Theatre Company and studies voice with Lisa Scola Prosek.
Lisa Scola Prosek was raised in Rome, Italy, and graduated from Princeton University, where she studied with Edward Cone and Milton Babbitt. Scola Prosek studied singing with Margherita Kalil of the Met, and in Italy she attended the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini, and studied with composer Gaetano Giani-Luporini. To date, she has composed six operas, with librettos in Italian and English, and was recently commissioned by Thick House Theater for a new opera, Night at the Kremlin, a darkly comedic account of Churchill's all night drunken tête-à-tête with Stalin. John Duykers creates the role of Churchill, directed by Melissa Weaver, premiering at Thick House Theater in San Francisco for six performances in October 2012. In 2008 Scola Prosek premiered Trap Door, an opera commissioned by The Lab based on one soldier's experience in Iraq, and inspired by Camus' The Stranger. Belfagor, which premiered in 2007 at Thick House, the comic tale of self-destructive materialism by Machiavelli, was reviewed as “an impressive debut by … a gifted local composer” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Scola Prosek is the recipient of numerous commissions, grants and awards, including from the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, from the LEF Foundation, Meet The Composer, The Hewlett Foundation, the Zellerbach Foundation, and the American Composers Forum.