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SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Presents "Music of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water" at Old First Concerts
Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 8 pm

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


PROGRAM

 

Dr. Michael A. Kimbell is composer-in-residence and principal clarinettist of the San Francisco Community Music Center Orchestra directed by Urs Leonhardt Steiner. He studied composition with Robert Palmer and Karel Husa at Cornell University where he received his D.M.A. in 1973. He has written works for orchestra, piano, chamber ensembles, chorus and theatre. His orchestral works, which were premiered by the CMC Orchestra, include Rondino Capriccioso, Kritik des Herzens (also performed by SFCCO), Taklamakán, Night Songs, and Arcadian Symphony (which was also performed by the Mission Chamber Orchestra and won the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Competition in 1998).Kimbell's Poème for Violin and Harp has been performed in Austria and Germany and at the 2011 World Harp Congress in Vancouver.

Michael Kimbell

Front Line    notes

I. Front Line Man
II. The Soldier's Tale
III. Sanctuary

Emmanuel Williams, Narrator

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

Interludes from "The Lariat"  notes

I. The Ventana Wind
II. Hualala and the Crickets
III. Variations on a Modoc War Song

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

Abducted by Aliens, Op. 222   notes

I. 1965 Gemini VII Bogey
II. 214 BC Livy / 74 BC Plutarch
III. 1561 Nuremberg Celestial Phenomenon
VI. 1897 Aurora, TX, UFO Incident
V. 1944 Foo Fighters / 1947 Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting / Roswell UFO Crash
VI. 1948 Thomas Mantell / Gorman Dogfight
VII. 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville Encountert
VIII. 1957 Gordon Cooper / Antonio Vilas-Boas / 1961 Betty and Barney Hill Abduction
IX. 1966 Portage County UFO Chase
X. 1973 Pascagoula Abduction / 1976 Tehran UFO Incident / 1986 Japan Air Lines

intermission

 

Stardust started writing music in 2011 with little formal training in composition. His orchestral and chamber works have been performed as part of the Opus Project and at Humboldt Chamber Music Workshops. Stardust plays the oboe and the angled (English) horn.

 Stardust

Railway Sonata      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

Raven and Panther     notes

I. Grandfather Tree
II. Raven
III. Panther
IV. The Hunt
V. Sunset
VI. Epilogue

speaker Click on the links to listen to the music. video Click on the links for video.
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PERFORMERS
 

Flute
Bruce Salvisberg
Harry Bernstein (Alto Flute)
Martha Stoddard (Piccolo)

Oboe (English Horn *)
Stardust *

Clarinet (Bass Clarinet *)
Michael Kimbell
Michael Cooke *

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

Tenor Sax
Michael Cooke


Trumpet
Michael Cox

Horn
Brian Holmes

Harp
Anna Maria Mendieta

Piano
Lisa Scola Prosek
Davide Verotta

Percussion
Victor Flaviani
Anne Szabla
Megan Sing
Martha Stoddard
Mark Alburger


Violin I
Monika Gruber

Violin II
Hande Erdem

Viola
Nansamba Ssensalo
Kristy Venstrom

Cello
Leighton Fong

Bass
John Beeman

 

 

Abducted By Aliens, Op. 222, is star-charted over Olivier Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony, with additional ISO's (Identified Sounding Objects) including Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Claude Debussy's Nocturnes, Zoltan Kodaly's Hary Janos, Jacapo da Bologna's Non al suo Amante, Dave Grohl's Times Like These (Foo Fighters), Alexander Courage's Star Trek, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, Bela Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, Camille Saint-Saens's Danse Macabre and Carnival of the Animals, George Crumb's Black Angels, George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Igor Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles, W.A. Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio, Dmitri Shostakovich's The Nose, and Gustav Holst's The Planets -- all subject to various comedic / eclectic / minimalist observations.

Inspired by and composed during a transcontinental train journey, Railway Sonata incorporates everything from orchestral sound effects to nouveau folk and jazz melodies to convey a sense of traveling on the train.

The Lariat was written in collaboration with Tribal Chairwoman and linguist, Louise Miranda Ramirez and other members of the tribe. The performance will be based on the novella of the same name by Jaime De Angulo, writer and anthropologist for UC Berkeley who lived and worked extensively with American Indian tribes along California's Central Coast during the 1920's and 30's. The orchestral excerpts are based on California birdsongs, recorded and notated by the composer in the coastal highlands, and included in opera as interludes. The Lariat will premiere at the World Theatre at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) on February 8, 2015. The university is located at Ford Ord on traditional Esselen territory.

Front Line was premiere this past June 8 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco. A three-movement work for narrator, mezzo soprano and chamber orchestra, it features narrator Emmanuel Williams and soprano Lisa Scola Prosek "This is a very dark work, incorporating three war poems by Pacifica poet Emmanuel Williams," Kimbell said. "Emmanuel will recite his own poetry with orchestral accompaniment. The orchestra illustrates and amplifies the poetry. The use of a speaker instead of a singer was pioneered by the Czech composer Georg Benda, a contemporary of Mozart, whose 'melodramas' inspired my own work. My own music uses traditional formal, dramatic and contrapuntal gestures, combining them with more expanded modern harmonic idioms." This work came about after Kimbell and Williams met each other at Florey's Book Co. in March of 2013. The beloved bookstore on Palmetto hosts many events, including book signings and poetry nights. This particular poetry event featured Williams - a published poet, author, actor, riddle-maker, multi-media director, dramatist, photographer, and longtime Pacifican (by way of South East England). "I was immediately struck by the power and polish of Emmanuel's work and also the excellence of his delivery," Kimbell said, "so much so that I asked him to be the narrator for my work, Time Does Not Move. This piece was also written for speaker and orchestra and it uses poetry written by Swiss poet Gottfried Keller." Using Kimbell's compositional skills and Williams' poetic skills, the two men decided to collaborate on a miniature Benjamin Britten War Requiem, and Front Line was born.

Raven and Panther is the story of two animals, born on the same day and bound by a deep life-long friendship. The piece was inspired by Jennifer S. Holland's Unlikely Friendships.

I. Grandfather Tree - Raven and Panther were born in the Jungle the same day. Grandfather Tree was their home. Raven began life in the canopy and Panther in a den deep in the roots. From the first days that they began venturing out of nest and den they became best friends.
II. Raven - Like most of his kind, Raven was crafty, wild and comical. He was also extremely intelligent and a loner. After he left the nest he rarely spent time with his own kind. There was something about the big black cat that attracted him.
Ill. Panther - Panther remembered the day at the stream where the hunters killed her mother. Raven had warned them both, and Panther had run up into the rocks to hide, but her mother did not understand Raven's warning and had been shot with a poison arrow at the stream. When either one was ill or hurt, the other would supply the food, water and care. Panther was a formidable and powerful killer, but always kind, gentle and protective of Raven.
IV. The Hunt - Raven would accompany Panther on hunting expeditions, and his ability to fly high and spot game made it easy for Panther to track down pray. Raven, often in the lead, had the job of disrupting a heard of monkeys in the trees and beginning the chase. Eventually a younger or weaker monkey would become separated from the rest and Raven would surprise it, knock it from canopy to the ground below where Panther was waiting.
V. Sunset - At sunset after a day of adventures the two would settle into a spot high in the branches of Grandfather Tree to spend the night.
VI. Epilogue - For their whole lives Raven and Panther lived together in the jungle and shared a bond of friendship and love.

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.


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).


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.