IV, V & VI
Notes & Bios
Grinnell College, Dordt College & University of Iowa
October 1-3, 1999
Antonio Guimaraes, flute|
Cora Kuyvenhoven, violoncello
Annette Machetta, bass clarinet
from Another World*
The Ancia Saxophone Quartet
Quintet for saxophone and strings
Matthew Sintchak, saxophone|
Stephen Shepherd, violin I
Spencer Howard, violin II
Jacqueline Schmidt, viola
Cora Kuyvenhoven, violoncello
David Gompper, conductor
Jacqueline Schmidt, viola
Antonio Guimaraes, flute|
Annette Machetta, clarinet
Jon Donald, percussion
Cora Kuyvenhoven, violoncello
Anton Hatwich, double bass
David Gompper, conductor
* Performed at the Grinnell College concert only.
Yehuda Yannay was born in Romania and emigrated to Israel in 1951. He is a
graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv, Brandeis University and
holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. In
the 1980s he was awarded two Senior Fulbright Fellowships to Germany where
he served as guest-professor at the Staatliche Hochschule füaut;r Musik in
Stuttgart and Hamburg. Yannay is a prolific and versatile composer,
conductor and media artist whose list of more than ninety works include:
music for orchestra, electronic, live electronic and synthesizer pieces,
environmental compositions, film, music-theater, and a large body of vocal
and chamber music pieces. Considered an international figure in
contemporary music, his contribution to new ideas in 20th Century music in
a number textbooks and music dictionaries.
is dedicated to the prominent Brazilian composer Gilberto Mendes
and his wife Eliane who introduced me and my wife Marie to the cultural
riches of Brazil and the Portuguese language. Duo was influenced by the
poetry of Fernando Pessoa, the quintessential modernist of Portugal, and by
an extended visit to the city of Lisbon, his source of inspiration.
A brief, undulating eight-note theme on the flute (a splashing,
broken wave on a windy afternoon on a beach north of Lisbon?) opens a
conversation with the cello. Brief sentences play variations on the theme
as they concur, argue and overlap. I can't forget that crystalline voice
of a street performer: the dirge-chanting blind woman who accompanied
herself with a chiming ostinato on a metal triangle. Once in a while, like
in a daydream, the music takes off briefly in the direction of jazzy latino
moods. Also, two fleeting moments from a piano piece by Mendes dedicated to
his wife surface toward the end of the piece. David Cowley and James Grine
have recorded this piece on my solo album on INNOVA entitled "Music Now And
From Almost Yesterday."
Yannay is Professor of Music at the University of
Wisconsin at Milwaukee and the founder of the Music From Almost Yesterday
concert series at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee now celebrating 28
years of new music performances. The second CD compilation of his chamber
music, including this piece, will be issued on the innova label of the
American Composers Forum.
CHIHCHUN CHI-SUN LEE
Concepts (1994, rev. 1997)
Chihchun Chi-sun Lee (b. 1970, Taiwan) has received a BA from Soochow
University, double MA degrees from Ohio University, and is currently
finishing a Doctorate at the University of Michigan. Among her teachers
were William Albright, William Bolcom, Yien-Chung Huang, Yien Lu, Mark
Phillips, Bright Sheng and Loong-Shing Wen. Her numerous composition
awards include the Hong Kong Chou Scholarship, the "Music in Taipei" award,
the Taiwan Environmental Protection Bureau Music Contest, Taiwan Provincial
Music Competition among others.
I was researching several compositional aspects
in writing this piece. These include an extended vehicle for a solo
monophonic instrument, the use of multiphonics, and the use of an extended
range for the bass clarinet. The single-movement work has three sections.
The first is active with jagged expressions of contrasting registers. The
second is slow, rubato and lyrical. The third returns to the active style
as a developed structural mirror inversion of the beginning.
She was selected for a recital in Taiwan's prestigious National
Concert Hall and to events presented by the American Composers Forum, the
Asian Composers League, ISCM, the International Composition Seminar in
Poland, the International Music Festival in Taiwan, and the US Midwest
Her works have been performed by the Formosa Ensemble, MusicLink
Contemporary Consort, the Plymouth New Music Series, Music from China, the
Windsor New Music Ensemble, and musicians from the Prague Philharmonic, the
Prague Radio Orchestra, and the Czech Philharmonic.
She is composer-in-residence with Taiwan's premiere traditional
Chinese instrumental group, China Found Music Workshop. During 1998, she
organized nine concerts across North and Central America for China Found
Music Workshop, which included performances of her piece, Liam-Hiong. Her
music has also been performed worldwide, including Australia, Canada, the
Czech Republic, France, Hawaii, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Costa
Rica and the U.S.
Currently, she teaches composition and electronic music at Johnson
County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.
From Another World (1998)
Peter Blauvelt was born in France and grew up in Germany, where he began
his studies in composition and piano. In 1975, he came to the U.S., where
he studied at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. There, he received
three degrees-including a doctorate in composition-and taught theory,
composition and piano.
is basically an electronic piece written for four
saxophones. Since this scenario is the opposite of electronic music
imitating much more limited acoustic sounds, the performers in this piece
are required to use a wide range of extended techniques. The result may not
sound anything like an actual electronic piece, and yet the composition
will certainly come across differently from that of a saxophone quartet
which is conceptually acoustic. Hence the title.
Since 1968, he has often given recitals-not only of his own
pieces-in the U.S., France and Germany, and in public and on the radio, and
has received several prizes for both composition and piano.
After leaving the Boston area for Florida in 1984, he co-founded
the "Tampa Bay Composers' Forum" and has served as treasurer,
vice-president and president. Around the same time, he founded "Creative
Arts and Tutoring Services" which has enabled him to continue the teaching
he started over twenty years ago.
The Ancia Saxophone Quartet was founded in 1990 as an ensemble dedicated to
the performance of traditional saxophone quartet repertoire and to the
creation of new works for saxophone quartet. Based in Minneapolis-St. Paul,
the quartet has performed concerts and presented educational workshops in
the United States, Canada and Europe. The Ancia Saxophone Quartet has
appeared frequently on Minnesota Public Radio. Their debut compact disc,
Variations, available from the Public Radio Music Source, includes
selections by Gershwin, Bach, and Duke Ellington along with music composed
especially for the quartet. The Ancia Saxophone Quartet has premiered many
compositions written expressly for the group, including commissions
underwritten by the American Composers Forum/Jerome Foundation and The
Commission Project. The quartet has performed at recent regional and
national conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance in Chicago,
Winnipeg, and Florida. In 1993, 1995 and 1997 the quartet presented joint
concerts with the Berlin Saxophone Quartet, including quartet and octet
performances at "Klangfenster '95" in Berlin, Germany. The Ancia Saxophone
Quartet is a Selmer Company artist group.
Quintet for Oboe (Saxophone) and Strings (1994)
Richard Brooks (b. 1942) is a native of upstate New York and holds a BS
degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, an
MA in Composition from SUNY Binghamton and a PhD in Composition from New
York University. Since 1975 he has been on the music faculty of Nassau
Community College where he is Professor and Department Chair.
From the earliest stages
of composition it was intended that the work be equally suited to
performance with saxophone as well as oboe. Though there are distinct
sectional divisions creating a broad ternary structure, it was conceived as
a single movement. The middle section, in a slower tempo, is perceived as
an interruption of the main, fast movement. All the material is derived
from a twelve tone set which begins and ends with a minor triad. The
inversion, therefore, begins and ends with a major triad. These chords are
used in the accompaniment figures at the beginning and elsewhere. The
primary melodic idea presented first by the oboe (or sax) combines the
interior six tones of the tone row and the inversion. This melody is also
highly tonally inflected. At the beginning, three conflicting "meters" are
juxtaposed: the five-eight accompaniment in the violins and viola, a
six-eight (three-four) pizzicato pattern in the cello and the four-eight
pattern of the melody. These various meters vie for assertiveness and each
predominates at various moments in the piece. The melody is subjected to
intense contrapuntal treatment as well as motivic development. The middle,
slow section also plays with meters using a repetitive 8-7-6-5-4-5-6-7-8
alternation of measures.
From 1977 to 1982 he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the
American Society of University Composers (now the Society of Composers,
Inc.) on which he continues to serve as the Producer of the SCI Compact
Disk Series. In 1981 he was elected to the Board of Governors of the
American Composers Alliance. After serving two terms as Secretary and
three terms as vice-president he was elected President in the Fall of 1993.
From 1992-1998 he was a member of the Junior/Community College Commission
on Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music. He has
received a major grant from the SUNY Research Foundation (for composition),
a Composer Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, an American
Music Center grant and several Meet the Composer Awards.
In 1994 he received a commission for Quintet for Oboe (Sax) and
Strings from the New York State Music Teachers National Association. The
premiere performance took place at the NYSMTA Conference in Ithaca, NY in
October 1994. Landscape...with Grace, commissioned for the twentieth
anniversary season of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra in Grand Rapids,
Michigan was premiered on April 21, 1996.
He has composed over fifty works in all media. His opera for young
audiences, Rapunzel, was commissioned by the Tri-Cities Opera (Binghamton)
in 1971 and has been mounted also by the Opera Theatre of Northern
Virginia, Wolf Trap Farm Park and the Denver Symphony/Central City Singers.
A full length opera, Moby Dick, was complete in 1987. Sonata for violin
and piano (1973) is published in Vol. XI of the ASUC Journal of Music
Scores and recorded on Record no. 5 of the ASUC Record Series (Advance
label). Prelude and Lament for wind quintet (1970) and Suite for
Percussion (1975) are recorded on the Capstone label (CPS-8601). Chorale
Variations for Horns and Strings is recorded on compact disk by the
Constanta Symphony Orchestra (Capstone (CPS-8627 "Tonus Tomis").
Paul Richards (b. 1969) has written works in virtually every genre, with
commissions for orchestral, choral, and chamber works coming from a variety
of individuals and institutions, including Meet the Composer, AZ, the
Arizona Repertory Singers, and the Catalina Chamber Orchestra. He has
twice won the Guild of Temple Musicians Young Composers Award, and received
Honorable Mention in the 1998 ASCAP Foundation Grants to Young Composers.
His works have been performed across the country in universities,
synagogues, and at conferences of SEAMUS and SCI. Currently on the faculty
of Baylor University, he holds a DMA from The University of Texas at
Austin, and an MM and a BM degree from the University of Arizona. Former
president of the UT Austin student chapter of SCI, he is currently a member
of SCI Region V.
was written for Ann Marie Hudson, capitalizing on her
considerable technique and expressive ability. The brief original theme is
reminiscent of a renaissance dance figure, while the variations wander
through intimations of baroque, popular, and other styles, with the
overriding goal of displaying the capabilities of the viola, and violist.
David Smooke is a Chicago-based composer who is also active as a teacher
and lecturer. His honors include a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the
William Schuman Prize for most outstanding score in the BMI Young Composers
Competition and a first level prize in the National Association of
Composers USA Student Composer Competition. His music has been presented
by the University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players, the Pacific
Chamber Soloists and the New Horizons Chamber ensemble, among others, and
has been heard on Provincetown and Chicago radio, and has been published by
Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.
He has taught at the University of Chicago, Peabody Elderhostel and
the Birch Creek Music Performance Center, where he was also composer in
resident, and has delivered public lectures for, among others, the Chicago
Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He received an MM
degree from the Peabody Conservatory and a BA magna cum laude from the
University of Pennsylvania, and is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program
at the University of Chicago as a recipient of the highest fellowship
offered by the Humanities Division, the Century Fellowship. His
composition teachers have included Shulamit Ran, Marta Ptaszynska, Robert
Hall Lewis, Richard Wernick and George Crumb.
The title describes its form. The three Prologues
present material through the process of coalescing; the four Epilogues are
characterized by summation and fragmentation. Each section is paired with a
dialectical opposite, although pairs are not necessarily presented in
order. This form allowed me to create a single-minded, monothematic work
without relying on the traditional variation and development techniques.
The resulting piece is tightly constructed and easily approached, and is
also nonlinear, or, more accurately, what Jonathan Kramer might call
"multiply-directed". Although the music has directed motion, antecedents
and consequences are not necessarily conjunct, and sometimes the latter
precede the former. I feel that this process for controlling musical time
is representative of the way people in the computer age process
information, including even musical sounds.
Upon hearing me describe an early version of the form of this
piece, theorist Larry Zbikowski directed me to the third movement of
Beethoven's String Quartet, Op. 132, the main theme of which happened to
bear a great resemblance to the four-note melody I had been exploring.
This happy coincidence led me to rewrite my quintet, exploiting its
relationship to the Beethoven. Further revisions, mainly to the last
movement, followed the May 1998 premiere performance by the University of
Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players.