• WDCH
  • CAL ARTS NEW CENTURY PLAYERS PERFORM "SCHOENBERG'S LEGACY" -- WORKS INFLUENCED BY SCHOENBERG
  • March 18, 2002
  • MONDAY, MARCH 18 AT 8:00 PM

    David Rosenboom and Henry Brant Conduct Works by
    Olga Neuwirth, John Cage, Earl Kim, and Henry Brant

    The Cal Arts New Century Players, led by conductor David Rosenboom, present a program of works by composers who were influenced by Arnold Schoenberg on Monday, March 18 at Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School of Performing Arts as part of the 2001/2002 Green Umbrella series. The program includes pieces by Americans Henry Brant (who will conduct), John Cage and Earl Kim, and Austrian Olga Neuwirth. Sopranos Jacqueline Bobak and Kati Prescott-Terray join the New Century Players on several of the works. There will be a pre-concert discussion at 7 p.m. featuring composers James Tenney, Henry Brant and David Rosenboom.

    The concert is part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's on-going "Schoenberg Prism," a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the composer's death, with concerts, discussions, events, and seminars presented across Los Angeles.

    In the mid-1990's, Olga Neuwirth's viewing of a Frank Stella artwork, a triptych of the same title, inspired Hooloomooloo. The piece reflects the interplay of an individual's inner world that cannot be accessed with the outside "real" world that helps conceal and reveal the hidden interior. John Cage wrote Sixteen Dances in 1950-1951 for Merce Cunningham's dance company at the start of his chance composition period. The piece's rhythm is determined by that of the dance.

    Where Grief Slumbers, a song cycle by Earl Kim, is based upon verses by Rimbaud and Apollinaire. Originally composed in 1982 for voice, harp and string orchestra, the 1990 arrangement of the work performed here will feature two string quartets. Glossary by Henry Brant springs from computer terminology, which, in the early years of the Third Millennium, still exists more in print than in actual conversation. Brant wondered what computer terms would be like if sung. The piece is unique in that the conductor does not beat time at any point and the performers including the singer, execute exactly what their music indicates, but never attempt to co-ordinate rhythmically. However, there is no improvisation; everything is notated in full.

    JOHN CAGE (1912-1992) was born in Los Angeles. He traveled in Europe (1930-31), then studied with Henry Cowell in New York (1933-4) and Schoenberg in Los Angeles (1934). His first published compositions, in a rigorous atonal system of his own, date from this period. In 1937, he moved to Seattle to work as a dance accompanist, and there in 1938 he founded a percussion orchestra; his music then evolved to filling units of time with ostinatos (First Construction (in Metal), 1939). He also began to use electronic devices (variable-speed turntables in Imaginary Landscape no.1, 1939) and invented the 'prepared piano', placing diverse objects between the strings of a grand piano in order to create an effective percussion orchestra under the control of two hands. He wrote major concert works for the new instrument: A Book of Music (1944) and Three Dances (1945) for two prepared pianos, and the Sonatas and Interludes (1948) for one. During this period, Cage became interested in Eastern philosophies, especially in Zen. Working to remove creative choice from composition, he used coin tosses to determine events (Music of Changes for piano, 1951), wrote for 12 radios (Imaginary Landscape no. 4, also 1951) and introduced other indeterminate techniques. His 4'33" (1952) has no sound added to that of the environment in which it is performed; the Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1958) is an encyclopedia of indeterminate notations. Cage appeared widely in Europe and the USA as a lecturer and performer, having an enormous influence on younger musicians and artists, and was the author of several books.

    EARL KIM's (1920-1998) compositions have been performed and led by an array of artists, including Perlman, Mehta and Ozawa. A master of calibrated sonorities balanced by silence, Kim demonstrated a special gift for placing words into economical but evocative settings. He valued economy, precision, and quietude; a modernist whose musical language included touches of the 12-tone idiom, he was especially admired for his vocal works, selecting texts of distinction by authors like Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Rilke, Anne Sexton, and his favorite, Samuel Beckett. A student of Roger Sessions, Ernst Bloch, and Arnold Schoenberg, Kim taught composers such as Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, and Bernard Rands at Princeton and served as a composer-in-residence at major music centers and festivals (Aspen, Dartmouth, Marlboro, and Tanglewood) and academic institutions (Brandeis, Hartt College, and Princeton). Earl Kim attended the University of California, Los Angeles (1940-41), studying music composition and theory with Arnold Schoenberg. He went on to study with Bloch and Sessions at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his master's degree in 1952. He taught at Princeton University from 1952 until 1967, and at Harvard from 1971 until 1990.

    OLGA NEUWIRTH was born in Graz, Austria in 1968. She began trumpet lessons at the age of seven. During 1985-86, she studied composition and theory at the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco, as well as fine art and film at the Art College. From 1987-93, she studied composition at the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts and at the Electroacoustic Institute. Then from 1993-94, she studied with Tristan Murail in Paris, and took part in the "Stage d'Informatique Musicale" at IRCAM, Paris. She was a member of the Composer's Forum at the Darmstadt Summer School in 1994. Two portrait concerts were dedicated to her in the "Next Generation" series at the Salzburg Festival in 1998. In 1999 she was awarded the "Hindemith-Preis" of the Schleswig-Holstein-Music-Festival. Her first opera was successfully performed during the Vienna Festival in 1999, and she was awarded the "Ernst Krenek-Preis" for it. In 2002, Neuwirth will be composer-in-residence at the Lucerne Festival.

    HENRY BRANT is America's foremost composer of acoustic spatial music. The planned positioning of performers throughout the hall, as well as on stage, is an essential factor in his compositions and a point of departure for a radically expanded range and intensity of musical expression. Brant's principal chamber music and large-scale works since 1950 are all spatial. Brant does not use electronic materials or permit amplification in his music. Recent works are Ice Field for the San Francisco Symphony, premiered in December 2001, and Ghosts & Gargoyles for New Music Concerts-Toronto premiering in May 2002. Glossary, for solo voices and 12 instrumentalists, Prophets for four cantors and a shofar player, and Crystal Antiphonies for the Swarovski Wind Ensemble and the Vienna Radio Orchestra, received their premieres in 2000. Born in Montreal of American parents in 1913, Henry Brant began composing at the age of eight. After moving to New York in 1929, he composed and conducted for radio, film, ballet, and jazz groups. Starting in the late 40s, he taught at Columbia University, The Juilliard School, and, for 24 years, Bennington College. Since 1981, he has made his home in Santa Barbara, California.

    Soprano JACQUELINE BOBAK is a dedicated singer of contemporary music and performs repertoire ranging from opera to chamber works, from the traditional to the avant-garde. She has premiered numerous works by living composers, as well as interpreted classics of twentieth-century vocal music. She has appeared on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella series, the Monday Evening Concerts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and at concerts at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, as well as Maybeck Hall in Berkeley and the Pacific Contemporary Music Center Festival. She also has appeared as soloist and ensemble member with Xtet, Electric Phoenix (with the Minnesota Orchestra and Chicago's Grant Park Symphony), and the CalArts New Century Players. Bobak has performed at such leading venues as the Electronic Cafe in Santa Monica, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Wires center for new and experimental music. She is currently coordinator of the Vocal Studies Program at CalArts.

    Soprano KATI PRESCOTT-TERRAY is a recent graduate of Cal Arts with a degree in Vocal performance. She has performed Offrandes by Varèse, Chantefleurs et Chantefables by Lutoslawski, and Socrates by Satie. She performed Varèse's Nocturnal last year at a Green Umbrella concert and appeared in a master class with Dawn Upshaw at the Ojai Music Festival last summer.

    EDITORS- PLEASE NOTE:

    Monday, March 18, 8:00 PM


    GREEN UMBRELLA

    -SCHOENBERG PRISM-

    ZIPPER HALL AT THE COLBURN SCHOOL, 200 S. Grand Ave in Los Angeles

    DAVID ROSENBOOM, conductor

    HENRY BRANT, conductor

    JACQUELINE BOBAK, soprano

    KATI PRESCOTT-TERRAY, soprano

    Olga Neuwirth: Hooloomooloo

    John Cage: Sixteen Dances

    Earl Kim: Where Grief Slumbers

    Henry Brant: Glossary

    Tickets ($26) are on sale now at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, and selected Wherehouse locations), and by credit card phone order at 213.365.3500. Tickets are also available on-line at laphil.com. For further information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; David Barber, 323/850-2023