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SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mark Alburger, Music Director
Friday, March 22, 2002, at 8:00pm
Goat Hall, 400 Missouri Street
San Francisco, CA

Review

PROGRAM

 

Tom Heasley is in possession of – or possessed by – a very distinctive musical persona. He is an internationally-acclaimed composer, performer and recording artist whose music creates “a rich and sonorous aural experience that flies in the face of all the dumb cliches about what tuba music is” whose work achieves a unique synthesis of composition and improvisation. Heasley conjures music of great individuality, originality and power, which is deceptively meditative, calm and tranquil. His music speaks to a wide variety of listeners, as diverse as conservatory students at Oberlin and inmates of San Quentin. He is a true “father of invention,” who finally turned his albatross - the tuba - into a strength through the development of a unique musical voice. Heasley has recorded for Tzadik, Leo, Hypnos, Innova, Music and Arts, New Albion, Old Gold and Farfield Records, among others.

Tom Heasley

New Work for Tuba and Electronics

Stan McDaniel studied composition with an inspiring teacher and consummate musician named H. Klyne Headley, who (although now forgotten) at that time was quite well known as a composer, conductor and concert pianist. Mr. Headley taught him skills for serious musical composition. Although he pursued a career in philosophy, Stan continued to compose music, bits here and there, and even one or two major pieces over the years, based on further reading and experience as time permitted. Stan made efforts at self-publishing, and in 1965-66 two of his pieces, "The White Tree" and "Estel" (Hope) for solo alto recorder, were received favorably, the first by a laudatory review in The American Recorder magazine (1965) and the second in a letter from the outstanding professional recorder artist Franz Bruggen, who called "Estel" "a real contribution to the modern recorder repertoire."

Stan McDaniel

Duet 1993 ("Remembrance")

Alexis Alrich is presently living in Hong Kong but visits the Bay Area frequently. Her Marimba Concerto, which was presented by the SFCCO, will be played by the Plymouth Symphony in Plymouth, Michigan in 2009 with conductor Nan Washburn. Her piece Island of the Blue Dolphins was performed by the Santa Barbara Symphony on January 19, 2007. She attended an artists' colony in 2007, I-Park in Connecticut, where she wrote Fragile Forests II: Cambodia, next in the series after Fragile Forests I: California Oaks, which was premiered in December 2006 by the San Francisco Composers Orchestra. As one of the winners of a Continental Harmony grant from the American Composers Forum she has written a piece for chorus, orchestra and soloists for the state of Maine. Avenues, her first orchestra piece, was premiered by the Women's Philharmonic and has been played around the country. Her chamber compositions have been performed by members of the San Francisco ballet, opera and symphony orchestras and ensembles including Bay Brass, City Winds, the Ahlert and Schwab guitar and mandolin duo in Germany, the Ariel Ensemble, New Release Alliance and Earplay in San Francisco. Ms. Alrich is the director of the John Adams Young Composers program in Berkeley, California. This is an intensive training program for composers ages 9-18 in honor of and under the aegis of John Adams.

Alexis Alrich

Fuse for Oboe, Percussion, Piano, and Strings

Pianist/composer Marcia Burchard received an MA in Music from Dominican University of California, where she currently teaches piano, composition, and music theory. She served as pianist for the Napa Valley Symphony from 1996 to 1998, and has been a soloist with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, the Dominican Community Orchestra, and the Santa Rosa Wind Ensemble, performing concertos by Bach, Beethoven, Grieg, and Stravinsky. She has worked with the Sophia Foundation of North American since 1998, providing piano accompaniment for Choreocosmic workshops as well as original compositions, including music for the sacred dramas Parsifal and The Mystery of Love. In 2000 Ms. Burchard was sponsored to do on-site research into the musical implications of the famous labyrinth of Chartres Cathedral. This led to a paper on the subject and her composition Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth, portions of which were performed by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra in 2002. In 2003 a CD was made of her vocal setting of the Sophia Foundation Prayer Sequence. In 2004 her String Trio No. 1 in G minor was premiered at Dominican University's Guest Concert Series, and the same year she was commissioned by Contemporary Opera Marin to compose a one-act opera, for which she chose as her theme The Descent of Inanna. She then received an Academic Excellence Grant to present the current expanded, three-act production of the opera. The Descent of Inanna represents only one episode in the longer myth, for which she also hopes to have the opportunity to compose an operatic score.

Marcia Burchard

Chartres Cathedral
Labyrinth
Malkuth
Yesod
Tiphareth

intermission

 

John Beeman studied with Peter Fricker and William Bergsma at the University of Washington where he received his Master's degree. His first opera, The Great American Dinner Table was produced on National Public Radio. Orchestral works have been performed by the Fremont-Newark Philharmonic, Santa Rosa Symphony, and the Peninsula Symphony. The composer's second opera, Law Offices, premiered in San Francisco in 1996 and was performed again in 1998 on the steps of the San Mateo County Courthouse. Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra was premiered in January 2001 by Paul Dresher, electric guitar. Mr. Beeman has attended the Ernest Bloch Composers' Symposium, the Bard Composer-Conductor program, the Oxford Summer Institutes, and the Oregon Bach Festival and has received awards through Meet the Composer, the American Music Center and ASCAP. Compositions have been performed by Ensemble Sorelle, the Mission Chamber Orchestra, the Ives Quartet, Fireworks Ensemble, the Oregon Repertory Singers and Schola Cantorum of San Francisco.

John Beeman

Beeline: A Festive Overture (2002)

 

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

Martyrium Pilati from Sub Pontio Pilato

Yolanda Rhodes, Soprano

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

Symphony No. 1 in C Major ("It wasn't classical, it was symphonic... It wasn't a symphony, because it did not have a sonata-allegro"), Opus 21
I. Adagio molto, Allegro con brio
II. Andante con moto
III. Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace
IV. Adagio, Allegro molto e vivace

PERFORMERS
 

Flute
Bruce Salvisberg

Oboe
Mark Alburger
John Kendall Bailey

Clarinet
Rachel Condry
Michael Kimbell

Bassoon
Michael Cooke

Trumpet
Mark Nemoytin
Art Adamson

French Horn
Erica Challis

Trombone
Frank Bunger

Tuba
Tom Heasley

Piano
Alexis Alrich
Marcia Burchard
Maryliz Smith

Percussion
Ken Crawford

Marimba
Matthew Cannon

Violin I
Brooke Aird *
Thomas Yee

Violin II
Charles Montague

Viola
Marsha Gonick

Cello
Danielle DeGruttola
Carolyn Jean Tyler

Bass
John Beeman

Voice
Laurie Amat
Ken Berry

*concertmaster

 

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.