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SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Presents "STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS" at Old First Concerts
Friday, December 7, 2007 at 8 pm

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

PROGRAM

 

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."

Philip Freihofner

Carmilla    

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

 

Jonathan Russell writes music for a wide variety of ensembles, from orchestra to chorus to rock band. His works have been performed by numerous ensembles, including the San Francisco Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Empyrean Ensemble, the new music bands FIREWORKS and Capital M, and pianists Sarah Cahill and Lisa Moore. Important influences on his work include Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, Charles Mingus, Steve Reich, Guns N' Roses, Radiohead, Cornelius Boots, Ryan Brown, Ben Gribble, klezmer music, and free improvisation. Also active as a performer on clarinet, bass clarinet, and alto saxophone, Jonathan is a member of the heavy-metal inspired Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet and the Balkan/Klezmer/Experimental band Zoyres. He also plays in, composes for, and is a founding member of the Sqwonk bass clarinet duo, and freelances in the Bay Area as a classical and klezmer clarinetist. Jonathan teaches Theory and Musicianship at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, serves as Music Director at First Congregational Church, San Francisco, and is a critic for the San Francisco Classical Voice. He has a BA in Music from Harvard University and an MM in Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His composition teachers have included Dan Becker, Elinor Armer, Eric Sawyer, John Stewart, and Eric Ewazen.

Jonathan Russell

Double Bass Clarinet Concerto              Low / High

Sqwonk Duo

Erik Jekabson is a trumpet player and composer whose music draws from many different sources, but remains firmly rooted in the “third-stream” explorative west coast tradition. A Berkeley, California native, his music has been shaped by his time spent studying at the Oberlin Conservatory, playing professionally in New Orleans (1994-98) and New York (1998-2003), and by his recent completion of graduate studies in classical composition at the San Francisco Conservatory in 2006. Erik has toured with John Mayer, Illinois Jacquet, the Woody Herman Big Band and the jam-band Galactic, and has composed for film and dance projects. His solo album “Intersection” was released in the fall of 2003 by the Fresh Sound/New Talent label.

Erik Jekabson

The Jungle    

Erik Jekabson is a trumpet player and composer whose music draws from many different sources, but remains firmly rooted in the “third-stream” explorative west coast tradition. A Berkeley, California native, his music has been shaped by his time spent studying at the Oberlin Conservatory, playing professionally in New Orleans (1994-98) and New York (1998-2003), and by his recent completion of graduate studies in classical composition at the San Francisco Conservatory in 2006. Erik has toured with John Mayer, Illinois Jacquet, the Woody Herman Big Band and the jam-band Galactic, and has composed for film and dance projects. His solo album “Intersection” was released in the fall of 2003 by the Fresh Sound/New Talent label.

Erik Jekabson , Trumpet

The multi-instrumentalist Michael Cooke is a composer of jazz and classical music. This two-time Emmy, ASCAPLUS Award and Louis Armstrong Jazz Award winner plays a variety of instruments: you can hear him on soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones, flute, soprano and bass clarinets, bassoon and percussion. A cum laude graduate with a music degree from the University of North Texas, he had many different areas of study; jazz, ethnomusicology, music history, theory and of course composition. In 1991 Michael began his professional orchestral career performing in many north Texas area symphonies. Michael has played in Europe, Mexico, and all over the United States. Cimarron Music Press began published many of Michael's compositions in 1994. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been exploring new paths in improvised and composed music, mixing a variety of styles and techniques that draw upon the creative energy of a multicultural experience, both in and out of America. In 1999, Michael started a jazz label called Black Hat Records (blackhatrecords.com) and is currently on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. The San Francisco Beacon describes Michael's music as "flowing out color and tone with a feeling I haven't heard in quite a while. Michael plays with such dimension and flavor that it sets (his) sound apart from the rest." Uncompromising, fiery, complex, passionate, and cathartic is how the All Music Guide labeled Michael's playing on Searching by Cooke Quartet, Statements by Michael Cooke and The Is by CKW Trio. His latest release, An Indefinite Suspension of The Possible, is an unusual mixture of woodwinds, trombone, cello, koto and percussion, creating a distinct synergy in improvised music that has previously been untapped.

Michael Cooke

Symphony No. 3  "Shadows of Japanese Children"         Video

II.  Where has the Shadow's Father Gone?
III. The Mountain of One Thousand Good Fortunes is Ablaze!

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

The Wind God   

I. I got my wish
II. I've a crick
III. Ocean is my friend
IV. Big Ship

Harriet March Page, Mezzo-Soprano

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

Music from the Opera ¸Trap Door”   

III. Dream Morphine
IV. 100K

Maria Mikhenyenko, Soprano
Clifton Romig, Baritone

speaker Click on the links to listen to the music. video Click on the links for video.
MSMediaPlayer Microsoft Media Player or for Mac: VLCMediaPlayer VLC Media Player.

PERFORMERS
 

Flute
Bruce Salvisberg
Harry Bernstein

Oboe
Philip Freihofner

Clarinet + (Bass Clarinet**)
Jonathan Russell + **
Michael Cooke **
Rachel Condry + **
Jeff Anderle **

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


French Horn
Diane Ryan

Trumpet
Eric Jekabson

Piano
Lisa Scola Prosek
Davide Verotta

Percussion
Greg Simonds
Anne Szabla
Victor Flaviani



Violin I
Clare Twohy

Violin II
Hande Erdem

Viola
Patrick Kroboth

Cello
Dan Reiter

Bass
Michael Taddei

 

 

Sqwonk grew out of a joint concert that Jeff Anderle and Jon Russell did together in the spring of 2005. The concert featured mostly solo bass clarinet works, and a few bass clarinet duos as well. We enjoyed playing together so much, that we decided to make the duo into a regular group and called ourselves Sqwonk. Since then, we have performed at a wide variety of venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, from clubs to churches to concert halls, including the Revolution CafĢ, the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, Old First Church, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In the fall of 2006, we received a grant from San Francisco Conservatory to help fund our first CD, which features new works composed for us by Ian Dicke, Damon Waitkus, and Jon Russell, as well as our arrangement of Bach¨s Toccata and Fugue in d minor.

Harriet March Page has pursued a life-long obsession with the arts: as actor, singer, writer, director, producer. Reeling off the decades, the 1970's was grand opera in and about San Francisco Bay Area; 1980's acting in plays and musicals with the Los Altos Conservatory Theatre; 1990's, writing and performing autobiographical monologues in San Francisco and producing monthly Sunday-Salons; and the 2000's, directing and producing as Artistic Director for Goat Hall Productions San Francisco Cabaret Opera on Potrero Hill, whose mission is presenting contemporary opera in English and premiering new opera theater by Bay Area composers in a cabaret setting. March Page is very happy to be a part of SFCCO, singing an orchestrated version of four songs from ¸The Wind God” part of a larger autobiographical work written by her with music composed by Mark Alburger which they like to call "Harriet's Verdian Ring".

Clifton Romig is a former member of Opera San Jose's resident artist program and a regular with the San Francisco Opera working as an extra chorister and most recently, as a soloist in Verdi's Macbeth. He performs regularly with Bay Area opera companies such as Berkeley Opera, West Bay Opera, Pocket Opera, North Bay Opera and Festival Opera. His most recent collaboration with Lisa Scola Prosek was the premier of her opera Belfagor at the Thick House in San Francisco this past June. This April he will join Opera San Jose for their production of Mozart's Magic Flute, singing the role of ¸The Speaker” and in June he will again join Lisa Scola Prosek for her new opera, Trap Door. He performs regularly with Savoy Express, a nationally touring Gilbert and Sullivan revue and recently joined the cast of Oh, Mr Sousa!, a tribute to the life and music of ¸The March King”, John Phillip Sousa. Mr. Romig received his Masters in Music from Indiana University and is a former member of the Santa Fe Opera apprentice program.

Maria Mikheyenko, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, is actively involved in bringing Russian repertoire to audiences of all backgrounds. Ms. Mikheyenko¨s opera roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Lucy in The Telephone (Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute), Ida in Die Fledermaus (Bay Shore Lyric Opera), La PoĢsie in Les Arts Florissants (Opera Lafayette), Drusilla in L¨incoronazione di Poppea (BASOTI), Second Woman and First Witch in Dido & Aeneas, Second Lady in Die ZauberflŻte, (which marked Ms.Mikheyenko¨s European debut), Second Tourińre in Puccini¨s Suor Angelica, (Berkeley Opera), and Saffi in Johann Strauss¨operetta, Der Zigeunerbaron (The Gypsy Baron), with the Austrian American Mozart Academy in Salzburg. In the world of contemporary opera, she has portrayed a wide range of fascinating characters. In Tom Dean¨s White Darkness, with Oakland Opera Theater, Ms. Mikheyenko sang the role of Mary Ann White (wife of Dan White Ķ who in 1978 murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk). She has also had the opportunity to premiere three roles written for her, in two operas by Bay Area composer Lisa Scola Prosek: Salai (Leonardo da Vinci¨s lifelong servant and pupil) in Leonardo¨s Notebooks, and Lucifer and Onesta Donati (a wealthy Florentine socialite) in Machiavelli¨s Belfagor. Ms. Mikheyenko has been a guest artist with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, the Fortnightly Music Club of Palo Alto, and on the national radio show West Coast Live with host Sedge Thomson.

The Wind God (libretto by Harriet March Page), Alburger's ninth opera, is a minimalist boatful of Giusseppi Verdi's Rigoletto, with Rigoletto, with stowaways from Satie's Gnossiennes,Debussy's La Mer, John Williams Jaws, the pop standard "You Made Me Do It", cowboy songs, "Three Blind Mice" , tangos, a certain sinister-creepy chromaticism, Pink Floyd's "Money", Rossini's Barber of Seville, generic blues, Shostakovich song cycles, Stravinsky's The Flood, Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde and Peter Grimes, the hymn tune "Lord Jesus Think on Me", and vaudeville ditties.

After premiering the outer two movements in 2005, the SFCCO will now premier the inner two movements of my third symphony: Symphony No. 3 "The Shadows of Japanese Children." It is based my string quartet with the same title completed in 1993. "The Shadows of Japanese Children" is a four-movement work based on Japanese music. A book found in a used bookstore in Dallas, Unforgettable Fire, inspired it. Atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki filled this book with drawings and stories. Many were about children turned into ash statues ­ their shadows burned on the ground. This work is dedicated to those children. The first movement (premiered in 2005), Shadows Playing on the Ground, makes use of a melody in a Japanese classical piece by Kengyo Fujinaga called "Yachiyo Jishi" (1741-1744). The second movement, Where has the Shadow’s Father Gone?, is based on the lullaby "Ora No Omboko". The third movement, The Mountain of One Thousand Good Fortunes is Ablaze!, is based on the folk song "Sempuku-yama". The titles of the second and third movements are based on the lyrics of the original folk song. The fourth movement (premiered in 2005), In the Fallen Sun only Shadows Remain, makes use of two more folk melodies "Hora Nero Nen Nero" & "Toryanse". The title of this movement and the first movement come from lines in the beginning of Unforgettable Fire.

"Carmilla" is a famous vampire story by Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu. Written in the 1860's, it predates the Bram Stroker "Dracula" by several decades. While the sensationalist aspects predominate in many modern re-tellings (e.g. The Hammer Horror Karnstein trilogy), the story fascinates and holds with the richness and depth of its psychological insights. In the musical excerpt presented, Laura, is thrilled to have a new friend (Carmilla) at her lonely home, a "schloss" in Styria, where she lives with her retired British father and a few servants. She tries in vain to get Carmilla to answer some basic questions about her life and origins. Carmilla replies evasively, with strangely effusive and dark images, and with the ultimate message: "trust me!" The music has lyrical lines set in a highly chromatic and dissonant texture, to suggest both the dark and seductive undertones in the story. Ideally, this piece will become a part of a larger song cycle, with narration, that will set the complete story.

The Jungle was written to feature solo jazz trumpet with a groovin' chamber orchestra, and is meant to evoke the jungle, whether it be Amazonian, urban, or in our minds.

Selections from the Opera Trap Door The new Opera "Trap Door" , commissioned by The Lab, explores various issues surrounding the soldiers fighting in Iraq today.

Dream Morphine
In the scene in which we hear Dream Morphine, a soldier is administered the huge dose of morphine after being wounded out in the field. While the nurse, named Maria, gives out the injections, the soldiers sings,
"I never thought that I would be
a ship that's floating out to sea
and this my bed's my little ship
with all I need within it.
O happy when the Southern skies
float like a dream before my eyes
and all the while I drift along
the Southern skies
will be my song."

100K
In the opera, this song is sung by the independent contractors who populate the Operating Bases of the war in Iraq. They rejoice in their salary (six figures, they are fond of saying) while the underpaid soldiers must protect them. The contractor's gleefully sing, "Honor and Justice can wear pretty thin
Flutter like angels on the head of a pin.
A hundred thousand
I'd rather make a Hundred Thousand!"

My basic idea when I conceived of the Duo Bass Clarinet Concerto was Heavy Metal meets the German early nineteenth century composer Carl Maria von Weber. The first music I really fell in love with as a teenager was Guns N' Roses, Metallica, and other hard rock and heavy metal bands. More recently, for the past year and a half, I have been a member of the Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet, which channels the spirit and power of heavy metal through the deep sonorities of four bass clarinets. I know Weber’s music largely from practicing his clarinet concertos extensively as in high school and college, and I have always enjoyed the over-the-top virtuosity and flashiness of these pieces. In pondering a duo bass clarinet concerto, it seemed logical (to me) to try to combine the heaviness and raw power of heavy metal with the dancing virtuosity and lyricism of Weber's concertos. The resulting piece doesn’t necessarily borrow explicitly from either heavy metal or Weber, but the underlying spirit of the work comes from the combination of these two sources. The resulting piece is in one movement, but with three distinct sections roughly corresponding to the traditional fast-slow-fast three movements of a classical concerto. The first section, after a slow introduction, is groovy and dancey, with the bass clarinets establishing grooves and then taking off on virtuosic excursions as the orchestra takes on the grooves. The second, slower section features a soaring melody in sweet thirds in the bass clarinets over undulating chords in the strings. After a cadenza, the third section brings back the groove from the beginning, with much virtuosic ornamentation by the bass clarinets building into a climactic ending.

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.