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SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Presents "MOVING TARGETS" at Old First Concerts
Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 8 pm

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

PROGRAM
Martha Stoddard conducting

 

Gary Friedman was born in 1934 and raised in University Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Gary Friedman received his higher education at Antioch College, The University of Chicago (B.S. and M.D. degrees), and Harvard University (M.S. degree). His main career has been as a physician-epidemiologist. He worked in the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research for 30 years including 7 years as its Director. Since retiring from Kaiser Permanente in 1999, his current position is Consulting Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Friedman's musical education started with piano at age 5. He also played trumpet in junior high and high school and studied organ and music theory during teen age. Playing and improvising on the piano only occasionally during adulthood, he returned to music seriously at age 54, studying oboe and English horn with Janet Popesco Archibald. He currently plays these instruments in the San Francisco Civic Symphony, the College of Marin Symphony, the Bohemian Club Band and chamber groups. Starting at age 64, he studied composition for four years with Alexis Alrich in the Adult Extension Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His musical compositions, mostly chamber works, are described in his music web site www.garyfriedmanmusic.net.

Gary Friedman
Octet for Winds     notes

Meanderings
On The Go

Davide Verotta was born in a boring Italian town close to Milano and moved to the very much more exciting San Francisco in his late twenties. He studied piano at the Milano Conservatory and piano and composition at the San Francisco Conservatory and State University (MA in composition), and at the University of California at Davis (PhD). He is an active solo and ensemble piano recitalist, and he is actively involved in the new music performance and composition scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recent compositions include works for orchestra, chamber opera, dance, piano solo, and different chamber ensembles. For more information please visit his web site at http://www.davideverotta.com.

Davide Verotta

Sinfonia Per Orchestra da Camera    notes

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, Badessa  notes

I. La Badessa
II. Little Fast Ones   speaker

intermission

 

Sheli Nan is a Berkeley composer, musician, arts educator, and performer whose life’s work focuses on the creation, performance, distribution, and teaching of music. She has been professionally involved in the musical landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area for more than three decades. The Music Studio is an umbrella for her various musicals enterprises, including composition, performance, recording and teaching, privately and in school programs, as well as written publications. Sheli is the author of two books, many articles on music and has had 20 editions of music published and performed including her symphony, Signatures in Time and Place. Her latest large scale musical work is Saga: Portrait of a 21st Century Child, an opera for our time, with a libretto by the composer. She is a member of ASCAP and the consistent recipient of the Standard Awards Panel. She is also a member of the New York Composers Circle, The Western Early Keyboard Society, Early Music America, The San Francisco Early Music Society, The Society of Composers International, and the American Composers Forum.

Sheli Nan

Signatures in Time and Place     notes

I. Romanesque
II. The Corinthian Order


Clare Twohy is an active performer and composer in the Bay Area and an alumna of The Crowden School and a former violin student of Anne Crowden,. She holds a B.M. in violin performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied violin with Camilla Wicks and composition with Elinor Armer. Clare is a long-standing member of the SFCCO, which performed her latest composition last November. Clare has attended summer festivals including the Music Academy of the West, Roundtop, and Bowdoin festivals. Currently, she has a private composition studio and is on the Musicianship faculty in the Preparatory division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Clare Twohy

untitled  speaker

Martha Stoddard earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Humboldt State University and Master of Music from San Francisco State University, where she studied flute, conducting, and composition. She was recently named Program Director of the John Adams Young Composers Program at the Crowden Music Center and has held the position of Artistic Director of the Oakland Civic Orchestra since 1997. Stoddard is Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and Director of Instrumental Music at Lick-Wilmerding High School. Other activities include engagements as Musical Director for Lisa Scola Prosek's Belfagor and Trap Door, John Bilotta's Trifles, Mark Alburger's Job: A Masque, and the Erling Wold / Davide Verotta / Scola Prosek / Stoddard Dieci Giorni, premiered in San Francisco in 2010. In October 2012, she conducted the premiere of Scola Prosek's The Daughter o the Red Tsar, featuring tenor John Duykers. A 2009 and 2010 recipient of AscapPlus Awards, her music has been performed in San Francisco through the American Composer’s Forum, by the Sierra Ensemble, Avenue Winds and in the UK by flutists Carla Rees and Lisa Bost. She has had performances by the San Francisco Choral Artists, Schwungvoll!, the Community Women’s Orchestra, Oakland Civic Orchestra, Womensing, Bakersfield Symphony New Directions Series, in the Trinity Chamber Concert Series and the New Music Forum Festival of Contemporary Music. Recent commissions include Points of Reference, Outbursts: an Homage to Brahms, Orchestral Suite for the Young of all Ages, and the Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano.

Martha Stoddard

In Search of Planet X  speaker   notes

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 (Piccolo+ )
Bruce Salvisberg +
Harry Bernstein

Oboe
Phil Freihofner
Gary Friedman

Clarinet (Bass Clarinet)
Rachel Condry
David Treganowen

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


French Horn
Cathleen Torres
Frank Lahorgue

Trumpet
Pierce Yamaoka

Piano
Davide Verotta

Percussion
Victor Flaviani
Anne Szabla
Davide Verotta
Alexis Alrich


Violin I
Monika Gruber

Violin II
Hande Erdem

Viola
Clare Twohy

Cello
Dan Reiter
Moses Sedler

Bass
Ellen Lin

 

Having always enjoyed playing oboe in larger wind chamber groups, particularly octets, I was pleased to be invited to join an octet that meets monthly at the home of one of our horn players tonight, Frank Lahorgue. Stimulated by the big sound of this combination of instruments and the variety of sound colors it makes possible, I started writing octets and have completed three so far. The first two are on the program. You will recognize little snatches of familiar melodies in them such as "How I wonder what you are" from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and a surprise (I hope humorous) in the middle of On The Go. Normally octets do not need a conductor, but I value having Martha Stoddard lead us in these pieces, especially Meanderings which contains many tempo changes.

Sinfonia is an orchestral composition very vaguely inspired by a work by the English composer John White (Synphonie 3). It was sketched during a short trip to Italy in December 2007, and finalized in July of 2008. It is a relatively short work without much programmatic intent. If one insists in asking what it tries to express, well, the journey is from a place of relative stasis, to the interplay of the slightly whimsical and energy bursts (escape? emergence?), back to a place of stasis. Compositionally it mostly employs three orchestral blocks (strings - winds, brass -timpani, vibraphone, tubular bells, piano), which often retain their contrasting motivic and harmonic identities without merging with each other.

La Badessa (Mother Superior) from the new opera "Badessa" based on Boccaccio's 21st novella from the Decameron. This is the theme of the Badessa herself where all of the novice nuns of a small convent seduce their one handsome gardener, until he declares defeat, devastated by exhaustion. A "Suor Angelica" gone bad.

Signatures in TIme and Place is a symphony that addresses the intersection between music and architecture. Just as architecture begins with a blueprint, so does music. The dots and dashes one see on a musical page are not in of themselves music. The music happens the moment the instrument is performed on. And the musicians follow the "score". This score or blueprint is analogous to the architect's renderings. His work does not stand until it is built from his blueprints. And then it is made real.The three dimensional quality to architecture exists for the musicians and her audience as a moment so real and so solid and yet so fleeting as to be grasped and let go much as a completed edifice slowly wears the ravages of time. In musical time this process is speeded up to such a great extent that the music passes one by leaving a lingering feeling, image, and sound texture all its own. The first movement is entitled, "Romanesque". This movement calls for an early classical orchestra composed of instruments of the time of Haydn. Romanesque, like the architecture it is named for, although having a more delicate orchestral arrangement, is massive and evokes the thick walls, round arches and sturdy piers of its time. It is regular and symmetrical and heavy and dark. The geometric ornamentation bespeaks a massive energy and directional movement that is illustrated both by the bourree and by the fugue. The second movement is "The Corinthian Order". Now we have stepped back in time to an architectural wonder more closely associated with the Greeks. And in direct contrast, the orchestra has now assumed a more modern instrumental mantle. The columns of Corinth are varied; each column standing sentinel to this great civilization .Each column may be ornamented yet different from the one before. They are playful and flexible and can evoke an atmosphere rich and festive. There are opportunities for variation and distinction and this is illustrated by the varied and lively approach musically that constantly ornaments and returns and ornaments again the columns fluted structure. *** Published by Tech-Clazz Publishing Co.

In studying The Planets by Gustav Holst I was struck by Holst's minimalist tendencies in the layering of musical elements, and by the dramatic coloristic changes he was able to create. In Search of Planet X evokes some of these techniques in a three-part form. It begins with a quiet, espressivo in the string section that is more or less tonal. An accelerating melodic ostinato follows as the piece builds momentum and intensity, and dissonance plays an important role in the transition to the second theme. The second theme depicts an arrival into deep space where tonality is suspended and a lyrical melodic is layered on top of another ostinato figure. The final portion of the piece is propelled by a sixteenth note passages, first in the marimba( and xylophone) and then assumed by strings and winds These pass through many canonic and chromatic alterations. Percussion instruments add verve to the mix and it builds to a raucous finish.

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).