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SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Presents "Moving Day" at Lick-Wilmerding High School Auditorium
Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 8 pm

Lick-Wilmerding High School Auditorium
755 Ocean Ave San Francisco, CA 94112


PROGRAM

 

Harry Bernstein has been involved in San Francisco Bay Area music for many years as a composer, performer and teacher. He began his musical training on the trumpet, later learning the recorder as well as the Baroque the modern flutes. More recently, his life has been altered by the invasion of a viola. This occurred a few years after Bernstein began his association with City College. Why take up a stringed instrument in one's fifties? In his case, he took on the challenge of learning the viola in order to explore both orchestral and chamber music, and to learn how to write more effectively for strings. Not long after earning a D.M.A. in early music performance from Stanford University, he moved 30 miles north to San Francisco where he has lived ever since. He has studied composition with Jerry Mueller and has written vocal and instrumental music. Bernstein is co-founder of the Golden Age Ensemble, a duo presenting varied programs of instrumental and vocal music around the Bay Area and is a partner in Micro Pro Musica Press, SF, which offers music engraving, arranging and transcription services. He is currently active with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra (flute), the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (viola), and that unpredictable composers' circle known as Irregular Resolutions. Bernstein is an instructor in both the Music and Older Adults Departments at City College of San Francisco, and also teaches privately.

Harry Bernstein

Sonata for Flute, Oboe, and Piano (2011)    notes

I. Playful, Vigorous  

Plan B for String Quintet (2013)  notes  

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

Sprites (2013)    notes

 

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

Dances for Orchestra  (2013)    notes

I. Lullaby 
II. Paidushko 
III. Pyrrixios 
IV. Syxnyse
V. Halay Halaylar
 

intermission

 

Dr. Michael A. Kimbell is composer-in-residence and principal clarinettist of the San Francisco Community Music Center Orchestra directed by Urs Leonhardt Steiner. He studied composition with Robert Palmer and Karel Husa at Cornell University where he received his D.M.A. in 1973. He has written works for orchestra, piano, chamber ensembles, chorus and theatre. His orchestral works, which were premiered by the CMC Orchestra, include Rondino Capriccioso, Kritik des Herzens (also performed by SFCCO), Taklamakán, Night Songs, and Arcadian Symphony (which was also performed by the Mission Chamber Orchestra and won the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Competition in 1998).Kimbell's Poème for Violin and Harp has been performed in Austria and Germany and at the 2011 World Harp Congress in Vancouver.

Michael Kimbell

Time Does Not Move  (2012)    notes

Emmanuel Williams, Narrator

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

Incomplete Thoughts: A Passacaglia (2013)    notes    video Low / High

 

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

Gait Changes (2013) notes  

Allan Crossman has written for many soloists and ensemble. The North/South Consonance (NYC) recording of Millennium Overture Dance received a GRAMMY nomination in 2003; Music for Human Choir (SATB) shared Top Honors at the Waging Peace through Singing Festival; North/South recently recorded his FLYER (cello and string orchestra, with soloist Nina Flyer); and a recent commission is the piano trio Icarus, for the New Pacific Trio (San Francisco).

One of his many theatre scores, The Log of the Skipper's Wife, was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford and the Kennedy Center, with Crossman's music drawn from Irish/English shanties and dances. His music is the soundtrack for the award-winning animated short, X man, by Christopher Hinton (National Film Board of Canada). His work has been supported by such organizations as Canada Council for the Arts, American Composers Forum, and Meet the Composer (NY). Professor Emeritus, Concordia University (Montreal), he has also taught at Wheaton College, the Pacific Conservatory, and is presently on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His doctoral studies were with George Rochberg, George Crumb, and Hugo Weisgall at the University of Pennsylvania.

Allan Crossman , Piano

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PERFORMERS
 

Flute (Piccolo**)
Bruce Salvisberg**
Harry Bernstein

Oboe
Philip Freihofner

Clarinet (Bass Clarinet**)
Michael Kimbell
Rachel Condry**

Bassoon
Michael Cooke


Trumpet
Cindy Collins

Horn
Priscilla Nunn

Trombone
Alex Bond

Piano
Davide Verotta

Percussion
Victor Flaviano
Anne Szabla
Mark Alburger


Violin I
Monika Gruber

Violin II
Alise Ewan

Viola
Raphael Gold
Harry Bernstein

Cello
Ariella Hyman

Bass
John Beeman

 

 

Sonata for Flute, Oboe, and Piano in 2003 for a concert by Irregular Resolutions. We built a program around a cellist and also multi-instrumentalist Nik Phelps, of the Sprocket Ensemble, who could play flute, oboe, clarinet, and trumpet. The trio is of humorous intent, even though it is hard to play a wind instrument with your tongue in your cheek (not at all chic)! There are short contrasting sections, with the winds sometimes playing 'against' the piano, and occasional quotations of other music, which come to a head with a virtual quotation duel.

The string quintet movement, Plan B, was the piece that came up after the original plan to write a quartet, a sextet and another "ette," as yet unnamed, failed to materialize within the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra time restraints-probably due to a lack of "etiquette" on my part. Plan B arose because of my enjoyment of playing string quintets and sextets in recent years. There are three short sections, each one a little faster than the last. The first section is slow, with a touch of Cole Porter world-weariness; the second has elements of tango and the third takes on something of the mood of swing.

Sprites are immense, but brief, flashes of red light that appear above thunderstorms. This unusual weather phenomenon was only first documented in 1989. Blue jets, similar optical phenomenon, are cones of blue light shooting above the clouds. The cause of these flashes, though not yet determined, may be connected with electrical discharges from storms. Sprites (2013) was inspired by these unusual weather events.

Incomplete Thoughts: A Passacaglia was born out of the news that the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra would not have our customary three bassoons. I stopped the piece on which I was working, and came up with another: a contemporary passacaglia where the bass line was in one time and the other instruments in others. I was thinking to use either multiple conductors or metronomes with earpieces. Desiring inspiration, I looked though some of my incomplete compositions for a bass line, and found something useable in a draft of an opera from many years ago. The figure went through some modifications and was given a lazy lilt in 7/8. I wanted to layer fragments of music on top, which were inspired by scraps of music not yet finished and other incomplete utterances. As I felt the work should be written in a stream-of-conscious-manner, an interruption motif came into being as a way to switch thoughts. While I eventually decided that the original idea of multiple times might be hard to pull off, I came up with other ways to have multiple times. In the end, I hope to have created a thought-provoking work that is more than the collection of Incomplete Thoughts that began it.

Time Does Not Move features the poem Die Zeit geht nicht by Gottfried Keller (1819-1890), the greatest German-Swiss writer of the 19th Century. The complete poem (English version by Edith and Michael Kimbell) is spoken in melodrama fashion. The music incorporates an 1821 Swiss folksong melody by Wilhelm Müller, variously titled "Ich stand auf hohem Berge" ("I stood on a high mountain") and "Im Krug zum grünen Kranze" ("In the Jug and Green Garland"). The melody appears very gradually, first as melodic fragments, then as a fugue based on the second phrase of the melody, and finally in full quotation by the flute.

The idea for Gait Changes (2013) came to me as I was walking the loop around the top of San Bruno Mountain. While walking I imagined different rhythmic patterns associated with my footsteps. To these patterns I infused melodies themselves over undulating rhythms, noting the changes in gait with different interludes and musical character. I specifically crafted a soloistic piano interlude for my friend and mentor, Allan Crossman, whose love of walking is often conveyed in his own compositions which I have been privileged to conduct.

Dances for Orchestra (2013) is the orchestral version of Dances to Mytilini, a quartet inspired by the folkloric traditions of the eastern Balkans and Turkey. The piece, about twice the length of the quartet, is organized in a cycle of five dances that metaphorically depicts a geographical and episodic journey. The geographical journey starts in Rumania and descends to the final destination, Mytilini, through Bulgaria, Thrace, and Attica. The five episodes correspond to early life (a lullaby dance), early adulthood (the quick-paced Paidushko), war (Pyrrixios) followed by confusion and dismay (Syxnyse), and finally by a joyful, exuberant ending, Halay Halaylar.

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.


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).