WITH STRINGS ATTACHED: SFCA connects with The Alexander String Quartet 5/14
San Francisco Choral Artists and the renowned Alexander String Quartet, two of the Bay Area's beloved and wide-ranging chamber ensembles, come together for the first time in a landmark program of new compositions for chamber choir and string quartet. Together, they explore the rich sonic and emotional palette of this unusual musical configuration in rarely performed classics and new works by important contemporary composers.
Major new commissioned works by North American composers Paul Seiko Chihara, Michael Gandolfi, and Veronika Krausas are paired with the romantic outpourings of Brahms "Quartets Op. 92"--in a lush new transcription for choir and string quartet--and Beethoven's tender and heartfelt "Elegischer Gesang".
A "Meet the Composers panel" 45 minutes before each concert offers the audience insight into the creative processes behind the three major new works.
MORE...Canadian composer Veronika Krausas pays tribute to San Francisco in "language of the birds," a swirling and "slightly demented" musical riff on Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poetic portrait of San Francisco, with sounds ranging from atmospheric evocations of nature to whimsical depictions of birds. Paul Chihara draws on the sumptuous poetry of Paul Verlaine in his plush setting of the poet's famous night song, "Clair de lune", and Michael Gandolfi draws on two image-rich poems of Amy Lowell in "Winter Light". Brahms' intensely personal "Quartets" move from the intimate to cosmic questions of life and art, while Beethoven's rarely-performed elegy depicts a spiritual homecoming. The program is rounded out with a cappella works from Composer-In-Residence Richard Felciano and Composer-Not-in-Residence, Australian Stephen Leek.
About the new works composers:
- Paul Chihara, b 1938; Composition Professor in the Music for Film dept at UCLA. His music crosses boundaries: 12-tone/tonal, Asian/American, Academic/Hollywood, instrumental/choral/ballet. "I was one person working in the movies and another person writing for the concert stage Now I seem to be the same person." http://pchihara.com
- Michael Gandolfi, b 1956; Chair Composition Dept at New England Conservatory. Atlanta School of Composition says of his work: "tuneful, tonal and inspired by world and popular music". For more info, explore "Garden of Cosmic Speculation, QED: Engaging Richard Feynman", with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. http://www.michaelgandolfi.com
- Veronika Krausas, b 1963; Assostant Professor in the Composition Dept at Thornton School, Univ of Southern CA. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) writes that "her works, whose organic, lyrical sense of storytelling are supported by a rigid formal elegance, give her audiences a sense that nature's frozen objects are springing to life." http://www.veronikakrausas.com
- Zakarias Grafilo, ASQ first violinist, will transcribe Brahms "Quartets Opus 92" for chamber choir + string quartet. (The original is scored for vocal quartet + piano.)
- Richard Felciano, b 1930; SFCA Composer-In-Residence, is Professor Emeritus in Composition at the UC Berkeley Department of Music. SFCA has performed several of his works. http://sfca.org/composer-rfelciano.php
- Stephen Leek, b 1959; SFCA Composer-Not-in-Residence is a well-known Australian composer. His stunning new work for SFCA's December 2010 concerts earned a mid-concert standing ovation! http://sfca.org/composer-sleek.php
About The Alexander String Quartet:
- The ASQ has performed for three decades in the major music capitals of 5 continents. Widely admired for interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart, and Shostakovich, the Quartet has also established itself as an advocate of new music through more than 30 commissions and numerous premiere performances and recordings. The Quartet serves as Directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Center at SF State University and Ensemble in Residence of SF Performances, and has collaborated with major pianists, clarinetists, cellists, and saxophonists, as well as soprano Elly Ameling. http://asq4.com
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
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