Palm Springs Chamber Music Festival Presents Clarice Assad
Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a serious triple threat, Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a Grammy-nominated composer, performer, and educator of musical depth and ability. Carefully crafted colorful textures permeate her soulful and musical world, which embraces a wide variety of styles, from symphonic to chamber music, avant-garde to Brazilian genres and French chanson.
A bold composer, a brilliant pianist, and an inventive vocalist all rolled into one, Clarice Assad floats freely across musical idioms, drawing on an array of sounds from Amazon forest wildlife to operatic arias. A classically-trained pianist, Assad is deeply rooted in the earthy, folkloric rhythms of Brazil, capturing the attention of international audiences with her stunning talent. The term world music is redundant when applied to her style, a reflection of Brazils musical melting pot heritage of African rhythms mixed with European melodies and harmonies.
AWARDS IN MUSIC COMPOSITION
Clarice Assad is the recipient of such awards as the American Composers Forum National Composition Competition (2016), the McKnight Visiting Composer Award (2015), the New Music Alive Partnership program (League of American Orchestras)-(2014-15), the Van Lier Fellowship (2010), Latin Grammy nomination for best contemporary composition (2009), the Aaron Copland Award (2007), the Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2006), All Songs Considered - NPR (2004), the Franklin Honor Society Award (2001) and the Samuel Ostrowsky Humanities Award (2001).
ORCHESTRAL & CHAMBER MUSIC
Assads compositions include pieces for a variety of instrumentations, including smaller works for piano, guitar pieces as well as pieces for large and small chamber ensembles, and fifteen orchestral works. Though the ensembles she writes for are largely classical, her voice as a composer has been heavily influenced by Brazilian music, Jazz, and World Music. Her orchestral work Nhanderú and Terra Brasilis, commissioned and premiered by the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo are good examples of her Brazilian roots, drawing on Assads knowledge of the countrys folk style and the work of fellow classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Among other works influenced by Brazilian popular culture is her concerto for guitar and orchestra, O Saci-Pererê and Brazilian Fanfare, an overture for orchestra commissioned by the Chattanooga Orchestra in 2005.
She first came into the national spotlight in 2004, when conductor Marin Alsop programmed her violin concerto with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music featuring Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as the soloist. The piece was recorded by Salerno-Sonnenberg and Marin Alsop leading the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and released on the NSS Music label when Assad was 26 years old.
Since then, Assad has been steadily commissioned, pursuing ways of incorporating her composing and performing. Such attempts culminated in the creation of a major work: a concerto for scat singing, piano, and orchestra which she wrote for herself to perform. Scattered was premiered by the Albany Symphony under the baton of the conductor David Alan Miller, and has since been performed by many other ensembles and conductors, including the Michigan Philharmonic, Chicago Composers Orchestra, and OCAM. Other works include The Disappeared, a political piece for orchestra and concert band that draws on impressions of Rufina Amaya, the sole survivor of the El Mozote massacre in 1981, during the Salvadoran Civil War, and most recently, Ad Infinitum, a percussion concerto written for Dame Evelyn Glennie involving improvisational gestural techniques - such as sound painting - for the orchestra, soloist and conductor alike.
Her music has been commissioned by many institutions, performers, and orchestras including Carnegie Hall, the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo, General Electric, the Chicago Sinfonietta, and Duo Noire, to name a few. Her works have also been recorded by some of the most prominent names in the classical contemporary music scene today, including Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott and oboist Liang Wang.
She has also collaborated with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Turtle Island String Quartet, the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Louisville Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, as well as conductors Marin Alsop and Christoph Eschenbach, Kazuyoshi Akiyama and Carlos Miguel Prieto. She has written extensively for active members on the new music scene in the United States such as the Cavatina Duo, Sybarite5, and SOLI ensemble.
Clarice Assad has served as composer-in-residence for the Albany Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra.
Assad's works have been published in France (Editions Lemoine), Germany (Trekel), in the United States by (Virtual Artists Collective Publishing) and Criadores do Brasil.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE CLASSICAL GUITAR REPERTOIRE
Clarice Assad has contributed significantly to the growing repertoire of classical guitar, having written works ranging for solo to duos (Valsas do Rio) and quartets such as the piece Bluezilian, which has become a staple of the guitar quartet repertoire.
Larger works include three concertos: Album de Retratos, commissioned by the ProMusic Chamber Orchestra for two guitars and orchestra, O Saci-Pererê, for solo guitar and chamber orchestra, commissioned by the Harris Foundation and a concerto for two guitars and string orchestra, commissioned by the Tichy guitar festival for the Brazil guitar duo.
WORKS FOR THE STAGE
Assad's first work for the stage was a soundtrack written for a 2001 re-adaptation of the play La Lección de Anatomía, by Argentinian playwright Carlos Mathus, originally published in the 1970's. Directed by an original cast member Antonio Leiva, the play received mixed reviews but garnered the composer favorable mentions from the acclaimed theatre critic Bárbara Heliodora. Following a hiatus of over a decade, Assad resumed writing for the stage in 2010, when she was invited by choreographer Kristi Spessard - then in residency at Mabou Mines - to compose the score to her piece "Essentials of Flor."
Recent works include the ballets Iara, (2018) and Sin Fronteras (2017), Opera das Pedras (libretto by Denise Milan) (2010) and collaborations with librettist Niloufar Talebi (The Disinherited) and playwright E.M. Lewis (The Crossing). Strongly shaped by a conscious drive towards narrative, her works wear its influences well, feeling inspired rather than derivative.
NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA TENURE
Clarice Assad was the featured composer for the 20082009 season at the New Century Chamber Orchestra, where she worked as the orchestra's primary arranger and orchestrator for a decade.
Upon graduating from the University of Michigan, Assad moved to New York City to experience the exploding music scene, freelancing as a composer and arranger while trying to build a career as pianist and singer. During her New York years (2005-2015), Assad worked as the featured composer for the New Century Chamber Orchestra, as well as serving as the orchestras primary arranger from 2007-2017, contributing vastly to the addition of new works for strings, by orchestrating and transcribing over twenty five major works from the symphonic repertoire, including Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Richard Strauss' Dance of the Seven Veils from the opera Salome, and the suite An American in Paris, by George Gershwin.
Assad's keen sense of orchestration carefully curates some of the most effective tricks of orchestrator's past greats: Maurice Ravel's elegance and subtleties and Njcolaj Rimski-Korsakov's coloristic orchestral effects - All while retaining a personal, unique fingerprint thats compelling and dramatic in its very construction.
Hailed by the LA Times as a "Dazzling Soloist", Assad is also an accomplished singer and pianist and is well versed on classical, jazz, pop and the Brazilian music repertoire and appears frequently with orchestras and chamber music ensembles to name a few. performing her original works or arrangements of classical, Brazilian, jazz and contemporary music.
In 2010, Assad began performing more frequently, and eventually founded the international ensemble OFF THE CLIFF,  an energetic and daring four-piece ensemble of internationally accomplished musicians. 
Notable performances include the renowned Savannah Music Festival, Moab, and the Mendocino Music Festival. Included amongst the venues and series that Off the Cliff has appeared on is Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City and Doha, Qatar, The Stone, Cal Performances in San Francisco, and Sesc Sao Paulo in Brazil. Special guest artists have included Japanese singer Hiromi Suda, Swiss-American singer Beat Kaestli, clarinetist Derek Bermel, mandolinist Mike Marshall, Paquito D'Rivera and the group Choro Famoso.
Temple Isaiah (View)
332 W Alejo Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262
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