The String Quartet…recomposed

brain phones


The string quartet..simple, understandable, elegant, balanced…a form that has endured for centuries, a canvas for musical innovation…from Mozart to Beethoven to Bartok to Reich…each has taken the string quartet form in exciting new directions.
For our second New Ideas in Music Competition, we wanted to try something different; to tell the story of a piece of music from concept to composition to performance, using the venerable string… Learn More » »

Final thoughts on epic Chinese journey, from Team 3A


An incredible week in China!  The high points were the concerts: each one had terrific energy, both on stage and from the audiences, which felt rapt and attentive in every venue.  It was also great to explore the Great Wall with my friends, topped off by an unforgettable Peking Duck at Da Dong restaurant.

Hamilton Cheifetz, Cellist

 

What a complete whirlwind of a week.  My first trip to China was in 1981 as a teenager with the San… Learn More » »

Beijing Modern Music Festival

BMMF sign
After a thrilling night at Zajia Lab, we refocused on the Beijing Festival performance, with a final rehearsal on Professor Danbu’s piece in the morning, and a dress rehearsal in the afternoon. Our program featured several works that required either amplification or projected film, or both. Add to that challenge of 240-volt electrical outlets, plus a language barrier, and chances are good for a little chaos, Chinese style.

I had… Learn More » »

“...we’re not going to be here very long…”

Clemente painting of Feldman

Morty, in his own words:

”...I mean why might bring something into the world that is us that did it. The fact that it might be impermanent seems to be….I can’t see it’s philosophical and sociological ramification. I’d rather see it, in a sense, more in its religious element. I know that when I write a piece sometimes, I’m telling people we’re not going to be here very long…”

In a couple of days, my friends and I will take on the… Learn More » »

Black Angels


We had the pleasure of working with George Crumb on Black Angels several years ago at the Oregon Composers Symposium in Eugene. While there were the obvious questions about how to execute the challenging technique, how to pace the work, etc, I took the opportunity to ask George about the page in the score that lists the movements. As you can see, it lays out the organization of the piece not only by movement, but also via the cryptic… Learn More » »

Ghost Opera

TanDun

The final piece on our November program is Ghost Opera by Tan Dun. Composed in 1994, Ghost Opera was the first piece of Tan Dun’s that I’d ever heard, coming across it while researching a Chinese music concert. Ritual, history, mythology, all presented in a work that uses minimal forces (quartet plus pipa) to evoke an epic journey. It announced the arrival of Tan Dun as a major talent, whose career has since achieved superstar status.… Learn More » »

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