Wednesday, June 3, 2015

 Music of Our Time

University of Iowa Museum of Art
September 28, 2001, 7:30 pm



Rukoveti (A Harvester Gathers
    a Handful of Songs)
Isidora Zebeljan
Lisa Relaford Coston, mezzo-soprano
Andrey Kasparov, piano
Sequenza Luciano Berio
Ismael Reyes, flute
Chamber Music Vera Stanojevic
Lisa Relaford Coston, mezzo-soprano
Antonio Guimaraes, flute
F. Gerard Errante, clarinet
James Ellis, violoncello
Oksana Lutsyshyn, piano
David Gompper, conductor
Alone for solo viola John Allemeier
Charletta Taylor, viola
Facere Totum Tatjana Milosevic
Mark Weiger, oboe
F. Gerard Errante, bass clarinet
James Ellis, violoncello
Oksana Lutsyshyn, piano
David Walker, percussion
David Gompper, conductor


Notes & Bios




The composition  Harvester Gathers a Handful of Songs, five songs for soprano voice and piano, was originally written for soprano and symphony orchestra. The composition was inspired by and composed to the verses of The Serbian urban poetry from Vojvodina written at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. The songs are also based on the verses of the Serbian folk lyrics from Vojvodina.

Isidora Zebeljan, born in Belgrade, is a composer of numerous chamber vocal and instrumental works, including the symphonic composition  The Scenes of Picars. An important part of her oeuvre is for theater. Numerous works by Zebeljan have been highly recognized, and she has been awarded several distinguished awards: three YUSTAT awards and Sterija award, the highest annual award for music composed in a theater production and received at the festival Sterijino Pozorje. She also received the prize at the international festival  Tribina kompozitora Sremski Karlovci in Novi Sad in 1993, for her first symphony  The Scenes of Picars, sinfonia in tre movimenti. Ms. Zeveljan presently works as an Assistant professor at the University of Belgrade.



The Berio's  Sequenza for flute alone was written in 1958 for the famous Italian flutist Severino Gazzelloni. This is the first of a whole series of Sequenzas for different instruments. This is the first piece in the woodwind literature to employ multiphonics. The original edition was the first of Berio's compositions to be written in proportional rhythmic notation. The revised edition is strictly notated using complex serial rhythms. One of the Berio's goals in writing the  Sequenzas was to create an illusion of polyphony, or as he describes it:

"All the Sequenzas for solo instruments are intended to set out and melodically develop an essentially harmonic discourse and to suggest, particularly in the case of the monodic instruments, a polyphonic mode of listening. I wanted to establish a way of listening so strongly conditioned as to constantly suggest a latent, implicit counterpoint."   Luciano Berio


Chamber Music

Chamber Music was commissioned by the chamber ensemble from Essen, Germany. The composition is a setting of two poems by James Joyce (XIV and XXVIII from the poet's collection entitled Chamber Music). The composer was attracted to the Joyce poems because of their strongly emotional and intuitive, rather than formal structure. Says the composer, "It was refreshing for me as a woman to find these poems that speak almost with a feminine, or at least a multi-gendered voice.

In these poems, it seems to me that form is born out of emotion, and not vice-versa. The same process, I like to think, engendered my music, and may explain to the listener the music's certain free and quasi-improvisational character. In this work, it is not the words themselves that lead the music -- but rather the space between them, or subtext, that is a developmental force. The instruments, for the most part, are not treated as individual soloists, but rather as one complex but unified instrument that, born out of the voice part, serves not only to reflect, but also to transform it."

Vera Stanojevic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where she studied piano, theory and composition at the Mokranjac School of Music in Belgrade. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Composition from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Russia. She was invited for doctoral studies at the Ohio State University in Columbus on a University fellowship (1991-92) and a Presidential fellowship (1994-95).

She has won numerous awards for her compositions, including the 1983 Belgrade October Prize, and the (Yugoslav) State Society for Cultural Affairs grant for a work premiered in 1985. Her works have been performed at various festivals and concerts in several countries, and have been recorded and broadcast on European and American radio and television..

She was awarded two Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grants (1997-98 & 1999-2000), and a 1997-98 Greater Columbus (Ohio) Arts Council Grant. In August, 1997, she won the Vienna Modern Masters Millennium Commissioning Competition which resulted in the commission, performance, publication, and CD recording of her Notturno for orchestra. In October 1997 she was awarded an American Composers Forum Composers' Commissioning Project Grant to compose a work for percussionist Fernando Meza. She is also active as a grant panelist for various state arts councils. Recent performances of her works include the premiere of Chamber Music (mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, cello and piano) at the Opera House in Essen, Germany in March, 1997; a subsequent performance of that work at the international conference, Women in Music: The Last 100 Years, in Athens, Ohio in October, 1997; and at The Ohio State University Contemporary Music Festival in February, 1998. Her new orchestral piece, Notturno, was performed in Olomouc, Czech Republic in June, 1998.


Alone for solo viola

Written for a performance at the Moscow Conservatory of Music on Oct. 31 next month, this work is based on a phrygian modal tune. The work was conceived as a cadenza without the surrounding concerto.

John Allemeier received his PhD in composition (1998) from the University of Iowa, now lives in Germany and composes full-time.


Facere Totum

Facere Totum (Latin for "do everything") is made up of three variations on the subject from J. S. Bach's D Major fugue (Wohltemperierten Klavier, volume I). The title of the work suggests many different procedures of developing and modifying this initial subject-impulse, which functions like an imperative for using a great number of motive changes. The electronic part was realized in 1992 in the Academy of Music Electronic Studios in Belgrade.


Tatjana Milosevic was born in Vranje, Yugoslavia in 1970. She studied advanced composition and orchestration at the Belgrade Conservatory, where she was also a teaching assistant of music theory. She has composed music for diverse media, including chamber, solo instruments, electro-acoustic, vocal, symphonic, and music for theater. Among courses she has attended are: Computer Music Course with Marco Stroppa and the Composition Workshop with Ligeti during the International Bartôk Seminar in Szombathely, Hungary in 1991 and 1993; the International New Music Summer Courses in Darmstadt, Germany in 1996; International Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, Holland, 1999.

Her works have been performed at all renowned festivals in Yugoslavia and numerous concerts in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, and Spain. Her piece The Lights of Betelgeuse or The Secret of A Red Giant for piano, harpsichord and four violoncellos was performed during the ISCMs World Music Days '98 in Seoul, one of the most prestigious new music forums in the world.

She is a recipient of several major awards, including The September Prize in Vranje, Yugoslavia in 1994; the third prize at the Fourth International Review of Composers in Belgrade, 1995; the second prize at the International Competition  Gradus ad Parnassum in Kiev, Ukraine in 1995; and the first prize at the Seventh International Review of Composers in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1998.