Monday, June 15, 2015

University of Wisconsin-Madison
New Music Ensemble

Robert Levy-Artistic Director
Laura Elise Schwendinger-Managing Director

The UW Contemporary Chamber Ensemble will perform seldom heard virtuoso works
by Carter, Cowell, Crumb, Nohai-Seaman, Schwendinger, and Feldman

at Clapp Recital Hall
Monday, May 1, 2006, 8:00 p.m.


Miniatures for Violin and Cello
    I. The Water Torture
   II. A Frozen Lake
  III. Frustration
  Alex NOHAI-SEAMAN (1977-)
  Edith Hines,  violin
Stacey Barelos,  piano
Suite for Solo Clarinet (1996)
    Snow Flurries
  Robert LEVY (1943-)
  Ben Irwin,  clarinet  
Eine Kleine Mitternacht Music (2001)
    Ruminations on 'Round Midnight by Thelonius Monk
    1. Nocturnal Theme
    2. Charade
    3. Premonition
    4. Cobweb and Peaseblossom
    5. Incantation
    6. Golliwog Revisited
    7. Blues in the Night
    8. Cadenza with Tolling Bells
    9. Midnight Transformation
  George CRUMB (1929-)
  Catherine Kautsky,   piano  
Durations 1   Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987)
  Laura Schwendinger,  flute
Lisa Barksdale,  violin
Leslie Lyons,  cello
Stacey Barelos,  piano
Four Lauds
    Statement - Remembering Aaron
    Riconoscenza per Goffredo Petrassi
    Rhapsodic Musings
    Fantasy - Remembering Roger
  Elliott CARTER (1908-)
  Edith Hines,  violin  
Rapture (1998)   Laura Elise SCHWENDINGER (1962-)
  Laura Ewing,   cello
Stacey Barelos,  piano
Dynamic Motion and the
Five Encores to Dynamic Motion

    What's This
    Amiable Conversation
  Henry COWELL (1897-1965)
  Stacey Barelos,  piano  


Notes & Bios


Miniatures for Violin and Piano

was composed in late 2002 and the opening movement draws its title from a Max Ernst poem titled die Wasserprobe, which I began to set for soprano and chamber ensemble, but abandoned. The music attempts to capture the energetic quality of Ernst's text through short motivic fragments that occur throughout the work, which are then set against a more legato half-time feel of the same material. A Frozen Lake was conceived as I walked along the shore of the Lake Mendota in Madison and observed its quiet stillness. This composition makes use of various mirror techniques for both pitch organization and overall form. Frustration was composed one night as a result of my unsuccessful efforts to finish another work. Frustration is essentially a scherzo, in which one octatonic collection is used throughout. Although the piano and violin share the same motivic material, it never quite settles in either part, and instead constantly turns over on itself, appears in different metric positions, and in varied registers. AN-S

Alexander Nohai-Seaman is a DMA candidate in Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Alexander holds a Master's Degree in Composition from Binghamton University and a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Lycoming College. He taught at Binghamton University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Music Clinic, and the Madison Conservatory of Music. His composition studies have been with Laura Schwendinger, Stephen Dembski, Joel Naumann, David Brackett, and Fred Thayer. His works have recently been performed at conferences of the Society of Composers, the College Music Society, the Wisconsin Choral Director's Association, the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, the Connecticut Women's Chorus Festival, at the La Crosse New Music Festival, the Third Chair Chamber Players, the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, the University of Chicago New Music Ensemble, soprano Mimmi Fulmer, flutist Ariella Perlman, and choral groups throughout the United States. In 2004, his Rilke Songs were awarded 2nd prize in the 19th annual Austin Peay State University Young Composers Competition and he is the winner of the 2006 Wisconsin Choral Director's Association Call for Scores. Other awards include a nomination for the 2005-2006 UW-Madison Student Composition Prize, the Chappell White Memorial Award from the College Music Society, a Foundation Award from Binghamton University, and the Ruth and William Askey Prize from Lycoming College.

Pianist Catherine Kautsky is Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and chair of its piano department. She has concertized throughout the United States and abroad as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and chamber musician, appearing in venues such as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, Jordan Hall and the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D. C., and the Chicago Cultural Center. She has soloed with the St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, performed chamber music at the Aspen, Tanglewood, and Grand Teton summer music festivals, and appeared frequently on the radio in Chicago, New York, Washington, D. C., St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Madison. Ms. Kautsky is the winner of the Passamaneck Competition in Pittsburgh, the C. D. Jackson Master Award at Tanglewood, and the Association Amicale d'Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Prize of the French Piano Institute in Paris. Last November, she was awarded the 2005 Arts Institute Creative Arts Award at UW-Madison for her work connecting music with other disciplines, particularly literature. Ms. Kautsky has traveled widely, performing frequently in France and England, and presenting concerts and classes most recently in China, Korea, and South Africa. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Clavier, American Music Teacher, and International Piano, and her CD of three pieces for piano and narrator, in which she both performs and speaks, was issued by Vox Classics. Ms. Kautsky holds a bachelor's degree from the New England Conservatory, a master's degree from the Juilliard School, and a doctoral degree in performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied under Gilbert Kalish. Following her New York debut, The New York Times called her "a pianist who can play Mozart and Schubert as though their sentiments and habits of speech coincided exactly with hers . . .. She gave these pieces nuances that made them meaningful on a human everyday level. The music spoke directly to the listener, with neither obfuscation nor pretense."


Suite for Solo Clarinet

Robert Levy's Suite for Solo Clarinet was written for and premiered by Fan Lei, clarinet professor at Lawrence University. The work is in five contrasting movements which explore the full range of the clarinet and its power and subtly.

Robert Levy, Artistic Director and conductor for the UW-Madison Contemporary Chamber Ensemble for the 2005-06 school year, has been at the forefront of the "new music scene" for most of his musical career. As musical advisor and conductor for the CCE he has overseen the four concert contemporary music series in Madison, featuring guest composers Gunther Schuller, John Harbison, Dina Koston, and UW faculty composers Laura Schwendinger, Stephen Dembski, Les Thimmig, John Stevens, and Douglass Hill. Before coming to Madison, he was Professor of Music at Lawrence University for twenty five years where he was conductor of the wind ensemble, taught trumpet and for many years coordinated the "Evenings of New Music Series." He also was the Music Director for the Tidewater Music Festival in Maryland for eight summers where more than twenty five new works were premiered and guest composers included Aaron Copland, Alec Wilder, David Cope, Warren Benson, and Eric Ewazen. As performer and conductor he has premiered more than one hundred fifty works, a number which may be heard on ten different recording labels. After a near forty year performance career as both trumpeter and conductor, he hopes to devote most of his time now to composing. Although he has largely written chamber music, he recently fulfilled commissions for three wind band works and one orchestral work, "Hymn Song for the Earth."


Eine Kleine Mitternacht Music

George Crumb was one of a large number of composers including John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, Augusta Read Thomas, and William Bolcom, who were commissioned by the Italian pianist Emanuele Arciuli to write variations on Thelonious Monk's 'Round Midnight. Though most of the other composers produced only sketches or very brief compositions, Crumb wrote a full-scale set of variations, comprising his first major solo piano work in almost 20 years. Eine Kleine Mitternacht Music (2001) is typical Crumb; the piano is amplified and the pianist is asked to pluck and strum inside the piano, as well as to play more conventionally on the keyboard. The piece also indulges Crumb's inveterate love of quotation: not only Monk, but Debussy and Strauss make cameo appearances. The mood here is slightly more subdued than it is in some of Crumb's earlier piano compositions, however, and the pianist's vocal efforts are consequentially more restrained. No whistling or groaning is demanded; the only vocal contribution consists of counting the hours in Italian -- culminating in the word: "Mezzanotte" ("midnight"), whispered as the piece rounds the corner to its final movement, a reiteration of the opening theme. CK


Durations 1

Morton Feldman (born January 12, 1926, died September 3, 1987) is best known for his mature instrumental pieces which are frequently written for unusual groups of instruments, feature isolated, carefully chosen, predominantly quiet sounds, and are often very long. Feldman's experiments with the use of chance in his composition in turn inspired John Cage to write pieces like the Music of Changes, where the notes to be played are determined by consulting the I Ching. Through Cage, Feldman met many other prominent figures in the New York arts scene, found inspiration in the paintings of the abstract expressionists, and though the 1970s wrote a number of pieces around twenty-minutes in length, including Rothko Chapel (1971, written for the building of the same name which houses paintings by Mark Rothko) and For Frank O'Hara (1973). In 1977, he wrote the opera Neither with words by Samuel Beckett. In 1973, Feldman became the Edgard Varese Professor at the University at Buffalo. Later, he began to produce his very long works, often in one continuous movement, rarely shorter than half an hour in length and often much longer. These works include Violin and String Quartet (1985, around 2 hours), For Philip Guston (1984, around four hours) and, most extreme, the String Quartet II (1983), which is over five hours long without a break. It was given its first complete performance at Cooper Union, New York City in 1999 by the FLUX Quartet, who issued a recording in 2003 (at 6 hours and 7 minutes). Typically, these pieces do not change in mood throughout and tend to be made up of mostly very quiet sounds. Feldman said himself that quiet sounds had begun to be the only ones that interested him.

Elliott CARTER

Four Lauds

Paul Collins Distinguished Graduate Fellow, violinist Edith Hines, is from Kalamazoo Michigan. She is a student of David Perry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a Young Artist Certificate and Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, in violin performance, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Case Western Reserve University. Edith has performed as soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Cyprus State Chamber Orchestra, the Kalamazoo College & Community Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Bach Ensemble. She has given recitals in home state as well as for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and BIG Arts Young Artist Series. An active chamber musician, Edith has participated in the Norfolk, Yellow Barn, Pablo Casals, and Ravinia (Steans Institute) festivals, and has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Edith's past violin teachers include Donald Weilerstein, David Updegraff, and Dr. Philip Mason. Edith's bow is provided by a scholarship grant from the Virtu Foundation


Rapture for cello and piano

is a rhapsodic work that spans long and languid lines. The first version was written for Chicago flutist Cathy Comrie and has subsequently been played many times, including by Jayn Rosenfeld and Stephen Gosling on the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society series at Merkin Hall in New York. This cello version was premiered by Jen Peter-Maintz (principal cellist of the Deutsches Symphonie Berlin) on the Deutsches Symphonie Berlin Orchestra Chamber concert series. LES

Laura Schwendinger is an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her in Just- spring been performed on tour by Dawn Upshaw and is on her Naxos/TDK DVD: Voices of Our Time, Laura's Chamber Concerto is on the CD, Grand Designs (Capstone), and her Chansons Innocentes is published is available from Theodore Presser. Performances of her music include her String Quartet by the Arditti Quartet (1/03), Celestial City (a Koussevitzky Foundation Commission) at the Berlin Philharmonie (1/03), Fable with Collage New Music (2/03), Songs of Heaven and Earth and Magic Carpet Music at the John F. Kennedy Center (1998,2002), Magic Carpet Music with Dinosaur Annex (5/03), Rapture with Jens Peter Maintz & Deutsches Symphonie Orchestra Berlin (4/03), Buenos Aires with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (8/03), Nonet (a Fromm Foundation Commission) with the Chicago Chamber Musicians on WFMT radio (8/04), Lady Lazarus with Nicole Paiement on the Blueprint Series (10/05), High Wire Act with Bright Music (11/05) and New 2 little whos with duo Ahlert & Schwab (5/05), the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the New York Camerata, ALEA III, the New England String Ensemble, the New Millennium Ensemble, Vancouver New Music, and the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society. Upcoming premieres include a commission for a "Pocket Concerto" from Miller Theater at Columbia University, Respiro for Sally Chisholm (of the ProArte String Quartet) & Christopher Taylor, a new work for the Corigliano String Quartet, and a cello concerto for Jens Peter-Maintz (principal cellist, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra-Berlin).

Her honors include those from Koussevitzky (2001), Fromm Music Foundations (1999), Harvard Musical Association (1999), an American Academy-Berlin Prize Fellowship (1999) (the first composer fellow), a Bunting Fellowship-Radcliffe Institute-Harvard University (2002/2003), a Charles Ives Scholarship-American Academy of Arts and Letters (1993), a Judge's Commendation-Barlow Endowment (1995), a Norton Stevens and North Shore fellowships from the MacDowell Colony (1994,2002), Meet the Composer Grants (1997,1998), and American Composers Forum Grant, First Prize ALEA III International Composition Competition (1995), a Yaddo-Jane Adams Wait residency, an Emily Mead Baldwin-Bascom Professorship in the Creative Arts at UW (2006), and her Nonet was nominated for a Grawemeyer Award by the Chicago Chamber Musicians (2005). Residencies at Bellagio, Bogliasco, MacDowell, Yaddo, and Millay Colonies, Atlantic Center, Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland, Auvillar-France and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her Ph.D. is from the University of California, Berkeley where she studied with Andrew Imbrie and Olly Wilson. She was an Associate Prof. at the University of Illinois-Chicago, a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Smith College and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Laura Ewing received her B.M. degree in Cello Performance from the University of Iowa in 2005, studying with Anthony Arnone. She is pursuing a M.A. in Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is a teaching assistant for Musica Practica, the freshman music theory course, under the supervision of Brian Hyer. Laura has participated in Bowdoin, Musicorda, and Eastern summer music festivals and has performed in chamber music master classes with Jamie Laredo and Sharon Robinson as well as David Finkel and Wu Han. As a cellist at UW-Madison, Laura is a student of Uri Vardi and a member of the UW Chamber Orchestra.


Dynamic Motion and the Five Encores to Dynamic Motion

The most obvious features of Dynamic Motion and the 5 Encores to Dynamic Motion are the clusters. In these pieces, the pianist may play clusters using her hands, palms, fists and forearms. At the outset, a cluster may sound like a wash, but it's important to note the wide variety of musical uses Cowell finds for them. Here these uses include but are not limited to: melodic material, percussive effects, a means to make various harmonics heard, and accompanimental figures. Upon hearing Dynamic Motion in 1920 the London Times hailed Henry Cowell as the "loudest pianist in the world." Cowell figured if he performed Dynamic Motion, he probably wouldn't be asked to play an encore so he'd better have one ready to go. After a listening people would ask, "What's that?" to which he would reply, "What's This?" Amiable Conversation is Cowell's transcription of an exchange he overheard in a laundry. It was in Chinese, and Cowell didn't speak Chinese. Advertisement is a satire on the colossal amounts of advertising flashed at us daily. Antinomy is a set of variations and Timetable is a breath of fresh air. SB

A tireless musical explorer and inventor, Henry Cowell (born 11 March 1897 in Menlo Park, California) grew up surrounded by a wide variety of Oriental musical traditions, his father's Irish folk heritage, and his mother's Midwestern folk tunes. Already composing in his early teens, Cowell began formal training at age 16 with Charles Seeger at the University of California. Further studies focused primarily on world music cultures. His use of varied sound materials, experimental compositional procedures, and a rich palette colored by multiple non-European and folk influences revolutionized American music and popularized, most notably, the tone cluster as an element in compositional design. In addition to tone clusters evident in such works as Advertisement and Tiger, Cowell experimented with the "string piano" in works like The Aeolian Harp and The Banshee where strings are strummed or plucked inside the piano. Studies of the musical cultures of Africa, Java, and North and South India enabled Cowell to stretch and redefine Western notions of melody and rhythm; mastery of the gamelan and the theory of gamelan composition led to further explorations with exotic instruments and percussion. Later, Cowell developed the concept of indeterminancy or "elastic form" in works like the Mosaic Quartet (where performers determine the order and alternation of movements). Cowell's influence is legion, counting among his students John Cage, Lou Harrison, and George Gershwin. Cowell taught at the New School for Social Research in New York and also held posts at the Peabody Conservatory and Columbia University. A plethora of awards, grants, and honorary degrees was capped by his election in 1951 to the American Institute of Arts and Letters

Stacey Barelos is a pianist and composer. As a pianist, she is the winner of the Beethoven Competition at UW-Madison, the Greek Women's University Club Competition and the Marjorie Peatee Art Song Competition. Stacey frequently performs around the U.S. including a recent performance at SUNY-Plattsburgh as part of a "multiple hands" piano recital as well as a residency at Millikin University teaching and performing 20th and 21st century piano works. As a composer, Stacey is the winner of the UW-Madison concerto competition with her piece, "30% from Pumpkins." In 2005, Stacey's works were performed in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Montana, and California.