Sunday, June 7, 2020


Thursday, March 08, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
Riverside Recital Hall (map)

The Society of Composers, Inc.
Student Chapter at The University of Iowa

presenting a concert featuring Guest Composers
Nicholas S. Omiccioli and Gilad Cohen


Angelus Novus II   Brian PENKROT (1978)
  Nora Epping, flute  
Falling Through Infinity   Nick OMICCIOLI (1982)
  Rebecca Ashe, flute
Yoo Jung Chang, cello
SooMin Lee, piano
Sunset Over the Lotus Pond   Leonid IOGANSEN (1981)
  Leonid Iogansen, violin  
10 Variations   Gilad COHEN (1981)
  Meghan Kimball, oboe
Megan Karls, Lucy Lewis, violins
Manuel Tabora, viola
Yoo Jung Chang, cello
Matt Smart, piano
Brian Penkrot, conductor
Hiking the Cascade Creek Trail   Zachariah ZUBOW (1984)
  Andrew Thierauf, percussion  
Perforation   Jason PALAMARA (1977)
  Michele Aichele, flute
Jeff Bosacki, bass clarinet
Michael Meyer, trumpet
Shelby Keifer, trombone
Andrew Thierauf, xylophone
Katie Meyer, piano
Alysia Raine, piano
Brian Penkrot, guitar
Jason Gregory, violin
Lucy Lewis, violin
Leonid Iogansen, violin
Lori Palamara, double Bass
Jason Palamara, laptop


Program Notes


Angelus Novus II

'Angelus Novus' shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress. —Walter Benjamin

My intention in this piece is juxtapose musical elements signifying the trend in musical perception from pitched based to sound based. Traditional ideals of melody, pulse, and technique are contrasted with more modern notions of clarity/noise, relative timing, and extended techniques. Instead of being perceived as disparate elements, they are presented in a fluid manner, fading in and out of one another, as one would experience a chain of events in time. Despite the somewhat cynical nature of the quote, I had no intention to comment on the validity of either musical aesthetic and none should be assumed.

Brian Penkrot is an American composer of concert, film, and stage music. Brian is originally from Chicago but has lived and worked in cities across the US. He is a guitarist and conductor with additional studies in violin, piano, drum set, vocal performance, improvisation, film, and dance. He received is MM from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and his BM from Columbia College Chicago. For a full listing of news and upcoming performances, please visit his website at


Falling Through Infinity (2011) for flute, violoncello, & piano

was commissioned by Trio Kinsella and received its premiere at the St. Louis New Music Circle in May 2011. As infinity exists in space, there is no up, down, left, or right. The idea of "falling" through infinity can interpreted as multi-directional and dimensional. The work was inspired by perspective in relation to art, which includes points at infinity or vanishing points. Instrumental textures are purposefully emerging and disappearing from one one another through the use of similar gestures and imperceptible entrances and exits creating timbral relationships.

Nicholas S. Omiccioli is currently a preparing future faculty fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and production coordinator of newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. His works have been performed throughout the United States, Italy, Thailand, and China by the Jasper String Quartet, Indaco Quartet, Society for New Music in Syracuse, ConTempo Beijing, DuoSolo, Brave New Works, Contemporaneous, Puget Sound Piano Trio, newEar Contemporary Ensemble, Wild Rumpus New Music Collective, Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, and the Kansas City Chorale, among others. His current projects include a chamber work commissioned by the l'Orchestre de la francophonie for the National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute in Ottawa, Canada.

Mr. Omiccioli has been commissioned by the Wellesley Composers Conference, Shouse Institute at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and Missouri National Teachers Association. Recent honors include two nominations for awards by the American Academy of Arts & Letters, an ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Beijing Modern Music Festival Young Composer Award, first place in the Thailand Internation Composition Festival Award, DuoSolo Emerging Composer Award, Brian M. Israel Prize, and multiple awards through the College Music Society. Mr. Omiccioli has studied composition with James Mobberley, Chen Yi, Paul Rudy, Zhou Long, João Pedro Oliveira, and Brian Bevelander. He holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Heidelberg University.


Sunset Over the Lotus Pond

Inspired by traditional Chinese music, this work combines the lyric sound of the violin with imitations of the sounds of traditional Chinese instruments, particularly those of Erhu and Guzhen. In addition, the piece offers several innovative devices, such as "combinational pizzicatos" to produce low harmonic sounds and pizzicatos engaging more than one finger of the right hand. The piece is composed in memory of Ren.

Born in St. Petersburg Russia in 1981, Leonid Iogansen started playing violin at the age of seven. As a violinist, he has won a number of competitions and has performed at numerous venues in the United States (where he moved seventeen years ago), as well as abroad. As a composer, Leonid has received a number of commissions, most notably from Shuang Yin International Arts Festival in Taiwan, where served as a composer-in-residence in 2006. He has written much solo, chamber and orchestral music. Leonid holds a Summa cum laude Bachelors of Music in violin performance and composition from Boston University, where he was a Trustee Scholar in 2001-2003, and a Masters degree with the same majors from Peabody Conservatory.


10 Variations

started with a simple melody, which I tried to present using different textures, underlying harmonies and moods. While the first variations I wrote seemed to live comfortably in the world of the concert music of the 20th century (Ravel and Shostakovich being highly influential), some of the newer variations began to sound more like Alice in Chains, a grunge band from the 90s. True to the spirit of "if you can't beat them, join their beat", I realized that if my piece wants to rock, I must humbly obey. Thus, when writing the last variation of the piece (which, like a true composer, was written in the speed of light in order to chase the deadline's tail), I was not surprised to find there some cheerful folk tunes, heavy rock grooves and an orchestrational quote from Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".

Israeli composer Gilad Cohen (b. 1980) is a versatile musician and an active composer, conductor and performer in different musical genres including concert music, rock and music for theatre. A graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the Mannes College of Music, Gilad is currently a PhD candidate in Composition at Princeton University. Gilad was the recipient of the Israeli Prime Minister Award for Composers in 2010 (the most prestigious award for composers in Israel), and his music was performed by the Nash Ensemble of London, The Israeli Chamber Project, the Meitar Ensemble (Israel), The Flux Quartet, Ensemble 20-21 (New York), the Israeli Symphonietta Beer-Sheva Orchestra, the Israeli Revolution Orchestra, the leading Israeli choirs and Braca Baruh choir (Belgrade), at venues such as Morgan Library & Museum (NYC), Merkin Hall, Bargemusic (NYC), the International Bach Festival in Toronto, Kolarac Hall (Belgrade) and the Jerusalem Theatre (Israel). Gilad also won the 2011 International Bicentennial Composition Competition of the American Liszt Society, as well as the 2010 national SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission Contest.

A current student in the Tony-honored BMI Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, Gilad has written music for several shows in Israel as well as for Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Setzuan, commissioned and produced by the Program in Theatre at Princeton University. As a performing musician, Gilad plays bass, keyboard and guitar. He has been invited to perform on many stages in the US, Canada and Israel, including the New York venues Merkin Hall, Rose Hall at Lincoln Center and Symphony Space. Visit for more information and music samples.

Zachariah ZUBOW

Hiking the Cascade Creek Trail

The Cascade Creek hiking trail in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska sports a luscious array of natural environments that include water front beaches, forest, waterfalls, cliffs, and mountains in just four miles of hiking trails. One of the highlights of the trail are the high, dense trees that form a canyon-like atmosphere around the trail as well as the beautiful views of cliffs and waterfalls that can be seen from the trailhead at Swan Lake. Hiking the Cascade Creek Trail was inspired by this magnificent trail and represents the change in environment that is all connected by a common element. The piece calls for found, non-resonant percussion instruments to symbolize the isolation of the trail among these changing environments, while the music maintains a common theme that is developed throughout the piece.

Zach Zubow's compositions have been featured on numerous new music conferences and festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Zach was named regional winner in the 2011 SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission Award for his string quartet, Sundown, which has also won the 2012 College Music Society Mid-Atlantic Composition Award. He was also the 2011 first prize recipient of the Five College Composition Competition hosted by the University of Massachusetts for his alto saxophone and percussion duo, Rounded Angles. As well as composing, Zach has presented his research regarding beat class transformations in Ligeti's Étude No. 4, Fanfares, from Ligeti's first book of études that will be published in the online journal, Proceedings, for the New Music Festival at the University of Central Missouri. A new CD of works produced by ABLAZE Records titled "Millennial Masters Series" was released in October 2011 that features Nebulae for flute and tape performed by Dr. Rebecca Ashe. Zach has received degrees from Luther College, Illinois State University and is now pursuing a PhD in music composition at The University of Iowa. For more information please visit



is the 75th piece in a series of 100 pieces, each written in a single day. The self-imposed rules of this project allow for one day to compose, followed (often times years later) by one day of revision. Many of these pieces were written for unspecified instrumentation allowing for a plethora of performance experiences. A few of these pieces have been performed, notably Symphony 6 and …dot…, many have not been performed, some cannot be performed and still others must not be performed. This piece was composed on 9-27-07 and revised on 10-31-10.

Jason Palamara is a first year doctoral student in music composition at the University of Iowa. He recently graduated with a Master's degree from the University of Louisville and has a Bachelor's from Butler University. Mr. Palamara is currently studying with Dr. Larry Fritts. All resemblances are purely coincidental.