CCS Composer-in-Residence, April 17-22
Anne LeBaron, internationally noted composer, is widely recognized for her work in instrumental, electronic, and performance realms. Her compositions embrace an extraordinary array of subjects, ranging from contemporary adaptations of Greek and South American myths, to probes into physical and cultural forms of extinction, to the legendary Pope Joan.
As a Fulbright Scholar to Germany in 1980 - 81, LeBaron studied with György Ligeti, later completing her doctorate in composition at Columbia University. Her works have been written for virtually every contemporary genre and performed and broadcast throughout the U.S. and elsewhere, including Stuttgart, London, Prague, Talloires, Hong Kong, Sydney, Berlin, Havana, Kyoto, and Singapore. Awards and prizes include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Fromm Foundation Commission, a three-year residency in Washington D.C. sponsored by Meet the Composer, and the a CalArts / Alpert Award in the Arts, along with fellowships from the D.C Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts, and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. She was awarded a residency at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in the summer of 2001, where she completed Sauger, for trombone and processed vacuum cleaner sonorities. Her Vacuum Cleaner, an opera that she worked on during a 2003 residency at STEIM in Amsterdam, makes extensive use of live interactive alteration of voice and vacuum cleaners.
LeBaron currently teaches composition and related subjects at the California Institute of the Arts. Her lectures at other institutions, conferences, and festivals, on subjects ranging from surrealism and music to environmental awareness through music and other art forms, are complemented by articles, essays, and interviews published in several journals and books. She serves on the National Board of the American Composers Forum, on the Board of the Los Angeles chapter that same organization, and as a member of the new music committee of the World Harp Congress.
Three new works were completed in 2002, including Hsing, premiered at the Geneva World Harp Congress by Ann Yeung, and Inner Voice, commissioned by Swiss bassist Cristin Wildbolz. In May 2003, the Saarlandischer Rundfunk commissioned the chamber work Transfiguration for inclusion in the Musik im Jahrhundert 2003 Festival, curated by Kaija Saariaho, and premiered with soprano Lucy Shelton. A Profile Concert of her musical works, directed by Nikola Lutz, was presented in Stuttgart on June 3, 2003. Rounding out her Spring 2003 European tour, the premiere of Fleeting Traces was given on June 11 by the Jenaer Philharmonie with the Klezmatics, the commissioning ensemble. Current projects include two operas: Wet (RedCat at Disney Hall, 2005), with librettist Terese Svoboda, and Criseyde Reinvented, with librettist Nancy Dean. Her newest work, The Left of Time, for trombone with interactive electronics (MAX / MSP) and video, was commissioned by Monique Buzzarte, and transports historical documents on the invention of the metronome into a 21st century technological maelstrom. She most recently scored the video, w.s.2, by Seoungho Cho, screened at The Millennium in New York, March 2004.
The range of LeBaron's musical language can be heard on several recordings. "Sacred Theory of the Earth," released on CRI in 2001, features instrumental works performed by the Atlanta Chamber Players. "The Musical Railism of Anne LeBaron," a Tellus/Mode co-production, includes the first work written for the Lyon & Healy Electric Harp, as well as selections from her blues opera collaboration with Thulani Davis, The E. & O. Line. "Rana, Ritual, and Revelations," with the New Music Consort and the Theater Chamber Players of Kennedy Center, highlights her earlier chamber works. This recording received the highest rating given by Down Beat. Her Concerto for Active Frogs appears once again on the first digital release of "Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue" (Alcohol Records).
An accomplished harpist, LeBaron is renowned for her pioneering methods of developing extended techniques and electronic enhancements for the harp. Leading innovators of jazz and other forms of improvised music, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton and Derek Bailey, have engaged her in performance and recording collaborations. Recent vintages are with Gary Hassay on Blackwater Bridge (Drimala) and on Earl Howard's Strong Force (Mutable Music). She appeared on the Total Music Meeting in Berlin, Nov.2003, with the King Ubu Orchestra.
Karl Kohn was born in Vienna in 1926, and was educated in New York and at Harvard. He has been a Fulbright Research Scholar in Helsinki, and has held fellowship grants from the Guggenheim, Howard, and Mellon Foundations, as well as four fellowship-grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Kohn taught several summers on the faculty of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. He is W. M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at Pomona College.
With his wife, Margaret, he has given two-piano concerts throughout this country and Europe, including definitive performances of works by Bartók, Berio, Stravinsky, Messiaen, Ligeti, and Boulez. Kohn served for two decades on the board of directors of the Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles.
His works have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestras, the Oakland Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, on the San Francisco Symphony's Musica Viva series, at the Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and in concerts and broadcasts throughout the United States and abroad.
Karl Kohn's principal publishers are Carl Fischer Music, New York, GunMar Music, Inc., (from Shawnee Press, Delaware Water Gap, PA) and Edition Contemp Art, Vienna.
Still in his 30’s, Derek Bermel has been hailed by colleagues, critics, and audiences across the globe for his creativity and theatricality as a composer of chamber, symphonic, dance, theater, and pop works, and his versatility and virtuosity as a clarinetist, conductor, and jazz and rock musician. He has received many of today’s most important awards, including the Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, a Millennium Prize from Faber Music (UK), and residencies at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Tanglewood, Bowdoin, Banff, Yaddo, and Civitella Ranieri. His music is published by Peermusic Classical (US) and Faber Music (UK).
His hands-on experience with music of cultures around the world has become part of the fabric and force of Bermel’s compositional language. He studied ethnomusicology and orchestration in Jerusalem, and later traveled to Bulgaria to study the Thracian folk style, Dublin to study uillean pipes, and Ghana to study the Lobi xylophone. Well-versed in the classical and jazz repertoire on clarinet and piano, he trained at Yale University and the University of Michigan, and later in Amsterdam, studying composition with William Albright, Louis Andriessen, William Bolcom, Michael Tenzer, and Henri Dutilleux.
“Soul Garden ”, the first disc of his chamber music, was released in 2002 on CRI records (now New World Records), to much acclaim. A second disc, featuring four orchestral works, is due to be released in 2006 by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Bermel is currently collaborating on a musical “Loving Family” with librettist Wendy S. Walters, produced by Music Theatre Group, and directed by Kelly Robinson. (Other recent collaborations include those with playwright Will Eno (“Fetch”), choreographer Sheron Wray (“Messengers” and “Identity with Resistance”) poet Naomi Shihab Nye (“Dog”), and Filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson (“Spicebush”, “Special Man”). Bermel is co-artistic director of the Dutch-American interdisciplinary ensemble TONK, which he founded along with electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans and poet Wendy Walters.
Bermel was the recipient of one of three Ford Foundation Conducting Awards, leading the Cleveland Chamber Symphony in his "Continental Divide" and Edward Miller’s "Cascades." He recently led the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble in a program including two of his own works, conducted his orchestral work, "Dust Dances," at Interlochen Academy and the premiere of his “Three Rivers” at the Kitchen in New York City. He also toured with the British dance company Jazz Xchange, conducting and performing in his composition "Messengers," a collaboration with choreographer Sheron Wray; he also conducted his score for two Brecht plays, "Caucasian Chalk Circle" and "Drums in the Night" at the International Fringe Festival in New York, and in Banff he conducted the premiere of his "West African Folk Songs." Over the years he has served as music director, conductor, and arranger for several jazz choirs, including The Baker’s Dozen at Yale University, Parallel Motion at the University of Michigan, Mash’hu K’mo ha’Blues in Jerusalem, and The Toast of Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.
Joel Feigin (b. 1951) studied with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau and with Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School, where he received his DMA degree. His honors and awards include, among others, a Senior Fulbright Fellowship at the Moscow Conservatory, Russia (1998-1999) and a Guggenheim Fellowship to write his first opera, Mysteries of Eleusis, commissioned for Theatre Cornell and produced there in 1986. Scenes from his latest opera, Twelfth Night, were performed by New York City Opera in its VOX 2003 presentations, and a chamber version commissioned by Long Leaf Opera in North Carolina was premiered in 2005. A scene from Twelfth Night will be performed in Seattle at the Opera America conference in May 2006.
Two of Feigin’s orchestral works have been premiered in Russia:
Festive Overture by the Nijnij Novgorod Symphony Orchestra, under
Vladimir Ziva., and Mosaic in Two Panels for strings by
An accomplished pianist and accompanist, Feigin is often called upon to participate in performances of his own works. Among them have been Veränderungen with Juilliard Quartet violinist Ronald Copes in Santa Barbara, CA and Echoes from the Holocaust with members of the Czech Philharmonic in Prague. A student of Zen Buddhism, Feigin is Professor of composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
George Crumb's reputation as a composer of hauntingly beautiful scores has made him one of the most frequently performed composers in today's musical world. From Los Angeles to Moscow, and from Scandinavia to South America, festivals devoted to the music of George Crumb have sprung up like wildflowers. Crumb, the winner of a 2001 Grammy Award and the 1968 Pulitzer Prize in Music, continues to compose new scores that enrich the musical lives of those who come in contact with his profoundly humanistic art.
George Henry Crumb was born in Charleston, West Virginia on 24 October 1929. He studied at the Mason College of Music in Charleston and received the Bachelor’s degree in 1950. Thereafter he studied for the Master's degree at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana under Eugene Weigel. He continued his studies under Boris Blacher at the Hochschule für Musik, Berlin from 1954-1955. He received the D.M.A. in 1959 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor after studying with Ross Lee Finney.
George Crumb's early compositions include Three Early Songs (1947), for voice and piano; Sonata (1955) for solo violoncello; and Variazioni (1959) for orchestra. In the 1960s and 1970s, George Crumb produced a series of highly influential pieces that were immediately taken up by soloists and ensembles throughout the world. Many of these were vocal works based on the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca, including Ancient Voices of Children (1970); Madrigals, Books 1-4 (1965,69); Night of the Four Moons (1969); and Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death (1968). Other major works from this period include: Black Angels (1970), for electric string quartet; Vox Balaenae (1971), for electric flute, electric cello and amplified piano; Makrokosmos, Volumes 1 and 2 (1972, 73) for amplified piano; Music for a Summer Evening (1974) for two amplified pianos and percussion; and Crumb's largest score– Star-Child (1977), for soprano, solo trombone, antiphonal children's voices, male speaking choir, bell ringers and large orchestra. George Crumb’s most recent works include Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik for solo piano (2001), Otherworldly Resonances for two pianos (2002) and a four-part song cycle, American Songbook (The River of Life, A Journey Beyond Time, Unto the Hills, The Winds of Destiny) (2001-2004).
George Crumb's music often juxtaposes contrasting musical styles. The references range from music of the western art-music tradition, to hymns and folk music, to non-Western musics. Many of Crumb's works include programmatic, symbolic, mystical and theatrical elements, which are often reflected in his beautiful and meticulously notated scores. A shy, yet warmly eloquent personality, Crumb retired from his teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania after more than 30 years of service. Awarded honorary doctorates by numerous universities and the recipient of dozens of awards and prizes, Crumb makes his home in Pennsylvania, in the same house where he and his wife of more than 50 years raised their three children. George Crumb's music is published by C.F. Peters and the ongoing series of "Complete Crumb" recordings, supervised by the composer, is being issued on Bridge Records .