Ensemble in Residence, April 17-22
The California EAR Unit is a chamber ensemble dedicated to the creation, performance, and promotion of the music of our time. The Unit was founded in March 1981 by a group of performers and composers with the goal of developing the first true repertory ensemble for new music in Los Angeles. As a result of its long and fruitful history, the Unit has achieved a flexibility and rapport rare in contemporary music, and has earned an international reputation as one of America's finest contemporary chamber ensembles. For its contributions to the field of contemporary American music, the ensemble has recently garnered awards from the LA Weekly (Best Classical Ensemble) and the 1999 "Letter of Distinction" from the American Music Center, and "Best of the Year" from on-line CD NOW.
The Unit has performed at major venues all over the world including Tanglewood, Brussels, Aspen, Kiev, Paris, the Kennedy Center, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Cologne, New York, Boston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Amsterdam, Reykjavik, and many places in between. The ensemble has been featured in documentaries for the BBC and Japanese television and many of their concerts have been broadcast by American and National Public Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Danish National Radio, WGBH's "Art of the States" Program, the International Rostrum of Composers and live over the Internet in "Virtual Concert."
Since 1987 the EAR Unit has been Ensemble-in-Residence at the Los Angeles
The EAR Unit has recorded for Nonesuch, Crystal, New Albion, New World, Tzadik, O.O. Discs, Bridge, and Cambria labels. Recent CDs for the 2003-04 season include a three CD Series of EAR Unit repertoire on the Echograph label and chamber works of Pulitzer Prize winning Los Angeles composer Mel Powell.
The concert on April 22 will be the culminating event in a week-long residency supported by the Visiting Artists Program of the UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. This concert, an exciting program of new works featuring electronic and acoustic instruments, video and text by composers Morton Subotnik, Eve Belgarian, Shaun Naidoo, Anne Le Baron, and EAR Unit's own Amy Knoles, will conclude with the group's acclaimed version of "James Sellars' accurately titled 'Go,' a densely textured ten minute non-stop vertigo trip" (Albuquerque Journal).
This program is sponsored by the Visiting Artist Program of the Interdisciplinary
Humanities Center at UCSB.
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.
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.
Amy Knoles, currently touring as WASTELAND with live videographer Richard Hines, is an artist who tours globally; performing computer assisted live electronic music with percussion controllers and linear/interactive video. Her work has been described as "frightening beauty, fascinating, complex" on National Public Radio and "Los Angeles's new music luminary, infinitely variable, infinitely fascinating" by the Los Angeles Times. Amy is the recipient of the 2005 American Composers Forum Subito Grant, the Durfee Grant - 2003, UNESCO International Prize for the Performing Arts - 2000, the 1999-2000 "Individual Artist Fellowship" Award from C.O.L.A., the 2001 Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music for Dance, and she was the 1996 ASCAP Foundation Composer-in-Residence at the Music Center of Los Angeles, and is currently creating a sound environment for the J. Paul Getty Museum's walking tour.
Amy is Executive Director of the California E.A.R. Unit and also works/has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Kronos Quartet, Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, Natural Plastic, Squint, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, Basso Bongo, Frank Zappa, Flea, Morton Subotnick, and many others.
Amy has recorded nearly 30 CD's of new music and is proud to announce the release of her solo recordings "Men in the Cities" and “2 x 10 x 10 x 10 + 1", on the Echograph Label.
Pianist Vicki Ray performs widely as a soloist and collaborative artist. She is a member of the award winning California E.A.R. Unit and Xtet. As a founding member of PianoSpheres, an acclaimed solo piano series dedicated to exploring the less familiar realms of the piano repertoire, her playing has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for “displaying that kind of musical thoroughness and technical panache that puts a composer’s thoughts directly before the listener.” A long-time champion of new music Ms. Ray has had works written for by composers John Adams, Paul Dresher, Stephen Hartke, Kamran Ince, Shaun Naidoo and many others. In 1989 she was the first place winner in the National Association of Composers USA competition for performers of contemporary music. Ms. Ray has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the German ensemble Compania and the Blue Rider Ensemble of Toronto with whom she made the first Canadian recording of Pierrot Lunaire. She has played on various national and international festivals including the Salzburg Festival, the Berlin 750 Jahre Festival and the Ojai Festival where she premiered a new concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle. Her solo recording from the left edge, a collection of works written for her by composers living in California, can be found on the CRI label. As a pianist who excels in a wide range of styles Ms. Ray’s numerous recordings cover everything from the semi-improvised structures of Wadada Leo Smith to the twisted groove base of John Adam’s Road Movies, from the elegant serialism of Mel Powell to the austere beauty of Morton Feldmans’ Crippled Symmetries. Ms. Ray has been a member of the piano faculty at the California Institute of the Arts since 1991.
Dorothy Stone, flutist, composer and conductor, has been active on the vanguard of the international contemporary music scene for over twenty years and has been consistently hailed for her virtuosic and persuasive interpretations of the latest literature.
Ms. Stone is a founding member of the highly acclaimed California EAR Unit, Ensemble in Residence at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has performed as soloist throughout the United States and Europe as well as for National Public Radio and WGBH’s Art of the States Program. She has built a custom live electronic system for her solo flute composition Wizard Ball that has received prizes from the International League of Women Composers, the Freeman Composition Contest, and the Ars Electronica Festival.
Ms. Stone has recorded for Crystal, New Albion, Cambria, Newport Classics,O.O. Discs, Tzadik, CRI/Emergency, the Nonesuch Record labels, and the Voyager label in CD-ROM format. Her solo album for New World Records entitled None but the Lonely Flute includes works by Milton Babbitt, Stephen L. Mosko (both written especially for her), John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Kathryn Alexander. Her recording of Morton Feldman's four-hour trio "for Philip Guston" was awarded “Best Classical CD” by CDNow.
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. This opera was most recently performed in 1999 at the Moscow Conservatory. A chamber version requested by the Conservatory's Opera Studio was produced there in 2000 as part of the Russian-American Festival of Operatic Art. Following the success of Mysteries, the Opera Studio asked Feigin to write his new opera, Twelfth Night, based on the play by William Shakespeare. Feigin's orchestral music has been premiered in Russia by Chamber Orchestra Kremlin and the Nijnij Novgorod Symphony Orchestra. The recipient of numerous commissions, his U.S. premieres have been given by such groups as Parnassus, Currents Ensemble, Voices of Change, pianist Leonard Stein for Piano-Spheres, and the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. Other major performances have included a full evening of his chamber and vocal music presented by Musicians Accord at New York's Merkin Concert Hall, followed by a 2-CD set (ten works) on North/South Recordings. In 1998, Vernderungen for violin and piano won both the Speculum Musicae Competition for Composers and the Auros Group for New Music Composition Competition. The next year, Elegy for Orchestra, In Memoriam Otto Luening, was performed by the Santa Barbara Symphony conducted by Giselle Ben-Dor. In 2001, Tapestry for Horn, violin, and piano received its New York premiere at Weill Concert Hall at Carnegie Hall. Feigin's music has been heard across the United States and around the world, including Asia and many countries in Eastern and Western Europe. Also an accomplished pianist, he recently appeared with members of the Czech Philharmonic in a performance of his Echoes From the Holocaust in Prague. A student of Zen Buddhism, Joel Feigin is Professor of Composition at UCSB.
Kurt Rohde is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (1986, viola and composition), the Curtis Institute of Music (Diploma, 1988, viola, composition), and SUNY Stony Brook (M.M., viola). He studied composition with Donald Erb, Ned Rorem and Andrew Imbrie, and viola with Karen Tuttle, John Graham, and Caroline Levine. He has attended the Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and has participated as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Wellesley Composer Conference. Kurt Rohde is the Artistic Director of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, based in San Francisco. Rohde received commissioning awards from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition (2003, 1999), a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (2003), the 2002 Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, a commission from the Hanson Institute for American Music (2001), the Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2001), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1999-2000), and commission awards from the Barlow Endowment, the Koussevitzsky Foundation of the Library of Congress, and the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University. He was the winner of the 1998 Lydian String Quartet Composition Contest. The New Century Chamber Orchestra received a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music to record a compact disc of Rohde's music for strings. Rohde was composer in residence at the Yellow Barn Music Festival in the summer 2004, and had performances in 2004 on the MusicNow series with the Chicago Symphony and at the Ojai Music Festival. Recent commissions include an oratorio for conductor Kent Nagano and tenor John Duykers to be performed by the Berkeley Symphony in 2005, and a work for the 2005 season of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra - a viola concerto for violist Igor Budinstein, Deutsches Simphonie - Orchester for the 2006 season, and a new work for the Pacific Chamber Symphony in 2005-06. He is currently a Lecturer in Composition at UCSB.
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.
Genevieve Feiwen Lee, pianist, has given solo recitals in Merkin Concert Hall in New York and the Salle Gaveau in Paris. Her performances in Changsha, China, were broadcast by Hunan State Television. She recently performed in Amsterdam and on a live radio broadcast (AVRO) from the Spiegelzaal at the Concertgebouw. She has been a soloist with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, the Vrazta State Philharmonic in Bulgaria, and The Orchestra of Northern New York. Her first solo performance with orchestra was at the age of twelve. She has performed in chamber music festivals at the Garth Newel Music Center, Virginia, and Incontri di Canna, Italy, and was a resident artist at The Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. She is heard with mezzo-soprano D'Anna Fortunato on the Albany Records CD An American Collage. As one of the pianists of The Bach Four, she presents multi-media performances of the complete Well Tempered Clavier of J. S. Bach. She is a founding member of the Mojave Trio, who plays regularly on the “Sundays Live” radio broadcast concerts from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A champion of new music, Ms. Lee has premiered and commissioned numerous works. She has been a guest performer with XTET, one of Los Angeles’s leading new music groups.
Ms. Lee received her degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, and the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Boris Berman. Before joining the faculty of Pomona College, California in 1994, Ms. Lee taught at Yale, Bucknell University, and The Crane School of Music at the State University of New York-Potsdam.