CAFE MUSIC The idea to compose Cafe Music first came to me in 1985 after sitting in one night for the pianist at Murrays Restaurant in Minneapolis. Murrays employs a house trio, which plays entertaining dinner music in a wide variety of styles. My intention was to write a kind of high-class dinner music, which could be played at a restaurant, but might also just barely find its way into a concert hall. The work draws on many of the types of music played by the trio at Murrays. For example, early 20th century American, Viennese, light classical, gypsy, and Broadway styles are all represented. A paraphrase of a beautiful Hasidic melody is incorporated in the second movement Cafe Music, was commissioned by the St Paul Chamber Orchestra SPCO, and received its premiere during a SPCO chamber concert in January 1985-PaulSchoenfield
PAUL SCHOENFIELD began studying piano at age six and wrote his first composition the following year at age 22, he received a doctor’s degree in musical arts from the University of Arizona where he studied composition with Robert Mucynski. Prior to this he was an assistant teacher for Nikolai Lopatnikoff at Carnegie Mellon University. Schoenfields music has been performed by many leading orchestras and presented live and on television nationally and internationally. He has received numerous commissions and has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Fund, the Bush Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, and Chamber Music America. His music is available through G Schirmer and can be heard on New World Records.
Young-Nam Kim, a member of the University of Minnesota’s music faculty has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Orient. His mentor Louis Krasner germinated Kim’s affection for new music early. Among his many premiere performances was a Lloyd Ultan violin concerto performed in 1985 with the Minnesota Orchestra under conductor/composer Stanislaw Skrowaczawski. Kim has also received several major awards for the study of 20th century violin and string quartet literature.
Peter Howard is now in his l5th season as principal cello of the SPCO. A frequent soloist Howard has won prizes in both the Casals International Competition, and the International Competition for String Quartet. A former member of the National Symphony Howard also held the position of assistant principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra, under George Szell. Howard served on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music Bowling, Green University, and North Carolina School of the Arts International Music Program. He currently teaches at Bethel College, in St Paul.
PARTERRE was written for the unique instrumentation of the Relache Ensemble who premiered it in December 1988, at New Music America Miami. The work’s two large sections are each comprised of slightly differing instrumentation. At the beginning, only reed instruments are used in light bouncy hockets. Later higher pitched instruments of clarinet and soprano saxophone switch to their lower counterparts of bass clarinet and baritone saxophone. Voice and percussion are added yielding a richer and more dramatic texture Parterre refers to an ornamental patterned garden. -Mary Ellen Childs
Parterres creation was made possible by the MCF Composers Commissioning Program funded by the Jerome Foundation, and a joint commissioning project of Relache New Music America Miami 1988, and Pew Charitable Trust.
MARY ELLEN CHILDS has been influenced by such diverse sources as Butoh dance, David Hockneys photo collages and Richard Wagner’s music. She writes chamber works and also creates musical pieces incorporating other media -as in her multi-monitor video composition “Still Life”. Childs has composed for the Kronos Quartet the SPcoMhe Southem Theater and accordionist Guy Klucevsek among others She has received awards from the McKnight Foundation Meet the Composer Intermedia Arts the National Endowment for the Arts Inter Arts program and the Bush Foundation
RELACHE the Ensemble for Contemporary Music was founded during l in Philadelphia It is an independent professional performing ensemble and producing organization devoted exclusively to the development and performance of contemporary and experimental music Since its founding Relache has actively investigated and performed music that reflects the variegated history of the 2Oth century. From fully notated and precisely scored compositions, to works that require creative performer based realizations to theatricalized electronic or intermedia pieces. Relache continues to reveal and affirm the most significant dimensions of contemporary music and the sonic arts. Over the years, the Ensemble has developed its interpretive and technical skills and refined its insights into the new processes involved in making music.
MOTHERLESS CHILD SONGS inspired by my friend Gary Washington are Iyrical settings of traditional spirituals though they utilize some 2Oth century compositional techniques and sonorities. The spirituals remain virtually intact.
Each setting evokes a different mood The first Mother less Child contrasts close dissonances with perfect intervals to convey emptiness loneliness and hopelessness I Gave My Love a Cherry is more naive and innocent Essentially pentatonic its bitonal central section hints at a harsher reality Blues interludes reinforce its sad but sweet ambiguity Nobody Knows is more playful and tonal with gentle syncopations Its jazz interlude and coda high light the conflict between the cheerful tune and painful text inherent in this song Deep River is more traditionally set and calm throughout It ends peacefully without piano accompaniment giving a feeling of hope Motherless Child returns in the final setting with added density and tension When this tension resolves the work ends simply and quietly in a major key - Lesbe B Ounner
LESLIE B DUNNER a New York City native received his bachelors degree in clarinet from the Eastman School of Music, a masters degree in theory musicology from Bueens College in New York, and a doctors degree from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Essentially self taught as a composer Dunners knowledge of compositional technique was acquired through theoretical study and score analysis. As assistant professor of music at Carleton College Minnesota he taught orchestration l8th century counterpoint analysis, music fundamentals, clarinet, and directed the college orchestra. Currently Dunner is associate conductor of Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City. as well as assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony The first American to win a prize in the Toscanini conducting competition in Italy. He is the recipient of numerous other prizes and awards including the Colorado Philharmonic Conducting Competition and Zeta Phi Betas 1988 Man of the Year Award. Dunner also received a 1988 MCF McKnight Fellowship to compose a children’s ballet entitled Noahs Ark. Among his present compositional plans, is a cantata for double chorus based on Dr Martin Luther Kings writings.
Carolyn Sebron is a graduate of the Julliard School and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She has appeared as a soloist with the American Composers Orchestra Composers in Red Sneakers and the League of Composers ISCM. She has also performed with Dance Theatre of Harlem, San Francisco Opera and Opera Ebony. A finalist in the 1988 Pavarotti Competition Sebron has received numerous honors including an l Fulbright Grant for music research in Kenya.
Jerry Rubino trained at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and received degrees from Temple University and the University of Minnesota Since he has performed in various capacities with the Dale Warland Singers serving as bass section leader arranger pianist and Cabaret Singers conductor In addition he leads his own ensemble - Jerry Rubino Singers and has performed with the Minnesota Opera the SPCO and in programs of the MCF and Minnesota Public Radio
DIALOGUES 111, composed in 1982 at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, is the last of a set of duos written for all possible combinations of the violin, viola, and cello. As with the set's other two works Dialogues 111 consists of five short movements exploring the instruments' expressive characteristics. Without exploiting the demands of virtuosity, the work technically challenges performers. These duos reflect a continuing interest in writing for orchestral string instruments, adding to a portfolio that presently includes a violin concerto two string quartets, a guitar quintet, sonatas for cello and for viola, and a cello concerto. —Lloyd Ultan
LLDYD ULTAN has received numerous fellowships, commissions, grants and awards. His works have been performed and broadcast worldwide by groups including the Tokyo and Pro Arte String Quartets, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlie Byrd Trio, the SPCO, the National Symphony, and many others. Ultan is a University of Minnesota professor of music composition and theory who directs the Electronic Music Studio He founded the University's School of Music in 1975 and served eleven years as its director. Ultan also wrote the book Music Theory: Compositional Problems and Practices in Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Tamas Strasser has been co-principal violist of the SPCO since 1975 and is a member of the SPCO and Bakken Ouartets. He is a frequent soloist who has premiered many new works including Thea Musgrave's "From One to Another,'' and in March 1987, Lloyd Ultan's "Pitchipoi."
Young-Nam Kim (see Cafe Music)
ARA8ESOUES: In this work for organ, florid runs and scales appear against somber sustained tones. This texture is repeatedly interrupted by a circling, blues-like figure.
In the middle section, sustained tones are surrounded by short staccato, dissonant tones. These gradually become longer, growing into clusters.
After a return to the opening textures, a coda with a mood of quiet resignation appears and is frequently interrupted with references to previous themes —Arthur Campbell
ARTHUR CAMPBELL studied at Park College, the Conservatory of Kansas City, Yale University, and the Eastman School of Music. He composes for voice, horn, violin, orchestra, and electronic tape and completed a McKnight funded piano trio in 1986. . For three years, Campbell taught music and conducted the orchestra at Monmouth College, Illinois. He joined St. Olaf College s music faculty in 1952 and now directs both their Electronic Music Studio and the Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Dr. Robert Thompson is a champion of new music who has commissioned and premiered many new works. His live and broadcast performances have been presented nationally and internationally. Thompson has been Director of Music for the All Souls' Episcopal Church in San Diego since 1985 and was a faculty member of St. Olaf College for sixteen years.