July 8, VIPA 2017 – Concert 6: Smash Ensemble

Auditorio del Conservatorio Superior “Joaquín Rodrigo” – 19.30h. (7:30 PM)

La Guitarra, el Grito, el Silencio (2017)* – Aaron N. Price (USA, 1990)
for soprano, flute, guitar and cello

Potpourri [suite] (2017)* – Nicolas Chuaqui (USA, 1990)
for flute, guitar and cello

Klirrend (2017)*Nathanael Gubler (Switzerland, 1992)
for soprano, alto flute, guitar and cello

Senyals [sobre fragments d’Ausiàs March] (2017)* – Tomàs Peire Serrate (Spain, 1979)
for soprano, flute, guitar and cello

Monobloc (2017)* – Hallie Smith (USA, 1995)
for guitar, cello and electronics

Two Songs [on poems by Rainer Maria Rilke] (2017)* – Sun Bin Kim (USA, 1990)
for mezzo-soprano, flute, guitar, cello and electronics

Fragmentos de Amarilis (2017)* – Jorge V. Grossmann (Peru-USA, 1973)
for soprano, flute, guitar and cello

* world premiere

Smash Ensemble
Carola Schlüter, soprano
Richard Craig, flute
Bertrand Chavarría-Aldrete, guitar
Emmanuel Acurero, violoncello

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La Guitarra, el Grito, el Silencio (2017)* – Aaron N. Price (USA, 1990)
for soprano, flute, guitar and cello

La Guitarra, El Grito, El Silencio (2017) was composed for the 2017 VIPA Festival in Valencia, Spain, and will be premiered by members of the SMASH ensemble. These three poems are part of a larger collection by Federico García Lorca titled “Poema del cante jondo.” The poetry’s imagery of guitars and voices, as well as metaphorical allusions to the wind and strings, intuitively lent themselves to the instrumentation of Soprano, Flute, Violoncello, and Guitar.

Aaron N. Price is a composer, clarinetist, and arranger based in Manchester, Connecticut. He is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Connecticut Summerfest, and Director of Woodwind Studies at the MusicMakers International Academy. His works and performances have been heard in the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

Notably, Aaron has been commissioned to write several new works by various summer music festivals, including the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival (New York City), Zodiac Festival (Valdeblore, France), Talis Festival (Saas-Fee, Switzerland), soundSCAPE Festival (Maccagno, Italy) and the Atlantic Music Festival (Waterville, Maine).

Aaron earned his Master of Music (M.M.) in Composition at The Hartt School, where he studied with Dr. Gilda Lyons, Dr. Robert Carl, and Dr. Larry Alan Smith. Previously, Aaron graduated magna cum laude from the University of Connecticut, earning his Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Composition with a Minor in the Spanish Language. While attending the University of Connecticut, Aaron studied Composition with Dr. Kenneth Fuchs, Earl MacDonald, and Dr. Arthur Kreiger, as well as Clarinet with Curt Blood. Aaron also studied Clarinet at the Conservatorio Profesional de Música Joaquín Villatoro in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Additionally, Aaron has served as an adjudicator for the CMEA All-State and Regional festivals at both the high school and middle school levels.

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Potpourri [suite] (2017)* – Nicolas Chuaqui (USA, 1990)
for flute, guitar and cello

These pieces, each named for an influential composer in my life, are attempts at understanding what each of these composers means to me.

  1. Ligeti
  2. Copland & friends
  3. Bartók
  4. Stravinsky

Nicolas Chuaqui - SmashNicolas Chuaqui’s recent works have been heard at many prominent festivals, including June in Buffalo, The Diffrazioni Multimedia Festival (Florence, Italy), The Florida Electroacoustic Student Festival, The NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, and The Deer Valley Festival. He has also recently had his first opera, The Forest of Dreams, premiered in a fully-staged production by New Voices Opera (Indiana; 2016). His music draws on both his childhood training as a chorister and pianist, and his interest in musical memory, time, and the soundworld existing around us. Recent compositions have taken on a decidedly postmodern flavor (whatever that means) by striving to build a context for the listener that addresses its own existence in our world. He has received degrees from Dartmouth College and Indiana University, and will begin at Eastman in the Fall of 2017.

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Klirrend (2017)*Nathanael Gubler (Switzerland, 1992)
for soprano, alto flute, guitar and cello

“Chinking” or “shivering”.

Being both a writer and a performer, Swiss composer and violinist Nathanael Gubler connects both skills in a unique way. He was taught by Susanne Hasler (a former student of William Primrose), William Coleman (Kuss Quartet) and Severin Scheuerer (Musikkollegium Winterthur). He performed in the National Youth Orchestra of Switzerland and numerous chamber music groups of which several were awarded with prizes (including 2nd in the National Youth Music Competition of Switzerland). From 2013 to 2014, he spent his compulsory civil service as a music teacher in a school in Southern Brazil where he also created his first big chamber music and orchestral cycles. Nathanael applied to the Royal College of Music in London in 2015, which awarded him with a Clifton Parker Award. His works were performed in Switzerland, Brazil and prestigious venues in the UK, like the National Portrait Gallery in London. Further performances are currently planned in Canada, Thailand, Spain, UK and Switzerland. In 2016, his Fanfare for Leeds was selected by the Leeds School of Arts for their graduation ceremonies. In the same year, he was selected by the Société de Concerts de Montréal to compose for their concert series and also to represent the RCM at the Leeds Lieder Festival 2017. Furthermore, he was invited to showcase his music at the TMAO Festival in Bangkok and successfully auditioned as viola player for 2017’s Britten-Pears Orchestra. Also in 2017, a piece for Solo Oboe and seven Double Basses will be official part of the 600-Festivies of Nikolaus von der Flüe which will include five performances and a radio broadcast. He is currently studying with Dai Fujikura (Compositon) and Susie Meszaros (Viola).

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Senyals [sobre fragments d’Ausiàs March] (2017)* – Tomàs Peire Serrate (Spain, 1979)
for soprano, flute, guitar and cello

Senyals, or signals, were used by the medieval Valencian poet Ausiàs March (1400-1459) to refer to the woman to whom he was addressing his love poems, so he could hide their real names. These signals were included at the beginning of the last verse of each poem of his Cants d’Amor (love songs).
March´s love poetry consists of five cycles, most likely related to five different women, for whom he consistently used five different signals. This piece is inspired by these signals and the different emotions and thoughts each of them recalls from the complete original poems. 

Tomàs Peire Serrate is a composer from La Floresta (Barcelona), currently based in Los Angeles. After obtaining degrees in Piano and History, he studied composition at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Following this, he moved to New York where he earned a Master’s Degree in Composition for Film and Multimedia at NYU Steinhardt on a full scholarship from La Caixa and earned the Elmer Bernstein Award upon graduation.

His concert works have been performed in Europe and the US by prestigious ensembles such as the Bcn216, Zagros Ensemble, OC Terrassa48, Uusinta Ensemble, Brossa Quartet de Corda, Radio Symphony Orchestra from Helsinki, JACK Quartet or the Banda Municipal de Barcelona. He has written original scores for the feature films Prism (2014), The Anushree Experiments (2014) and Natalie Net (2013) as well as documentary soundtracks for The New York Times, The Guardian and Al Jazeera.

He has also participated as programmer and orchestrator in several film projects such as If I Stay (2014), Minions (2015) or Love and Friendship (2016). Since 2015, Tomas is pursuing a PhD in Composition at UCLA.

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Monobloc (2017)* – Hallie Smith (USA, 1995)
for guitar, cello and electronics

This piece uses pressure sensors for each instrument. It is about measuring the changes in pressure between two points over time. The pressure sensors are constructed using conductive yarn and other resistive materials. The change in pressure is measured with a change in electrical resistance which controls certain parameters of the piece.

Hallie Smith is a composer and violinist from Simsbury, CT. She began her musical studies on the violin at age four and has performed with youth orchestras in the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, Holland) Carnegie Hall, and Boston Symphony Hall. Her violin teachers include Donna Ngai, Jaroslaw Lis, Susan Waterbury, and Liesl Schoenberger. She has attended summer programs for composition at Oberlin Conservatory and The Yellow Barn Young Artists Program. In 2013, Hallie was awarded second place in the MuSE Young Composer’s competition. Hallie is also actively involved in the Center for The Development of Arts Leaders through NPR’s From the Top, and has held an internship at Boston Musica Viva. She currently studies composition at the Boston Conservatory, studying with Mischa Salkind-Pearl.

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Two Songs [on poems by Rainer Maria Rilke] (2017)* – Sun Bin Kim (USA, 1990)
for mezzo-soprano, flute, guitar, cello and electronics

Rainer Maria Rilke said of his poetry, “poems are not simply emotions… they are experiences. For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and things… and know the gestures which small flowers make when they open in the morning.” It is with such an approach that Rilke’s poems, through their outwardly detailed scenes and often understated language, carry a characteristically deeply inward emotion.

The two poems that I have chosen have this interplay between the painting-like surface and underlying feeling, both aspects of which I wished to convey in setting them to music. Before Summer Rain (Vordem Sommerregen) is more picturesque, with word-paintings, sudden changes in mood, and coloristic effects. Exposed on the Cliffs of the Heart (Ausgesetzt auf den Bergen des Herzens) has a more intimate, subdued atmosphere, with broad string textures and distant chimes in the electronic sounds. The end of each song is marked with a single gong-stroke – an allusion to another poem of Rilke.

Sun Bin Kim is a Korean-born composer and pianist based in New York. His compositions have been performed in concerts and festivals in the US and Europe. He was a 2015 fellow at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. His orchestral work, Fantasy Concerto was premiered with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein. His ensemble works have been performed widely. He has received commissions from the Iktus Percussion Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, Palisades Vituosi, and Engle Winds. He has received numerous awards including 8 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards and the North/South Consonance Award. He received BA’s in music composition and Physics from Bard College and his Master of Music degree in composition at The Juilliard School. He will soon begin studies with Richard Danielpour for his DMA at the Manhattan School of Music.

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Fragmentos de Amarilis (2017)* – Jorge V. Grossmann (Peru-USA, 1973)
for soprano, flute, guitar and cello

Jorge V. Grossmann’s music has been performed throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe by ensembles such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Orquesta Filamónica de Bogotá, Peruvian National Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Aspen Sinfonia, Kiev Camerata, Orquesta de la Universidad del Norte (Paraguay), Boston Musica Viva, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble Wien, Da Capo Chamber Players, Seattle Chamber Players, Jack Quartet and Amernet Quartet. His works find inspiration in a wide range of subjects, from medieval music to Latin American modern art. His awards include a Fromm Music Foundation Commission, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, the Aaron Copland Award, Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, Vitae-Associação de Apoio à Cultura (Brazil) and the Nevada Arts Council; the Jacob Druckman Award from the Aspen Music Festival, Copland House Borromeo String Quartet Award, first prize in the New England Philharmonic Call for Scores, and grants from the American Music Center, St. Botolph Club Foundation, and Meet the Composer. His residencies include the Copland House, MacDowell Colony, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. He has been commissioned by organizations such as the Society for New Music, American Liszt Society, Nevada Music Teachers Association, ALEA III and the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. Before his appointment at Ithaca College, he served on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was also director of NEXTET, UNLV’s new music ensemble, and founder and co-director of N.E.O.N., Nevada Encounters of New Music festival. He is currently director of áltaVoz, a Latin American composers collective.