2014-15 Season!

Posted by April 8, 2014

Very soon we’ll be announcing the 2014-15 season: ten world-class commissioned composers, Australian harpist Alice Giles, and another Steve Reich extravaganza! Stay tuned!

Project TenFourteen

Posted by April 8, 2014

project ten fourteen

SFCMP is  thrilled to be presenting something unprecedented for us (and possibly, in our field)… Project TenFourteen - a series of four programs featuring world premieres simultaneously commissioned from ten distinctive composers, all challenged to reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.

The commissioned composers are of an extraordinary caliber: George Crumb, Elena Ruehr, Gabriela Ortiz, Ken Ueno, Gabriela Ortiz, Du Yun, Agata Zubel, Koji Nakano, Lei Liang, Laurie San Martin, and Wen-Chung Chou.

Envisioned by Robert Amory, a Trustee of the Jebediah Foundation, and executed in partnership with Cal PerformancesProject TenFourteen will yield a global kaleidoscope that embodies and celebrates the varied cultural and personal influences that infuse contemporary music, while underscoring our common humanity and shared destiny.

An unprecedented large-scale initiative for SFCMP, it encompasses four concerts at Cal Performances. We will be adding much more information to the website in the coming weeks, but please plan to join us for these four incredible programs next fall and winter!

Click here to see Steven Schick discussing this important project in an exclusive interview produced by Cal Performances.

Dates and Programs:

Sunday, November 16, 2014 - Cal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm

Three World Premiere Commissioned Works by George CrumbYesteryear, The Yellow Moon of Andalusia, and Xylophony

A World Premiere Commissioned Work by Mexican composer Gabriela OrtizCorporéa

A World Premiere Commissioned Work by Elena Ruehr - It’s About Time

SFCMP Ensemble members, Steven Schick conductor, with special guest soprano Tony Arnold

Sunday, January 25, 2015 -Cal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm

A World Premiere Commissioned Work by Polish composer Agata Zubelwhere to

A World Premiere Commissioned Work by Du YunSlow Portraits 3

Also, two works by Harrison Birtwistle: The Axe Manual and Gigue Machine

SFCMP Ensemble members, Steven Schick conductor, with featured guest pianist Nicholas Hodges and Steven Schick, percussion


Sunday, February 22, 2014 - Cal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm

A World Premiere Commissioned Work by Laurie San Martin - we turn in the night in a circle of fire

A World Premiere Commissioned Work Ken Ueno - Zetsu

Luciano Berio –  Linea

Luigi Nono - Hay Que Caminar Soñando

SFCMP Ensemble members, Steven Schick conductor

Sunday, March 29, 2015 - Cal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm

A World Premiere Commissioned Work by Koji Nakano - Time Song V: Mandala

A World Premiere Commissioned Work by Lei Liang - Luminous, with featured guest artist Mark Dresser

A World Premiere Commissioned Work by Chou Wen-Chung

A special performance of Edgard Varèse’s Ionisation by an all-star percussion ensemble!

SFCMP Ensemble members, Steven Schick conductor

  About the Composers:

  • Chou Wen-chung – a protege of Edgard Varèse, American composer of Chinese ancestry is lauded for his transcriptions of Asian melo-rhythms into a Western vernacular. Widely published, a laureate of two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among countless other accolade, Chou is considered a living treasure. His recent collaboration with SFCMP’s Steven Schick was in 2010: the U.S. premiere of a spatialized work “Etude Pour L’Espace” at Lincoln Center with the International Contemporary Ensemble.

  • George Crumb – a living legend, Crumb is one of those composers so well-known, he is oft-referred to by his last name alone. Revered for his use of of unusual timbres, alternative notations, and extended instrumental and vocal techniques in works such as Vox Balaenae, Makrokosmos, and Ancient Voices of Children. It is truly an honor to be receiving three new works from this master composer, one of the most frequently performed today,  in response to our commission.

  • Lei Liang – based in San Diego, Lei is considered “one of the most exciting voices in New Music… an important musical philosopher, coming into mature expression.” (“The Wire”, UK), he is a Rome Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship and Aaron Copland Award winner, with works performed and commissions received by prestigous ensembles from Arditti Quartet to the Berkeley Symphony and The Thailand Philharmonic. Lei’s Aural Hypothesis was performed SFCMP in October, 2011.

  • Koji Nakano –  This Japanese composer is recognized as a major voices among Asian composers of his generation. His work aims to merge Western and Eastern musical traditions, and reflects the relationship between beauty, form and imperfection through the formality of music. Koji has studied with Lee Hyla, John Harbison, and Louis Andriessen. Among his other accolades, Koji is the recipient of the first Toru Takemitsu Award in Composition from the Japan Society of Boston. He is currently a full-time faculty member in composition at Burapha University in Thailand

  • Gabriela Ortiz – One of the foremost composers in Mexico today, Ortiz’s musical language achieves an extraordinary and expressive synthesis of tradition and the avant-garde; combining high art, folk music and jazz in novel, frequently refined and always personal ways. Her compositions are credited for being both entertaining and immediate as well as profound and sophisticated; she achieves a balance between highly organized structure and improvisatory spontaneity. Although based in Mexico, her music is commissioned and performed all over the world.

  • Elena Ruehr – is an award winning faculty member at MIT, a former Fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute whose works have been commissioned or performed by the Cypress String Quartet, the Biava, Borromeo, Lark, ROCO and Shanghai string quartets. A fomer student of William Bolcom she composers for chamber ensemble, orchestra, chorus, wind ensemble, instrumental solo, opera, dance and silent film. Gramophone magazine says her work is “unspeakably gorgeous.” Dr. Ruehr currently is on the faculty at MIT.

  • Laurie San Martin – a composer, teacher and an occasional clarinetist and conductor, San martin mainly writes concert music for chamber ensemble and orchestra but has also written incidental music for theater, dance and video. She has worked with many accomplished ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, eighth blackbird, SF Chamber Orchestra, the Lydian Quartet, SFCMP, Washington Square Contemporary Chamber Players, EARPLAY and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. She is currently Associate Professor of music at the University of California, Davis.

  • Ken Ueno  - A recipient of the Rome Prize and the Berlin Prize, Ken Ueno, is a composer/vocalist who is currently an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley. His music has been performed at such venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MusikTriennale Köln Festival, the Muziekgebouw, Ars Musica, Warsaw Autumn, Other Minds, the Hopkins Center, Spoleto USA, Steim, and at the Norfolk Music Festival. As a vocalist, he specializes in extended techniques and has collaborated in improvisations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Joey Baron, Ikue Mori,Robyn Schulkowsky, Joan Jeanrenaud, Tim Feeney, and David Wessel amongst others. Recently, he performed his vocal concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic. Ken holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

  • Du Yun – Born and raised in Shanghai, China, currently based in NYC, Du Yun is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and performance artist whose music exists at an artistic crossroads of orchestral, chamber music, theatre, opera, orchestral, cabaret, storytelling, pop music, visual arts and noise. Known as “protean” and “chameleonic”, the National Public Radio (USA) has recently voted her as one of 100 composers under 40. Selected commissions include from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the American Composer Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Whitney Museum of American Art, SFCMP, and many others. Her works have been performed widely throughout the world, from the Lincoln Center Festival to the Festival d’Avignon (France). She is also acclaimed as an onstage performance artist, appearing in “many assorted holes and halls, across New York, nationally and abroad.” An alumna of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College (BM), Harvard University (MA, PHD), Du Yun is currently on the faculty of SUNY-Purchase.

  • Agata Zubel – a Polish composer and singer, Zubel is a graduate of Wrocław‘s Karol Szymanowski High School of Music (percussion and music theory) and the Karol Lipiński University of Music, where she studied composition with Jan Wichrowski. She is a member of the Youth Circle of the Polish Composers’ Union and a recipient of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage scholarship. Currently she teaches at the Academy of Music in Wrocław (PhD). In 2013 she was honoured by the The International Composers’ Tribune of UNESCO with the best composition title for Not I, which she wrote for soprano, instrumental ensemble and electronics.