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Sara Velez

revised by Megan E. Hill

International festival of orchestral and chamber music, solo recitals, and staged works, established in 1963 in Aptos, California. It was founded by Lou Harrison, the bassoonist Robert Hughes, and Ted Toews, an instructor at Cabrillo College. Held for two weeks in August in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and at various other locations, such as the Mission San Juan Bautista, the festival is noted for its innovative programming and emphasis on the works of living composers: it has staged at least 120 world premieres and over 60 US premieres. The first music director, Gerhard Samuel, was succeeded by Richard Williams in 1969, Carlos Chávez in 1970, Dennis Russell Davies in 1974, John Adams in 1991, and Marin Alsop in 1992. The directors have stressed making the artists accessible to their audiences through workshops and “Meet the Composer” sessions, open rehearsals, and a composer-in-residence program, in which John Adams, William Bolcom, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Carlos Chávez, Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Lou Harrison, Jennifer Higdon, Keith Jarrett, Aaron Jay Kernis, Libby Larsen, Tania León, Pauline Oliveros, Arvo Pärt, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Virgil Thomson, and Joan Tower have participated. The festival orchestra consists of about 65 musicians from leading orchestras in the United States and Canada....

Article

Chamber music society. Resident in New York at Alice Tully Hall, the society is a constituent of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. It was conceived by William Schuman, the president of Lincoln Center, who appointed the pianist charles Wadsworth as the society’s first artistic director (1969–89). Among the musicians Wadsworth assembled to perform for the opening season (1969–70) were Charles Treger (violin), Walter Trampler (viola), Leslie Parnas (cello), Paula Robison (flute), Leonard Arner (oboe), Gervase de Peyer (clarinet), Loren Glickman (bassoon), and Richard Goode (piano). In 2010, led by artistic directors cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, the society numbered around 35 members, joined by guest artists for its annual concert series, educational programs, and national and international tours. Many concerts are broadcast on radio and television, and in 2007 the society started its own recording label.

Following its premiere performance on 11 September 1969...

Article

Michael Walsh

revised by Megan E. Hill

Chamber music ensemble founded in 1971 at the Berkshire Music Center. In 2011 its members were the trumpeters Rolf Smedvig and Marc Brian Reese, horn player Michelle Perry, trombonist Mark Hetzler, and tubist Kenneth Amis. Earlier members included trumpeters Charles A. Lewis Jr. and Timothy Morrison, horn player David Ohanian, trombonists Lawrence Isaacson and Scott A. Hartman, and tubist J. Samuel Pilafian. In the early 1970s the quintet performed mainly in the New England area; in 1976 it made its formal New York debut at Carnegie Hall and went on its first European tour; soon afterwards it became the first brass ensemble to receive the Naumburg Award. The quintet took part in a concert for Jimmy Carter’s presidential inauguration in 1977. In subsequent years, the group began touring regularly in Europe and East Asia. It was in residence at Boston University from 1976 until 1989, and it led the Empire Brass Seminar at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. It also founded the Empire Brass Quintet Symposium for brass students at the Berkshire Music Center in ...

Article

Paul Yoon

(b Los Angeles, CA, April 2, 1953). American taiko artist. Of Japanese American descent, he studied drumming, especially jazz and rock, from an early age. He first experienced taiko in the early 1970s and joined Kinnara Taiko in 1975. His interest in taiko was fueled by an emergent sense of his ethnic identity. He went on to study with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo in 1976. Endo felt that it was important to emphasize the Asian aspects of his heritage, and to this end he traveled to Japan in 1980. For the next decade he studied kumi daiko (ensemble drumming), hogaku hayashi (classical drumming), and matsuri bayashi (festival drumming), and he became the first non-native to receive a natori (stage name), Mochizuki Tajiro, in hogaku hayashi. While in Japan, he studied with and was a performing member of Oedo Sukeroku Taiko and Osuwa Daiko. He moved to Honolulu in ...

Article

Stephen Montague

revised by Kelly Hiser

(Arthur )

(b Kankakee, IL, March 22, 1942; d San Rafael, CA, Sept 25, 1996). American composer, trombonist, conductor, and double bassist. He attended the University of Illinois, where he studied trombone with Robert Gray and composition with Kenneth Gaburo, herbert Brün , and salvatore Martirano (BM in performance 1965). He studied jazz improvisation with lee Konitz and electronic music with richard b. Hervig at the University of Iowa (1970–71). He was a member of the Harry Partch Ensemble (1961–2) and the Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players (1963–6) and was an associate artist at the University of Iowa Center for New Music and New Performing Arts (1969–74). From 1974 to 1984 English lived in Europe, where he performed widely as a soloist and with jazz and new music ensembles, at festivals, and on radio. He collaborated with his wife Candace Natvig, a singer and violinist; in ...

Article

Epic  

Christopher Doll

Record company. It was established by CBS in 1953 as a subsidiary of Columbia Records. Although from the start its issues included jazz and pop, Epic for many years was known primarily for its recordings of George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra (including those made with a young Leon Fleisher as piano soloist). In the latter part of the 1950s, as rock and roll began to overtake the industry, the company struggled to find itself artistically and commercially, accumulating an odd assortment of American, Australian, and European performers representing a wide array of classical, jazz, and popular styles.

The label’s fortunes began to change in 1964 with its participation in the British Invasion. Epic distributed the American releases of the Dave Clark Five and the Yardbirds and later those of the Hollies and Donovan. The true turning point for the company was the signing in 1967 of Sly and the Family Stone, whose critical and financial success helped redefine the label as a youth-oriented powerhouse. The company expanded through the 1970s, achieving unimaginable heights in the 1980s with Michael Jackson’s mature solo work (...

Article

ETHEL  

James Bash

String quartet. Formed in 1998, ETHEL consists of Juilliard-trained violinists Cornelius Dufallo and Mary Rowell, violist Ralph Farris, and cellist Dorothy Lawson. Dufallo replaced one of the quartet’s founders, violinist Todd Reynolds. The ensemble performs only new music, often using amplification and, in many cases, introducing some degree of improvisation. Their repertory includes their own works and pieces by contemporary composers such as Julia Wolfe, Phil Kline, John Zorn, Steve Reich, John King, JacobTV, David Lang, Scott Johnson, Don Byron, Marcelo Zarvos, Evan Ziporyn, and Mary Ellen Childs. The ensemble has collaborated with rock musicians such as Joe Jackson, Todd Rundgren, and David Byrne as well as with classical artists such as Ursula Oppens and Colin Currie. From 2007 to 2010, ETHEL gave the premieres of 47 new works, many of which were commissioned for the ensemble or by its nonprofit foundation.

The quartet has recorded a number of albums, including its debut, ...

Article

Patrick J. Smith

(Victor )

(b Chicago, IL, Oct 5, 1906; d San Francisco, CA, June 22, 1981). American music and art critic. He was educated at the University of Chicago (PhB). From 1934 to 1965 he was music and art critic of the San Francisco Chronicle; although in 1965 he stopped writing music reviews for the Chronicle, he continued to write music criticism and to review records for High Fidelity, Musical America, and other magazines. He taught at the University of California, Harvard and Stanford universities, the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, and the Free University of Berlin. His special interests were American art and music. As a music critic, Frankenstein was chiefly known in the San Francisco Bay area. Among his numerous published articles is a detailed study of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in relation to the Hartmann paintings that inspired it (MQ, xxv, 1939). He wrote several books on art; his books on music are ...

Article

George J. Grella

(b Arlington, MA, Dec 17, 1954). American composer, singer, broadcaster, and journalist. He taught himself to play drums, piano, and guitar as a teenager, after seeing Soft Machine open for Jimi Hendrix when he was 13. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design (BA 1976), where he played jazz piano, sang, composed chamber music, and organized free-jazz ensembles. He moved to New York and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, producing work for Paul Bley’s label Improvising Artists and for composer La Monte Young, while making music on the side. Garland followed the twin paths of piano improvisation and composition for chamber ensembles in the minimalist style and later joined Nigel Rollings’s band Ad Hoc Rock; with Rollings he sang and played drums, guitar, and keyboards and appeared at The Kitchen, Carnegie Hall, and in the Noise Fest at White Columns (1981). In ...

Article

Nicolas Roussakis

Instrumental group. It was formed in New York in 1962 “to provide high-caliber performances of difficult new music.” The founders were charles Wuorinen and harvey Sollberger , who were both at the time graduate students at Columbia University. The inaugural concert took place on 22 October 1962 in the university’s McMillin Theater, featuring works by Peter Westergaard, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Otto Luening, and Ralph Shapey. The group was first professional contemporary music group in residence at an American university. It remained at Columbia until 1971, when it became affiliated with the Manhattan School, where it remained until 1985. In 1969 the group received the Laurel Leaf Award from the ACA; the same year nicolas Roussakis joined as administrator, later serving as executive director until 1985. The group has given many world premieres, notably (with date of premiere): Babbitt’s Ensembles for Synthesizer (1964) and Phonemena (1975); Davidovsky’s Synchronisms no.3 (...

Article

George J. Grella Jr.

[ICE]

Chamber ensemble founded in 2001 by the flutist Claire Chase and the composer Huang Ruo. With more than 30 premieres, it has demonstrated the instrumental and organizational flexibility, as well as the musical virtuosity, to perform a broad range of music from the 20th and 21st centuries. It has operated as a collective with Chase as its executive director and the musicians taking responsibility for its management and selecting repertoire and projects. Among the premieres the ICE has presented are works by Georges Aperghis, Julio Estrada, Philippe Manoury, David Lang, and Dai Fujikura. They have also recorded John Adams’s Son of Chamber Symphony and given multiple US premieres of music by Kaija Saariaho, including her ballet Maa. They have engaged conductors and soloists on a performance-by-performance basis and collaborated with Steven Schick, Matthias Pintscher, Ludovic Morlot, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and Peter Serkin. Their performance history includes a number of Composer Portraits (Miller Theater, Columbia University), the chamber music of Edgard Varèse (Alice Tully Hall, New York, ...

Article

Francis Kayali

[K&D]

Radio show and cybercast devoted to new music. Hosted by composers Dennis Báthory-Kitsz (“Kalvos”) and David Gunn (“Damian”), the show aired weekly from 1995 to 2005 on the WGDR-FM 91.1 station at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Since 2005, new K&D shows have been made available online, albeit on an occasional and irregular basis. Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Sesquihour started on 27 May 1995 as a 90-minute weekly summer radio show. That September they expanded to a permanent two-hour slot, retitled Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Bazaar, and introduced a website (www.kalvos.org) that offered live online streaming and, eventually, archived broadcasts, which reached a much wider audience. In 2000 K&D was recognized as “a music website of singular excellence” and its hosts were awarded an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Internet Award.

K&D shows are characterized by a humorous, quirky, playful, and unpretentious tone. Their opening segment consists of a ten-minute “introductory essay,” an often zany, Dadaist narrative written and read by Damian, accompanied by sound effects and banter from Kalvos. The main portion of the show is devoted to interviews and recordings of new music. Over the years, K&D has interviewed a vast range of contemporary composers: experimental and mainstream, symphonic and electronic, prominent and emerging, Vermont natives and overseas figures. K&D also ran online mentoring programs for junior high and high school students and organized the Ought-One Festival of Non-Pop in Montpelier, Vermont. After Báthory-Kitsz and Gunn decided to pursue new projects, the final radio broadcast of K&D aired on ...

Article

Lars Helgert

(James )

(b Orange, NJ, July 22, 1959). American classical guitarist. He studied guitar first at the Mannes Conservatory Preparatory School and then at the University of Southern California (BM, 1981; MM, 1983) with Pepe Romero. He has recorded and performed since 1980 with the Los angeles guitar quartet of which he was an original member. As a soloist, he began his career with first prizes in the Toronto Guitar Competition (1981) and the Concert Artists Guild New York Competition (1987), and has recorded several solo CDs, including Rondo Alla Turka (1991) and Classical Cool (2003). Classic Mancini (1991), with guitarist Gregg Nestor and several other instrumentalists, is an album featuring chamber music settings of Mancini’s film scores. Kanengiser has published arrangements and transcriptions for solo guitar, including pieces by Gottschalk, Mozart, and Handel, and guitar quartet arrangements of Bizet’s ...

Article

Jayson Greene

(b Boston, MA, Oct 27, 1959). American music critic. Kosman has worked as the classical music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle since 1988. He received a BA in music from Yale College and an MA from the University of California, Berkeley. At the Chronicle, Kosman has championed modern American composers including John Adams, Aaron Jay Kernis, Michael Gordon, Chen Yi, and Lisa Bielawa; he writes about field-wide issues, including orchestra management, the development of contemporary repertoire, and the brief public fascination with the pianist David Helfgott, with a congenial, probing tone that blends a reporter’s instincts with a critic’s acumen. A 2006 recipient of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for music criticism, he is a contributor to the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, 2nd Edition, and the New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and his writing has appeared in Gramophone, Opernwelt, Bookforum, Smithsonian, Piano & Keyboard, Symphony...

Article

Lars Helgert

Chamber ensemble consisting of four guitarists. The group was formed in 1980 by four students at the University of Southern California: Anisa Angarola, John Dearman, William Kanengiser, and Scott Tennant. Andrew York replaced Angarola in 1990, and Matthew Greif joined the group after York left in 2006 (both York and Greif also studied at USC). Their self-titled debut recording was released on vinyl in 1983; it included pieces by Praetorius, Bach, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Falla. More than a dozen recordings have appeared since, including Dances from Renaissance to Nutcracker (1992), For Thy Pleasure (an all-Baroque album, 1996), Air and Ground (2000), the Grammy-nominated LAGQ Latin (2002), the Grammy-winning Guitar Heroes (2004), LAGQ Brazil (2007), and Interchange (2010). The group is known for its diverse selection of repertoire; it is thus sometimes labeled a classical/pop Crossover ensemble (their Grammy award was in this category). Their repertoire is comprised of works by composers who have written for the guitar, such as Rodrigo and Bogdanovic; transcriptions for guitar quartet of works by Bizet, Copland, Rossini, and Telemann; and arrangements of pieces by rock musicians such as Sting and Steve Howe. Notable individual selections include their treatment of Pachelbel’s Canon in D in a variety of musical styles, Quartet for Guitar no.5 “Labyrinth on a Theme of Led Zeppelin” by contemporary composer Ian Krouse, and ...

Article

Nancy Yunwha Rao

Instrumental ensemble founded in 1984 by Susan Cheng in New York’s Chinatown. It features Chinese instruments including erhu, yangqin, zheng, pipa, daruan, sanxian, sheng, and dizi. Its members have included Wu man , Tang Liang Xing, and Min Xiao Fen, among others. Performing at museums, schools, and other venues, it has specialized in silk and bamboo music of southern China but has also performed contemporary music. Its concerts from 1990 to 2002 included excerpts or full-staged performances of Cantonese opera. At its height the ensemble performed 100 concerts a year; in the early 2010s it was averaging 50–60.

Music from China has commissioned and performed many new works. By 2011 it had premiered 132 new works by 81 composers, including the winners of its annual international composition competition. In 1987 Chen yi and Zhou long joined Music from China as music directors and composed many significant works for the group. From ...

Article

Megan E. Hill

[Seisho ]

(b O’ahu, Territory of Hawai’i, Feb 12, 1912; d Honolulu, HI, March 19, 2011). American sanshin player. Born in Hawai’i to Japanese immigrant parents, he was taken by his mother to her native Okinawa to be raised by his grandparents. There at the age of nine he began playing the Okinawan sanshin. The sanshin is a three-stringed instrument with a skin-covered soundbox, which predates the similar Japanese shamisen. He was given a sanshin by his uncle—also an accomplished player of the instrument—when he returned to Hawai’i in 1925 and began formal instruction in 1933, taking lessons from a number of sanshin grand masters and visiting Okinawa whenever possible. For the next six decades Nakasone performed sanshin at gatherings for the Okinawan community in Hawai’i, playing for festivals and various celebrations. He also taught sanshin in college classes and gave private lessons, led the Okinawan classical music ensemble Seifu Kai, and became the first non-Japanese citizen to receive a teaching certificate from the nationally recognized Nomura Music Academy in Okinawa. Nakasone was on the ethnomusicology faculty at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, from ...

Article

Eric Lynn Harris

Brass quintet established in 1954. Its first performance was in October of that year at the Carnegie Recital Hall (later Weill Recital Hall). Its founding members were Robert Nagel (trumpet), John Glasel (trumpet), Fred Schmidt (horn), Erwin Price (trombone), and Harvey Phillips (tuba). Initially formed to play children’s concerts in cooperation with Young Audiences, Inc., the ensemble soon became recognized as one of the finest brass quintets in the United States and would eventually enjoy residencies at the Hartt School, the Yale School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. Performing music from all style periods, the group premiered numerous works including Malcolm Arnold’s Quintet for Brass op.73 and Gunther Schuller’s Brass Quintet. Recordings of Eugene Bozza’s Sonatine and Alvin Etler’s Quintet for Brass Instruments became listener favorites and received critical acclaim. The group saw many personnel changes during the late 1950s and early 1960s. By 1967 membership had stabilized and would remain the same for the next 17 years, with Robert Nagel (trumpet), Allan Dean (trumpet), Paul Ingraham (horn), John Swallow (trombone), and Thompson Hanks (tuba). The quintet collectively retired in ...

Article

Joanne Sheehy Hoover

revised by Megan E. Hill

Woodwind quintet formed in 1947. The ensemble made its New York debut in January 1954 and shortly thereafter began touring in the United States; tours followed under the auspices of the US State Department to Latin America (1956), Europe (1958), East Asia and the Pacific (1962), Central and South America (1969), and Russia (1972). It has given world premieres of works by such composers as Quincy Porter and Elliott Carter, and has also led the way in reviving lesser-known works by Franz Danzi and Anton Reicha, among others. The group has also commissioned and premiered more than 20 compositions, including Samuel Barber’s Summer Music, and quintets by William Bergsma, Alec Wilder, Gunther Schuller, Ezra Laderman, William Sydeman, Wallingford Riegger, Jon Deak, and Yehudi Wyner. Through many school concerts given 1953–5, it developed the format for the Young Audiences program. The quintet was in residence at the University of Wisconsin for 15 summers (...

Article

Matthew Mugmon

(b San Diego, CA, Oct 11, 1954). American writer. He studied with Leonard Altman at the Tanglewood Music Center and charles Jones at Mannes College before attending Columbia University (BA 1979). Page wrote on culture and music for the New York Times (1982–7). He then served as chief classical music critic for Newsday (1987–95) and the Washington Post (1995–9, 2000–8), where he won a Pulitzer Prize (1997). He has subsequently taught music and journalism at the University of Southern California.

Page has shown a particular interest in 20th-century music and a special attraction to minimalism. But his music writing—some of which appears in the collections Music from the Road (New York, 1992) and Tim Page on Music (Portland, OR, 2002)—displays an expansive knowledge of classical and popular repertories, and he has blurred perceived boundaries between these categories. Page also hosted the radio program ...