American Composers Orchestra & Carnegie Hall Co-Present
March 16, 2023 at 7:30pm
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
AMERICAN COMPOSERS ORCHESTRA
Daniela Candillari, Conductor
Kaki King, Guitar
About the Program, Composers & Works
George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, where he serves as Area Chair in Composition and Faculty in Historical Musicology. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a Doris Duke Artist Award (2019), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Read More
Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis’s work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisative forms is documented on more than 150 recordings. His work has been presented by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Mivos Quartet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, London Sinfonietta, Spektral Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Wet Ink, Ensemble Erik Satie, Eco Ensemble, and others, with commissions from American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Harvestworks, Ensemble Either/Or, Orkestra Futura, Turning Point Ensemble, Studio Dan, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, IRCAM, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and others. Lewis’s music is published by Edition Peters.
Lewis has served as Fromm Visiting Professor of Music, Harvard University; Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley; Paul Fromm Composer in Residence, American Academy in Rome; Resident Scholar, Center for Disciplinary Innovation, University of Chicago; and CAC Fitt Artist in Residence, Brown University. Lewis received the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award; Lewis was elected to Honorary Membership in the Society in 2016. Lewis is the co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016), and his opera Afterword (2015), commissioned by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, has been performed in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.
His book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award. Lewis (with Benjamin Piekut) is the co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies(2016). He holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Edinburgh, New College of Florida, and Harvard University.
Professor Lewis came to Columbia in 2004, having previously taught at the University of California, San Diego, Mills College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Koninklijke Conservatorium Den Haag, and Simon Fraser University’s Contemporary Arts Summer Institute.
Ellen Reid is one of the most innovative artists of her generation. A composer and sound artist whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring, ensemble and choral writing, she was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, p r i s m.
Along with composer Missy Mazzoli, Ellen co-founded the Luna Composition Lab. Luna Lab is a mentorship program for young female, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming composers. Since 2019, she has served as Creative Advisor and Composer-in Residence for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Read More
In 2020, she created Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a work of public art that reimagines city parks as interactive soundscapes. SOUNDWALK premiered in New York’s Central Park, featuring the New York Philharmonic, and continues to expand to parks around the world, fostering collaborations with ensembles such as Kronos Quartet and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Ellen received her BFA from Columbia College, Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. She is inspired by music from all over the globe, and she splits her time between her two favorite cities — Los Angeles and New York.
“Reid, in a word, has arrived” — LA Times
In the Composer’s Own Words
A floodplain is a low-lying area of land near a river whose role changes depending on precipitation and weather — it can morph from a fertile home for grasses, plant and animal life to a silty bed for the swollen river. In writing Floodplain, I was inspired by this landscape that is both lush and dangerous. Musically, I used a rhythmic figure made of sextuplets, which, unifies the work and alternatively propels it in different directions. I started writing Floodplain at the beginning of 2020. Once it became clear that the premiere would need to be moved due to COVID-19, I put the work on the shelf and didn’t look at it for about two years. In the interim, my concepts of unpredictability and the creative fertility found in it were fundamentally re-shaped, and Floodplain emerged as a wholly different work than the one I had conceived before the pandemic.
Jihyun Noel Kim’s music has appeared in the prestigious venues around the world, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, Seiji Ozawa Hall, Harris Hall in Aspen, DiMenna Center, Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence Italy, and Seoul Arts Center in Korea. Read More
Jihyun’s works were performed by eminent ensembles such as the American Composers Orchestra, Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, Cornell Symphony Orchestra, Cornell Festival Orchestra, Tanglewood New Fromm Players, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, JACK Quartet, PUBLIQuartet, Society for New Music, Asciano Quartet, Switch Ensemble, Karien Ensemble, and Chanticleer LAB Choir, and were featured in the Underwood New Music Reading, Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Mayfest, USF New Music Festival, Midwest Composers Symposium and Korean Music Expo.
Jihyun was selected as the winner of the Consortium Commission from American Composers Orchestra/Alabama Symphony/American Youth Symphony, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, the League of Composers/ISCM Composers Competition, the American Prize in Orchestral music, the Libby Larsen Prize, PUBLIQ Access, Florence String Quartet Call for Scores, the 32nd Chang-ak Composition Competition, the Otto R. Stahl Memorial Award/ Russell Distinguished Teaching Award from Cornell University, and received honorable mentions from Red Note New Music Composition Competition, TEMPO New Music Ensemble Call for Scores, among many others.
Jihyun is currently a doctoral candidate in Composition at Cornell University. Jihyun previously earned MM degree in Composition from Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University while serving as an Associate Instructor in Music Theory, and BM degree in Composition from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.
Jihyun recently joined the Oberlin Conservatory as Visiting Assistant Professor in Composition. She previously taught at the Washington State University as Lecturer in Composition.
In the Composer’s Own Words
The Yellow House – Vincent van Gogh’s artistic paradise, his dreams-come-true place, turned into a space of sadness and despair much too soon.
Few years ago, I wrote a piece inspired by Gogh’s “Starry Night Over the Rhône” and at that time, I decided to write another work about the ‘yellow light’ from Gogh’s paintings. The yellow stars shining over the Rhône and the yellow lights that one cannot clearly distinguish from reflection of the stars, street lamps, or lights from the houses at dinner time.
Nights that provided limitless inspirations for Gogh, and the yellow lights that are embroidered into the dark sky, I wanted to grasp Gogh’s sleepless nights in the yellow house through music. As the movement passes, night deepens, and the color shade changes by the hour. The piece walks through the time lapse of the night depicting changes of shade and emotions.
Jihyun’s Featured Work in ACO’s EarShot Reading in 2019
Composer and musician Kaki King is considered one of the world’s greatest living guitarists, known both for her technical mastery and for her constant quest to push the boundaries of the instrument. Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” Kaki has released 9 albums and toured extensively, presenting in such prestigious arts centers as the Kennedy Center, MoMA, LACMA, The Met and Smithsonian Design Museum. She has created music for numerous film and TV soundtracks, including “August Rush” and “Into the Wild”, for which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score. She has performed with symphonies and chamber ensembles, and recorded an album in collaboration with the Porta Girevole Chamber Orchestra commissioned by the Berklee College of Music. Read More
In 2015 Kaki launched “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body”, a groundbreaking multimedia performance that toured extensively throughout the world, marking her first foray into multimedia and experimental theater. Kaki’s new multimedia project marks her first foray into experimental theater as she continues to redefine her guitar as a tool for storytelling, exploring contemporary issues like A.I., the natural world, “big data” and personal empowerment. The show will begin touring in 2021.
In the Composer’s Own Words
Initially, my solo shows had a very stark look so the audience would focus on my fingers. A colleague’s advice inspired me to think about a lightshow that would be enticing to non-musicians. Many of the examples I found in my initial research were really big. I started asking whether I could create something that was smaller and more intimate. The projection mapping system I created became a process of experimenting on the technical level, and then about what we wanted to say with it.
The Neck is a Bridge to a Body was the first time I worked in multi-media, triggering visuals with the guitar. Over the years, I added a drum trigger that connects everything. If I play a note on the guitar, I can send that note into my computer and then have the computer do any number of things that I want: trigger a spiral visual that comes up on the guitar; or connect to audio of a human voice that’s subtitled on the guitar. Some of these elements are pre-rendered, but most of the performance is improvised live including my control of visuals and audio. Read More
For this project, I will create projections for the guitar & a scrim behind the orchestra. This piece will be a reflection into itself, abstract, without narrative. Disintegration: insects chomping on a leaf until it’s gone. Kinetic sand. The overwhelming theme is beaches, oceans, space & entropy. The detritus of our lives. Reflecting the truth of the universe. With this, my 1st orchestral work with projection mapped visuals, I want to take the orchestra and deconstruct it visually; a trumpet floating down a dirty river. I will incorporate images that connect to NYC, the intended audience. The themes, music, and visuals all relate to the slow and subtle passage of time.
Musically, Modern Yesterdays includes several songs from a show I’ve been creating called Data Not Found. The sound is more processed than in my previous work. I use a pressure pedal for much of the processing. The video effects are not on/off, they will be gentle transitions in and out, mirroring gradual shifts. In performance, I try to have the music match the visual changes. I want to sample other instruments of the orchestra that I can trigger during the show.
Modern Yesterdays is meant to reflect the zeitgeist of now. It’s nimble. It’s meant to be amended and updated. Media can be very strict and structured, but the tools I created let what happened that morning be seen that night in the performance. Spontaneity and reflectiveness are important to me.
Composer and electric guitarist D. J. Sparr, who Gramophone recently hailed as “exemplary,” is one of America’s preeminent composer-performers. He has caught the attention of critics with his eclectic style, described as “pop-Romantic…iridescent and wondrous” (The Mercury News) and “suits the boundary erasing spirit of today’s new-music world” (The New York Times). In addition, the Los Angeles Times praises him as “an excellent soloist,” and the Santa Cruz Sentinel says that he “wowed an enthusiastic audience…Sparr’s guitar sang in a near-human voice.” Read More
He was the electric guitar concerto soloist on the 2018 GRAMMY-Award-winning, all-Kenneth Fuchs recording with JoAnn Falletta and the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2011, Sparr was named one of NPR listeners’ favorite 100 composers. He has composed for and performed with renowned ensembles such as the Houston Grand Opera, Cabrillo Festival, New World Symphony, Washington National Opera, and Eighth Blackbird. D. J. was the Young American Composer-in-residence with the California Symphony from 2011-2014. His music has received awards from BMI, New Music USA, and the League of Composers/ISCM. Sparr is a faculty member at the famed Walden School’s Creative Musicians Retreat in Dublin, New Hampshire. His composition works and guitar performances appear on Naxos, Innova Recordings, Albany, & Centaur Records.
A passion for musical performance grew from family encouragement at a young age. Three-year-old D. J. mimicked playing the guitar by holding his great-grandmother Violet Bond’s straw broom in hand. Noticing this, Violet gave him a toy guitar for his third birthday and a Ukulele for his fourth birthday. By age five, D. J. was taking guitar lessons and was soon performing for a “captive” audience at his local music store, Coffey Music, in Westminster, MD.
In early high school, D. J. spent his late-night and weekend hours writing and recording music with a Fostex X-26 4-track recorder. He attended Baltimore School for the Arts as a jazz guitar major. Surrounded by classical music, he began to write compositions for various instruments. He attended summer composition programs at The Walden School and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. D. J. continued honing his compositional craft at the Eastman School of Music (BM) and the University of Michigan (MM, DMA) studying with composers William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, & Augusta Read Thomas.
J. lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his Kimberly, son Harris, Nannette the hound dog, and Bundini the boxer. D. J. Sparr’s music is published by Bill Holab Music.
About Featured Artists
Conductor Daniela Candillari, praised for her “confidence and apparently inexhaustible verve” (The New York Times), continues to be recognized for her dynamic and compelling performances at opera houses and concert stages throughout North America and Europe. Equally at home leading contemporary and long-beloved repertoire, Candillari “finds equal inspiration in tradition and novelty” (Opera News). She is Principal Conductor of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Principal Opera Conductor of Music Academy of the West.
Candillari makes her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2021-2022 season conducting Aucoin’s Eurydice. She also leads a new production of Jeanine Tesori’s Blue with Detroit Opera and workshops the composer’s Grounded with Washington National Opera and The Met, conducts Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Carmen at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and leads Eugene Onegin with Music Academy of the West.
Recent highlights include Candillari’s New York Philharmonic debut at The Met Museum; debuts with LA Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Philadelphia, and Saint Louis Symphony; and her Asian debut in Hong Kong. As a composer, she has been commissioned by instrumentalists from the Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh Symphonies, as well as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet.
Born in Serbia, Candillari grew up in Serbia and Slovenia. She holds a Doctorate in Musicology from the Universität für Musik in Vienna, a Master of Music in Jazz from Indiana University, and a Master of Music and Bachelor in Piano Performance from the Universität für Musik in Graz. She was a Fulbright Scholarship recipient and was subsequently awarded a TED Fellowship. Learn more at www.danielacandillari.com.