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DA CAPO CHAMBER PLAYERS WILL PERFORM AT BARD COLLEGE ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9 Program features a work by Elliott Carter and three premieres of works by Penka Kouneva, Harold Meltzer, and Eugene Lee

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY-The Da Capo Chamber Players will perform at Bard College on Friday, November 9, at 8:00 p.m. The concert, presented by The Bard Center, is free and open to the public. Da Capo will be joined by guest artists tenor Paul Sperry, pianist Stephen Gosling, violinist Renée Jolles, and clarinetist Meighan Stoops.

The program includes the New York premiere of Harold Meltzer's Exiles (composed for Da Capo), the world premiere of Penka Kouneva's Climbing the Ladder of Unraveling Rope (commissioned by Da Capo with a grant from Meet the Composer), the U. S. premiere of Eugene Lee's Western Wind, and Elliott Carter's Esprit rude/Esprit doux.

"The Da Capo Chamber Players have been exploring and helping create the modern repertory for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano for the last 30 years, although only its flutist, Patricia Spencer, remains from the earliest days," wrote Allan Kozinn in the New York Times of their Merkin Hall concert last summer. Winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1973, Da Capo is widely acclaimed for its virtuosity, stimulating programs, and openness to a wide spectrum of styles in new music. Its dedication to working with composers is matched by a commitment to rehearsing each piece as a living, moving, breathing entity, rather than a fixed blueprint. The Da Capo Chamber Players are flutist Spencer, clarinetist Jo-Ann Sternberg, violinist Eva Gruesser, cellist André Emelianoff, and pianist Lisa Moore (Gruesser and Moore will not be performing at this concert).

Funding for the concert is provided through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. For further information, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

About the Composers

The work of Elliott Carter (b. 1908) has been a major dynamic force in American music for more than half a century. Among his awards are two Pulitzer Prizes, Guggenheim fellowships, the Brandeis Creative Arts Award, Sibelius Medal, Critics Circle Award, Gold Medal of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and National Medal of Arts. At an early age he was introduced to Charles Ives, with whom he attended concerts and discussed not only musical ideas but also transcendentalism. Another important influence was Nadia Boulanger, with whom he studied from 1932-35, after graduating from Harvard. His extensive writings on new music, found in the periodical Modern Music and in several published collections, have had a significant impact in shaping American musical thought. Together with Ives he developed a compositional method of "continual variation"-to supplant formal expectations, to keep the listener caught up in the moment-to-moment evolution of the music. Another characteristic technique is his incorporation of an almost inconceivably detailed knowledge of the sound and playing technique of the instruments for which he is writing, allowing this knowledge to help shape the musical material. Carter's compositions include stage, orchestral, choral, and vocal works, and a particularly rich and varied collection of chamber and instrumental works.

Eugene Lee holds a doctorate of musical arts with distinction from Columbia University. After returning to Seoul in 1982, he founded the Music Research Center at Hanyang University. Until 1989 he was director of the center, and published the Journal of the Science and Practice of Music, which is the first professional journal of music ever published in Korea, and the Music Theory Translation Series, including such treatises as Musica Enchiriadis, Micrologus, and Terminorum Musicae Diffinitorium. Lee also presented symposia and concert-symposia of new music, including works by Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Webern, Berg, Varese, Babbitt, Chou, Monod, and Berio.

Penka Kouneva (b. 1967 in Sofia, Bulgaria) has received broad acclaim as an outstanding composer for the concert stage, film, and theater. The Triangle Observer called her first string quartet "contemporary music at its best, being accessible to the novice listener, while challenging to the veteran listener." Her recent compositions include string quartets for the Lark and Ciompi Quartets, an overture for Greenwood Orchestra, and chamber and dance pieces for Mallarmé Players, as well as art songs, cantatas, and orchestral pieces. Her works have been featured premieres at Merkin and Weill concert halls in Manhattan, and have been in continuous performance throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Japan, and Australia. In addition, her music and piano performances have been featured on four CDs. In 1990, Kouneva came to the United States to study composition as the recipient of a Mary Duke Biddle fellowship at Duke University. A genuine postmodern artist and composer of extraordinary talent, depth, versatility, and major accomplishments, she received her U.S. citizenship as an "alien of extraordinary abilities," designated for immigrants of Nobel laureate caliber.

Harold Meltzer (b. 1966) is the artistic director of Sequitur, the New York City-based contemporary music ensemble. This year he is composing three song cycles for performance next season: The Outing, for a premiere in England with mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger and the Endellion String Quartet; Emotion Memory for baritone Richard Lalli with pianist Sara Laimon; and Exiles, commissioned by tenor Paul Sperry. He is also at work on the composition Marmoset for piano, commissioned by the Fisher Foundation. Meltzer has received awards from ASCAP and the National Association of Composers USA and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Ragdale Foundation, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His work has been performed by the Magellan String Quartet, Gregg Smith Singers, Atlantic Brass Quintet, Tuolumne Brass, Yale Glee Club, and pianists Thomas Adès and Samuel Bartos. A graduate of Amherst College, he holds advanced degrees from the Yale School of Music and King's College, Cambridge.

About the Guest Artists

Pianist Stephen Gosling is a member of the New York New Music Ensemble and plays frequently for new music events in New York City.

Violinist Renée Jolles's solo appearances in the United States include the American premiere of Schnittke's Violin Concerto No. 2 in Alice Tully Hall and concerto engagements with such orchestras as Orpheus, Cape May Festival Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey, and Salisbury Symphony. Jolles is a member of many chamber music groups, including the Jolles Duo, Continuum, New York Chamber Ensemble, and The Group for Contemporary Music, and is a founding member of the Andreas Trio. She has been a frequent performer at the Marlboro, Bennington, Wellesley, Rockport, Norfolk, Taos, and Bowdoin music festivals. She also performs as a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has served as that group's concertmaster. Jolles is on the faculty of the Juilliard School, precollege division, and is an affiliate artist faculty member of Sarah Lawrence College.

Tenor Paul Sperry is recognized as one of today's outstanding interpreters of American music. Many of today's leading composers have written works especially for him, and he has premiered works by Bernstein, Wuorinen, Bolcom, Talma, Musto, and many others. Sperry was the first noncomposer to be elected president of the American Music Center, in recognition of his longtime devotion to American song. He teaches at the Juilliard School and has been a faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival since 1978.

Clarinetist Meighan Stoops holds degrees from Northwestern University and Yale University. This year she received an artists diploma from Yale, where she studied with David Shifrin. While at Yale, she was a recipient of the Lucy G. Moses Fellowship and the 1998 Dean's Award. She has performed in the Yale Chamber Music Society series and has twice been a finalist at the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition. A participant in many contemporary festivals, Stoops has been a guest artist with the Da Capo Chamber Players on numerous occasions.

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This event was last updated on 10-18-2001