Bard News & Events

Press Release


Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Da Capo Chamber Players will perform at Bard College on Wednesday, October 16, at 8 p.m in Olin Hall. The performance, "Russian Connections," will feature two major new works from Vladimir Tarnopolski, a composer of present-day Russia, and Alla Borzova, an American composer formerly of Belarus, along with a longstanding classic work by Sergei Prokofiev. The program, presented by The Bard Center, is free and open to the public.

Da Capo will perform Tarnopolski's Impression-Expression III, Borzova's Majnun Songs (on texts by the eponymous 7th century Arab poet), and Prokofiev's Sonata in C Major, Op. 119, for cello and piano. Putting the new works by Tarnopolski and Borzova in context, Patricia Spencer, visiting associate professor of music at the College and flutist with Da Capo, says, "Their musical voices reflect a rich and many-faceted background, thrown into bold relief by the juxtaposition of the Prokofiev—a known classic, predating the new works by little more than half a century."

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. Winners of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1973, Da Capo has become a leader in building a strong heritage of present-day American chamber music and can now point with pride to more than 90 chamber music works written especially for the group. Among the many composers who have written pieces for Da Capo are Joan Tower, Philip Glass, Harvey Sollberger, and Philippe Bodin. The Da Capo Chamber Players are flutist Spencer, clarinetist Meighan Stoops, cellist André Emelianoff, and pianist Lisa Moore (currently on leave). For this concert they will be joined by tenor James Rio, dancer Nadia Moussa, pianist Margaret Kampmeier, violinists Victor Schultz and David Bowlin, violist Lois Martin, percussionist Daniel Mallon, and conductor Alla Borzova.

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 Da Capo Chamber Players

André Emelianoff has toured throughout North America, Japan, Russia, Austria, and England, and given recitals throughout central Asia and the Mediterranean as an American Ambassador for the Arts, sponsored by the USIA. A cellist with the Da Capo Chamber Players since 1976, he is also a member of the Aeolian Chamber Players, and has been involved with the Music Today Ensemble. Winner of a 1985 NEA Solo Recitalist Award, he has commissioned works by Aaron Kernis, Joan Tower, George Perle, Richard Wernick, Shulamit Ran, Stephen Jaffe, and Gerald Levinson. His guest artist appearances include the Houston Da Camera, New Jersey Chamber Society, Lincoln Center Chamber Society, a participant in the Marlboro, Chamber Music West, and Piccolo Spoleto Festivals, and soloist with Albany Symphony. He is on the faculty at The Juilliard School, as well as the Round Top (Texas) Festival and the Perlman Program. He has recorded for CRI, Opus One, New World Records, Nonesuch, GM Recordings, RCA, Bridge Records, and Pro Arte. In 1997, Emelianoff made his Salzburg Festival debut with performances of chamber music.

Patricia Spencer’s highly acclaimed premiere of Shulamit Ran’s flute concerto, Voices, at the 2000 National Flute Association convention was a highlight in a career devoted to new music. She has toured throughout the United States and abroad, including a solo performance at the 1999 International Computer Music Conference in Beijing, China. An exciting repertoire of pieces has been written for her, including the title works of her solo CD, Thea Musgrave’s Narcissus and Judith Shatin’s Kairos (Neuma Records). An earlier CD, with pianist Linda Hall, features Boulez’s Sonatine along with works by Carter, Perle, Korde, Talma, Martirano, Kreiger, and Jaffe. Both CDs have been given rave reviews in Fanfare and the American Record Guide. Spencer has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. As a recitalist and as a Da Capo member, she has commissioned more than 70 solo, duo, and chamber works for flute. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where she was a student of Robert Willoughby, Spencer continued her studies with Marcel Moyse, John Wummer, and Josef Marx. She teaches flute and chamber music at Bard College and Hofstra University.

Clarinetist Meighan Stoops is the newest member of the Da Capo Chamber Players, as well as an active chamber musician, recitalist, and teacher. She has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Key West Symphony Orchestra, Barge Music, the Con Brio Ensemble, and with the Da Capo Chamber Players on John Schaefer’s New Sounds on WNYC and at MATA (Music at the Anthology). Stoops holds degrees from Northwestern University and Yale University, where she was the recipient of the Lucy G. Moses Fellowship and the Dean’s Award. Past teachers include Russell Dagon, David Shifrin, and Kalmen Opperman.

About the Guest Artists

As a member of the Andros String Quartet, violinist David Bowlin has performed at Bargemusic, Alice Tully Hall, and this summer at the Aspen Music Festival. Last year he also performed with members of the Flux Quartet in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He is also a founding member of the Chicago-based International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), which is entering its second season. An experienced orchestral player, he has served as concertmaster of such groups as the Juilliard Orchestra and Symphony, the Aspen Sinfonia, and the Oberlin Orchestra. This past May, he received his M.M. from the Juilliard School as a student of Ronald Copes, and will continue for the 2002–03 term as his teaching assistant. He received his B.M. from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Roland and Almita Vamos.

Pianist Margaret Kampmeier is active as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral keyboardist, and teacher of piano. She has performed across the United States as well as in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia and has recorded for Centaur, CRI, Koch, Nonesuch, and Bridge Records. A founding member of the Naumburg award-winning New Millennium Ensemble, she has performed with many other groups, including the Kronos Quartet, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Speculum Musicae. A dedicated educator, she teaches at Princeton University, presents forums on the music of women composers and contemporary techniques, and has performed numerous concerts for young people throughout the United States. She earned her bachelor's degree at the Eastman School of Music and master’s and doctoral degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied with pianist Gilbert Kalish.

Danny Mallon, percussionist, holds bachelor's and master's degrees in percussion from the Mannes College of Music, where he joined the faculty in 1991. In addition to his three recordings with Chatham Baroque on the Dorian label, he can be heard on Pifaro's new Dorian recording, and on "Perigee and Apogee" by composer Beata Moon. He has recently performed with Jordi Saval's period orchestra, Le Concert Des Nations, at Alice Tully Hall and the Library of Congress; the New York Collegium; AmorArtis Chorus and Baroque Orchestra; and with Paula Robison and Ken Cooper at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His tour of the South of France, in addition to recording two CDs and performing 18 concerts and two radio broadcasts with the Charleston Pro Musica, was the subject of a PBS documentary that aired in March 2002.

Lois Martin, violist, studied at the Peabody Preparatory School, the Eastman School of Music (where she was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra), and the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Lillian Fuchs. She is a founding member of the Atlantic String Quartet and Fidelio, a unique ensemble consisting of viola, cello, and piano. She is also a member of Chamber Music Plus, the New York Chamber Symphony, Concordia, String Fever, the Salon Chamber Soloists, and the American Chamber Ensemble. Her continuing commitment to contemporary music includes performances with The Group for Contemporary Music, the ISCM Chamber Players, the New York New Music Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, the Composers Guild, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Composers Forum, and Steve Reich and Musicians. She is also on the faculty of the Composers Conference at Wellesley College and has taught at Princeton University.

Dancer Nadia Moussa strives to communicate the pure essence of dance with grace, elegance, and artistry as a teacher, international performer, and choreographer/director of the dance company Cartouche. Born in the United States of Lebanese and French heritage, she draws inspiration from both the East and the West. Although firmly rooted in Danse Orientale, her extensive study of ballet and modern dance, as well as African, jazz, and flamenco, infuses her work with a rich, vibrant spirit. She has performed at Lincoln Center, City Center, the Metropolitan Museum, the Public Theater, and Madison Square Garden, as well as Caesar's Palace. She also appeared on MTV in the Alanis Morrisette video, "Hand In My Pocket." She has an MFA in dance performance and choreography from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She currently teaches belly dance at New York University, is on faculty at Lotus Multicultural Music and Dance Studios in New York City, and teaches classes and workshops throughout Connecticut.

James Rio, tenor, premiered "Majnun Songs" under the composer’s baton at The City University of New York, with a subsequent performance at Hunter College for Downtown Music Productions. His most recent engagements have included Midas in Die Schöne Galatea (Montana), Tanzmeister/Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos (New York), and André in the Hal Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera (Hamburg). His varied credits include Georg in She Loves Me (New Hampshire), Gabriele in Simon Boccanegro (New York), Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore (Indianapolis), Spolleta in Tosca (Delaware), and the title roles in The Student Prince (Cape Cod) and Man of La Mancha (Connecticut). His oratorio work includes Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Nielsen’s Springtime on Funen, Kodály’s Missa Brevis, and Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabaeus. Originally from Connecticut, he is an alumnus of Wittenberg University and the School of Music at Indiana University.

Violinist Victor Schultz was born in Winnipeg, Canada. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Canada as well as in the U.S. and Europe. He has also performed and recorded dozens of contemporary compositions. He performs with a number of New York ensembles, and in addition works with many pop, jazz, and folk artists, including touring and recording regularly as violinist of the Winnipeg klezmer band, FINJAN.

About the Composers

Alla Borzova has rapidly been gaining prominence in the West after arriving in the United States from Minsk, Belarus, in 1993. She has been described by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which recently awarded her the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, as a "force on the American musical scene … Every note she writes has an intensity and immediacy that is as startling as it is affecting." A two-time winner of the All-Union Composition Contest before her emigration and the first-prize winner of the Delius Composition Contest, she has also received awards, grants, and fellowships from ASCAP, the Susan Rose Fund, the Alice M. Ditson Fund, the Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, the American Music Center, and Yaddo. Her music has been commissioned and presented by such organizations, groups, and performers as the Aspen and Delius music festivals, Guggenheim Museum, Cutting Edge concert series, Da Capo Chamber Players, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, Cassatt String Quartet, Friends and Enemies of New Music, Aviva and Westchester Philharmonic Chamber Players, Dale Warland Singers, and The New York Concert Singers, among others. She earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from the Moscow Conservatory. A former professor at the Belarussian Academy of Music, Borzova currently teaches at Lehman College, CUNY, and maintains an active career as a pianist, conductor, and organist. She became an American citizen in 2001.

Richard Taruskin of the New York Times called Vladimir Tarnopolski "a world-class talent by any standard" and "the standard-bearer of Russia's elite modernists." Tarnopolski, director of the Moscow Centre for Contemporary Music, is a professor at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he studied composition with Nikolai Sidelnikov and Edison Denislov, and music theory with Yuri Kholopov. He is a frequent guest of such contemporary music festivals as ISCM World Music Days, Berliner Festwochen, Munchener Biennale, Wien Modern, Holland Festival, Frankfurter Musikfest, Almeida Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Hommage aux Russes, Tage fur Neue Musik, and Make Music Together, among others. Many famous Russian conductors, such as Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Alexander Lasarev have conducted his works. His music has been performed by such ensembles as Symphonieorchester des Bayerichen Rundfunks, Ensemble Modern, Schonberg Ensemble, Ensemble Reshershe, and the Ensemble Soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre. His stage works have been premiered in Russia, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. He was one of the initiators of the Association Contemporary Music in Moscow (1989). In 1993, he founded both the Center Contemporary Music and the Studio New Music Ensemble in Moscow, which has performed many works by the Russian avant-garde composers. In 1994, he founded the Moscow Forum, an annual international festival of contemporary music, the main focus of which is the integration of contemporary Russian and Eastern European music with Western European contemporary music. His musical compositions have been awarded many prizes, including the Dmitri Shostakovich Prize and the Paul Hindemith Prize in 1991.

Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953) was a composer of great stylistic breadth who, along with Shotstakovich, is credited with being among the most influential and forward-thinking composers in 20th-century Russia. He was also an accomplished pianist and conductor. By the time he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1904, Prokofiev, who was born in Sontsovka in the Ukraine, had already written a great deal of music. After finishing his studies at the conservatory, he quickly established a reputation as something of an enfant terrible for his adventurous and modern performances and compositions. Among his well-known early works are the operas The Gamble and Love for Three Oranges and his Symphony No. 1 (called the "Classical"). In 1918 he left Russia for the United States and in 1920 settled in France, where he was influenced by Stravinsky. He returned to Russia in 1936, and subsequently produced some of his best-known works, including the full-length ballet, Romeo and Juliet, which became a staple of the Soviet repertory. He also had a significant impact on Russian cinema, composing scores for Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible. During World War II, he answered the call for patriotic, optimistic music implicitly in a cycle of three piano sonatas (nos. 6-8) and Symphony no. 5, and more openly in his opera of Tolstoy's War and Peace. After the war his music was criticized and censured by authorities for being "formalistic." He died, ironically, on the same day as Stalin. In 1957 he was posthumously awarded the Lenin Prize for his contributions to his country.

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This event was last updated on 10-03-2002