FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Sylvi Brown, 310-702-5847
September 16, 2015
PIANO SPHERES AT REDCAT PRESENTS
SATELLITE SERIES ARTIST NADIA SHPACHENKO
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27 WITH “IN FULL SAIL”
Program of Works for Piano, Toy Piano, Percussion, Electronics, and
Multimedia Featuring Three World Premieres
The Piano Spheres Series at REDCAT opens with Satellite Artist pianist Nadia Shpachenko. Described by critics as “spellbinding in sensitivity and mastery of technique,” she enjoys bringing into the world powerful pieces that often possess unusual sonic qualities or instrumentation. The program IN FULL SAIL will feature piano, toy piano, percussion, electronics, and multimedia in works composed for Nadia by seven American composers in 2013 and 2015. The composers in the program are Tom Flaherty, Annie Gosfield, James Matheson, Harold Meltzer, Adam Schoenberg, Lewis Spratlan, and Peter Yates. The Satellite Series is co-presented with REDCAT, with recitals held at Walt Disney Concert Hall’s REDCAT THEATRE, 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Tickets are available at REDCAT (www.REDCAT.org) or the box office, or for information go to www.pianospheres.org.
The title of the concert IN FULL SAIL is taken from Frank Gehry’s description of the IAC Building in Manhattan as “a tall ship in full sail” with a similar reference from the Los Angeles Times to the Walt Disney Concert Hall as “a galleon in full sail.” Harold Meltzer’s new piano piece, In Full Sail, was written about the first building, but will have its World Premiere at REDCAT – part of the second. This concert presents the world premieres of three architecture-inspired works commissioned by Piano Spheres. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan’s Bangladesh conveys the transformative hope of Louis Kahn’s Government Center in Dhaka. The American Academy in Berlin fellow Annie Gosfield’s The Dybbuk on Second Avenue reflects the changing mix of influences in one theater in the Lower East Side’s “Jewish Rialto” over the years: from Yiddish theater to burlesque, from Chekhov to William Burroughs. Pulitzer Prize finalist Harold Meltzer’s In Full Sail responds to Frank Gehry’s IAC Building in Manhattan, reflecting the structure and the movement of people around and through it.
This concert also features works from Nadia’s recently released album Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013. Tom Flaherty’s composition Airdancing for piano, toy piano, and electronics “is based on stunning videos of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space, the second stage of a rocket falling from edge of space into the ocean, and people jumping off cliffs in wing suits. Many of the musical gestures fall or float, and pitches, rhythms and sounds often turn to frenzied dance,” according to the composer. Peter Yates’ piece Finger Songs uses various means to bring to the keyboard the syllabic accents, timbres and articulations of speech or vocal music. Off-beat dissonances resolve to on-beat pure tones, with syncopations flickering around beats present or implied. Adam Schoenberg’s composition Picture Etudes started as a commission to write a 21st century Pictures at an Exhibition. The composer says of the pieces “Unlike Modest Mussorgsky, who set all of his movements to the work of Viktor Hartmann, my piece brings eight seemingly disparate works of art to musical life. In honor of Mussorgsky and his original work for solo piano, four of the ten movements were conceived in the form of piano etudes and later orchestrated.” James Matheson’s Cretic Variations is a virtuosic fantasy on the simple rhythmic motif of long-short-long “which is enormously versatile in music and can be alternately thunderous and playful, melancholy and spirited. There is scarcely a measure in which this rhythm or some closely-related version of it is not sounding somewhere on the instrument.”
In 2016 Nadia will premiere three more new works written for the architecture-inspired program by Amy Beth Kirsten, Hannah Lash, and James Matheson at the New Music Gathering and at Boston Court.
Nadia Shpachenko – “In Full Sail”
October 27, 2015, 8:30pm
Tom Flaherty – Airdancing for piano, toy piano, and electronics (2013)
with Genevieve Feiwen Lee
Peter Yates – Finger Songs (2013)
Adam Schoenberg – Picture Etudes (2013)
James Matheson – Cretic Variations (2013)
Harold Meltzer – In Full Sail – World Premiere, Piano Spheres commission
Annie Gosfield – The Dybbuk on Second Avenue – World Premiere, Piano Spheres commission
Lewis Spratlan – Bangladesh – World Premiere, Piano Spheres commission
Steinway Artist Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman has performed extensively in solo recitals and with orchestras in major venues across North America, Europe and Asia. Nadia enjoys bringing into the world things that are outside the box – powerful pieces that often possess unusual sonic qualities or instrumentation. She performs on piano, toy piano, harpsichord, and percussion in concerts that often feature recitation, electronics and multimedia.
An enthusiastic promoter of contemporary music, she has performed world and national premieres of numerous piano, string piano, and toy piano works by Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Tom Flaherty, Yuri Ishchenko, Leon Kirchner, James Matheson, Adam Schoenberg, Diego Vega, Iannis Xenakis, Peter Yates, and others.
Nadia’s concerts included solo recitals at Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Bargemusic, the Phillips Collection, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, chamber performances at the Hear Now, Sarasota, and Montecito Music Festivals, and concerto appearances with the Kharkov Philharmonic and the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestras. As a chamber musician, Nadia frequently collaborates with prominent artists, including Emanuel Borok, Martin Chalifour, Justin DeHart, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Maja Jasper, Genevieve Lee, Timothy Loo, Jerome Lowenthal, Marek Szpakiewicz, Nick Terry, and the Lyris Quartet.
Described as “an exceptional recording of newly composed piano works,” Nadia’s World Premieres CD Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013 was released worldwide on the Reference Recordings label in November 2014. Her upcoming recording project The Poetry of Places will bring together music and architecture in works written for her by Annie Gosfield, Amy Beth Kirsten, Hannah Lash, James Matheson, Harold Meltzer, and Lewis Spratlan. Nadia currently serves on the faculties of Cal Poly Pomona and Claremont Graduate Universities. Born in Ukraine, and now a long time Southern Californian, Nadia Shpachenko resides in the Los Angeles area with her husband and twin sons.
On Monday, October, 26, 3:00-4:30pm there will be a free workshop at Boston Court with Nadia and composers Lewis Spratlan, Harold Meltzer, and Annie Gosfield, facilitated by Piano Spheres artist Vicki Ray. The workshop allows the audience an opportunity to interact with all the principals. The mentee, mentor, and composers will address the audience to describe the process of creating.
The Satellite Series is a central component of Piano Spheres’ 20th Anniversary Celebration and offers a direct tie to the spirit of the organization’s founding. When the late Leonard Stein launched Piano Spheres in 1993, he did so with four young pianists whom he had mentored at USC. In the two decades since, these four Piano Spheres artists – Gloria Cheng, Vicki Ray, Mark Robson and Susan Svrcek – have become recognized as among the foremost interpreters of contemporary works for piano. Much as Stein mentored them, they now mentor the next generation of pianists in introducing these emerging artists to a broader audience.
Piano Spheres supports and encourages the composition and performance of major new works for the piano. It expands the piano repertoire by commissioning new music and sustaining a concert series of the highest artistic quality which focuses primarily on pieces by contemporary composers. In its concerts, Piano Spheres provides a context for these new works by including lesser-known music by established composers whose compositions influenced the course of piano music.
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