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Program Notes for "Modern Baroque" – November 19, 2021 and December 17, 2021 (online)

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

Recorded live at Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL; November 19, 2021 / Broadcast online December 17, 2021


Scherzo "Ach Wie Fluchtig, Ach Wie Nichtig" (2014) TJ Cole (b. 1993)

La Baroque (2010) Aziza Sadikova (b. 1978)

Selections from 24 preludes for piano, Op. 41 (1999) Lera Auerbach (1973)

4. Appassionato - Nostalgico

9. Allegretto

16. Allegro ma non troppo, tragico

23. Allegretto

12. Allegro brutale

Madrigali - Hommage à Barbara Strozzi (2010) Andrea Tarrodi (b. 1981)

Memento Mori - Phase 1 (2013) Nina C. Young (b. 1984)

Bach Shards (2002) Shulamit Ran (b. 1949)

the girl who cried pain: a theme & variations (2021) Ruby Fulton (b. 1981)

1. theme

2. sedative

3. pain-killer

4. relief

Anatolia Evarkiou-Kaku, flutes

Gordon Daole-Wellman, clarinet

Carmen Abelson, violin

Shannon Mustard, violin

Bethany Pereboom, viola

David Sands, cello

Josephine Yang, piano

Rebecca McDaniel, percussion

TJ Cole (b. 1993): Scherzo "Ach Wie Fluchtig, Ach Wie Nichtig" (2014) Duration: 4 minutes

Photo of composer TJ Cole; they are wearing black overalls and a gray t shirt, with large round sunglasses and long hair in a high bun.

TJ Cole (they/she) is a Philadelphia-based composer, originally from the suburbs of Atlanta. They have been commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall with Ensemble Connect, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Nashville in Harmony with Intersection, Time for Three with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Play On Philly!, the Music in May Festival, Music in the Vineyards, the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, One Book One Philadelphia, among others.

Their music has been performed by various ensembles including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra, the Dover Quartet, the Bakken Trio, and the Nebula Ensemble. They have also worked on numerous projects with Time for Three as an orchestrator and arranger, and served as a composer-in-residence at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2014.

TJ is also a singer-songwriter, producer, and engineer in the fully electronic synth-pop band, twin pixie.

TJ received their Bachelor's degree in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music, and studied at Interlochen Arts Academy. Their mentors include John Boyle Jr., Jennifer Higdon, David Ludwig, and Richard Danielpour.

Other than music, TJ also enjoys drawing, baking, sewing, video games, and taking care of the various cats in her life: Xena, Zelda, Simmie, and Bruce. Click here to visit TJ Cole's website.

Aziza Sadikova (b. 1978): La Baroque (2010) Duration: 4 minutes

Aziza Sadikova is a Berlin-based composer from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She studied piano and composition at Uspensky Special Music School for gifted children. Aziza continued her studies at the Tashkent State Conservatory in the class of composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky. She graduated with 1st class BMus (Hons) and MA in composition from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity College of Music, London (class of Philip Cashian and Alwynne Pritchard) and organ (class of Prof. David Saint).

Her music explores various sides of New Music, ranging from unconventional instrumental techniques and experiments with music theatre elements with complex structural or rhythmic components (Ein Brief, Silberklang, opera Alles über Sally), or being influenced by dramatic and expressive dramaturgy of Romantic masters (Untitled for choir and orchestra, Cello Concerto), or sometimes depicting elegant stylistic textures of music of Neo-Baroque (Variation, CPE Bach Cadences, Sonata for Giuseppe Tartini).

Among her commissions, are BBC Proms for new orchestral work “Marionettes”, Ensemble Quillo for an opera Alles über Sally in collaboration with Staatsoper dramaturge Jens Schroth and Kinderoper “Sterntaler”, Berliner Camerata for cadences for BACH CD released on Label ClassicClips, from Zafraan ensemble in Berlin’s Tanz-Uferstudios with the piece “Stimme im Schatten”, and many more. Click here to visit her website.

Lera Auerbach (b. 1973): Selections from 24 preludes for piano, Op. 41 (1999)

Duration: 8 minutes

photo by Norah Feller

A renaissance artist for modern times, Lera Auerbach is a widely recognized conductor, pianist, and composer. She is also a published poet and an exhibited visual artist. All of her work is interconnected as part of a cohesive and comprehensive artistic worldview.

Born in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains at the gateway of Siberia, Lera Auerbach has become one of today’s most sought after and exciting creative voices. Her performances and music are featured in the world’s leading stages – from Vienna’s Musikverein and London’s Royal Albert Hall to New York’s Carnegie Hall and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center.

Auerbach is equally prolific in literature and the visual arts. She incorporates these forms into her professional creative process, often simultaneously expressing ideas visually, in words, and through music. She has published three books of poetry in Russian, and her first English-language book, Excess of Being – in which she explores the rare form of aphorisms. Her next book, an illustrated work for children, A is for Oboe, will be published by Penguin Random House in the fall of 2021. Auerbach has been drawing and painting all her life as part of her creative process. Her visual art is exhibited regularly, included in private collections, and is represented by leading galleries. Click here to visit her website.

24 Preludes, Op. 41, was co-commissioned by Tom and Vivian Waldeck and the Caramoor International Music Festival.

Andrea Tarrodi (b. 1981): Madrigali - Hommage à Barbara Strozzi (2010) Duration: 11 minutes

photo by Jonas Bilberg

Andrea Tarrodi, born in 1981, is a Swedish composer based in Stockholm. Her works have been performed at several venues both in Sweden and abroad, among them the Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms in 2017, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Wiener Musikverein and the Barbican Centre in London. In 2018 Tarrodi´s CD ’String Quartets’ performed by the Dahlkvist Quartet was awarded with a Swedish Grammy for best classical album of the year. Tarrodi's music has also been represented several times at Östersjöfestivalen / the Baltic Sea Festival.

Tarrodi started playing the piano at the age of 8, and became interested in composition shortly thereafter. She studied composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Conservatorio di Musica di Perugia, Italy, and the College of Music in Piteå with, among other teachers, Jan Sandström, Pär Lindgren, Fabio Cifariello-Ciardi, Jesper Nordin and Marie Samuelsson. She completed her master´s degree in composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm in 2009.

Tarrodi writes for many types of ensembles, and is particularly interested in vocal and orchestral music. Her works have been performed by, among others, the BBC Philharmonic, the Deutches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta, the Stockholm Chamber Brass, KammarensembleN, the Swedish Radio Choir and Eric Ericson´s Chamber Choir. Andrea Tarrodi is a member of the Swedish Performing Rights Society (STIM) and the Society of Swedish Composers (FST). Click here to visit her website.

"The first time I heard 17th century composer Barbara Strozzi's music was in 2005. I was immediately captivated by her deeply original expression and her special and sometimes completely unexpected harmonics. Even then, I thought that someday I wanted to write something connected to her music. So when I received an order from Norrbotten NEO for a work that was just to be inspired by older music, everything fell into place.

Madrigali - Hommage à Barbara Strozzi is based on three fragments or sequences from one of Strozzi's madrigals, "Quel misero usignolo". The first is presented in bar 4, the second in bar 40 and the third in bar 82. All are presented and processed in different ways by the whole work. In connection with composing, I watched one of my favorite films, Fellinis Casanova, and the dreamy and surreal the mood there also came to find its way into the work." — Andrea Tarrodi

Nina C. Young (b. 1984): Memento Mori - Phase 1 (2013)

Duration: 8 minutes

Composer and sonic artist Nina C. Young (b.1984) creates works, ranging from acoustic concert pieces to interactive installations, that explore aural architectures, resonance, timbre, and the ephemeral. Her music has garnered international acclaim through performances by the American Composers Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Aizuri Quartet, Sixtrum, the JACK Quartet, and wild Up.

Winner of the 2015-16 Rome Prize, Nina has received recognition from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri, Fromm, the Montalvo Arts Center, and BMI. Recent commissions include Tread softly for the NYPhil's Project 19, a violin concerto for Jennifer Koh with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and a multimedia performative installation piece for the American Brass Quintet and EMPAC’s EMPAC’s High-Resolution Wave Field Synthesis Loudspeaker Array. Young holds degrees from MIT, McGill, and Columbia, and is an Assistant Professor of Composition at USC's Thornton School of Music. She serves as Co-Artistic Director of NY-based new music sinfonietta Ensemble Échappé. Her music is published by Peermusic Classical. Click here to visit her website.

"A memento mori (from Latin ‘remember that you will die’) is an artistic or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death. The association of sundials with time has inspired their artisans over the centuries to display mottoes as part of their design. Often these mottoes cast the device in the role of memento mori. The subtitle of Phase I, meaning ‘life flies on like an arrow, while it seems to stand still’, is one such motto, inscribed on a sundial in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.

This work is a meditation on life and the perception of time. In our daily activities, the constant influx of information, sensations, and stimuli saturates our consciousness. By stepping out of time, we can zoom in and out of our perceptual systems, allowing us to focus on their intricacies and beauty.

The musical material of Memento Mori is drawn from Contrapunctus I, from Bach’s The Art of Fugue. Phase I isolates the first five notes of the D minor subject, stretching them out and zooming into the interstices, analyzing and manipulating in minute detail their interactions over time. The listener is thus invited to find interest in the subtle fluctuations in amplitude, texture, and periodicity in the music." — Nina C. Young

Memento Mori [ Phase I ] was premiered by the JACK Quartet on March 12, 2013 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York, NY.

Shulamit Ran (b. 1949): Bach Shards (2002) Duration: 3 minutes

Israeli-American composer, Shulamit Ran, has been teaching in Chicago since 1973 and in 1991 became the second woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Symphony. In addition to receiving the Pulitzer Prize, Ran has been awarded most major honors given to composers in the U.S., including two fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, grants and commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation at the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, the American Academy and Institute for Arts and Letters, first prize in the Kennedy Center-Friedheim Awards competition for orchestral music, and many more.

"While composing Bach-Shards I found myself gravitating, intuitively and gradually, toward a dual goal. First, though the tension and dissonance inherent in certain moments of Bach’s own maze-like contrapuntal structures could quite easily and naturally lead one into a pungent contemporary terrain, I opted not to stray outside the realm of Bach-like materials and harmonic language. Instead, it was my hope to alter their relationships and context in ways that add up to something that’s slightly different than the anticipated sum of the parts. A mildly deconstructed Bach, if you will.

The other important challenge I set for myself was building up the latter, toccata-like portion of Bach-Shards in a way that would make the entry point of the fugue which it precede, Contrapunctus X, seem thoroughly natural. It was my intent to have the first fugal entrance feel like a huge and much welcome release of the energy created by my Prelude’s penultimate stretch, with its bravura figurations elaborating on an insistent dominant pedal point.

Owing to Bach-Shards’ style, decisions on articulation and bowings are left to the discretion of the performers." — Shulamit Ran

Ruby Fulton (b. 1981): the girl who cried pain: a theme & variations (2021)

Duration: 8 minutes

Composer and musician Ruby Fulton (b. 1981) writes music which invites listeners to explore non-musical ideas through sound. Her musical portfolio includes explorations of mental illness, Buddhism, philosophy, psychedelic research, addiction, and chess strategy; and profiles of iconic popular figures like the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and musicians Syd Barrett and Whitney Houston. She has collaborated on interdisciplinary projects with thinkers and makers in the sciences and literary, movement and visual arts. She teaches composition and music theory at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music.

"this piece is a musical reflection on pain, pain relief , the perception of pain, and the effect of one's gender on being believed about pain. it is about physical pain such as that experienced by flute player Anatolia Evarkiou-Kaku, whose difficult experience in finding treatment and relief for sciatica as a young woman within the health care system served as the starting point for this music. it is also about the emotional pain

caused by a culture of violence and violent language levied at women, like when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was accosted on the steps of the Capitol by Representative Ted Yoho. just as women are more likely to receive a sedative than a pain-killer when they express pain, they are less likely to be believed or taken seriously about the pain caused by patriarchal attitudes and abuse. the title comes from a scientific article co-authored by Diane E. Hoffmann and Anita J. Tarzian called "The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain."

"the girl who cried pain" by Ruby Fulton was commissioned by Anatolia Evarkiou-Kaku, and written especially for 5th Wave Collective, Carmen Abelson, and Rebecca McDaniel. Creation of the work is partially supported by a Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artists Program grant, and by a grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

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