May 9, May 12, May 21, May 26, 2012 at 8:00PM
The Colburn School – Los Angeles, CA
Hans Wesseling and Helenus de Rijke, founding members of the Nieuw Ensemble from Amsterdam, join the Southwest Chamber Music musicians for the LA International New Music Festival. The mandolin and guitar player perform Unsuk Chin’s ‘Akrostichon Wortspiel’, Vu Nhat Tan’s ‘Rain Flower’ and Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘Serenade’.
The inaugural LA International New Music Festival’s first two concerts take place on Wednesday, May 9 and Saturday, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. at The Colburn School. Presented by two-time Grammy® Award-winning Southwest Chamber Music, the concerts are preceded at 7:00 p.m. by a discussion with the concert’s composers and musicians moderated by Southwest Artistic Director Jeff von der Schmidt.
The May 9 concert includes four premieres. The US premiere of Gabriela Ortiz’ Rio de las Mariposas will be performed by Southwest musicians Alison Bjorkedal and Allison Allport, harps, and Lynn Vartan, percussion. In the LA premiere of Kurt Rohde’s Concertino for Solo Violin & Ensemble, Shalini Vijayan is the soloist. The LA premiere of Hyo-shin Na’s Ocean Shore 2 is for clarinet and string trio. Southwest players are joined by Hans Wesseling, mandolin, a founding member of the Nieuw Ensemble from Amsterdam, in Unsuk Chin’s Akrostichon Wortspiel, and Elissa Johnston is the soprano soloist.
On May 12, Wesseling and and Helenus de Rijke, guitar, also a founding member of the Nieuw Ensemble, participate in Vu Nhat Tân’s Rain Flower (LA premiere) and Arnold Schoenberg’s Serenade; Abdiel Gonzalez is the baritone soloist. 20th century icons Lou Harrison and Milton Babbitt are represented by the Varied Trio and Homily respectively. The world premiere of Na’s Morning Study, commissioned by Southwest, is for mixed ensemble, and von der Schmidt will conduct.
The entire Festival presents 23 works, which include 14 Los Angeles or west coast premieres, two US premieres, and four world premieres. In addition to Morning Study, Southwest has commissioned two other works to be presented later in the festival: The Song of Napalm and Cracking Bamboo by Vietnamese composer Vu Nhat Tân.
Monday, May 21, and Saturday, May 26, are the concluding concerts of the festival. Highlights to come include Alexandra du Bois’ Night Songs, written for the Kronos Quartet and based on the diaries of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jew living in Amsterdam during WWII. The festival pays homage to three composers whose passing has been marked in the last year: Milton Babbitt, Los Angeles composer Daniel Catán, whose opera Il Postino was premiered by the LA Opera, and New York composer Peter Lieberson.
Southwest is pleased to present the west coast premiere of the 103-year-old Elliott Carter’s Three Explorations with bass-baritone Evan Hughes, and the world premiere of Tôn Thât Tiêt’s Miroir, Mémoire, presented as a gift to Southwest. The world premiere of The Song of Napalm by Vu Nhat Tân, with the virtuoso dan bau, dan tranh and Tr’ung performer Vân Ánh Vanessa Võ, is based upon the poem by Vietnam veteran Bruce Weigl and concludes the festival on May 26.