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Music of Emily Doolittle

Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

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The Seattle Chamber Players along with Oksana Ekhozina and Cristina Valdes, piano, Maria Mannisto, soprano, and others perform the music of Canadian composer, and Cornish faculty member, Emily Doolittle.

Photo: Michelle Smith-Lewis

Composer Emily Doolittle was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and educated at Dalhousie, Indiana University, Princeton, and the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, where she studied with Louis Andriessen with the support a Fulbright fellowship. She moved to Seattle in 2008 to teach composition at Cornish College of the Arts, where she is now an Associate Professor. She enjoys writing for both traditional and less standard instrumentation, and has been commissioned by such ensembles and soloists as Symphony Nova Scotia, the Albany Symphony, Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), the New York Youth Symphony, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, the Motion Ensemble (Canada), the Paragon Ensemble (Glasgow), soprano Suzie LeBlanc, viola da gambist Karin Preslmayer, and alphornist Mike Cumberland. Upcoming projects include a chamber opera called Jan Tait and the Bear, for the UK’s northernmost chamber ensemble ffancytunes, based in Shetland, and a violin concerto for Calvin Dyck and the Vancouver Island Symphony. An ongoing interest for Doolittle is the relationship between music and sounds from the natural world, particularly bird and other animal songs. She has explored this in a number of compositions, as well as in her doctoral dissertation at Princeton and in interdisciplinary birdsong research with biologists and ornithologists. In 2011 she was composer-in-residence at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany, where she collaborated with ornithologist Henrik Brumm in researching song of the musician wren, gathered birdsongs for future musical use, and presented a concert of her birdsong-related works, performed by members of the Bavarian State Opera. Other recurrent interests include folklore, musical story-telling, and making music for and with children. These interests are combined in her piece Songs of Seals, based on Scottish folklore and written in collaboration with Gaelic poet Rody Gorman, for the Voice Factory Youth Choir and the Paragon Ensemble (Glasgow), which was premiered in the fall of 2011 in Glasgow and Skye. Doolittle has received a number of awards for her music, including the 2012 Theodore Front Prize for A Short, Slow Life (commissioned by Suzie Leblanc and Symphony Nova Scotia), two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, and the Bearn’s Prize. Her work has been supported by grants and commissions from the Artist Trust (Seattle), the Eric Stokes Fund, The Culture and Animals Foundation, ASCAP, the Canada Council, the Nova Scotia Arts Council, FIRST Music, the Montreal Arts Council, and the Conseil des arts et Lettres du Quebec, and with artist residencies at MacDowell, Ucross, Blue Mountain Center, Banff, and the Center for Contemporary Art in Glasgow. Finnish-American soprano Maria Mannisto has an extensive performing history as an opera singer, concert soloist, pianist, and organist. She received her M.M. in voice performance from the University of Washington, studying under renowned soprano Jane Eaglen. Her “lovely and pure soprano”, impeccable pitch, and skill at learning difficult works have made Maria a sought-after performer of new music in the Seattle area. She recently performed Wayne Horvitz’s song cycle Smokestack Arias at ACT Theatre to great critical acclaim. In the last year, Mannisto has performed as soloist in contemporary works by Steve Reich (Proverb), David Lang (The Little Match Girl Passion), George Crumb (Night Music I and Madrigals), Arnold Schoenberg (Pierrot lunaire), and Luciano Berio (Circles). Other recent engagements include soloist in The Nutcracker with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the title role in Garrett Fisher’s Kocho, solo recitals in Palo Alto and Vancouver, B.C., and Ellen in Lakme. In 2007, Mannisto was awarded the Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year, which provided her the opportunity to perform recitals around the United States, Canada, and Finland. She was a finalist in the 2010 Kangasniemi Song Competition in Kangasniemi, Finland. She is the primary organist at the Finnish Lutheran Church, and also directs the Finnish Choral Society and Swedish Womens’ Chorus. Born in New York City, Paul Taub has been a resident of Seattle and a Cornish faculty member since 1979. He holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, and has studied with some of the world’s greatest flutists including Michel Debost, Samuel Baron, Marcel Moyse, and Robert Aitken. As a founding member and Executive Director of the Seattle Chamber Players, Taub has played an active role in the Seattle contemporary music scene and has performed and recorded American and world premieres by internationally known composers such as Robert Aitken, John Cage, George Crumb, Janice Giteck, Sofia Gubaidulina, Wayne Horvitz, Ned Rorem, Toru Takemitsu, Reza Vali, and Peteris Vasks among others. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, the Everett Symphony, the Young Composers Collective, and the Esoterics. Taub has also worked extensively to promote Soviet/Russian composers in America and American composers in the former Soviet Union. His Soviet repertoire has been featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, at the Goodwill Arts Festival, and in a solo recital at the Leningrad Musical Spring International Festival. He has also performed four times in Russia with the Seattle Chamber Players and twice at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in Poland, as well as in Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Taub’s program of international solo flute music has been presented at numerous festivals and universities throughout the U.S., Canada, and France. His recital of ten commissioned works has been performed in Seattle—where he gave the first flute recital in the new Benaroya Hall—and in New York City. A CD of these works entitled Oo-Ee is available on Periplum Records. Taub has also been a featured performer at National Flute Association conventions in Los Angeles (1992), Atlanta (1999), Las Vegas (2003) and New York (2009). Laura DeLuca, clarinet, has been a member of the Seattle Symphony since 1986, and a co-founding member of Seattle Chamber Players since 1989. A versatile musician and collaborator, her true passion is playing chamber music of all styles and genres from classical to klezmer. Performances with the Seattle Chamber Players have taken her to festivals in China, Costa Rica, Russia, Italy, Denmark, Estonia and Poland. Additional engagements include performances and recordings with Music of Remembrance, Icicle Creek Music Festival, Town Hall Series, Richmond Music Festival and her latest endeavor, Trio Tara, a trio comprising clarinet, viola and piano. As a soloist, she has appeared with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Youth Orchestra, Rainier and Cascade Symphony orchestras. DeLuca has performed on dozens of recordings including more than 100 commercial recordings with the Seattle Symphony as well as commissioned works by Jake Heggie, Paul Schoenfield and Lori Laitman. She has been featured on many movie soundtracks, including the solo clarinet work on the Academy Award-winning documentaries The Long Way Home and Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport. DeLuca received her formal training at Northwestern University where she studied with the celebrated clarinetist Robert Marcellus. She has pursued a lifelong interest in the connection of body, mind and spirit and how that informs a performing musician. This has inspired her to study yoga, gyrotonics, continuum movement, meditation and Quigong, and she continues to weave those disciplines into her daily life. Mikhail Shmidt, violin, was born in Moscow, Russia. He began his musical education at the age of five, and at fourteen became the winner of the International Chamber Music Competition “Concertino Prague.” He graduated cum laude from Gnessin Institute of Music in 1987. His major teachers were Halida Akhtiamova and Valentin Berlinsky of the celebrated Borodin Quartet. While still at college, Shmidt participated in the highly successful Gnessin String Quartet, winner of several national competitions. He also played in the State Symphony Orchestra and Moscow Radio String Quartet and was concertmaster of the “Camerata Boccherini” Baroque Orchestra. One of the highlights of Shmidt’s Russian career was collaborating with Alfred Schnittke, one of the greatest composers of our time. Since immigrating to the United States in 1989, Shmidt has established himself as a leading chamber musician. He was a founding member of the Bridge Ensemble, which recorded and toured successfully in the United States and Europe. As a guest violinist of the Moscow Piano Quartet, he tours Europe annually, and his “remarkable musicianship” was hailed by Lisbon newspaper Tempo. Among the highlights of Shmidt’s chamber music activities are his collaborations with such diverse and distinguished composers and musicians as Steve Reich, John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Giya Kancheli, Paul Schoenfield, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Vadim Repin, and many others. Shmidt has recorded on Melodia, Delos, ECM, Tzadik, Six Degrees, and Innova labels. David Sabee began cello studies began at age seventeen with Johan Lingeman, former solo cellist of the Concertgebouw Orkest, and continued with Paul Olefsky, a dynamic pupil of Feuerman, Piatigorsky and Casals. After three years as principal cellist of the Austin Symphony, Sabee moved to New York to join the cello studio of Harvey Shapiro. While in New York, he joined the American Composers Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies, performing world premieres of works by composers ranging from Ralph Shapey and David Del Tredici to Laurie Anderson and Keith Jarrett. A founding member of the Naumburg finalist Tafelmusik, which juxtaposed contemporary and early music, he worked with such composers as Lukas Foss, Frederic Rzewski, Charles Wuorinen, Meyer Kupferman and Elliot Carter (coaching his Sonata 1953). Appointed by Lukas Foss to the Milwaukee Symphony, he performed with them in many of the major European concert halls, including the Concertgebouw, Barbican, Gasteig, Bruckner Halle and Vienna’s Grosser Musikvereinsaal. A member of the Seattle Symphony since 1986, he also serves as principal conductor of the Northwest Sinfonia, working with film composers including BT, Bruce Broughton, Carter Burwell, Elia Cmiral, Jeff Danna, John Debney, Michael Giacchino, Harry Gregson-Williams, Paul Haslinger, Steve Jablonsky, Michael Kaman, Rolfe Kent, John Murphy, David Newman, John Ottman, Basil Poledouris, Trevor Rabin, Ed Shearmur, Brian Tyler, Alex Wurman, Chris Young and Aaron Zigman on the soundtrack recording sessions of hundreds of motion pictures. He collaborated with composer Gustavo Santaolalla and director Ang Lee on the score to Brokeback Mountain, winner of the Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival), several Golden Globes, and three Oscars including Best Director and Best Original Score. Sabee has been called “confident and colorful” by The New Yorker, while La Nacion, in San Jose, Costa Rica, characterized his Rachmaninov Cello Sonata performance with pianist Yakov Kasman as “infused with insight and passion.” Committed to both contemporary and standard repertoire, Cristina Valdes is known for presenting innovative concerts with repertoire ranging from Bach to Xenakis. She has performed across four continents and in a multitude of venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, Nordstrom Hall, and the Kennedy Center. An avid chamber musician, Valdes has toured extensively with the Bang On a Can “All Stars” and has performed with the Seattle Chamber Players, the Mabou Mines Theater Company, the Parsons Dance Company, Antares, and Trio V. Her festival appearances include the Singapore Arts Festival, Brisbane Arts Festival, Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva in Mexico City, New Music in Miami Festival, Festival of Arts and Ideas, and the Festival of Contemporary Music in El Salvador among others. She has also performed with the Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic, and the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. Valdes can be heard on several recordings on the Newport Classics, Albany, and Innova labels. She holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and SUNY at Stony Brook, and is the recipient of an Arts International Grant, the Thayer Award for the Arts, and an Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music grant. Pianist Oksana Ezhokina is a native of Ryazan, Russia. The winner of piano competitions in Russia and the United States, Ezhokina has given numerous chamber and solo performances in both countries. Her collaborations have included concerts with such ensembles as the Seattle Chamber Players, Klimt Piano Trio and the Contemporary Chamber Players. A dedicated performer of works by contemporary composers, she has premiered music by Laura Kaminsky and Paul Dresher, among others. Ezhokina was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Ryazan School of Music in Russia, a Master of Music in piano from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Music from Walla Walla College. Her principal teachers were Christina Dahl, Donald Walker, Leonard Richter and Eleanor Oragyoff. She has coached chamber music with pianists Gilbert Kalish and Seymour Lipkin as well as members of the Juilliard, Emerson, Orion and Vermeer String Quartets. Ezhokina is Resident Pianist and Co-Artistic Director at the Icicle Creek Music Center, where she teaches piano. Brent Hages, oboe, earned his Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied under James B. Caldwell. He pursued graduate work at Temple University where he studied oboe and English horn with Louis Rosenblatt of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Hages also studied privately with Alfred Genovese, solo oboist with the Metropolitan Opera, Cleveland Orchestra, and Boston Symphony, as well as noted oboists John de Lancie, Elden Gatwood, Stevens Hewett, Wayne Rapier, and Laila Storch. Hages has performed with the Northwest Sinfonia Studio Recording Orchestra, the Pacific Northwest Ballet orchestra, the Bellevue Philharmonic, the Northwest Symphonietta, and at the Suncadia Resort Chamber Music Festival. A scholar of the oboe as well as a performer, Hages is currently conducting research on his late mentor James B. Caldwell, as well as the English oboists Janet Craxton and Joy Boughton, and the American oboist and instrument maker William Lym. Seth Krimsky joined the Seattle Symphony in 1986, and was subsequently appointed principal bassoon in 1990. He has appeared as principal bassoonist with the Mostly Mozart Orchestra of Lincoln Center and the Waterloo Festival Orchestra, and as a soloist with orchestra and as a recitalist in Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, Capetown, and Seattle. He is also an active chamber music performer and has performed on many occasions with the Seattle Chamber Players. Krimsky received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California, where he studied with Norman Herzberg. He also completed postgraduate studies under Michael O’Donovan, with a special emphasis in baroque performance. During his time in Los Angeles, Krimsky was an active session player and freelance musician. He also performed with the Santa Monica Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Glendale Symphony, Pasadena Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Krimsky has also participated in a number of summer festivals including the Ojai Festival, the Academy of the West, and the Tanglewood Festival. Mark Robbins is associate principal French horn with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and also performs as principal horn with the Seattle Opera, including performing the horn calls for Wagner's Ring Cycle. When the Ring Cycle is not being performed in Seattle, he spends his summers in upstate New York with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. He has been a featured soloist with the Seattle Symphony and other orchestras on a number of occasions. Also a frequent performer of chamber music, he has performed with the Seattle Chamber Players and is a member of the Amacord Wind Quintet. Formerly, he was a member of the Miami, Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and has performed at the Spoleto, Tanglewood, and Olympic Music festivals. He is also the horn coach for the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in performance from Temple University where he studied with Kendall Betts. While still early in her career, violist Mara Gearman is already an accomplished player with extensive experience in both orchestral and chamber music settings. She regularly performs with the chamber groups American String Project and Seattle Chamber Players, and has collaborated with such prestigious performers as Ani Kavafian, Peter Wiley, Vladimir Feltsman, and Dale Clevenger, the legendary principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She is also a founding member of the Barston String Quartet as well as Trio Tara with pianist Oksana Ezhokina and Laurie DeLuca, clarinet. Gearman has held or been awarded a number of orchestral appointments, including principal viola (at age twenty) under maestro Rossen Milanov, and principal viola at the Kansas City Symphony and at the Oregon Symphony under music director James DePriest. Currently she is the second desk violist for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under maestro Gerard Schwarz. As a solo performer Gearman has won solo awards at the Primrose and Tertis International Viola Competitions, performing viola solos ranging from American composers Alan Shulman and Derek Bermel to Hungarian composer Miklos Rozca. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, her primary teachers included Roberto Diaz, Pinchas Zukerman, and Karen Tuttle, as well as additional study in Canada, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland with Nobuko Imai, Barbara Westphal, and Gerard Causse. Joe Kaufman has played the double bass since age twelve, but it wasn’t until college that he began formal instruction on the instrument. Early guidance on the bass came from his father, an avid jazz guitarist, who introduced him to the music of many great jazz bassists. In college, Kaufman studied with David Yavornitzky, Principal Bass of the Utah Symphony, and later Jeff Bradetich at the University of North Texas. While still a student, Kaufman played part-time with the Fort Worth Symphony and Dallas Opera. After graduating from college, Kaufman joined the New World Symphony under the direction of maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2004 Kaufman moved to Seattle to join the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. In 2005 he joined the Seattle Symphony, and in 2008 he was appointed Assistant Principal Bass. Kaufman has served as Principal Bass of the Colorado Music Festival and for the Verbier Chamber Orchestra, and as Assistant Principal of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Chamber music collaborations have included projects with James Buswell, Joshua Bell, and the renowned Dutch pianist and conductor Reinbert De Leeuw. Besides his interests in orchestral music and contemporary chamber music, Kaufman can also be heard as the bassist with Seattle singer-songwriter Bill Patton and the Credentials. Matthew Kocmieroski is principal percussionist with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. He regularly performs with the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera and is on the faculty of the Cornish College of the Arts. He is also currently the President of the International Guild of Symphony, Opera and Ballet Musicians. In the field of chamber music he served for ten years as artistic director and percussionist of the New Performance Group, and was a founding member of Taneko, and currently, Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet. In the Northwest he regularly performs with the Seattle Chamber Players, and has appeared at the Seattle Chamber Music Society Festivals, the Icicle Creek Music Festival, the Marrowstone Music Festival, the Methow Music Festival, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, the Seattle International Chamber Music Festival and the Bellingham Festival of Music. Internationally he has appeared at the Bergen, Moscow Autumn, Moscow Cold Alternativa, St. Petersburg’s Sound Waves, Kiev MusicFest and Warsaw Autumn festivals. One of his greatest satisfactions is his work with numerous composers on their music and the emergence of a number of new works and recordings from these collaborations. He may be heard on many recordings of solo, chamber, and orchestral music as well as a wide variety of both major and independent motion picture, television, and video game soundtracks.

Co-presented by
This concert made possible with support from the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.

Location

PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

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