The National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network
Four Emerging Composers Heard in Memphis Symphony Orchestra's New Music Readings
May 20-21, 2009
Memphis Symphony Orchestra and EarShot, the newly formed National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network, presented the works of four selected composers in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra New Music Readings held on May 20 and 21, 2009, in Memphis, TN. The Readings, conducted by David Loebel, were an outstanding artistic and professional-development opportunity for emerging composers and gave the selected composers wider visibility in the field of orchestral music. The four composers were Jean Ahn, Christian Baldini, Patricio Da Silva, and Andreia Pinto-Correia.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra was organized in 1952 and is well established as the Mid South's largest performing arts organization. The MSO presents a 39-week season of Masterworks, Pops, and Chamber subscription concerts. Historic collaborations with other arts agencies and organizations allow the MSO to serve diverse regional audiences. Having recieved numerous ASCAP awards for adventerous programming, MSO's mission is to create meaningful experiences through music, and its vision is to artistically engage. MSO artists are vital members of the Memphis community, providing rich musical experiences for all ages.
The Memphis Symphony New Music Readings are a part of EarShot: the nationwide network of new music readings and related composer-development programs. The goals of the program are to create the nation’s first ongoing systematic program for identifying emerging orchestral composers; to provide professional-level working experience with orchestras from every region of the country; and to increase awareness of these composers and access to their music throughout the industry. EarShot is a partnership between American Composers Orchestra, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, the League of American Orchestras, and Meet The Composer.
Born in Korea, Jean Ahn began to study piano and composition at a very early age. She finished her B.A. and M.M. at Seoul National University under professor Baek Byoung Dong and received a Ph.D. in 2008 from UC Berkeley, where her teachers included Edmund Campion, Cindy Cox, David Wessel, Jorge Liederman, and Richard Felciano.
Her creative output includes works ranging from solo instruments to full orchestra, as well as choral, dance, and electroacoustic music. Recent awards for her compositions include First Prize from the Renee Fisher Award and Competition, the Korean National Music Composers Award, First Prize from the Sejong Korean Music Competition, UC Berkeley's the De Lorenzo Prize, and the Pan Music Festival Award. Ahn's music was featured at Aspen Music Festival (Susan and Ford Schumann Composition Fellow), June in Buffalo, the Oregon Bach Festival, Music 07, SCI conferences, IAWM Beijing Congress, the Spark Festival, the Fresno New Music Festival, University of Central Missouri New Music Festival, New York City Electronic Music Festival, IAWM Festivals, among others. Her work has been performed by Ensemble Sur Plus, pianist Lisa Moore (Bang on a Can), pianist Shannon Wettstein (Zeitgeist), Berkeley Contemporary Players and others. She is currently a Lecturer at UC.Berkeley and lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two young children.
Salt was premiered by the UC Berkeley's University Symphony, under the baton of David Milnes in May 2008. The composer says of the piece, "Salt began its life in 2005, when I found myself driven by a chord of six notes.... In short, I experimented with all the possibilities opened up by this one chord. The idea of transforming a single chord without losing its fundamentals, combined with the sparkling image of the ornaments, reminded me of the properties of salt. Thus was born the title of the composition. Just as salt preserves its taste no matter what it is mixed with, the essence of the original chord of the piece is not lost throughout the entire work. In order to enhance the metaphor, the electronics used in the piece-built on the resonance model of the main chord with spectral transformation-employ the actual sound of dropping, spreading and touching salt. Finally, the title Salt also reflects my Christian faith and my musing on the words 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' Thus the piece has the touch, taste and also the meaning of salt."
work as a conductor and composer has gathered recognition in several
International Competitions around the world (South Korea, USA, Brazil,
Argentina-UNESCO). His music has been performed in festivals and venues
throughout Europe, South America, North America and Asia by orchestras
and ensembles including the Southbank Sinfonia (London), New York New
Music Ensemble, Daegu Chamber Orchestra (South Korea), Orchestre
National de Lorraine (France), Chronophonie Ensemble (Freiburg), the
American Brass Quintet, the Barton Workshop (Amsterdam), the National
Polyphonic Choir of Argentina, the New York Virtuoso Singers, the
Kreisler Ensemble (London) and the Illegal Harmony Ensemble (Scotland).
Patrício da Silva
(b. 1973) received formal musical training at the Escola Superior de
Música de Lisboa where he studied piano with Jorge Moyano and
composition with António Pinho Vargas (B.M. in piano, 1995). He then
pursued his composition studies in the US, first as a recipient of the
Betty Freeman Foundation Scholarship in Composition with Morton
Subotnick, Stephen L. Mosko, and Mel Powell at the California Institute
of the Arts (MFA, 1999), and later, with support from the Fundação
Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento (Portugal), he completed the
Ph.D. program in composition at the University of California (2003),
having studied composition with William Kraft, computer music with
Curtis Roads, and algorithmic composition and music with Artificial
Intelligence with David Cope.
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Andreia Pinto-Correia
is currently pursuing a composition doctoral degree at the New England
Conservatory, studying with Michael Gandolfi, after having received her
Master's degree there as student of Bob Brookmeyer. She started her
musical studies in Lisbon at the Academia de Amadores de Música.
Originally a performer, she dedicated herself to composition in 2002,
after being unable to perform due to an accident.
Acanto is an architectonic ornamentation inspired by the leaves of a plant native to Mediterranean humid climates (acanthus mollis). In Portuguese or Spanish language it may also be written as a canto meaning as in 'to sing'. The idea for this piece derives from the manipulation of a simple melodic cell, an ornament that travels through the work appearing in different instruments or combination of instruments, registers, and pitch/rhythmic mutations. Thus, the three movements represent varied textural realizations of the same ornament. Sometimes I use particular features of a movement across movement boundaries, resulting in an organic use of the concept of memory and anticipation. The third and last movement, Adagio molto, is modeled after the third movement of Three Places in New England by Charles Ives. Here, the use of ornamentation is expanded to form a simple lullaby played by the vibraphone while the rest of the orchestra plays transformations, mainly textural, of my original cell.
has been Music Director and Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra
for the past ten years. Prior to his appointment in Memphis, he enjoyed
a decade-long association with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra,
serving as Associate and then Associate Principal Conductor, as well as
Artistic Director of its summer festival, Classics in the Loop.