Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We’re “Coming Together” with clarinet and didjeridu this November!

1. “Coming Together” concert, Nov. 30
2. Zellerbach and Hewlett Community Arts grant awarded
3. Follow-up (LOC, Skywalker Ranch, QuartetFest)

1. “Coming Together” Concert, Friday, 11/30/07, Old First Church in SF, 8pm

In collaboration with clarinetist Jeff Anderle and didjeridu player Stephen Kent, we’re bringing you another one-of-a-kind concert program entitled “Coming Together.” The six musicians, assembled into duet, quintet, and even sextet, will perform four memorable pieces from around the world.

Cellist Hannah Addario-Berry and clarinetist Jeff Anderle will kick off the concert with a passionate duet called "Coming Together," by Derek Bermel (b. 1967, New York). Bermel truly captures qualities of the human voice. The two instruments can be heard moaning, laughing, flirting, and even screaming. It is an unforgettable work that will stimulate the imagination!

Didjeridu player Stephen Kent and the quartet will perform “Quartet No. 16” written by Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, who was inspired by letters from Afghan refugees in Australian detention centers.

In the third piece “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind”, Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov fuses elements from the klezmer tradition with some of the more classical string quartet forms. The music is at times meditative, passionate, driving and haunting. Clarinetist Jeff Anderle will join Del Sol on an array of clarinets.

Lastly, all six musicians take a break from their usual instruments and instead use Mexican hand drums, stick drums, maracas, and claves. With clapping, stomping, and whispering they tackle an impressive and challenging piece by Mexican Arturo Salinas.

This program is co-presented by Old First Concerts in SF and also will be co-presented by Berkeley Chamber Performances in the East Bay on January 29, 2008.

More info.

2. Zellerbach and Hewlett Community Arts Grant Awarded

We think the program is exciting, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation did, too! They awarded us a combined $4,000 through Zellerbach’s Community Arts Program for the “Coming Together” concerts in November and January.

3. Follow-up

We were busy this time last year, but we’ve been even busier this year!

The audience of over 300 at the Oct. 19th Library of Congress concert greeted enthusiastically the world premiere of Chinary Ung’s new work, “Spiral X: In Memoriam,” dedicated to the millions of Cambodians killed by the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and gave a standing ovation at the end of the Peter Sculthorpe’s “Quartet Number 16” which concluded the program. We were thrilled that Stephen Kent was able to come out to Washington with three of his beautiful didjeridus in tow to join us for this performance. For those who are interested in which Stradivarius instruments from the Library’s collection the Quartet used for this concert, Kate played the "Betts" violin (1704), Rick the "Castelbarco" violin(1699), Charlton the "Cassavetti" viola (1727), and Hannah the "Castelbarco" cello (1697). (You may be interested in Stephen Kent's blog entry about this concert.)

Right after returning from DC we spent a week at the marvelous studios of Skywalker Ranch recording our upcoming Pacific Rim CD. There is something particularly unglamorous and grueling about recording. Our audience of silent yet critical microphones captured every moment for posterity (and subsequent editing by our recording engineer), and we raced against the clock to make every moment count – tackling the music phrase by phrase. As Rick put it, “by the end of each day we were pretty much toast.” You’ll be able to hear the result of all this hard work when we release the new CD, “Ring of Fire,” next May.

We went right from the recording week into our Fall QuartetFest intensive coaching workshop held at the Children’s Day School in San Francisco’s Mission District during the weekend of November 3-4. We coached 16 young string players, ages 8 to 18 assembled into four quartets, concluding with a recital (of works by Pleyel, Mozart, Beethoven, and Ravel) and potluck supper for participants, their parents, and supporters. We are especially grateful to our generous, long-time donors Sara and John Hendrickson, as well as the AMCP Foundation, for making QuartetFest possible.

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