Yao Chen’s Walking on a Tightrope is to be performed at the Eastman School of Music by the Sonata Project on June 6 as part of the International Soceity of Bassists 2013 Convention. Michael Cameron, who premiered the work last November at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, started the Sonata Project in 2010 to rediscover sonatas written for double bass, as well as create new ones and expand the genre’s repertoire.
Earplay, the San Francisco based New Music ensemble, celebrated its 28th Season on Monday, March 18, with a concert of three west coast premieres and one world premiere, alongside a rarely-performed Schoenberg work. Schoenberg’s Ein Stelldichein. Yao Chen’s Sotto Voce was performed by Tod Brody, flute, and Brenda Tom, piano.
Yao Chen has been awarded the 2012 Commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. In conjunction with this esteemed honor, Yao Chen’s new work will feature pipa player Yang Wei and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra that make up the Civitas Ensemble. The Civitas Ensemble recently performed Yao Chen’s YEARNING for zheng and double bass in March of 2012. For this performance, Yang Wei will be joined by CSO Assistant Concertmaster Yuan-Qing Yu on violin, J. Lawrie Bloom on clarinet, Kenneth Olsen on cello and the internationally-acclaimed Winston Choi on piano.
Founded by the patron of contemporary music, the late Paul Fromm, the Fromm Foundation is now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Fromm Foundation at Harvard (1972) and the 60th anniversary of the Foundation itself (1952). Since the 1950s, it has commissioned well over 300 new compositions and their performances, and has sponsored hundreds of new music concerts and concert series. “I want to know you,” Igor Stravinsky once said to Fromm, “because contemporary music has many friends but only a few lovers.”
The goals of the Civitas Ensemble are to provide classical chamber music at the highest possible level to people who are passionate about live music, to present educational programs to young audiences, and also to bring music to those who would have limited access to the healing power of live classical music.
Classical 101FM host Boyce Lancaster and ProMusica Music Director Timothy Russell host a casual conversations in front of the stage. Audience members join an open forum offering insight into the music performed and meet-and-greet opportunities with guest artists and composers.
This conversation features conductor Rei Hotoda, the guest conductor for January’s Happy Year of the Dragon, Di Wu, guest pianist, and Chen Yao, featured composer. Listen to Rei, Di, Chen. and Boyce discuss:
- Chen Yao’s name, his composition style, and his inspiration in composing the piece
- Rei’s thoughts on putting Yao’s piece together as a conductor
- Di’s reflections on Chopin, Liszt, and her encore selection
- differences in the preparation, interpretation, and performance for different composers’ works
- preparing concerti for public performances
- getting inspired as a composer
Hear the whole conversation here.