DA CAPO CHAMBER PLAYERS
BEGINS 46TH  SEASON
WITH MILTON BABBITT CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
MONDAY, NOV. 21, 2016, 8PM
AT MERKIN CONCERT HALL
 

On Monday, November 21, 2016 at 8PM, the Naumburg award winning Da Capo Chamber Players begins its 46th year with a concert titled, Milton Babbitt Centennial Da Capo, featuring Arie Da Capo (1973), a composition by Milton Babbitt that was written for the Da Capo Chamber Players when the group won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, as well as works by some of the illustrious composers who studied with Milton Babbitt, including Paul Lansky, Fred Lerdahl, Jonathan Dawe, Wei-Chieh Lin, and Judith Shatin. The concert will be held at Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th Street, New York, NY, 10023. 
 
This season, core Da Capo members Patricia Spencer, flutist, Curtis Macomber, violinist, and Meighan Stoops, clarinetist, are delighted to welcome new members Chris Gross, cellist and Steven Beck, pianist to the distinguished ensemble. They will be joined by guest percussionist Pablo Rieppi, and conductor Jeffrey Means for the November 21st program:
 

Milton Babbitt, Arie Da Capo (1973)
   Written for the Da Capo Chamber Players when the group won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award
    (Milton Babbitt: Born-1916; Died-2011)
 
Paul Lansky, Odd Moments  (1999-2010)
   Written for George Perle and the Da Capo Chamber Players
 
Fred Lerdahl, Time after Time (2000)
 
Jonathan Dawe, Super Mozart Fractals  (2007)
 
Wei-Chieh Lin, A Glimpse of Trembling Refraction (2013)
 
Judith Shatin, Gazebo Music (1981)
 
 

Single tickets are $20 ($10 students/seniors) and are available at the Merkin Concert Hall Box office: 212 501-3330.   For advanced program notes or additional information www.dacapochamberplayers.org; Facebook.com/DaCapoChamberPlayers; Twitter: DaCapoNewMusic
 
Da Capo is an American contemporary music "Pierrot ensemble" founded in 1970.  It has been in residence at Bard College for three decades and since 2006, and has been Ensemble in Residence with the Composition Program of the Bard College Bit Conservatory of Music. It is also a presenter partner of Composers Now. Through the years, many themes have been a part of Da Capo’s identity, as have been long standing collaborations with many brilliant composers.   In tour concerts and mini-residencies across the country, Da Capo works with young composers everywhere, giving them opportunities to try out things with highly experienced virtuoso performers as well as recordings (often award-winning!) of their works.  In May 2012, the Naumburg Foundation invited Da Capo to premiere works by their first ever composition winners.  National Public Radio named Da Capo’s CD, Chamber Music of Chinary Ung on Bridge Records, as one of the 5 Best Contemporary Classical CDs of the year in 2010.  
 
The concerts of the Da Capo Chamber Players are made possible in part with public funds from
the New York State Council on the Arts,  and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. They are also made possible with private funds from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Amphion Foundation, ASCAP, Hulbert Charitable Trust, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and generous individuals.
 
  
About the featured composers:
Milton Babbitt
 
The compositional and intellectual wisdom of American born Milton Babbitt (b. 1916; d. 2011)  influenced a wide range of contemporary musicians. A broad array of distinguished musical achievements in the dodecaphonic system and important writings on the subject generated increased understanding and integration of serialist language into the eclectic musical styles of the late 20th century. Babbitt was also renowned for his great talent and instinct for jazz and his astonishing command of American popular music. His All Set, for jazz ensemble, reveals an extraordinary compositional flexibility, uniquely American and vintage Babbitt. Babbitt studied composition privately with Roger Sessions. He earned degrees from New York and Princeton Universities and was awarded honorary degrees from Middlebury College, Swarthmore College, New York University, the New England Conservatory, University of Glasgow, and Northwestern University. He taught at Princeton and The Juilliard School. He was a founder and member of the Committee of Direction for the Electronic Music Center of Columbia-Princeton Universities and a member of the Editorial Board of Perspectives of New Music. He was the recipient of numerous honors, commissions, and awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize Citation for his "life's work as a distinguished and seminal American composer."  Babbitt was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
 
Paul Lansky
Born in New York City in 1944, Paul Lansky’s early musical studies were at the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. He subsequently attended Queens College, where he studied composition with George Perle and Hugo Weisgall, and Princeton University, where he worked with Milton Babbitt, Earl Kim and others. Originally intending to pursue a career as a French horn player, he played with the Dorian Wind Quintet in 1966-67 before going on to Princeton University for graduate studies. He has been on the faculty at Princeton since 1969, where he is now William Shubael Conant Professor of Music. Until the mid-1990s, the bulk of Lansky’s work was in computer music and he has long been recognized as one of the pioneers in the field. In 2002 he was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from SEAMUS (the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States) and in 2000 he was the subject of a documentary made for European Television’s ARTE network, My Cinema for the Ears, directed by Uli Aumueller. (available on DVD).
 
During the mid-1990s he began to turn more intensively toward the writing of instrumental music. Lansky’s recent instrumental music eschews attempts to “break new ground,” relying instead on a fresh approach toward tonality and harmony that references musical traditions of various kinds, from Machaut to Stravinsky. His string quartet, Ricercare Plus, is based on concepts of counterpoint and part-writing from early Baroque and Renaissance music; the horn trio, Etudes and Parodies, refers to various music well-known to horn players; his choral pieces, Folk-Tropes, draw heavily on Appalachian folk-music traditions and many works, such as Three Moves for Marimba, draw on jazz and popular music. Having scratched the itch to be innovative for thirty years with his computer music, Lansky is now primarily focused on giving live performers rewarding experiences with his instrumental music.
 
Fred Lerdahl
 

Fred Lerdahl's music is admired for its original harmonic syntax and formal processes, its striking ideas and elegant craftsmanship, and its expressive depth. His work seeks and achieves both complexity and intelligibility. It is both indebted to the past and committed to exploration of new territory.  Lerdahl's music has been commissioned and performed by major chamber ensembles and orchestras in the United States and around the world, and he has been resident composer at leading institutions and festivals. His music is published by Schott and C. F. Peters and has been widely recorded for numerous labels, including Bridge Records, who have initiated an ongoing series devoted to his music.
 
His seminal book A Generative Theory of Tonal Music, co-authored with linguist Ray Jackendoff, is a founding document for the growing field of the cognitive science of music. His subsequent book, Tonal Pitch Space, won the 2003 distinguished book award from the Society for Music Theory and an ASCAP-Deems Taylor award.  Lerdahl studied at Lawrence University, Princeton, and Tanglewood.  He has taught at UC/Berkeley, Harvard, and Michigan, and since 1991 has been Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition at Columbia University, where he directed the composition program for 20 years. In addition to his teaching, he serves on boards of several major foundations and organizations devoted to contemporary music.
 
In 2010 Lerdahl was honored with membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Three of his works composed since 2000 - Time after Time for chamber ensemble, the Third String Quartet, and Arches for cello and chamber orchestra - have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in music.
 

Lerdahl studied with James Ming at Lawrence University, where he earned his BMus in 1965, and with Milton Babbitt, Edward T. Cone, and Earl Kim at Princeton University, where he earned his MFA in 1967.  Lerdahl was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lawrence University in 1999. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Jonathan Dawe
 
The highly innovative and conjured world of composer Jonathan Dawe joins Baroque imagery with a modernist mix, cast with dynamic dramatic flair. Jonathan Dawe was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1965 and studied at the Oberlin Conservatory (BM 1987) with Richard Hoffmann and The Juilliard School (MM 1993, DMA 1995) with Milton Babbitt. Upon graduation he joined the graduate faculty of the Juilliard School where he teaches today.
 
Jonathan Dawe’s music involves the recasting of energies and sounds of the past into decisively new expressions, through compositional workings based upon fractal geometry.  Dawe is the youngest composer to have been commissioned by James Levine and The Boston Symphony Orchestra.   The Flowering Arts, a bold fractured transformation of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Les arts florissants, was hailed in 2005 as a “Powerful Premiere” in The Boston Globe.  Levine writes “His take on that earlier music is extraordinary.”  The Boston Herald concluded:  “In classical terms Dawe is practically a kid so Levine’s interest should be taken very seriously.”  Other premieres include the operas Così faran tutti (They’ll All Do It!) 2012 –a prequel to Mozart’s Così fan tutte- and Cracked Orlando: dramma per musica e fractals 2010 both produced at The Italian Academy in New York City. 
 
Awards he has received include two recording grants from The Copland Fund for New Music, a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission (Library of Congress), a NYSCA commission grant, a Fromm Foundation Grant (Harvard University), a Presser Award (Presser Foundation), The Charles Ives Scholarship (American Academy of Arts and Letters), The Bearns Prize (Columbia University), two ASCAP prizes, two BMI awards, the David Cinnamon Prize and the Herbert Ellwel Prize (Oberlin Conservatory.)
 
Wei-Chieh Lin
 
Wei-Chieh Lin, composer (New York, NY) was born in Taichung, Taiwan, and his music has been performed at venues in the U.S. and abroad, including the Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Centre Pompidou, Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, and the National Concert Halls in Taiwan.  Among the ensembles that have performed or commissioned his works are the Ensemble InterContemporain, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Insomnio Ensemble, Xasax Ensemble, Makrokomos Ensemble, The New Juilliard Ensemble, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Hudson Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Classical Players Ensemble, as well as members of eighth blackbird and Klangforum Wien.
 
Wei-Chieh’s compositions have received many awards, including the selection for the 2012 International Composer Pyramid Competition, Honorable Mention of the Gaudeamus Muziek Prize of 2011, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, First Prizes of the 2009 and 2010 National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan Composition Competitions, the 2010, 2011, and 2012 National Taiwan Symphony Composition Award, and the Palmer Dixon Award from Juilliard. He has participated in music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Wellesley Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center, MusicX Festival, Académie musicale de Villecroze, Domain Forget, Asian Composers League Music Festival, and Foundation Royaumont Music Festival, as well as being an active participant in the Manifeste/Acanthes@Ircam Composition Workshop and a resident at Cité International des Arts in Paris.
 
Wei-Chieh Lin completed his BM, MM, and DMA in composition with scholarship at The Juilliard School under the guidance of Milton Babbitt.
 
Judith Shatin
 
Judith Shatin (www.judithshatin.com) is a composer and sound artist whose musical practice engages our social, cultural, and physical environments. She draws on expanded instrumental palettes and a cornucopia of the sounding world, from machines in a deep coal mine, to the calls of animals, the shuttle of a wooden loom, a lawnmower racing up a lawn, and the ripping of tape.
 
Shatin’s music has been commissioned by organizations including the Barlow Endowment and Fromm Foundations, Carnegie Hall, the McKim Fund of the Library of Congress, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Arts Partners Program, Music-at-LaGesse Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Educated at Douglass College (AB, Phi Beta Kappa; studied with Robert Moevs), The Juilliard School (MM, Abraham Ellstein Prize; studied with Hall Overton, Otto Luening and Milton Babbitt) and Princeton University (MFA, PhD; studied with Milton Babbitt and JK Randall), Judith Shatin is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor and Founder of the Virginia Center for Computer Music at the University of Virginia.
 
Judith has been honored with four Composer Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as awards from the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, the New Jersey State Arts Council and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. A two-year retrospective of her music, and the commission for her evening-length folk oratorio, COAL, was sponsored by the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Arts Partners Program. Shatin’s music is published by Arsis Press, C.F. Peters, Colla Voce, Hal Leonard, E.C. Schirmer, G.Schirmer and Wendigo Music. It can be heard on the Centaur, Innova, Neuma, New World, Ravello and Sonora labels, and is featured in Women of Influence in Contemporary Music, Nine American Composers (Scarecrow Press).
 
A longtime advocate for fellow composers, Shatin has served on the boards of the American Composers Alliance, the League/ISCM, and the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) and as President of American Women Composers Inc.; she currently serves on the National Council of the Atlantic Center for the Arts. In demand as a master teacher, she has been BMI composer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University, Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Senior Composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference, among many others.
 
 
Individual bios of Da Capo Chamber Players:
 
Patricia Spencer, Flute
 
With her Chinese premiere of Ge Ganru’s flute concerto, Fairy Lady Meng Jiang, Patricia Spencer added another exciting concerto to her list of major present day concerto performances – the New York premiere of Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto in 2011; the world premiere of Shulamit Ran’s concerto, Voices, in 2000; the world premiere of Eric Chasalow’s chamber concerto, Three Love Poems, in 2006; and a performance of Joan Tower’s Flute Concerto for the National Flute Association Convention in 2004. The performance of Ge Ganru’s work took place on November 1 in Shanghai, at the Oriental Arts Center and with the Shanghai Philharmonic conducted by Zhang Liang. Previous career highlights for Ms. Spencer have included the US premieres of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kathinkas Gesang, and world premieres of Elliott Carter’s Enchanted Preludes and Harvey Sollberger’s Riding the Wind, among many others. Spencer has commissioned dozens of pieces, including Thea Musgrave’s now-classic Narcissus and Judith Shatin’s Kairos (Neuma Records). 
 
Spencer’s teachers include Robert Willoughby, Josef Marx and Marcel Moyse; she has studied Alexander technique with June Ekman.  She teaches flute and chamber music at Bard College and Hofstra University.
 
Curtis Macomber, Violin
 
The playing of violinist Curtis Macomber was praised recently by the New York Times for its “thrilling virtuosity” and by Strad Magazine for its “panache”.  He enjoys a varied and distinguished career as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher, and he has for several decades been recognized as one of this country’s foremost interpreters and proponents of new music.  
 
Mr. Macomber’s extensive discography includes the complete Brahms and Grieg Sonatas; violin concertos by Martin Boykan and Laura Schwendinger; and hundreds of critically praised recordings of contemporary solo and chamber works.  His CD of Roger Sessions Solo Sonata was acclaimed by American Record Guide as “one of the best recordings of 20th-Century solo violin music ever made.” A solo CD entitled “Songs of Solitude” was named by the New York Observer as one of 1996’s best instrumental solo discs ("Macomber's intensely human fiddle...seems an entire universe, sufficient unto itself."). He has recorded for Nonesuch, Koch, Bridge, Arabesque, Naxos and Musical Heritage and Albany; he has performed, commissioned, and made first recordings of solo violin and chamber works by, among others, Carter, Davidovsky, Perle, Wuorinen, and Mackey.
 
Mr. Macomber is a founding member of the Apollo Piano Trio and a member of the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Manhattan String Quartet, the Walden Chamber Players and the New York Chamber Soloists.  He was for many years the violinist of Speculum Musicae and has also appeared with the New York New Music Ensemble, Group for Contemporary Music, and in chamber music series across the country and in Europe. He has been a regular participant at La Musica in Sarasota, at the Yellow Barn Festival and at the Monadnock Music Festival.
 
As first violinist of the award-winning New World String Quartet for 11 years (1982-1993), Mr. Macomber performed the standard repertoire as well as numerous contemporary works in performances in major halls throughout the United States and Europe, and, with the Quartet, was appointed Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University from 1982-1990; with that group he also recorded 14 discs and performed numerous times on Public Radio and Television in this country, and the BBC in Great Britain.  
 
Macomber is a longtime member of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School and the violin faculties of the Manhattan and Mannes Schools of Music, and has also taught at the Tanglewood Music Center and Taos School of Music. Other recent summer engagements have included Chamber Music Northwest and the Bard Festival. He holds his B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees from the Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Joseph Fuchs and winner of the Morris Loeb and Walter NaumburgPrizes.
 
Meighan Stoops, Clarinetist
 
Clarinetist Meighan Stoops considers herself privileged to be actively involved in both the classical and new-music realms as a solo, chamber, and orchestral performer.  Since 2002 she has been a member of the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, which has commissioned and premiered over one hundred new works by American composers, toured nationally and internationally, and produced several critically acclaimed recordings.  Luminous Spirals: The Chamber Music of Chinary Ung was named one of NPR’s Top 5 Contemporary Classical Recordings of 2010.  As ensemble in residence at the extraordinarily creative community of Bard College and Conservatory for over thirty years, Da Capo continues to collaborate with student composers, performers, and distinguished faculty in the formation and performances of new works. Stoops has also performed with chamber ensembles such as Sylvan Winds, Music from Copland House, Wet Ink Ensemble, Ensemble Talea, and orchestras including Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New Haven, Key West, and Princeton symphonies, and Lincoln Center's Tony Award winning revival of The King and I.
 
For several summers Stoops was a member of the Walden School Players, the resident ensemble at the Walden School for Young Musicians in Dublin, New Hampshire.  She is also certified as a Walden Musicianship teacher, emphasizing the fundamentals of music through creative engagement in improvisation and composition.  She holds degrees from Northwestern and Yale where her teachers included Russell Dagon and David Shifrin and recently completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts at SUNY Stony Brook as a student of Alan Kay.  Stoops currently serves as Music Director of the Calhoun School in Manhattan, where she fosters community involvement through inspired music making with students, parents, and faculty.
 
Chris Gross – Cellist
 
Chris Gross is an active performer in the New York contemporary classical scene, having premiered works by Pierre Boulez, John Zorn as well as Milton Babbitt's work for solo cello More Melismata. Following his performance of Brian Ferneyhough's Time and Motion Study II for cello and electronics, The New York Times wrote that "...for 20 minutes this skinny young cellist...seemed like a musical master of the universe...."
 
He is a founding member of the Talea Ensemble, whose recording of works by Fausto Romitelli received recognition as one of the Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012 by TimeOut NY, and he has appeared as guest with various ensembles including I.C.E., Cygnus, Flux Quartet, and at venues including Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Disney Hall, and Bargemusic.
 
Also active as an educator, Chris Gross is on faculty at Lehigh University and is a Teaching Artist with the New York Philharmonic. He has participated in numerous residencies at universities across the country, and given lectures on contemporary string performance at Harvard University and Brooklyn College.  He is currently a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at Juilliard, completing his dissertation on the cello works of Charles Wuorinen.
 
Steven Beck, Pianist
 
Pianist Steven Beck continues to gather acclaim for his performances and recordings. Recent career highlights include performances of Beethoven’s variations and bagatelles at Bargemusic, where he first performed the Beethoven sonata cycle. In addition, this season he performs with the Orlando Philharmonic and repeats his annual performance of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” on Christmas Eve at the Barge; this has become a New York institution.
 
Steven Beck is an experienced performer of new music, having worked with Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, Henri Dutilleux, Charles Wuorinen, George Crumb, George Perle, and Fred Lerdahl, and performed with ensembles such as Speculum Musicae and the New York New Music Ensemble. He is a member of the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Knights, and the Talea Ensemble. He is also a member of Quattro Mani, a piano duo specializing in contemporary music.
 
Mr. Beck’s discography includes Peter Lieberson's third piano concerto (for Bridge Records) and a recording of Elliott Carter’s “Double Concerto” on Albany Records. The debut CD of his chamber ensemble “Pleasure is the Law” was released on Boston Records in 2009.
 
More information about Steven Beck can be found at his website: www.stevenbeckpiano.com
 
 
More about the Da Capo Chamber Players:
 
Winners of the 1973 Naumburg Award, the internationally acclaimed Da Capo Chamber Players has worked closely with countless distinguished composers, representing an enormous spectrum of compositional styles. Da Capo's virtuoso artists bring years of creative insight, involvement and artistic leadership to performances of today's repertoire, including well over 150 works written especially for the group, from composers such as Joan Tower, John Harbison, Shulamit Ran, Philip Glass, Mohammed Fairouz, Shirish Korde and Milton Babbitt, among many others.
 
Da Capo has been featured twice at Moscow Autumn and St. Petersburg Sound Ways festivals. In January 2009, the group celebrated the 100th birthday of Elliott Carter with a performance of his Tempo e tempi, and on the same concert, a 100th birthday salute to Olivier Messiaen with his Quatuor pour la fin du temps.  The group’s 40th Anniversary concert, given at Merkin Concert Hall in June 2011, featured the group’s signature performance of Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire and received a standing ovation.
From Da Capo's beginning, with founding member and pianist Joan Tower, interaction with composers has been part of its identity. Da Capo searches for the best new compositions and gives them a unique and dedicated attention, resulting in acclaimed performances consistent with the highest musical standards found in performances of traditional repertoire. Further, the group is committed to bringing American music to a variety of cultures, and conversely, presenting music from all over the world to American audiences.  Da Capo has released recordings on the Bridge, New World, CRI, New Albion and Innova labels.
 
 
“The performance…could not have been more gripping."  The New York Times
 
[Oracle] alone is worth the acquisition of this disc, in which the Da Capo Chamber Players do full justice to Ung’s musical vision and are recorded with the requisite clarity and definition.”  The Classical Review CDs
 
“ …dazzlingly alert instrumental work…”  Seen and Heard International
 
“inviting gracefulness and clarity…” The New York Times
 
Da Capo Chamber Players infuse new and recent works with vibrant life.”  Cleveland Plain Dealer
 
 
The End

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