Berkeley Chamber Performances

1999-2000 Season

All concerts will take place at 8:00 on Tuesday evenings at the Berkeley City Club.

September 28, 1999 -- Turtle Island String Quartet
December 7, 1999 -- Thoughts on the End of Time
January 25, 2000 -- American Baroque
March 21, 2000 -- The Wolford-Rosenblum Duo
May 16, 2000 -- City Winds

Turtle Island String Quartet
Tuesday, September 28, 1999, 8:00 p.m. (Ballroom)
David Balakrishnan, violin
Evan Price, violin
Danny Seidenberg, viola
Mark Summer, cello

In the jazz tradition, the program will be announced by the performers.

Since 1986, the Turtle Island String Quartet has fused the classical quartet aesthetic with 20th Century American popular styles and devised a performance practice that honors both. They have explored folk and bluegrass, swing jazz, be-bop, post-bop, Indian classical music, funk and R&B, new age, rock and hip-hop, bossa nova and salsa.

The Turtle Islanders have also revived venerable chamber music tradititions that haven't been explored by string players for nearly 200 years--improvisation and composition. In recent years, they have begun to focus more on the string quartet's classical European roots.

". . . a unified voice that truly breaks new ground -- authentic and passionate -- a reflection of some of the most creative music making today." -- Yo-Yo Ma, cellist

Thoughts on the End of Time
Tuesday, December 7, 1999, 8:00 p.m. (Ballroom)

Leslie Scalapino, poet
Toby Levers, clarinet (substituting for Deborah Pittman)
Heather Katz, violin
Burke Schuchmann, 'cello
Joanne De Phillips, piano

This evening will include Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time and poet Leslie Scalapino reading from her 1999 book New Time.

This evening will present timely thoughts for the end of this century from one its most mystical composers, Olivier Messiaen, and renowned Berkeley poet, playwright, and essayist Leslie Scalapino. The program pairs Leslie Scalapino reading from her 1999 book New Time and a performance of Messiaen's "Quatour pour la fin du temps". Messiaen's quartet is one of the signature pieces of the mid-twentieth century, the kernel of which was written and first performed in 1941 while Messiaen was interned in a German prison camp.

About Leslie Scalapino's New Time, Ron Silliman has written, "This crystalline epic may be Scalapino's most "accessible" book yet, but its surfaces perpetually peel back to reveal a further that could never have existed before, nor in any other way."

"If I composed this quartet, it was to escape from the snow, from the war, from captivity, and from myself. The greatest benefit that I drew from it was that in the midst of thirty thousand prisoners, I was the only man who was not one." -- Olivier Messiaen

American Baroque
Tuesday, January 25, 2000, 8:00 p.m. (Members Lounge)

A Musical Celebration of the Millennium

Stephen Schultz, baroque flute
Gonzalo X. Ruiz, baroque oboe
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin
Katherine Shao, harpsichord
Roy Whelden, viola da gamba

Selections from Les fêtes d'Hebe, J.P. Rameau (1683-1764)
Concerto Il Gardellino, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Artificial Light (1996), Randall Woolf (b.1959)
Quatorzième Ordre, François Couperin (1668-1733)
Of Hammered Gold (1999), Jonathan Berger (b. 1954)

American Baroque's adventurous programs combine 18th-century music with new works composed for the group, bridging the gap between the music frontier and the music of the past. In the words of oboist Gonzalo X. Ruiz, "Even though we play period instruments, we're not purists by any stretch. We really wanted to do music for entertainment and enjoyment, and we wanted variety in programming that you don't normally get. We wanted to deliver the music fresh. Our intention is to have great music written for us and to present good music that hasn't been heard."

On this program, Jonathan Berger's 1999 work Of Hammered Gold will use modern interactive electronics and sound-producing automata that were in vogue in the 18th century.

"...there are few outstanding and perfect creations by human hands. And here is one of them!"
-- Alte Musik Aktuell

"One of the treasures of the Bay Area period instrument scene." -- San Francisco Examiner

The Wolford-Rosenblum Duo
Tuesday, March 21, 2000, 8:00 p.m. (Members Lounge)

Dale Wolford, saxophone
Ivan Rosenblum, piano

Dale Wolford and Ivan Rosenblum perform a wide range of music, including 20th Century works written specifically for saxophone, transcriptions of 18th and 19th Century oboe and clarinet pieces, and jazz. In the Duo's own words, "All that ultimately matters to us is that any arrangement sounds as if it could have been written for the saxophone; that it sounds natural and authentic, and it plays well on the instrument. Such transcription is completely consistent with Baroque performance practice, where often more than one instrument . . . was stipulated as appropriate by the composer." This concert promises to display the saxophone's versatility.

"By moving so easily from Ravel to Chick Corea to Schumann, Wolford and Rosenblum . . . showed us how the saxophone can be used as a classical instrument (Wolford used a whole variety of tone colors to imply movement or signal development in the music)." -- Sarah Cahill

City Winds
Tuesday, May 16, 2000, 8:00 p.m. (Members Lounge)

Esther Landau, flute
Laura Reynolds Chrisp, Oboe
Jim Freeman, clarinet
Bill Hunker, bassoon
Zachary Limacher, French horn

Citywinds is a wind quintet with a 7-year tradition of commissioning new works by both emerging and established composers. The ensemble performed a residency at the 1997 Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, and, for its second year, they will participate in "Composers in the Schools", a program designed by the American Composers Forum to bring professional composers and performers together with student composers.

"Citywinds is an excellent ensemble, consistently playing with facility and fine musicianship. . . . Their use of styles, colors, and characters is imaginative. Their performances . . . reflect the fruits of their research into the works and composers in their repertoire. . . . I recommend them highly."
-- Hank Dutt of the Kronos Quartet

"The accomplished members of the group brought an enthusiasm and obvious love of what they do to the performance. The fact that the musicians are both advocates and educators for 20th-century music was made clear by the care which they took to introduce and provide examples for the audience before performing each piece as a whole." -- Martha Westland, 20th-century Music Journal

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