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PARMA Recordings Presents: A Live Streaming Event

Moravian Philharmonic Presents: Sounds of the 21st Century

August 13, 2020 1:00 PM EDT
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra

The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra and PARMA Recordings present a concert of works by six contemporary composers: Brian Latchem, William C. White, John A. Carollo, Rain Worthington, Jay Anthony Gach, and Heidi Jacob. This original program presents music inspired by the likes of Beethoven and Bartok and explores timbral and thematic possibilities within the orchestra. Conducted by Stanislav Vavřínek, the MFO offers an opportunity to explore these sounds live and in full color on the PARMA Live Stage.

Program

About

PROGRAM NOTES

Suffolk Variations for Viola and Strings started life while he was at college (in the mid ‘60’s) in the form of a string quartet. Only 2 pages from the original manuscript survive, the section leading to the climax of the work. In 2011, BBC Radio Three held a musical competition for a work, written for Viola and Strings. Rearranging the string quartet, he entered the piece as “Suffolk Variations”. Although nothing came from the competition, it was eventually performed in 2017 using 8 professional performers. In 2018 it was again played by the same musicians at his 70th Birthday concert.

BIO

Brian Latchem - composer Brian Latchem was born in Bath (Somerset, England) and started learning the piano at the age of 5. He comes from a musical family with both parents playing the violin. He trained to be a music teacher and started his teaching career in Felixstowe (Suffolk, England), where he taught Music and Drama. From there he moved to a local primary school with responsibility for music. During this time, he was involved in many musical productions with the children, including Wizard of Oz, HMS Pinafore and a new cantata/musical, The World Tree, which he wrote with a friend. This has now become a Youth Opera. Moving to a newly built primary school he became Deputy Head and for a while was Acting Head before early retirement. Before retiring he studied with the Open University gaining a MA followed by a Doctorate in Education.

He was also Musical Director for A Sound of Music and Gigi at the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe for the Blind Association, as well as being for many years the Assistant Musical Director of the Dorian Singers conducting works by Mozart, Pergolesi etc. Brian is a member of the English Concert Singers, a national choir, who have performed some of his music, particularly, We Praise Thee in Salzburg in 2009 and King Edgar, a large choral work about the first King of All England who was crowned in Bath Abbey in 973, using the form of coronation service we would recognise today. This was given a Workshop performance a few years ago.

Brian has spent most of his life composing and when he retired, he obtained ‘Sibelius’, a computer programme for writing music and began transferring his handwritten manuscripts to the computer.

His choral work An Abundance of Blessings for SATB, solo Baritone and Harp has been performed several times by a local choir, the Gippeswyk Singers in which he sang the solo baritone.

PROGRAM NOTES

Recollected Dances was composed from September-October 2018 and premiered on 2 January, 2019 in Mānoa, Hawaii by the Hawaii All-State Orchestra under the direction of Joseph Stepec. The composer conducted the continental US premiere in Macon, GA on 2 March, 2019, and the work has since been performed by several orchestras in the United States. This performance marks the European premiere.

The “Recollected” of the title refers to both meanings of the word: the main theme of the piece was originally composed for the score of a film titled Mulligan (2012), and thus has been reused in this work. However, “recollected” also refers to the fact that the composer means to evoke the memory of bygone days.

Formally, the piece is a suite of short, interconnected dances. It is one of the rare works for string orchestra that devotes an extended soli melody to the contrabass section.

BIO

William C. White - composer

William C. White (b. 1983) is a conductor, composer, teacher, writer, and performer based in Seattle, WA. Equally known for his original music as for his bold interpretations, Mr. White is an innovative programmer and conscientious leader in the musical community.

Mr. White currently serves as music director of Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers, a unique performing ensemble comprised of a chorus and orchestra that concertize as one. For four seasons (2011-15) he served as Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, working closely with music director Louis Langrée and an array of guest artists, including John Adams, Philip Glass, Jennifer Higdon, and Itzhak Perlman. A noted pedagogue, he has led some of the nation’s finest youth orchestra programs, including Portland’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.

willcwhite.com

PROGRAM NOTES

Seeds of Doubt is about not allowing self-doubt to impact your aspirations. Someone, or an event can cause you to experience a lack of confidence in your abilities, thus stifling creativity and self expression. Don’t let critics get you down and always listen to what you say to yourself.

The music is to be played with the spirit of Beethoven in mind. When I listen to Beethoven I hear confidence. Here is a Beethoven quote: “Prince, what you are, you are through chance and birth; what I am, I am through my own labor. There are many princes and there will continue to be thousands more, but there is only one Beethoven.” I say, there are many critics, fewer
composers, and taste is not disputable.

BIO

John Carollo - Composer John was born in Torino, Italy in 1954 and brought to the U.S. by his adoptive parents. When he was in grade school, he studied classical piano and sang in the church choir. He attended college at SDSU, studying music and psychology. During this time, John took piano lessons and began composing his first piano works. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.

The composer then began a full-time mental health career for the State of Hawaii and started private composition lessons with Dr. Robert Wehrman. His first composition under Bob’s tutelage was a piano suite in six parts. Following this effort, Robert encouraged John to compose an atonal work in 1998 entitled Frenetic Unfoldings for Solo Violin. After completing this large work, the composer focused his energies on solo works and music with various instrumentations.

John quit his public servant job to compose full-time in 2006. He also writes poetry and collects art, including the books and ephemera of Edward Gorey, a lifetime hobby.

johncarollocomposer.com

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PROGRAM NOTES

In this composition, there is a sense of immersion within a flow of time and a feeling of being slowly pulled along by underlying currents, while dynamic forces – such as low pulses, Doppler-like disturbances, and rhythmic punctuations –exert their influences. The interplay of diverse energies beyond our control evoked some of the feelings I have had during this epic time of a global pandemic.

BIO

Rain Worthington - composerThere is a deep interiority to this music . . . a composer of considerable imagination, emotional expressiveness, and poetic sensibility.” – American Record Guide

Self-taught in composition, Rain Worthington’s catalog includes works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, duos, solos and miniatures.

Performances of Worthington’s compositions have spanned the globe from Brazil to Iceland, Cyprus to Korea, Italy to India. Her work takes “. . . ideas of American musical style to a new place – like a walk in a familiar, yet very different park” – Chamber Music.

2020 performances of her orchestral works featured Still Motion performed at Carnegie Hall February 2020
DCINY concert series and Yet Still Night at the TUTTI Festival, Denison University. Worthington received a 2020 commission for a new violin/piano work from violinist Audrey Wright. Her pivotal work Shredding Glass received its World Premiere in Brazil in June 2019.

Upcoming Navona Records releases scheduled for 2020 include two new orchestral works: Shadows of the Wind – for orchestra and Within Deep Currents for string orchestra. 2019 releases through Navona Records included In Passages –violin soloist and string orchestra and Full Circle –cello soloist and orchestra.

Worthington is Artistic Administrator & Composer Advocate for the New York Women Composers.

rainworthington.com

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PROGRAM NOTES

From a sacred text of Sikhism, Sri Guru Granth Sahib explains, “If you are missing anything in life, dear ones, you are missing the almost unendurable ecstasy of giving yourself away to the Universe and finding that it gives back to you great recognition of all that you are.

BIO

Jay Anthony Gach - composer Jay Anthony Gach’s original concert music has been critically acclaimed as “witty, virtuosic and accessible”, “so exuberant and so characterful”, “a natural crowd pleaser”, “vibrant textures”, “multi-layered, whirling and propulsive”. Summarized by the composer Lukas Foss during his tenureship as conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, “Gach’s writing for orchestra is brilliant beyond words”. The composer Hugo Weisgall wrote of him, “a composer… of extraordinary technical command and intellectual grasp of what music is all about”.

Mr. Gach’s music has been performed, recorded and broadcast internationally by orchestras including the Orchestra of Seattle and Seattle Chamber Singers, Krasnoyarsk-Siberian State Philharmonic/ Vladimir Lande; MillenniumSymphony Orch./Robert Ian Winstin, St. Paul Chamber Orch./Enrique Diemecke, Brooklyn Philharmonic/Lukas Foss,American Composers Orchestra/Paul Dunkel, Piccola Orchestra ‘900/Simone Vecchia, National Italian Youth Orchestra/Vinko Globokar, City of London Sinfonia, Haydn Chamber Orchestra of London, the Britten Sinfonia Soloists, Pro Arte Ch. Orch./Leon Botstein and by international solo artists including Bulgarian pianist Elitza Harbova, American clarinettist Richard Stoltzman, Canadian cellist Soo Bae and Italian flutist Andrea Ceccomori.

Jay Anthony Gach

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PROGRAM NOTES

Many in One was commissioned by James Freeman and the Chamber Orchestra First Editions and was premiered by the ensemble in the spring of 2016.

When considering the possibilities for writing a string orchestra piece I was immediately struck by the homogeneous nature of the medium as well as the lush, lyrical possibilities of the great romantic string orchestra works by Dvorák, Elgar, Tchaikovsky and Samuel Barber. However, I also wanted to explore the rich contrasts of color and orchestration in works such as Bartok’s Divertimento. The work is a dialogue between solitary and collective identities.  Structurally the work is palindromic, beginning with a solo violin. It then makes its way to the fulcrum of the work, a fugue that commences in the second violins.  At various points, unison rhythmic gestures break apart to become contrapuntal. The use of solo instruments in the work is meant to reflect historically, going back to the concerto grosso of the Baroque era.

The title of the work, Many in One, is from Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name, a poem from his Leaves of Grass. The question of the private and isolated versus cooperative and communal in America that Whitman speaks to in this poem has resonance today, going beyond our country, and the struggles the world continues to face.

from “Many in One” Leaves of Grass (1856) Walt Whitman

Underneath the lessons of things, spirits, nature,
governments, ownerships, I swear I perceive
other lessons,
Underneath all to me is myself—to you, your-
self,
If all had not kernels for you and me, what were
it to you and me?
I match my spirit against yours, your orbs, growths,
mountains, brutes,
I will learn why the earth is gross, tantalizing,
wicked,
I take you to be mine, you beautiful, terrible, rude forms.

BIO

Heidi Jacob - composer Heidi Jacob’s music has been described by BBC Magazine as “compositions …of complex mesmerizing beauty,” by David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer as “a musical adventurer,” and by Gramophone Magazine as music with “…..forthright expressiveness [that]exposes a multitude of stylistic associations.” A composer, cellist, and conductor, she is a Professor of Music at Haverford College. She attended both the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School and completed her D.M.A. in composition from Temple University.

Ms. Jacob’s solo and chamber music works have been performed at the Kimmel Center as part of Network for New Music’s Poetry Project, Tania León’s 2014 Composers Now Festival, Summer Stars Classics series in Ocean Grove New Jersey, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Rutgers University’s Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art installation, Amphibian; New Music and Video HIArt Gallery, New York City and by The Argento Ensemble, the Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir, the Hildegard Chamber Players and by Temple University’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. Her works have been performed by violinists Francesco D’Orazio, Miranda Cuckson and Barbara Govatos, cellists Jeffrey Solow, Michal Schmidt and cellist Thalia Moore of Earplay, flutists Mimi Stillman, Adeline Tomasone, Jeffrey Khaner, pianist Charles Abramovic, and bassoonist Pascal Gallois. Her String Quartet, “…on enameled tablets,” was premiered at The Stone in New York City by the Momenta String Quartet. She was a winner of Network for New Music’s Poetry Project, the American Composers Forum, and won an Honorable Mention in the International Alliance for Women in Music Competition for her work for piano, Regard a Schubert: a Fantasy Impromptu. The CD of her compositions, Beneath Winter Light, produced by PARMA Recordings was released in January, 2015. Her cycle of songs on the poetry of Julia Alvarez, Beginning Again for soprano, violin and piano (2009), was commissioned by Vermont-based L’Ensemble and appears on L’Ensemble’s CD, “Poetry into Song”. Her composition, “untouched by morning and untouched by night,” for bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone, baritone, and piano is included on a CD Intersections, recorded in Cuba with Cuban musicians. Ms. Jacob’s Winter Light for violin and string orchestra was performed by I Solisti Veneti, conducted by Claudio Scimone and her string orchestra piece, Many in One was commissioned by First Editions Chamber Orchestra and premiered in spring of 2016.

Recent performances last spring 2020 of her compositions include her Resonance of Emerald for Woodwind Quintet, premiered by the Revolution Winds and Lilacs for SATB choir, Soprano solo and Narrator, by the Opus One Berks Chamber Choir. Her Scherzo for Flute and Marimba, was premiered in the Fall of 2018 by Amélie Debecq and Damien Delvaux at Festival Osmose in Evere, Belgium, her Suite for Flute and Piano premiered at PennState in 2019 by Mimi Stillman and Charles Abramovic and the premiere of her Endless War for Harpsichord and Narrator, by Joyce Lindorff, Harpsichord at Temple University’s Keyboard Festival. Her work for solo piano, “…but time will tell..” was performed at The Keyboard in the 21st Century an International Conference in Hong Kong by Linda Yim in the spring of 2019.

Heidi Jacob

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Stanislav Vavrinek - conductor MFO Stanislav Vavřínek studied conducting, as well as the flute, at the Brno Conservatory. For four years, while still a student, he was a member of the Brno Conservatory Wind Quintet, which received invitations, in 1989 and 1990, to perform at the International Youth Festival in Bayreuth, both as a chamber ensemble and as members of Bayreuth Festival Youth Orchestra.

Later, Mr. Vavrinek resumed his studies at the Prague Academy of Music in the conducting classes of Professors Eliška, Vajnar and Stych. The culmination of this training occurred at the master class of Roberto Benzi in Switzerland, with a very successful final concert conducting the Biel Philharmonic. Between 1994 and 1998, Mr. Vavrinek was the principal conductor of the Prague Student Orchestra which received a number of awards under his leadership: First Prize (along with the top prize of the contest “Suma cum laude”) in the 1995 Nerpelt International Competition, and First Prize in the Concerto Bohemia radio competition (1995/1996). In 1997, they were awarded the Grand Prize in the same competition for the performance of Sostakovich’s Chamber Symphony op. 110. Stanislav Vavřínek has made several radio and TV recordings and concert tours abroad. In 1998, the International Youth Orchestra played under his baton at the final gala concert at the Shizuoka Festival in Japan.

He has guest-conducted more than forty symphonic and chamber orchestras, including Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Hamburger Symphoniker , Brno Philarmonic, the Gdansk Philharmonic Orchestra, Anton Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra etc. He has appeared in performance with prominent soloists such as Olga Kern, Bruno Canino, Misha Maisky, Pietro de Maria, Eugene Indjic, Sergej Krylov, Václav Hudeček, Dagmar Pecková, Chava Alberstein etc. He has been host at prestigious international festivals in Shizuoka, Brno, at the Prague Autumn and Prague Spring Festivals, to name just a few. He has made CDs with music by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Bartók, Kodály and Shostakovich.

In years 2006 – 2010 he taught conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

While continuing to honor commitments, from 1999 until 2008 he acted as Chief Conductor of the South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra České Budějovice.

From 2008 until 2015 he acted as Chief Conductor of Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra Zlín. Stanislav Vavrinek took up the post of Chief Conductor of the Czech Chambre Philharmonic Pardubice from the start of the 2018 season.

MFO logo

The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene. Namely, they include conductors like Otto Klemperer and Václav Neumann, violinists Josef Suk and Gidon Kremer, or cellist Pierre Fournier.

During the course of its long history, The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra has put together an exceptionally broad, rich and varied repertoire. Its focus is mostly on the grand figures of classical music of the 19th and 20th century. Nonetheless, it also seeks to promote contemporary Czech and worldwide musical compositions, as evidenced by the fact that the Orchestra has performed over 250 new compositions. Moreover, the Orchestra is an authentic performer of Czech classics such as Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček, and Bohuslav Martinů.

The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra takes pride in having a rich discography under its belt and performing at renowned international festivals both in the Czech Republic and abroad. However, first and foremost, it is a cultural institution and a major contributor to the organization of artistic life in the region of Olomouc. It holds the Dvořák’s Olomouc festival and the International Organ Festival and also organizes a number of educational activities for children and young people.

www.mfo.cz | MFO on Facebook

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