Arjun Verma and Nilan Chaudhuri
Sep
14
7:30 PM19:30

Arjun Verma and Nilan Chaudhuri

Arjun Verma …

…has spent his entire life steeped in the tradition of North Indian Classical Music.  The son of internationally performing sitarist Roop Verma, a disciple of Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar, Arjun began learning sitar from his father at age five. 

As a teenager, Arjun was deeply inspired by the preeminent sarode maestro, Ali Akbar Khan, and he ultimately moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to study directly with Ali Akbar Khan for eight years.  In 2007, Arjun was awarded a Shenson Fellowship by the San Francisco Foundation to support his continued study at the Ali Akbar College of Music.  Since the Maestro’s passing in 2009, Arjun has continued his training under the able guidance of Ali Akbar Khan’s son, Alam Khan.  Arjun has also received guidance from Smt. Annapurna Devi.

Arjun’s playing is based on the musical approach of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan.  He has developed innovative sitar techniques inspired by the Maestro’s style, and is also influenced by sitarist Nikhil Banerjee.  Arjun’s playing also incorporates musical elements drawn from his long apprenticeship with his father, Roop Verma.  The combination of these influences results in a style encompassing the deeply contemplative as well as the exhilarating elements of Indian Music.

With 25 years of performance experience at venues such as Prague Castle, Pattee Arena, the Fillmore, Fox Theater, the New School, and the United Nations in Geneva, Arjun has emerged with a unique voice on the sitar—both within the tradition of North Indian Classical Music, and through his innovative cross-genre collaborations with Celtic, Jazz, and Western Classical musicians.

Nilan Chaudhuri…

…has spent his entire life immersed in the tradition of Indian Classical Percussion. The son of Maestro Swapan Chaudhuri and a disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Nilan received his first Tabla lesson from his father at the age of five.

Drawing inspiration from his father’s innovative and revolutionary approach to classical Tabla solo, Nilan was determined from a young age to be proficient as a soloist. He presented his first public Tabla solo at the age of eleven, at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael in the presence of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. Within months of his first recital, sensing his passion and devotion to the art form, Nilan was accepted as a ganda bandan disciple of Khansahib’s and underwent the sacred ceremony in which the Guru ties a thread around the disciple’s hand, initiating a life long bond and blessing. Over the course of the next decade, Nilan would go on to lead the AACM youth Tabla Ensemble, performing various arrangements of his father’s compositions in ensemble format throughout the United States and India. It was during these formative years that Nilan was introduced to the world of Tabla accompaniment by Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, providing rhythmic support for his vocal and instrumental classes at the College.

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Kenji Bunch
Oct
12
7:30 PM19:30

Kenji Bunch

Kenji Bunch represents his hometown of Portland, Oregon as “one of the leading American composers of his generation, best known for amalgamating traditional American musical forms.” (Oregon ArtsWatch) While conservatory trained at The Juilliard School, Bunch infuses his music with folk and roots influences achieving an authentic and seamless blend of classical and vernacular styles which has inspired a new genre classification. “Call it neo-American: casual on the outside, complex underneath, immediate and accessible to first-time listeners… Bunch’s music is shiningly original.” (The Oregonian) Sly, irresistible grooves pepper his work, revealing a deft ability to integrate hip hop, jazz, bluegrass, and funk idioms. With rich, tonal harmonies and drawn-out, satisfying builds, Bunch’s music has wide emotive appeal that easily lends itself to dance and film. Over sixty American orchestras have performed his music, which “reache(s) into every section of the orchestra to create an intriguing mixture of sonic colors.” (NW Reverb) Recent works include commissions and premieres from the Seattle Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Lark Quartet, the Britt Festival, Music From Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, the Eugene Ballet, and the Grant Park Music Festival. His extensive discography includes recordings on Sony/BMG, EMI Classics, Koch, RCA, and Naxos labels among others. Also a outstanding violist, Bunch received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in viola and composition from the Juilliard School and was a founding member of the highly acclaimed ensembles Flux Quartet (1996-2002) and Ne(x)tworks (2003-2011). Bunch currently serves as Artistic Director of new music ensemble Fear No Music, and teaches viola, composition, and music theory at Portland State University, Reed College, and for the Portland Youth Philharmonic.

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Stephen Fandich
Nov
9
7:30 PM19:30

Stephen Fandich

Fandrich, born in 1974,  is a native of Seattle Washington who graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in music composition. Stephen is a composer, pianist, vocalist, improvisor, and avid gamelan composer and player. He has collaborated with imusicians such as, Peni Chandra Rini, Pauline Oleveros, Stuart Dempster, Bill Horst, Jarrad Powell, Seattle Jazz Composers Ensemble, Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang.

Stephen was twice named Jack Straw Foudation’s artist of the week as a solo pianist/composer and composer/performer/director of the Seattle Harmonic Voices. He was also featured five times, as a solo pianist, composer, diphonic singer, Jazz/Folk piano and free improvisor, on Sonarchy Radio,  an award winning international broadcast of a live studio performance, on Seattle’s KEXP produced by Doug Haire at Jack Straw Productions in Seattle.

Fandrich directed for 10 years, 1999-2009, the Seattle Harmonic Voices, a vocal ensemble dedicated exclusively to diphonic singing. SHV produced several concerts and a double disc release of compositions by Fandrich for diphonic singers called Harmonic Voice released on Monktail Records (monktail.com). It is notable that he has created two works for Gamelan and diphonic singing, and is credited as being the first to accomplish this merger.

Stephen is a 14 year veteran as instrumentalist, composer, vocalist and instrument curator with Gamelan Pacifica. Fandrich composed for GP what director Jarrad Powell called the world’s first piece combining  harmonic singing and gamelan. Stephen was also honored to sing Puspawarna, a traditional Javanese vocal composition, with Jessika Kenney, for an honorary degree ceremony at the University of Washington in Seattle for UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon who was present.  He has studied and performed Balinese vocal music at the temple Taman in Ubud Bali with I Putu Sadia and studied Central Javanese vocal music in Yogyakarta with Pak Parto. While in Indonesia, he performed, for the governor of Central Java, as a guest competitor for a Javanese vocal macapat competition at the ancient Buddhist temple, Borobadur. 

Fandrich is a 12 year veteran as pianist, interpreter, improvisor and composer with the award winning Monktail Creative Music Concern (Monktail.com), a force in the Seattle improvised music scene.

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Del Sol Quartet with Composers from the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy
Dec
12
7:00 PM19:00

Del Sol Quartet with Composers from the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy

Bonus event featuring world premieres of 7 new works by the composer fellows of the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy and the Del Sol String Quartet.  

Hailed by Gramophone as “masters of all musical things they survey,” the Del Sol String Quartet shares living music with an ever-growing community of adventurous listeners. Fascinated by the feedback loop between social change, technology, and artistic innovation, the San Francisco-based ensemble is a leading force in 21st century chamber music whether introducing Ben Johnston’s microtonal Americana at the Library of Congress, exploring Andean soundscapes with Gabriela Lena Frank and traditional musicians, deconstructing Ruth Crawford’s radical experimental processes with East Bay schoolchildren, or rocking Mason Bates’ techno grooves in his San Francisco dance party.

 

 

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Gregg Kallor
Nov
10
7:30 PM19:30

Gregg Kallor

Gregg Kallor is a composer and pianist whose music fuses the classical and jazz traditions he loves into a new, deeply personal language. The New York Times writes: "At home in both jazz and classical forms, [Kallor] writes music of unaffected emotional directness. Leavened with flashes of oddball humor, his works succeed in drawing in the listener - not as consumer or worshipful celebrant, but in a spirit of easygoing camaraderie." In 2017, Kallor was named the Classical Recording Foundation's Composer of the Year.

Current Projects

In October 2018, The Angel's Share and On Site Opera will present the world premiere of Kallor's new suite of operatic sketches based on the monster's harrowing tale from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in the Catacombs at the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, as well as the premiere of a solo piano tribute to Leonard Bernstein (a permanent Green-Wood resident), and a reprise of Kallor's acclaimed setting of Edgar Allan Poe's chilling story, The Tell-Tale Heart, with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and cellist Joshua Roman, directed by Sarah Meyers. The New York Observer wrote: "I can't think of a better opera to become a new Halloween tradition."

These performances will coincide with the release of Kallor's new album, The Tell-Tale Heart, the premiere recording of Kallor's musical ghost story, performed by the composer with soprano Melody Moore and cellist Joshua Roman, recorded by GRAMMY®-winning producer Adam Abeshouse. A celebration of music and literature, the album also features the first recording of Kallor's eleven new song-settings of poems by Sara Teasdale, Elinor Wylie, Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, William Butler Yeats, as well as the young phenomenon Clementine Von Radics' "A Prayer," which Moore premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2016.

Recent Projects

Recent projects include Mouthful of Forevers, Kallor's work for string orchestra commissioned by Town Hall Seattle, premiered by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Joshua Roman; and Some Not Too Distant Tomorrow, a tribute to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. for piano and string quartet, commissioned by The Classical Recording Foundation and funded by a gift from Stuart and Linda Nelson, which Kallor premiered with the Attacca Quartet.

Kallor is the inaugural Composer-In-Residence at SubCulture in New York City, named one of Time Out New York's best new music venues. His residency has featured collaborations with artists encompassing a wide spectrum of musical flavors - including instrumentalists Joshua Roman, Miranda Cuckson, Joel Frahm, Alan Hampton, Ben Wittman, Claire Jensen, Chris Van Voorst Van Beest, and Laura Metcalf; singers Melody Moore, Adriana Zabala, Matthew Worth, Jo Lawry, Laila Biali, Kate McGarry, Peter and Eldridge; tap dancer Andrew Nemr; beat-boxer Mark Martin; and more. Kallor has premiered chamber music, vocal music, and a solo piano suite at SubCulture.

Recordings

Kallor's solo recording, A Single Noon, is a musical tableau of life in New York City that evokes moments of caffeinated bliss, embarrassing subway mishaps, and the buzzing energy of a city driven by dynamic, thoughtful, talented, and slightly crazy people. Pianist/composer Fred Hersch calls A Single Noon "the work of an extraordinary pianist, a composer of great distinction and a true conceptualist... This ambitious and unique suite takes us somewhere that is very deeply heartfelt and dazzlingly executed. This is 21st-century music that has clearly absorbed the past and looks to a bright and borderless musical future." Kallor premiered A Single Noonat Carnegie Hall in 2011.

Kallor's previous song album, Exhilaration - Dickinson and Yeats Songs, features his settings of poems by Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, and Christina Rossetti sung by mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala. Opera News wrote: "Kallor knows how to make these words sing, and Zabala gives perfect flight to them."

Kallor's music videos are "a visual feast for the eyes," writes Feast of Music: "Espresso Nirvana" (think caffeinated hijinks) and "Broken Sentences," which features 88 artist-designed pianos that Sing For Hope temporarily placed in public spaces around NYC, where anyone could play them. Gregg did. A lot.

Kallor joined an all-star roster of musicians, including Joyce DiDonato, Yo-Yo Ma, Jamie Barton, Isabel Leonard, Susanna Phillips, Anthony McGill, actors Sharon Stone and Ansel Elgort, and many more, for An AIDS Quilt Songbook: Sing for Hope. Kallor recorded two songs for the album, with Melody Moore - "One Child," which Kallor composed for this project - and Matthew Polezani. All profits from the sale of this album will go to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

Etc.

The Abby Whiteside Foundation presented Kallor's Carnegie Hall debut in Weill Recital Hall in 2007. Harris Goldsmith wrote: "It took but a few impeccably shaped phrases to make it plain that Kallor is a formidably well-trained technician and a master of stylish proportion as well... This superb recital debut truly established a new, important voice in our musical annals."

Kallor (pronounced "KAY-ler") was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut. He began improvising on the piano in his home as soon as he could walk over to it, began taking classical piano lessons when he was six, and added jazz lessons a few years later. He graduated from Tufts University with a degree in American Studies.

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Telegraph Quartet
Oct
13
7:30 PM19:30

Telegraph Quartet

Telegraph Quartet (Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violins; Pei-Ling Lin, viola; Jeremiah Shaw, cello) formed in 2013 with an equal passion for the standard chamber music repertoire and contemporary, non-standard works alike. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "…an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape" and "powerfully adept… with a combination of brilliance and subtlety," the Telegraph Quartet was awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.  The Quartet has performed in concert halls, music festivals, and academic institutions across the United States and abroad, including New York City's Carnegie Hall, San Francisco's Herbst Theatre, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's Chamber Masters Series and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Emilia Romagna Festival. The Quartet is currently on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as their Quartet-in-Residence.

Notable collaborations include projects with cellists Norman Fischer and Bonnie Hampton; violinist Ian Swensen; pianist Simone Dinnerstein; and the Henschel Quartett. A fervent champion of 20th- and 21st-century repertoire, the Telegraph Quartet co-commissioned John Harbison's String Quartet No. 6 and gave its West Coast premiere in the fall of 2017 on San Francisco State University's Morrison Artists Series. The Quartet gave the world premiere of Robert Sirota's String Quartet No. 3, Wave Upon Wave at Weill Recital Hall for their Carnegie Hall debut in 2018, sponsored by the Naumburg Foundation. The Telegraph Quartet also premiered Richard Festinger's third string quartet, Icarus in Flight, a musical representation of climate change data from the year 1880 to projected simulations of 2080. In 2018 the Quartet will release its debut album, Into the Light, featuring works by Anton Webern, Benjamin Britten, and Leon Kirchner on the Centaur label.

Beyond the concert stage, the Telegraph Quartet seeks to spread its music through education and audience engagement. In the Fall of 2017, the Quartet traveled to communities and schools in mid-coast Maine with Yellow Barn's Music Haul, a mobile performance stage that brings music outside of the concert hall to communities across the U.S. The Quartet has given master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Collegiate and Pre-College Divisions, at San Francisco State University, and abroad at the Taipei National University of the Arts and National Taiwan Normal University.    

While the Telegraph Quartet is indebted to numerous mentors and teachers, their primary musical guidance and support has come from Mark Sokol, Bonnie Hampton, and Ian Swensen, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The Telegraph Quartet is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Niloufar Shiri & Hesam Abedini
Sep
8
7:30 PM19:30

Niloufar Shiri & Hesam Abedini

Niloufar Shiri and Hesam Abedini’s duo explores a creative intercultural music making by combining the sounds of traditional Iranian and contemporary Western music. Their work reflects on their lives as Iranian-born Americans who have been exploring both Eastern and Western cultures. They established the Sibarg Ensemble in 2008 at the Tehran Music Conservatory as the first university ensemble to combine Iranian and non-Iranian music. Up until that point, no music school or academic institution in Iran maintained an ensemble or orchestra that performed new music composed for traditional Iranian and Western instruments. When the ensemble moved to the United States in 2010, they reformed with tar player Ebrahim Poustinchi, pianist Josh Charney, and bassist Kyle Motl. Their first album Cipher, released in 2018, was sponsored by the Jordan Center for Persian Studies and the Farhang Foundation.

Niloufar, composer, Kamancheh player, and improviser is a graduate of the Tehran Music Conservatory. She received her diploma in the Kamancheh performance. Since 2010, she is studying and researching classical Persian music theory under the direction and supervision of Dr. Hossein Omoumi, at UCI. Niloufar received her bachelor with honor in composition from UCSD where she studied composition with Professors Lei Liang, Katherina Rosenberger, and improvisation with Mark Dresser. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in integrated composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) at UCI as a provost Ph.D. fellow. (www.niloufarshiri.com)

Hesam is a performer, composer and improviser residing in Irvine, CA. His work crosses the boundaries between idioms as wide as contemporary music, classical Iranian music and free improvisation. Hesam’s music have been performed by various musicians and ensembles such as, Atlas Ensemble, Del Sol Quartet, Loadbang, New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble and Mark Dresser’s Bass Ensemble. Hesam is the director of the NEA-sponsored Documentary film “From Isfahan to Irvine”. He is a graduate of the Tehran Music Conservatory and holds his B.A. in Music Composition with honors from UCSD. He studied music composition with Dr. Lei Liang, Chinary Ung, Anthony Davis and improvisation with Mark Dresser. Currently, Hesam is pursuing his Ph.D. in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology at UCI as a Provost PhD Fellow under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Dobrian.
(www.hesamabedini.com)

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