The year 2017 marks the eightieth birthday of marimba virtuoso, pioneer, and pedagogue Keiko Abe. As the most influential Japanese performer and most prolific composer and commissioner of works for solo marimba in history, Professor Abe’s work over the past sixty years has been largely responsible for the recognition of marimba as a concert instrument.
In celebration Professor Abe’s chief proponent in Japan, Mayumi Hama will present a program of the most significant works of the Japanese marimba repertoire. From bedrock compositions commissioned by Professor Abe like Akira Miyoshi’sTorse III to Abe’s own critically renowned works Dream of the Cherry Blossoms and The Wave, Hama will introduce audiences to the sound of the marimba played at the highest possible level.
Bill Doggett is an independent scholar, a historian, archivist and lecturer who specializes in African American performing arts history. His study of the significance of the San Francisco Bay Area to the development of the careers of African American concert and opera singers, 1925–2005, was published in the journal of The San Francisco History Museum, The Argonaut (2015).
Liisa Davíla, soprano | Kevin Doherty, baritone
Jeremiah Trujillo, piano
Berlioz: Two songs from Les nuits d’été, op. 7
Liszt:Oh! quand je dors, S. 282
Ravel: Don Quichotte à Dulcinée
Dédé: Selections from Morgiane
A free-born native of New Orleans, Edmond Dédé (1827–1901) spent over four decades conducting orchestras in Bordeaux, France. His recently found but never-performed opera, Morgiane (1888), is the earliest full-length opera by an African American composer. UC Davis Professor of History Sally McKee, author of The Exile’s Song: Edmond Dédéand the Unfinished Revolutions of the Atlantic World (Yale University Press, 2017) will offer some remarks on the work’s significance.
One of Bach’s earliest surviving sacred cantatas, Aus der Tieffen (Out of the deep I call, Lord, to you) is set to Luther’s translation of Psalm 130. The same text has been used in many other musical settings, including the De profundis section of many requiem masses, perhaps suggesting it was composed for a somber occasion. The cantata also features the hopeful chorale “Herr Jesu Christ.”
American music; three composers across three generations, all still alive! Genres range from opera to songs to intimate chamber music.
Derek Keller:California Tableaux, Act I
A thought-provoking opera that deals with the complexity of California’s multicultural history. The piece questions what it means to be a citizen of the US; who’s in and who’s out, and perhaps even what it means to be “American.”
Also on the program is a piece by San Francisco composer Mark Winges, and a duo by Karl Kohn, who was born in Vienna but emigrated to the US in 1939, an eminence of Californian music life who turned 90 last year.
Works written by “Revision/s” Composer Fellows Oren Boneh and Natalie Draper.
The Empyrean Ensemble presents engaging, thought-provoking, eclectic programs, enabling audiences to experience new musical sensations delivered with high artistry by its seven extraordinary core players—the finest new music performers in California. Ensemble-in-residence at UC Davis, Empyrean has premiered more than 200 works and performed throughout California, including appearances at many prominent music festivals and concert series.
Travis Andrews, electric guitar
Andy Meyerson, percussion
Works written by “Revision/s” Festival Composer Fellows Christine Burke and Laura Schwartz.
The San Francisco-based ensemble uses the traditions of classical and experimental music as tools to allow artists of all disciplines to create their most ambitious works and respond to the world in which they live. Memorizing every work it performs, The Living Earth Show thrives on pushing the boundaries of technical and artistic possibility in its presentation of commissioned electro-acoustic chamber music.