Miller Theatre Columbia University School of the Arts Continues COMPOSER PORTRAITS Series with Lei Liang

As a student, Lei Liang attended class mere blocks from the Tiananmen Square protests; ever since, he has viewed art as a way to counteract violence and find freedom. His compositions pay homage to his Chinese culture while drawing on Western counterpoints. This Portrait, featuring several of Liang's West Coast colleagues, explores opposing forces, bringing together light and dark, paradise and inferno.

A revealing article about Liang and his music appeared in Harvard Magazine this past year. "I'm here in America because of Tiananmen Square," he told writer Lara Pellegrinelli. "I was a protester."

PROGRAM:
New work for loadbang (2016) world premiere, Miller Theatre co-commission
Luminous (2014) New York premiere
Ascension (2008)
Serashi Fragments (2005)

ARTISTS:
Lei Liang, composer
loadbang
JACK Quartet
Mark Dresser, contrabass
Steven Schick, conductor

Lei Liang

www.lei-liang.com

Lei Liang (b.1972) is a Chinese-born American composer whose works have been described as "hauntingly beautiful and sonically colorful" by The New York Times, and as "far, far out of the ordinary, brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous" by The Washington Post. Winner of the 2011 Rome Prize, Lei Liang is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Aaron Copland Award. His concerto Xiaoxiang (for saxophone and orchestra) was named a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Lei Liang was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert for the inaugural concert of the CONTACT! new music series. Other commissions and performances come from the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, New York New Music Ensemble and Boston Musica Viva.

Lei Liang studied composition with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Robert Cogan, Chaya Czernowin, and Mario Davidovsky, and received degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (BM and MM) and Harvard University (PhD). He currently serves as professor of music and chair of the composition area at the University of California, San Diego. ?

Since their founding in 2008, loadbang's unique lung-powered instrumentation (bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone, baritone voice) has provoked diverse responses from composers, resulting in a stylistic palette ranging from whistled Brazilian rhythms and microtonal jazz standards to the decoupled and deconstructed sounds of the second modernity. Symphony Space, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, Da Camera of Houston, MATA, the Festival of New American Music at Sacramento State University, and the Avant Music Festival are some of their recent presenters.
loadbang has premiered more than 200 works, including many written by members of the ensemble. Other composers who have written for loadbang include Charles Wuorinen, David Lang, Alex Mincek, Eve Beglarian, Nick Didkovsky, Reiko Füting, Andy Akiho, and Alexandre Lunsqui. They can be heard on a 2012 release of the music by John Cage on Avant Media Records, a 2013 release of the music of loadbang member Andy Kozar on ANALOG Arts Records, a 2014 release on ANALOG Arts Records titled Monodramas, and a 2015 release on New Focus Recordings titled Lungpowered. www.loadbang.com

JACK Quartet is "the go-to quartet for contemporary music, tying impeccable musicianship to intellectual ferocity and a take-no-prisoners sense of commitment" (Washington Post). The recipient of Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, New Music USA's Trailblazer Award, and the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, JACK has performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall (USA), Lincoln Center (USA), Miller Theatre (USA), Wigmore Hall (United Kingdom), Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Netherlands), IRCAM (France), Kölner Philharmonie (Germany), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Suntory Hall (Japan), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Festival Internacional Cervatino (Mexico), and Teatro Colón (Argentina). jackquartet.com

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, JACK is focused on new work, leading them to collaborate with composers John Luther Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Simon Steen-Andersen, Caroline Shaw, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Reich, Matthias Pintscher, and John Zorn. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Derek Bermel, Cenk Ergün, Roger Reynolds, Toby Twining, and Georg Friedrich Haas.

Mark Dresser has been actively performing and recording solo since 1983. At the core of his music is an artistic obsession and commitment to expanding the sonic and musical possibilities of the double bass through the use of unconventional amplification and extended techniques. His solo works include the DVD/CD/booklet triptich Guts: Bass Explorations, Investigations, and Explanations (2010) and CDs UNVEIL (2006) and Invocation(1994) feature the music evolving out of this research. A chapter on his extended techniques, "A Personal Pedogogy," appears in the book, ARCANA (Granary Press). Dresser has written two articles on extended techniques for The Strad magazine: "Double Bass Harmonics" (October 2008) and an "Introduction to Multiphonics" (October 2009). Dresser presented a lecture/demonstration titled "Discover, Develop, Integrate: Techniques Revealed" at the 2009 International Society of Bassists convention, where he curated a New Music Summit featuring lectures, performances, and panel discussions on improvisation and contemporary music performance.

Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For the past thirty years he has championed contemporary percussion music as a performer and teacher, by commissioning and premiering more than one hundred new works for percussion. Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego and a Consulting Artist in Percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. He was the percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars of New York City from 1992-2002, and from 2000 to 2004 served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group red fish blue fish, and in 2007 he assumed the post of Music Director and conductor of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. His book on solo percussion music, The Percussionist's Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams, was published by the University of Rochester Press; his recording of The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies by John Luther Adams was released by Cantaloupe Music; and, a three-CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis, made in collaboration with red fish blue fish, was issued by Mode Records.



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