UCLA Faculty Composers Concert
May 2, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
Richard DanielpourComposer See Bio
Grammy-Award winning composer Richard Danielpour has established himself as one of the most gifted and sought-after composers of his generation. His music has attracted an international and illustrious array of champions, and, as a devoted mentor and educator, he has also had a significant impact on the younger generation of composers. His list of commissions include some of the most celebrated artists of our day including Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Gary Graffman, Anthony McGill, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the New York City, Pacific Northwest and Nashville Ballets, and institutions such as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Maryinsky and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and many more. With Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Danielpour created Margaret Garner, his first opera, which premiered in 2005 and had a second production with New York City Opera. He has received two awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters, a Guggenheim Award, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, two Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, and The Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin. He served on the composition faculty of Manhattan School of Music from 1993 to 2017. Danielpour recently relocated to Los Angeles where he has accepted the position of Professor of Music at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. He is also a member of the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music where he has taught since 1997.
In July of 2018, Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua, a 100 minute passion oratorio in Hebrew and English, commissioned by the Oregon Bach Festival, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the SDG Foundation, was premiered at the Oregon Bach Festival with JoAnn Faletta conducting. The work was then performed in December at Royce Hall in Los Angeles with the UCLA Philharmonia and Chorus led by music director Neal Stulberg and choral director James Bass. Finally, in April 2019, JoAnn Faletta lead the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in performances of The Passion of Yeshua, where it was recorded by Naxos. The album was released in March of 2020 to critical acclaim and is currently considered for three separate GRAMMYs, including best contemporary classical composition. 2020 ended with the premiere of An American Mosaic with pianist Simone Dinnerstein. The piece, which consists of 15 miniatures, pays homage to groups effected by the pandemic in unique ways and was virtually premiered in connection with the Oregon Bach Festival. 2021 will once again see new and innovative works, the most significant of them being A Standing Witness, a series of 14 songs which are settings of poems written by celebrated poet Rita Dove. Composed for mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and Music from Copland House, this one-hour work which witnesses the last 50 years of our American history will be premiered in several cities beginning in the summer of 2021.
Danielpour is one of the most recorded composers of his generation; many of his recordings can be found on the Naxos of America and Sony Classical labels. Danielpour’s music is published byand . For more information about Richard Danielpour, please visit his website at: .
Kay Rhie (이규림)See Bio
Kay Rhie (이규림) is a composer of contemporary classical music which often explores the issues of belonging and the science of acoustics. Born in South Korea, she grew up in Los Angeles and trained in both the West and the East Coast. Her immigrant experience since her teenage years has given her an artistic base as a hybridizer. She accesses a wide-ranging palette of inspiration from classical, film, European avant-gardes music as well as various literary and artistic traditions. In her choral work Tears for Te Wano, a 19th-century Maori chant and a 16th-century Renaissance motet are fused together while highlighting each distinct chant tradition. Her solo piano work Arirang uses a Korean folk tune as a descant, shrouds it in blues-infused harmony.
Rhie’s music in which “vehemence and reticence, intimacy and plainness co-exist” (American Academy of Arts and Letter) has found an increasing audience. Past highlights include performances by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the BBC Singers, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, TM+, Ensemble X, Winsor Music, In Mulieribus, a commission by pianist Gloria Cheng, violinist Andrew Jennings among others.
Her current projects include a chamber opera Quake, a commission by Opera UCLA. A comedic reimagination of the ending of Odyssey, the opera asks two questions: what homecoming means for modern people and how one might break from fate. Featuring four soloists, four-member Greek Chorus and chamber orchestra, this 60-minute chamber opera is scheduled to open in 2022 by Opera UCLA in Los Angeles.
Another upcoming project is a commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra: Five Petals is about displacement from home and a desire to belong. Using the text from Theresa Hak Kyoung Cha’s ground-breaking Dictee, three Korean poets from the colonial period, and finally a modern Korean poet Hye-Soon Kim, Five Petals depicts a struggle to ground one’s identity in a land that was not their own. This performance has been rescheduled for the 2021-22 season in Walt Disney Concert Hall.
A recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Rhie was the Music Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University. Rhie has enjoyed honors and residencies from the Ojai Music Festival, London Festival of American Music, the Tanglewood Music Center (Otto Eckstein Composition Fellow) where she was the winner of the Geffen-Solomon New Music Commission, Seal Bay Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and School, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East among others.
She began playing the piano at age seven in South Korea and continued her musical studies in Los Angeles. After she studied piano performance and composition at the University of California at Los Angeles, she received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in composition at Cornell University. Her composition teachers include Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, Paul Chihara, Ian Krouse, David Lefkowitz, John Harbison, Samuel Adler, Stephen Hartke, and Colin Matthews. She studied piano performance with Xak Bjerken, Malcolm Bilson, and Ick-Choo Moon.
Rhie currently teaches composition and theory at UCLA as Assistant Professor of Music.
Ian KrouseSee Bio
Born in 1956 in Olney, Maryland, composer Ian Krouse has been hailed by Gramophone as “one of the most communicative and intriguing young composers on the music scene today.” Of his well-known Bulerías, Soundboard described his music as "absorbing, brutal, beautiful, and harsh, all at the same time." He is widely known for his pioneering development of the guitar quartet, of which he has composed eleven to date, including the epic Quartet No. 5 Labyrinth (On A Theme of Led Zeppelin), most of which have received multiple recordings and are now featured regularly in the touring repertories of the leading groups of our time. Several of his solo guitar works, most notably Air (In the Irish style) and Variations On A Moldavian Hora, have received multiple recordings and are performed regularly by guitarists all over the world.
Though some have described his music as “universalism” or “totalism”, the eminent American composer Richard Danielpour has drawn a comparison between Krouse’s music and that of the great Hungarian composer, Bela Bartok, in that both composers rely heavily upon folk, popular, and world music influences. Though certainly true in Krouse’s case, many of his works also draw much from Renaissance, Baroque and Medieval music.
His most important work is the epic Armenian Requiem, Op. 66, scored for four vocal soloists, string quartet, organ, Armenian instruments, children’s chorus, choir, and orchestra, which received its premiere to general acclaim in April, 2015, at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Commissioned by the Lark Musical Society to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Requiem is the first ever large-scale concert setting of the traditional Armenian requiem liturgy. The debut recording of the work was released in March, 2019 on Naxos to considerable acclaim:
“Ian Krouse’s Armenian Requiem…a powerful case for redemption through music…is a timeless and timely pan-religious call to fight against oppression, not with arms and violence, but with immortal song.” (Gramophone, 2019) “This is a stunning work….proof that there still are composers who can summon the heights and depths of humanity in their music.” (American Record Guide, 2019).
Krouse’s vocal works, of which there are dozens, including song cycles, three vocal symphonies, choral works, and two operas, have over the past few years brought the composer some attention. In the lead up to the premiere of the Armenian Requiem, the Lark Musical Society commissioned two works on Armenian texts: Nocturnes, on poems by Metzarents, Mahari and Terian, for baritone and string quintet, conducted by the composer in performances in Los Angeles, Tuscany and Yerevan, with baritone Vladimir Chernov and the UCLA Camarades string ensemble, and Fire of Sacrifice, on poetry of Charents, for soprano and chorus, premiered by Vatsche Barsoumian and the Lark Master Singers. Of Nocturnes, critic Charles Fierro wrote in 2010:
“The most striking work of the day was the song cycle Nocturnes for baritone and string quintet…The metaphors of darkness and light, both physical and psychological, inform the words and the music with depth and empathy. The trajectory of Krouse’s score is powerful because it is complex and truthful. His expert use of a widely extended tonality conveys strong emotion, as witnessed by the enthusiastic audience response. This is music that will repay many hearings. It clearly deserves a place in the standard repertory.”
Nocturnes was released by Naxos in 2020.
Other vocal works for which he is known are his song cycles Cantar de los Cantares (Song of Songs) and Invocation, (also released by Naxos in 2020), both written for American soprano Jessica Rivera who released the former in 2009 for Urtext Digital Classics to critical acclaim, and the earlier Cinco Canciones Insólitas, which has been championed and recorded by American mezzo-soprano, Suzann Guzman with the Debussy Trio. In 2010 Mr. Krouse’s a cappella setting of Walt Whitman’s Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking received its successful premiere performance by the May Festival Chorus of Cincinnati under the direction of the work’s dedicatee, conductor Robert Porco. Writing of another of Mr. Krouse’s choral works, it is at moments after I have dreamed (on a text by E.E. Cummings) Nick Strimple wrote, in the American Choral Review: “Krouse’s work is varied, surprising, engaging, and gorgeous.” Krouse’s latest choral work i carry your heart also on a text by E.E. Cummings, was recently premiered in Beverly Hills, California, by the Golden Bridge led by Suzi Digby.
In addition to hundreds of performances annually by guitarists and guitar quartets all around the world, his works have been performed or recorded by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Seocho Philharmonia Orchestra (Seoul, Korea), the Ukraine Radio and Television Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestras of Cairo, Armenia, and New Zealand, the UCLA Philharmonia, the USC Symphony, the Mexico City and Pasadena Chamber Orchestras, the Aureole Trio, Dinosaur Annex, 20th Century Consort, Remix, Debussy Trio, Pacific Serenades, Dilijan Ensemble, May Festival Choir, and Los Angeles Chamber Singers, to name a few.
Throughout his career he has received many awards and grants, including an American Encores Grant (for the second performance of an orchestral work), opera development grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and several from the American Composer’s Forum and Meet the Composer, as well as those from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the Atlantic-Richfield Corporation. He has won the BMI Award and the Gaudeamus Festival Prize, was a semi-finalist in the Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards, and a finalist in both the Barlow Competition and Big Ten Commissioning Project. His works have been recorded and released by Brain, Chandos, Delos, GSP, GHA, Koch, Lisaddell, Navona, Naxos, RCM, Voces de Iberoamerica, and Urtext Digital Classics among others. He is a Distinguished Professor of Music at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Wojciech StepienSee Bio
WOJCIECH STĘPIEŃ (b. 1977) is a composer, musicologist and music theorist. He completed his MA in music theory (2003) and composition summa cum laude (2005) at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice (Poland) and his PhD in musicology at the University of Helsinki (2010). In 2019 he received a habilitation degree (post-doc) at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. Since 2008, he has been working as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Composition and Music Theory at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. Currently as a Fulbright scholar he is a visiting assistant professor at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, University of California Los Angeles. He is a member of the Polish Composers` Union.
Among his last works are: the chamber opera Black Mirror (2019), cycle of songs in the form of monodrama Five Letters to the Beautiful Knight (2020), cycle of songs Wind Whines to James Joyce’s poems (2021), musical Captain Who (2022). Currently he is working with librettist Amanda Hollander on the opera A Single Man with support from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.
Peter GolubSee Bio
PETER GOLUB began playing the piano when he was six. Alongside his interest in music, in high school he developed a passion for the theatre, forming a troupe with a group of classmates and directing and acting in plays by Pinter, Ionesco and Beckett. His interest in music and theatre led to his ongoing interest in dramatic music as his career travels between film, theatre, and concert music.
Golub composed the score for Chloe Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me, shown at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and Frozen River, directed by Courtney Hunt, and winner of Jury Award for Best Film at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The Laramie Project, directed by Moises Kaufman for HBO, was the opening night film at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and features a score performed by The St. Luke’s Orchestra. With James Newton Howard, he co-composed the score for The Great Debaters, directed by Denzel Washington and starring Washington and Forest Whitaker. He composed music for the documentaries Wordplay (starring Will Shortz, Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart) and I.O.U.S.A., both directed by Patrick Creadon and both shown at the Sundance Film Festival. His score for Stolen, directed by Rebecca Dreyfus, was awarded Best Music at the 2003 Avignon Film Festival. He also scored American Gun, directed by Aric Avelino starring Forest Whitaker, Marcia Gay Harden and Donald Sutherland and Sublime, directed by Tony Krantz, starring Thomas Cavanagh. In 2021 he scored Bernstein’s Wall, which was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. (See the Film page for complete listing, or visit the Internet Movie Database.)
Broadway credits include: Time Stands Still (by Donald Marguiles, with Laura Linney; Daniel Sullivan, dir), Come Back, Little Sheba (directed by Michael Pressman, with S. Epatha Merkersen, who was nominated for the 2008 Tony Award), Hedda Gabler (directed by Nicholas Marin, with Kate Burton), and Suddenly Last Summer (directed by Mark Brokaw, with Blythe Danner).
Early in his career, Golub began working in the theatre in New York, composing numerous scores and working with some of the giants of the downtown theatre scene. During his ten-year creative partnership with Charles Ludlam, he was composer-in-residence at Ludlam’s legendary Ridiculous Theatrical Company, writing scores for such works as The Mystery of Irma Vep, Galas, Salammbo, and The Artificial Jungle. He and Ludlam wrote a dramatic scene for actor, mezzo-soprano and orchestra, The Production of Mysteries, which was performed by Lukas Foss and the Brooklyn Philharmonic He also worked on numerous shows with Joseph Papp at the New York Shakespeare Festival, including Shakespeare in the Park productions of Twelfth Night (with Gregory Hines, Michelle Pfieffer and Jeff Goldblum) and Othello (with Raul Julia and Christopher Walken). His ongoing collaboration with writer/director Moises Kaufman, includes scores for Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project. He worked with the noted performance artist Ethyl Eichelberger, composing and performing in Ariadne Obnoxious at the Joyce Theater and several musical at La Mama. As a member of Joseph Chaikin’s Winter Project, he wrote and performed music for numerous productions at La Mama.
He has written two musicals: Amphigorey (with story and designs by Edward Gorey; Drama Desk Nomination) and The Idiots Karamazov (book by Albert Innaurato and Christopher Durang, lyrics by Mr. Durang). He’s also written scores for Playwrights Horizon, Manhattan Theater Club, Berkeley Rep, The Mark Taper Forum, the Huntington, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Old Globe, Seattle Rep, American Repertory Theatre, and the American Music Theatre Festival. With playwright Richard Nelson he wrote a musical theatre piece based on Chekhov’s Platonov called “Unfinished Piece for Player Piano”, which was performed at New York Stage and Film.
Golub’s recent concert works include: On Gossamer Wings (for chamber orchestra), 17 Preludes for piano; Suite for Solo Violin; 8 Miniatures for Violin and Piano; Six Dirty Limericks, for soprano and piano; Ghost Songs for baritone and piano (texts by Thomas Hardy) and Light Verse for soprano and piano. Other works include: Dark Carols for Chorus and Orchestra (with text by Philip Littell, recorded on the ECM label); Threaded Dances for flute and piano; Three Interludes for guitar (recorded on Gasparao Records by Robert Phelps); As Birds Do, Mother for ‘cello and oud. His music has been performed by Tashi, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The Jubal Trio, and numerous chamber groups and soloists. He has composed four ballet scores in collaboration with noted choreographer Peter Anastos: The Lost World, commissioned by Edward Villella for the Miami City Ballet; The Gilded Bat (story and designs by Edward Gorey, for Ballet West; performed at the Kennedy Center); Trianon (for the Atlanta Ballet); and Straight Through the Heart (for the Milwaukee Ballet). (see complete catalogue of works under “Concert”).
As an undergraduate at Bennington College, he studied composition with Henry Brant, a pioneer in spatial music in the tradition of Charles Ives and a master orchestrator. (In addition to his huge catalogue of original works, Brant orchestrated film scores by Alex North, including A Streetcar Named Desire and Cleopatra.) In addition to studying the traditional piano repertoire, he focused on 20th Century works. He continued his training at the Yale School of Music where he studied composition with Toru Takemitsu and Jacob Druckman and earned a Doctorate. His work and friendship with Takemitsu, who in addition to his concert works was the composer of a large body of film scores, was pivotal in his development and continues to be an inspiration.
Since 1999 he has been the Director of the Sundance Film Music Program, where he runs the yearly Composers Lab, a workshop for aspiring film composers. He was awarded the Classic Contribution Award by BMI and a 2008 Vision Award. He is also the recipient of a Charles Ives Scholarship (given by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters) as well as grants from the National Endowment of the Arts (Opera/Musical Theater Program), Meet-the-Composer, and New York Foundation for the Arts. He serves on the Board of the American Music Center.
He has taught at Bennington College, Reed College, Columbia College and CAL Arts. He is currently a continuing lecturer at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music and teaches in the Screen Scoring Program at USC. Golub is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Intermezzo (from Canti Della Natura), 2019
Antonio Lysy, cello
Inna Faliks, Piano
I Hear the Sound of Trees (preview) for Soprano, Horn, and Piano, 2008, 2022
I. After the dazzle of day
III. Cascadilla Falls
V. Love Song
Leela Subramaniam, soprano
Amy Sanchez, horn
Andreas Apostolou, piano
Reverie, Blues and Elegy (Etude 2b from Etudes for One and Two Pianos, Op. 67), 2017
Emily Webster-Zuber, piano
Kaitlin Webster-Zuber, piano
Wind Whines, 2021
I. On the Beach at Fontana
II. Watching the Needleboats at San Sabba
III. She Weeps over Rahoon
Carmen Edano, mezzosoprano
Andrzej Ślązak, piano
LUDUS VENTORUM (or Der Suppentopf von Herr Brant), 2023
Arturo Rodriguez and Theo Schmitt, conductors
Will Adams, Elle Cao, Matthew Origel, Shannyn Sul, flutes
Jacob Freiman, Harrison Garff, Darren Liou, Kai Nakkim, clarinets
Adam Gilberti, contrabass clarinet
Abby Brendza, Zane Marquez, Corey Castillo, Matthew Rasmussen, bassoons
Aric Kline, Kenneth Brown, Emma Breen, McCartney Hutchinson, trumpets
Spencer Mar, Nathan Culcasi, Jason Bernhard, Ethan Holmes, trombones
Sam Adam, tuba
Andreas Apostolou, Phyllis Pan, pianos
Eleanor Muhawi, organ
Robby Good, Alejandro Barajas, percussion
This event is made possible by the David and Irmgard Dobrow Fund. Classical music was a passion of the Dobrows, who established a generous endowment at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music to make programs like this possible. We are proud to celebrate this program as part of the 2022 – 23 Dobrow Series.
I Hear the Sound of Trees
This song cycle was inspired by a collection of poems about finding one’s true voice when we face nature. The cycle starts out with busyness and slowly moves towards quiet introspection, depicting stillness that we often forget. Written while I was living in Ithaca, NY, the songs were written for originally voice and piano and later revised for various ensembles, and this time, for voice, horn, and piano. Movements 1, 3, and 5 comprise the main songs, calling for the trio, while 2 and 4 are concise interludes for only voice and piano. – Kay Rhie (2022)
I Hear the Sound of Trees was commissioned by SaeRon Trio.
- After the dazzle of day (Walt Whitman)
- Reflective (A.R. Ammons)
- Cascadilla Falls(A.R. Ammons)
- Perfection (Walt Whitman)
- Love Song(A.R. Ammons)
1. After the dazzle of day is gone,
Only the dark, dark night shows to my eyes the stars;
After the clangor of organ majestic, or chorus, or perfect band,
Silent, athwart my soul, moves the symphony true
2. I found a/ weed/ that had a
mirror in it/ and that/ mirror
looked in at/ a mirror/in
me that/ had a/ weed in it
3. I went down by Cascadilla/ Falls this/evening, the/stream below the falls, and picked up a/
handsized stone/ kidney-shaped, testicular and/
thought all its motions into it,/ the 800 mph earth spin,/ the 190-million-mile yearly/
displacement around the sun,/ the overriding/ grand/ haul
of the galaxy with the 30,000/ mph of where/ the sun’s going:/
thought all the interweaving/ motions/ into myself: dropped/
the stone to dead rest:/ the stream from other motions/ broke/rushing over it:/shelterless,
I turned/ to the sky and stood still:/ oh/ I do/ not know where i am going/ that I can live my life/ by the single creek.
4. Only themselves understand themselves, and/ The like of themselves,/As Souls only understand Soul.
5. Rings of birch bark/ stand in the woods/ still circling the nearly/ vanished log: after/ we go to pass/
through log and star/ the white song will/ hug us together in the/ woods of some lover’s head
“After the dazzle of day”, “Perfection” from Walt Whitman’s poetry collection LEAVES OF GRASS in public domain. “Reflective” © 1990 from THE REALLY SHORT POEMS OF A.R. Ammons “Cascadilla Falls”, “Love Song (2)” © 1986 from THE SELECTED POEMS, EXPANDED EDITION. Used by the kind permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Wind Whines (2021) is a cycle of three songs to poems from ‘Pomes penyeach’, written by James Joyce in Trieste just before the First World War. The message of songs is catastrophic – death and the inevitability of what life brings throws our feelings and close relationships with people to fate. Wind Whines is originally composed for baritone and piano.
I. On the Beach at Fontana
Wind whines and whines the shingle,
The crazy pierstakes groan;
A senile sea numbers each single
From whining wind and colder
Grey sea I wrap him warm
And touch his trembling fineboned shoulder
And boyish arm.
Around us fear, descending
Darkness of fear above
And in my heart how deep unending
Ache of love!
II. Watching the Needleboats at San Sabba
I heard their young hearts crying
Loveward above the glancing oar
And heard the prairie grasses sighing:
No more, return no more!
O hearts, O sighing grasses,
Vainly your loveblown bannerets mourn!
No more will the wild wind that passes
Return, no more return.
III. She Weeps over Rahoon
Rain on Rahoon falls softly, softly falling,
Where my dark lover lies.
Sad is his voice that calls me, sadly calling,
At grey moonrise.
Love, hear thou
How soft, how sad his voice is ever calling,
Ever unanswered, and the dark rain falling,
Then as now.
Dark too our hearts, O love, shall lie and cold
As his sad heart has lain
Under the moongrey nettles, the black mould
And muttering rain.
LUDUS VENTORUM (or Der Suppentopf von Herr Brant)
Ludus Ventorum means “play of winds” and that is what this piece largely is. I’ve had a life-long love of wind instruments and I’m also interested in using them in families, where each group produces a homogeneous sound. The piece is also a tribute to American composer Henry Brant, who was my teacher and a strong influence on my music. Brant was an American pioneer in the tradition of Ives, Cowell and Partch and he was a practitioner of spatial music, in which WHERE the sound is coming from plays an important role.
I’d like to offer my thanks and appreciation to the stellar group of performers from UCLA playing tonight, and to Robby Good, for rounding them up.
– Peter Golub