Given the modest number of offerings at the Center for New Music (C4NM) reported thus far for the month of September, it is probably worth giving the initial heads-up for the month of October, which already has more events scheduled (albeit, for now at least, “more” by the count of one). (As of this morning, the count for September escalated from two to three events.) Furthermore, my guess is that readers will appreciate receiving advance notice of at least some of these October events, since they involve some impressive programming. As usual, however, I shall allow for the possibility of updating this Web page, using my Facebook shadow site to put out the word whenever such updates take place.
C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, half a block north of the Golden Gate Theater, which is where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. All tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini event page. Hyperlinks to the appropriate Web pages will be attached to each of the dates in the following summary:
Thursday, October 4, 7:30 p.m.: The animals & giraffes duo of Phillip Greenlief on reeds and reader Claudia La Rocco will conclude their year-long residency at C4NM with two sets of interdisciplinary improvisation. They will also use the program to celebrate their new CD release, Landlocked Beach. Each set will have its own unique set of special guests, who will join in the improvisation work. In the first set they will be perform with Kip Kipperman on bass and Zachary James Watkins on electronics, along with additional texts contributed by Anne Walsh and movement presented by Jesse Hewit. In the second set animals & giraffes will be joined by two masters of live electronic music, Thomas Dimuzio and Wobbly. Admission will be $15 for general admission and $10 for C4NM members.
Saturday, October 6, 8 p.m.: Emma Logan will curate a recital by the Curium piano trio, whose members are violinist Agnieszka Peszko, cellist Natalie Raney, and pianist Rachel Kim. They are an all-female ensemble committed to developing a repertoire around female composers, both past and present. I was fortunate enough to attend their Old First Concerts debut this past June and was as impressed by their approach to repertoire as I was to their shared commitment to solid interpretation of scores covering a broad span of music history.
At Old First they played two of the movements from Clara Schumann’s Opus 17, her only piano trio, selecting movements that alternated the rhetorics of G minor and G major. On the contemporary side they played Kaija Saariaho’s “Light and Matter” (also an “only piano trio,” at least for now), which was composed in 2014. They will revisit both of these offerings when they perform at C4NM, this time playing the Schumann trio in its entirety. In addition they will begin the program with Jennifer Higdon’s “Pale Yellow,” composed in 2003. Admission will be $15 for general admission and $10 for C4NM members, students, and seniors.
Sunday, October 7, 2 p.m.: Pianist Thomas Schultz will give a solo recital that will feature a performance of Frederic Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” The author of the Wikipedia page for this composition compares its approach to 36 variations on a popular Chilean revolutionary song (“¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!”) to Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 988 set of “Goldberg” variations on an aria theme. At least one of my colleagues prefers to take Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 120 set of 33 variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli as a point of reference. My own preferred reference point is Johannes Brahms’ Opus 35 set of variations on the theme from the last of Niccolò Paganini’s 24 caprices, composed in the key of A minor, which I have always regarded as a monument that brilliantly invokes demanding piano virtuosity in the service of an inventiveness that often borders on the outrageous. Schultz will also play two solo piano compositions by his Wooden Fish Ensemble colleague Hyo-shin Na, “Rain Study” and “Small Noise.” Admission will be $15 for general admission and $10 for C4NM members.
Thursday, October 16, 7:30 p.m.: This final concert of this month (at least as of this current writing) will be a recital by tenor Jonathan Pilkington accompanied by guitarist Nicolas Deuson. It will be one of the stops on a West Coast tour. The program will feature the world premiere of “My Children Move Like Water,” composed by Olivia Kieffer on a commission by the duo. The program will also feature music by Bay Area composers including Larry Polansky, William Susman, and Erling Wold. Deuson made the guitar arrangements for the works by both Susman and Wold, and those arrangements will also be receiving their respective world premieres. The program will also include Evan Lewis’ Five Picture Books, settings of poems by Robert Lewis Stevenson also written on commission. The remaining composer to be featured on the program will be the Hungarian Mátyás Seiber, who explored a prodigious variety of different styles in his work. Admission will be $15 for general admission and $10 for C4NM members.