Spring Sprigs

The Baltimore Composers Forum is proud to announce Spring Sprigs, featuring new works performed by Iktus Percussion and the Atlantic Guitar Quartet with guest oboist Sonja Winkler at An die Musik LIVE! on Friday, April 4, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. Featured composers include Garth Baxter, Rahilia Hasanova , Ljiljana Jovanović, Phil Ravita, George Spicka and Hollis Thoms. An die Musik is located at 409 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. For more information, please visit www.andiemusiklive.com or call (410) 385-2638. Tickets: $15 general, $10 students and seniors (cash only at the door). There will be a post-concert wine reception with the musicians and composers.

Iktus Percussion
Performer bios:
Percussionist Piero Guimaraes stands at the forefront of a new generation of international performers who specialize in orchestral and contemporary music. A native of Brazil, Guimaraes presented the Brazilian premiere of several pivotal works by influential composers including Iannis Xenakis, Steve Reich and Peter Eotvos. Guimaraes concertizes extensively, having made his mark in halls across the United States, Brazil, Austria, Germany, Spain, and Holland. A versatile player, Guimaraes is a frequent participant in orchestral and contemporary music festivals including The World Orchestra, International Ensemble Modern Academy, Pommersfelden Summer Akademy and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He has collaborated extensively with living composers, working with John Luther Adams, Heinz Holliger, and Kaija Saariaho to name only a few. Additionally, Guimaraes has performed under the baton of many world-renowned conductors including Maestro Kurt Mazur. Guimaraes earned his bachelor’s degree from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil and his master’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook in New York. He is presently a doctoral candidate in percussion performance under the instruction of Eduardo Leandro. Around the New York contemporary music community, Guimaraes has performed at venues such as Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, and Roulette. In addition to his solo career, Guimaraes serves as a core member of the Iktus Percussion ensemble. Guimaraes and Iktus delivered both world premieres and presented master classes in the elite music departments of Queens College, Oberlin Conservatory, Michigan State University. the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. As a member of the duo What Where with French pianist Julia Den Boer, he was jointly awarded a prize winner in the coveted Ackerman Chamber Music Competition. www.piero-guimaraes.com

Josh Perry is a percussionist currently based in New York. Josh’s main artistic interests lay in contemporary music and performing arts, with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary mediums. He has premiered multiple new works for percussion and mixed ensemble and has been heard at venues including Issue Project Room, Galapagos Art Space, Trinity Church, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Roulette, and Merkin Hall. With interests in interdisciplinary art collaborations, Josh has performed with a variety of artists including a movement specialist, dancers, videographers, dramaturges, actors, and playwrights. He has performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon and the Festival Internacional de Inverno de Campos do Jordao in Brazil. Josh performs with Iktus Percussion, a collective-based new music group based in NYC. With Iktus, Josh has performed and given workshops at Suffolk Community College, Stony Brook University pre-college program, Western Michigan University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, CUNY-Queens College, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, and Oberlin College. Josh earned his Bachelors of Music from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst under the instruction of Ayano Kataoka and Thomas Hannum. Josh received his Masters of Music and is currently working on his DMA at SUNY Stony Brook where he studies with Eduardo Leandro.

Chris Graham is an international new music musician living and working in New York City. Chris has consistently worked and performed with notable groups such as Newband, Ear to Mind, Talujon Percussion, Mantra Percussion, Talea Ensemble, and is a founding member and director of Iktus Percussion; as well as co-principal percussionist for Ensemble Moto Perpetuo. He has commissioned and premiered works by established composers such as Charles Wuorinen, Martin Bresnick, Michael Gordon, Philippe Manoury, Franco Donatoni, Philippe Hurel, Mauricio Kagel, Ron Ford, Michel Vander Aa, Hugo Morales, Gerard Grisey, Harry Partch, John Luther Adams, Lisa R. Coons, Daniel Wohl, Paula Matthusen, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Angelica Negron, Sebastian Armoza, Mathew Welch, Philip Schuessler, Levy Lorenzo, Matt Hough, Joe DiPonio, Brian Jacobs, Aaron Siegel, Ted Herne, Tristan Perich, Inhyun Kim, Jen Wang, Joseph Waters, Stephan Weisman, and Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin, and Wood), among others.
With various professional ensembles, Chris has performed at Symphony Space, Tank, LPR, Galapagos, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Roulette, Issue Project Room, Trinity Church, Miller Theater, Merkin Hall, The Knitting Factory, Bang on a Can Marathon, Jack Theater, Armory, 92nd Street Y, The powerHouse Arena, and Carnegie Hall. He has given performances and master classes at the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, William Paterson University, Oberlin College, Queens College, Cal Arts, Bronx Community College, Chapman College, SUNY Buffalo, University of Northern Illinois, Bowling Green State University, Western Washington University, University of Washington, Goucher College, Onondaga Community College, Manhattan School of Music, Sara Lawrence College, New York University, New Music College, Caldwell College, MIT, and the University of Vermont. And has performed in festivals such as, Make Music New York, Carlsbad New Music Festival, X Avant Festival, Elastic Arts Festival, Incubator Arts Festival, Bang on a Can Festival, Ear to Heart, Music at First, The Wayward Music Series, Washington Composers Forum, Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival, Vancouver New Music, EQ [equilibrium concert series], Composers Now Festival, UNPLAY Festival, Drogheda Arts Festival, June in Buffalo Performance Institute, Charlotte New Music Festival, and PASIC. In addition to his preforming credits, Chris established the Firehouse New Music Series, in which he, organized and curated concerts in NYC and the metropolitan area. Working closely with young up-and-coming new music ensembles such as, Mivos String Quartet, Loadbang Ensemble, Yarn Wire, Either/Or Ensemble, thingNY, Hotel Elefant, Panoply Performance Lab, Ashcan Orchestra, Elevator Rose, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Duo Orfeo, and Concert Black. He has co-organized several performances for Issue Project Room’s “Gaudeamus Muzieweek New York” and “Darmstadt Series”, receiving critical acclaim in 2010 from TimeOut New York as one of the top ten concerts of the year performing Karlheinz Stockhausen’s epic works, Mikrophonie and Kontakte. In the spring of 2013, he Co-organized and directed “PERCASIAN”, at the Charles B. Wang Center. A project featuring the music of John Cage, James Tenney, and Tan Dun, as well as, dance Chorography, and other multimedia elements. As an artist-in-residence he has taught at Suny Purchase and Cuny Brooklyn College, working with both student percussion ensembles and student composers. He is the director of the Stony Brook pre-college percussion ensemble and is on faculty at Suffolk Community College. He received a Bachelor’s of Music and Performers Certificate from SUNY Purchase College, Masters of Music from Stony Brook University, where he is currently a candidate in the Doctoral of the Musical Arts program. Previous teachers include Raymond DesRoches, Dominic Donato, Tom Kolor, Joseph Pereira, and Eduardo Leandro.

Ensemble bio:
Based in New York City, Iktus Percussion is an ambitious, dynamic young ensemble committed to expanding the boundaries of the percussion genre. Iktus is a collective-based operation, featuring an array of industrious and multi-talented percussionists with Chris Graham, Justin Wolf, Josh Perry, and Piero Guimaraes at the core. As a group with strong ties to the local artistic community, Iktus is dedicated to collaboration with emerging artists, having commissioned over fifty new works for percussion from such composers as Angélica Negrón, Aaron Siegel, Lisa R. Coons, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Stefan Weisman, and Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin and Wood), among others. With an exciting and diverse range of repertoire, Iktus has performed at such venues and festivals as the Bang on A Can Marathon, Galapagos Arts Space, Le Poisson Rouge, Roulette, Issue Project Room, Symphony Space, The Tank, and Trinity Church. Iktus has been appointed to several residencies including SUNY Purchase College (where they performed Laura Kaminsky’s Terra Terribilis, a concerto for percussion quartet and orchestra), CUNY Brooklyn College, and the Pre-College Music Program at Stony Brook University. As performer-educators, Iktus has also performed concerts and hosted master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Oberlin College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Michigan, University of Western Michigan, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, William Paterson University, Western Washington University, University of Washington, and Onondaga Community College, as well as various public schools. Community outreach and public performance is an essential aspect of Iktus’ mission: in September of 2011, Iktus performed an exciting all-percussion outdoor concert in Fort Greene Park, including works by Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, and Iannis Xenakis, as well as Stockhausen’s Musik im Bauch in Central Park as part of Make Music New York in 2012. Iktus was selected as a Time Out New York Critic’s Pick: Top Ten Concert of the Year in 2010, received critical acclaim from the New York Times for their performance with the St. Petersburg Chamber Symphony in the “Wall to Wall” series: Music of the Soviet ERA and a concert of selected works of John Cage at Le Poisson Rouge, and sold out the final evening of the 2012 Gaudeamus Muziek week at Issue Project Room. Iktus is endorsed by Black Swamp Percussion and Mike Balter Mallets.

Atlantic Guitar Quartet
Performer bios:
Kevin Shannon actively performs solo and chamber music on both modern classical guitar, and various period instruments including Lute, Baroque guitar and percussion. Kevin is a former member of the 1 East Guitar Quartet, and he is a founding and current member of the Atlantic Guitar Quartet. In the genre of early music, Kevin has performed with the Peabody Consort, the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble and the Byrd consort. He received a Masters of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Institute, where was the Graduate Assistant to Julian Gray, and was awarded a Peabody Career Development Grant. Recent notable performances include collaborations with the New York Baroque Dance Company, performances through the Midori and Friends Foundation, performances in the Marlow Guitar series and the Loyola College Concert Series, and performances at the Kennedy Center. Along with his performance schedule, Kevin teaches guitar privately in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area.

As a solo artist, Mark Edwards has been hailed as a player who “transfers to another zone, effortlessly strumming, plucking and picking a variety of classical masterpieces with clarity.” (Montgomery Advertiser.) Engagements in recent seasons include Trinity Church in New York City, ArtScape in Baltimore, the Toronto Guitar Symposium, The Mississippi Guitar Festival, and the Montgomery Guitar Festival. Mark has also been on the Maryland State Arts Council Touring Artist Roster since 2009. During the past fifteen years Mark has earned thirty-two top prizes in competitions in the United States, Canada, and Thailand, including the 2010 Asia International Guitar Competition, the 2009 Montreal International Guitar Competition, and the 2008 National Guitar Workshop/National D’addario Solo Competition. Mark holds a Master of Music Performance and Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute of Music, and a Bachelor of Music (magna cum laude) from Columbus State University.

Originally a violinist, Jonathan Zwi began the classical guitar at the age of 18 when he found a passion for the instrument at Indiana University, where he completed his Bachelor’s of Music degree under the direction of José Antonio López, Julio Ribeiro and Ernesto Bitetti. Jonathan also received degrees in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. In June of 2007, he moved to Brazil to focus on the guitar and re-identify with his heritage and in July he won first place in the 1st Eustáquio Grilo Interational Guitar Competition. As a result he toured Brazil, performing concerts in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. While in Brazil, Jonathan was enrolled at the School of Music at the Federal University of Bahia under the guidance of Mario Ulloa. He was also enrolled in the University’s School of Fine Arts, specializing in printmaking, silkscreen and photography, and has shown his work in exhibits and galleries throughout Salvador, Bahia. He has continued to exhibit his work upon returning to the United States. Jonathan completed his Master’s degree at the Peabody Conservatory under the guidance of Ray Chester and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts under Manuel Barrueco.

Ronald Pearl is a guitarist, composer and teacher based in the Baltimore area. Currently he is an associate professor of music at Loyola University where he teaches courses in music history and theory and directs guitar studies. He spent two decades performing with guitarist Julian Gray, giving concerts throughout the US, Canada, and England, and releasing four highly acclaimed recordings on the Dorian label. In addition to solo appearances, his recent performance activities include collaborations with singers and chamber musicians. As a teacher, he’s given masterclasses, workshops, and have been a guest artist at such venues as the National Guitar Workshop, Yale University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stetson University’s International Guitar Workshop, and California State University’s “SummerArts” Festival. As a composer, his works have been performed, recorded, and broadcast in the US and abroad. His recent trio, “Jacob’s Ladder” was premiered in Istanbul, by Triobio, and subsequently aired nationwide in Turkey; “My Name is Red” for solo guitar, was broadcast on the nationally syndicated radio program, Guitar Alive. “C” for guitar quartet has been recorded by the 1East Guitar Quartet; and a large ensemble work, “An Ever Lightening Sky” was premiered recently at Loyola University Maryland.

Ensemble bio
Founded in 2010, the Atlantic Guitar Quartet is an ensemble dedicated to promoting the music of living composers. With virtuosic performances, innovative programing and collaborations with artists in other media the AQG has broadened the definition and repertoire of the classical guitar quartet. Each of the four members, Mark Edwards, Kevin Shannon, Zoe Johnstone Stewart and Jonathan Zwi, have enjoyed extensive solo performing and teaching careers since finishing advanced degrees at the Peabody Conservatory. As a group, AGQ has performed as part of the Evolution contemporary music series and the Spring Stage Performances series, and at Salisbury University, York College of Pennsylvania, Harford Community College and the Jordan Faye Contemporary Art Gallery. They have been artists-in-residence at the Engineers Club of the Garret-Jacobs Mansion in Baltimore since 2010. In addition to their performances, the quartet has also been invited to teach master classes and workshops at Salisbury University and the Mid Atlantic Guitar Ensemble Festival. AGQ has been proactive in expanding the repertoire of the classical guitar quartet by commissioning new works. With major institutional support by the Presser Foundation and the Peabody Conservatory, AGQ has premiered pieces by American composers David Smooke, Christopher Gainey and Ronald Pearl. These works, along with music by composer Olivier Bensa, will be featured on the quartet’s debut CD, to be released in the fall of 2013. AGQ’s 2013-2014 season will also feature a new commission by composer Joshua Bornfield, sponsored by the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society.

Guest oboist Sonja Winkler
Sonja Winkler, oboist, studied at Eastman School of Music (BM ’03) and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music (MM ’05), where she performed and conducted several world premieres of compositions written by her father, Hollis Thoms. She has also performed with the New World Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra and Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra. Sonja works at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Director of Orchestra Operations and Touring for the PSO, and lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Jordan, and son, Ethan.

Composers’ program notes

Garth Baxter – To Aegir for 4 guitars (1985/2005)
This is an atonal piece with some tonal and bitonal sections. It has some similarities to Alban Berg’s works in that it is romantic and lyrical in the traditional sense but uses a more contemporary approach to tonality and harmonies. To Aegir is published by Les Productions, D’oz.

Garth Baxter – Shenandoah: A Fantasy for four guitars (1997)
This work was dedicated to Glenn Caluda and Shenandoah Conservatory of Music who were strong supporters of my music.The work is in arch form (ABCBA) with the middle section being the folk song Shenandoah. There are also references to the folk song in the introduction and the coda. The different sections are contrasting. The A section is lyrical and chromatic (but tonal). The B section is up-tempo and highly chromatic. The C section is lyrical and very traditional in approach to harmonies. After a rather straight statement of the folk song the rest of this section develops the theme a little. The final B section ends with a lengthy transition to the final A. The transition is based on the A theme and contains some heavy counterpoint which finally dissolves into the return of the lyrical A theme.

Shenandoah: A Fantasy – Edgefield for two guitars (1998/1999)
This is a tonal piece in ternary form. The lyrical A section is very loosely based on the hymn tune of the same name. The B section is episodic and dramatic. It is chromatic and restless. The return to the A is very similar to the original one except for a reference to a theme from the B section and a short codetta. Edgefield is published by Les Productions, D’oz.

Hollis Thoms – Lyric 2 (2013)
Lyric 2 (2013) for oboe and three percussionists was written for the Baltimore Composer’s Forum Contest and is dedicated to my daughter, Sonja (Thoms) Winkler, who is a professional oboist (BA, Eastman; MM, Rice) and is Director of Touring and Operations for the Pittsburgh Symphony. Sonja has premiered many of my compositions as oboist and conductor and for her senior recital at Eastman premiered Lyric 1 for oboe and strings. The work highlights the oboe’s lyrical and expressive qualities as well as its quick and rhythmic virtuosity possibilities.

Rahilia Hasanova – Dance of Water (2013)
My composition for percussion instruments Dance of Water (2013) was inspired by the researches of the last decades that grew my interest and attention to the phenomenon of water.It is the real treasure. Water on the earth moves continually through the water cycle of evaporation and transpiration. It is the live and breathes of water. Live of water is the non-stop movement and transformations through liquid, solid, and gaseous conditions. It is the miracle. I love to contemplate water, listening to water’s “music”. In my composition I wanted to show my admiration by crystal singing of water.

George Spicka – Archaeopteryx (2013)
Archaeopteryx represents a brief segment in the life of a creature that flourished some 150 million years ago, during Earth’s Jurassic Period. Found in the limestones of Solnhofen Germany in 1861, Archaeopteryx (early wing), was a major discovery for paleontology. Here was a small, raven-sized dinosaur, with wings. It had been believed that birds showed up after the dinosaur extinction. Radiometric dating put it into the middle of the time of the dinosaurs. One debate that ensued, did birds evolve directly from a line of dinosaurs, or was it from a parallel line of reptiles? The consensus today is yes, our feathered friends do carry within them, the heritage of the fiercest predators our planet has ever seen.

Ljiljana Jovanović – Shelter within a Shelter (2008 – Migrations part IV)
In autumn of 2004 I’ve decided to explore a theme of migration through five segments: part I – instability (Tritonus), part II – cultural roots (Triptych), part III – living “somewhere in between” (The Fifth Mirror), part IV – corporeal migration versus imaginative migration (Shelter within a Shelter), and part V – cyclical migration patterns in the nature (All Around). Migrations is a New Music Theatre project, i. e. interdisciplinary project in which music is a “script” (with an obvious or hidden, linear or non linear story line), and the musicians are a visual representation of that script. All actions whether bodily movements, text narration or intense stillness are orchestrated into a music score as an additional instrumental layer. The collaboration with choreographer Sonia Synkowski has introduced a further level of creative exploration by juxtaposing corporeal movements and shapes with the temporal characteristics of music. (time, duration, tempo and rhythm) The “migrating” props: part I my father’s suitcase; part II (same) suitcase and red yarn; part III suitcase, red yarn and sugar cubes; part IV suitcase, red yarn, sugar cubes and heart-shaped honey cookies; part V suitcase, red yarn, sugar cubes, heart-shaped honey cookies and video.

Phil Ravita – Azure (2013)
This piece of music is reflective of the conversations I have had with people that, despite the challenges of life, had never forgotten there is a blue sky above the clouds.