Illuminations & Reflections: First Annual Symposium on Music in the 21st Century

The International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State University announces a symposium on music in the 21st century, to take place at the SF State School of Music and Dance, February 6-7, 2009. The symposium comprises two days of paper presentations and concerts.

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Elliott Carter and Olivier Messiaen must be counted among the most important and enduring influences on European and American music since 1945. Born one day apart in 1908, Messiaen on December 10, Carter on December 11, these two prolific composers each developed a unique musical language, producing musical works of commanding expressive power and originality characterized by new understandings of tonality and atonality, rhythmic stratification, and orchestration. Individually, their use polyrhythmic surface and formal features, as well as their gestural and harmonic worlds, have had a pervasive influence on those who have followed.

Composer Richard Festinger, founder of the Earplay ensemble, and a member of the San Francisco State faculty since 1990, has been an important force in contemporary American music for more than 3 decades. Recipient of many major awards and commissions, his music has been variously described as kaleidoscopic, panoramic, closely argued, dramatic, balanced between delicacy, introspection, and rhythmic vivacity. Critics have spoken of an “expressive melodic impulse that springs from vocal utterance”, of “beauty of design and superb craftsmanship”, and of music that “projects a sweeping strength while managing to retain an enticing intimacy”, which, “like a multi-stage rocket – ignoring gravity – traverses the earth’s atmosphere.”

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Full event

Price includes admission to all symposium events and concerts
$100 (regular) | $75 (students)

Register Now!

Paper Presentations and Panel Discussions Only

Price does not include concerts
$75 (regular) | $45 (students)

Register Now!

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Friday, February 6, 2009

10 AM-1 PM—Open Rehearsal of works selected for Saturday composers concert

1-3:30 PM—Paper Presentations: European Music

  • Jessica Balik: Romantic Subjectivity and West German Politics: Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz
  • Sivan Eldar: Yo Ma Ka: invented syllables in Messiaen's Cinq Rechants
  • Hubert Ho: Analyzing Diss(ent/onance) in Ballade for solo piano by Czech composer of Marek Kopelent
  • Emiliano Ricciardi: Twelve-Tone Music in Fascist Italy: the cases of Rome and Milan
  • Sandra Yang: Structure and Meaning in Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen: the last word in his musical revelation?

4-5:30 PM—Panel Discussion: Expanding the Concert Hall in the Digital Age

  • John Kieser, General Manager, San Francisco Symphony
  • Todd Vunderink, Vice President, Southern Music Publishing Co.
  • and others to be announced

8 PM—Concert I: 60th Birthday Retrospective of works by SF State composer Richard Festinger
Alissa Deeter, soprano • Daniel Kennedy, percussionist • Cyrus Ginwala, conductor • Adorno Ensemble • Afiara String Quartet

  • A Serenade for Six (1993)
  • Peripeteia (1999)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (2005)
  • Insect Voices (2008)
  • Legerdemain (2008)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

10 AM-12:30 PM—Paper presentations: American Music

  • Christian Carey: Conflict and Colloquy in Carter's Late Concerti
  • Jonathan Grasse: Revisiting Lou Harrison's works for American Gamelan featuring western instruments
  • Robert Morris: Carter's Harmony Book and the Theory of Compositional Spaces
  • Dean Suzuki: Minimalism in American Text-Sound Composition
  • Erik Ulman: Notes Toward an Aesthetic: a Composer's View

1 PM—Concert II: Competition Concert
Works chosen through an international competition
Adorno Ensemble • Afiara String Quartet • San Francisco State performance faculty

  • Yohanan Chendler: Romancero
  • Tan Hainu: Sound of Wind
  • Ching-Mei Lin: Beyond the Shadow
  • Sam Nichols: Crank
  • Carl Schimmel: Rite - Apotheosis
  • Suzanne Sorkin: String Trio
  • Tolga Yayalar: Beyond Time

4-5:30 PM—Keynote speaker and panel discussion: Carter and Messiaen at 100

  • Keynote: Harvey Sollberger, conductor/composer
  • Susan Narucki, soprano
  • Robert Morris, composer/theorist
  • and others to be announced

8 PM—Concert III: Carter and Messiaen at 100
Susan Narucki, soprano • Harvey Sollberger, conductor • Alexander String Quartet • The sfSound Group

  • Messiaen: Poémes Pour Mi (1937)
  • Carter: Three Poems of Robert Frost (1942)
  • Carter: String Quartet No. 2 (1959)
  • Carter: Triple Duo (1983)
  • Messiaen: Piece for String Quartet and Piano (1991)
  • Carter: Tempo e Tempi (1999)

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Individual Concert Tickets

Note: Admission to concerts is included in full symposium registration

Richard Festinger Retrospective

Friday, February 6, 2009, 8PM, Knuth Hall
$25 (regular) | $15 (students)

Buy Tickets Now!

Emerging Composers / Competition Concert

Saturday, February 7, 2009, 1PM, Knuth Hall
$15 (regular) | $10 (students)

Buy Tickets Now!

Carter and Messiaen at 100

Saturday, February 7, 2009, 8PM, Knuth Hall
$25 (regular) | $10 (students)

Buy Tickets Now!

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Planning your trip

Places to stay near SF State

Hampton Inn - Daly City
(3 miles from SFSU Campus)
2700 Junipero Serra Boulevard, Daly City, California, USA 94015
Tel: 650-755-7500

Chancellor Hotel - Downtown
(10.2 miles from campus)
433 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Toll free: 800-428-4748

Best Western Lighthouse Hotel – Pacifica
(9.5 miles from campus)
105 Rockaway Beach Avenue
Pacifica, CA 94044
Toll-Free: 800.832.4777
Phone: 650.355.6300

Local Airports

San Francisco International Airport
Distance from campus: 12 mi.
Drive time: 25 min.

San Jose International Airport
Distance from campus: 33 mi.
Drive time: 55 min.

Metropolitan Oakland International
Distance from campus: 33 mi.
Drive time: 55 min.

Museums and Galleries

151 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA

Yahoo link and directions to local galleries like Hang Art, East West Fine Art Gallery, Minna Street Gallery and more!

Things to do and see

San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Opera

San Francisco area concert calendar
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
San Francisco tourist information

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Symposium Yahoo Group
Presenters and composers may post shared materials (abstracts, audio, graphics, bios, program notes, score samples, etc.)

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