Department of Music News Archive 2021-11-03

featuring the Palimpsest Ensemble
conducted by Steven Schick

Thursday, November 4th at 5:00 p.m. PDT
Watch LIVE:
The UC San Diego Music Palimpsest Ensemble, conducted by Distinguished Professor and Reed Family Presidential Chair Steven Schick, returns LIVE with four world premiere compositions by UC San Diego Music graduate students Erin Graham, Ioannis Mitsialis, Alex Taylor, and Jonny Stallings Cárdenas, as well as a special performance of Rebecca Saunders's Fury II, a concerto for double bass performed by Kathryn Schulmeister. The concert will be performed LIVE from UC San Diego's Conrad Prebys Concert Hall.

Jonny Stallings Cárdenas
Double Quartet

Ioannis Mitsialis
The Angel Standing in the Sun
chamber piano concerto after J.M.W. Turner's painting

Rebecca Saunders
Fury II
concerto for solo double bass and ensemble

Erin Graham

Alex Taylor
Sea Gods


Palimpsest Ensemble

Myra Hinrichs and Ilana Waniuk, violins
Peter Ko, cello
Kathryn Schulmeister, contrabass soloist (Saunders)
Matthew Henson, double bass
Tasha Smith Godinez, harp
Teresa Díaz de Cossio and Alexander Ishov, flutes
Juliana Gaona Villamizar, oboe
Grace Talaski, bass clarinet
David Aguila, trumpet
Mari Kawamura, piano concerto soloist (Mitsialis)
Dimitrios Paganos Koukakis and Ashley Zhang, piano
Roberto Maqueda, Kosuke Matsuda, and Yongyun Zhang, percussion
Julia Williams, accordion
Mariana Flores Bucio, mezzo soprano (Taylor)

Steven Schick, conductor

Jonny Stallings Cárdenas - Double Quartet
Jonny Stallings Cárdenas is an improviser, pianist, clarinetist, and composer whose works have premiered in Amsterdam, Salamanca, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and Los Angeles. His work explores a wide spectrum of rhythmically dynamic music, drawing from the cumbia- and salsa-infused grooves of Fruko y sus Tesos to the contrapuntal complexities of Henry Threadgill. Additionally, Jonny’s experience as an improviser informs his experimentation with temporal structures and improvisational strategies. As a PhD student of composition at UC San Diego, his research focuses on creative strategies in the realms of rhythmic counterpoint, orchestration, and opera composition pioneered by members and close allies of the AACM (Association for the Ad- vancement of Creative Musicians). Jonny is also the keyboardist and co-producer of the sci-fu- sion band Pigimichi.
Ioannis Mitsialis - The Angel Standing in the Sun
Ioannis Mitsialis was born in 1978 in Athens, Greece. His early music studies in piano and theoretical music education were pursued at the Hellenic National Conservatory. He went on to complete his Bachelors of Music at the Ionian University, Music Department, with a dissertation in music composition.

In 2008, he was awarded a scholarship from the Hellenic State Scholarships’ Foundation (IKY) and he moved to Germany, where he graduated with a Masters in Composition from the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre with Peter Michael Hamel in 2010. In 2013, he graduated from the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, having acquired the highest title awarded by German universities, the “Meisterklassenexamen” in Composition, with Dr. Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf. Mitsialis has worked regularly with many important teachers, notably Clarence Barlow in The Hague and Anargyros Deniozos in Athens.

He has also attended seminars and workshops with the following composers: Hans-Jürgen von Bose, Gunther Schuller, Edith Canat de Chizy, Nikolaus Brass, Adriana Hölszky, Georgios Apergis, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, Anargyros Deniozos, Philippe Leroux, Raphaël Cendo, Hans Thomalla and Hilda Paredes. Mitsialis works in a number of different genres (symphonic, chamber, vocal and solo music) and his compositions have been performed repeatedly in the USA, Canada, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Greece. Ensembles and soloists, which he has collaborated with include Palimpsest, ECCE, Schallfeld, Loadbang, Greek Ensemble of Contemporary Music, Barbara Lüneburg, Paul Hübner, Mari Kawamura and Andreas-Rolandos Theodorou. Conductors such as Steven Schick, Christian Ludwig, Theodore Antoniou and Jean-Phillip Wurtz have performed Mitsialis’s work.
In 2009, Mitsialis won the Annemarie und Hermann Rauhe Prize for his piano trio “Interaktionen” in Hamburg.

Since September 2016, he is a PhD student in composition at the University of California, San Diego with Prof. Roger Reynolds.
Rebecca Saunders - Fury II
British-born Rebecca Saunders is one of the leading international composers of her generation. Her compositions focus on the sculptural and spatial properties of organised sound, often created in close collaborative dialogue with a variety of musicians and artists. Saunders has received numerous prizes, including the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2019. She holds a professorship at the HMTM Hannover and is a member of the Academies of Arts in Berlin, Dresden and Munich.
Erin Graham - Flamma
Erin Graham is a composer of contemporary classical music and an active
percussionist. She seeks to explore concepts of visceral energy, unconventional forms of repetition, and elements of humor by incorporating abstractions of familiar rhythmic idioms into her music.

A third-year PhD student in Composition at UC San Diego, Erin has worked with highly- regarded artists such as King Britt, Stalina Villarreal, Lee Vinson, Amy Williams, Robert Black, Nunc, Deviant Septet, Oliver Xu, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony. Erin’s recent projects include a collaboration with Lee Vinson as part of the Nashville-based new music ensemble Intersection’s LISTEN project as well as commissions from Frozen Earth percussion duo and Rebecca Lloyd-Jones.

In 2021, Erin was a composition fellow at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, where she worked with Steven Mackey and Ludovic Morlot. Erin received Rice University’s Paul and Christiane Cooper Prize in Music Composition for her orchestra piece, Increase in 2019. In 2018, Erin was commissioned to write a piece for soprano Julie Moore and members of the Houston Symphony in collaboration with Interfaith Ministries Case Worker Salemu Alimasi and poet Stalina Villarreal as part of the Houston Symphony’s Resilient Sounds Project. In 2015, Erin won an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for her chamber work, Five Poems of Edward Lear. She was also the recipient of Eastman School of Music’s Louis Lane Prize and a finalist in the BMI Student Composer Awards. Erin’s composition teachers include Lei Liang, Pierre Jalbert, Karim Al-Zand, David Liptak, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Robert Morris, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, and Patrick Long.
Alex Taylor - Sea Gods
Alex Taylor (b. 1988) has been commissioned and performed by prominent artists and ensembles in his native New Zealand and abroad, including Orchestra Wellington (NZ), NZTrio (NZ), Enso Quartet (US), Ensemble U (EE), Ensemble Proton Bern (CH), and the Tanglewood Music Center (US). He has received a number of awards, including the 2012 SOUNZ Contemporary Award, the 2013 CANZ Trust Fund Award, and a 2016 New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Award. Past residencies include the NZSO National Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence, Caselberg Trust Creative Connections Artist-in-Residence, and Composition Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center.

After studying English Literature and Music, Alex completed a Masters in Composition with First Class Honours under the Supervision of Eve de Castro-Robinson and John Elmsly in 2011. He is currently a PhD student at the University of California, San Diego. His compositional work often explores interactions between seemingly disparate materials, especially between ideas of the ‘canon’ and the avant-garde. His output includes works for orchestra, chamber music, songs, opera, music for theatre, and three concerti, for flute, bassoon, and horn.

As well as composing, Alex is also a multi-instrumentalist, poet, critic and music educator. He has written about music for the Pantograph Punch, Radio New Zealand, and Canzona. He has taught at Unitec, the University of Auckland, UC San Diego, and regularly gives pre-concert talks for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He served for six years on the committee of CANZ, the Composers’ Association of New Zealand, and co-convened the Nelson Composers Workshop in 2014 and 2015. He was the artistic director of the Intrepid Music Project, and co-directed the performance group hear|say with Eve de Castro-Robinson. He has performed across a range of vocal and instrumental genres, including as lead vocalist for the Blackbird Ensemble, and as the Sorceress in his own recomposition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Frances Moore’s Unstuck Opera.

Alex has several forthcoming works including a trio for Theorbo, violin and cello; a song cycle for three singers and ensemble; and a new piece for NZTrio. His violin-piano duo Three Endings is featured on Sarah Watkins and Andrew Beer’s 2019 Rattle release 11 Frames, and his first piano trio burlesques mecaniques is featured on NZTrio’s 2015 release Lightbox. With collaborator Simon Ingram he was a co-finalist for the 2020 SOUNZ Contemporary Award for their work for orchestra and painting machine, Assemblage.
Kathryn Schulmeister, contrabass - Fury II
Kathryn Schulmeister is a bassist and interdisciplinary artist praised for her “expressive and captivating performance” ( She enjoys a varied performing career as a member of several international contemporary music ensembles including the ELISION Ensemble (Australia), Fonema Consort (NYC), and the Echoi Ensemble (L.A.). Kathryn is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Contemporary Music Performance at the University of California, San Diego, studying with internationally acclaimed bassist/improviser/composer Mark Dresser.
Mari Kawamura, piano - The Angel Standing in the Sun
Mari Kawamura is a concert pianist whose curiosity and wide-ranging interests have taken her in a variety of directions. Kawamura is drawn to music which utilizes the entirety of the piano as an expressive device, enjoying equally music which showcases its tremendous agility, and its ability to produce spacious resonances.

Her repertoire includes music by William Byrd, Scriabin, Xenakis, and several Japanese composers such as Toru Takemitsu and Michio Mamiya. Kawamura has also collaborated with a number of living composers, premiering new works by Joseph Bourdeau, Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh, Lil Lacy, and Anthony Vine among many others.

Kawamura has presented solo recitals on concert series hosted by Carnegie Melon University, University of Northern Colorado, MONK Space in Los Angeles, and Center for New Music in San Francisco. She has also appeared in a number of major festivals, such as Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Darmstadt International Summer Course, and the SICPP in Boston, at which her 2013 performance of Xenakis’ Dikthas was described as "an unrelenting volcanic eruption" by NEWMUSICBOX.

Kawamura received her Bachelor’s degree at Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, where she studied under Emiko Kumagai and Vadim Sakharov. She went on to win the Winfred Christie Award scholarship to study at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where she earned her Master’s Degree under Tatiana Sarkissova, while achieving the prestigious DipRAM prize for her outstanding final recital.

After studying with Stephen Drury at the New England Conservatory, Kawamura is now pursuing her DMA degree under Aleck Karis at the University of California San Diego.
Mariana Flores Bucio, mezzo soprano - Sea Gods
Mexican singer and actress with interest in opera, experimental improvisation, new works and Mexican vernacular music.

She has studied and collaborated with artists like Wilfrido Terrazas, Carmina Escobar, as well as artistic groups like the Orquestra of Baja California, Teatro en el Incendio, 9Spiral Project and the Italo-American Institute of International Cooperation. She has performed leading roles in classical and contemporary operas, premiered several new works, in addition to performing on important stages as a vernacular Mexican music singer. She obtained her Bachelor degree in Music at the Autonomous University of Baja California, and her MFA degree in Music Performance at UC San Diego. She is currently pursuing the DMA degree in performance at UC San Diego under the tutelage of the prestigious Soprano, Susan Narucki.
Steven Schick, conductor
Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For forty years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning or premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. Schick is music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and artistic director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He was music director of the 2015 Ojai Festival. He maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including recent appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Modern and the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble. Among his acclaimed publications include a book, "The Percussionist's Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams," and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode) and a companion recording of the early percussion music of Karlheinz Stockhausen in 2014 (Mode). Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music and holds the Reed Family Presidential Chair at the University of California San Diego.
UC San Diego Music is a leading program known for its innovative research and support for the creation and performance of experimental music.

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