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Theodosia Roussos & Friends; storytelling in chamber music
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)
*Please note that despite what Eventbrite says, you do not need to print out your ticket, just mention your last name when checking in.
5:15-6:30pm: docents from the Santa Monica Conservancy available to discuss site history
"Theodosia Roussos and Friends: Storytelling In Contemporary and Folk Chamber Music"
Theodosia Roussos, oboe; Henry Garf, guitar; Nikos Syropoulos, piano; Elizabeth Wilson, violin; Robert Berg, viola; Kevan Torfeh, cello; Howard Chen, piano
Theodosia and Friends explore music as narrative in an evening of contemporary and folk chamber music. Composers Nikos Syropoulos, Manuel Calzada, Howard Chen and George Giannopoulos share original compositions and take us through personal and emotional journeys that give context and insight into the musical and compositional experience. The program will also include works by Mozart and Jacques Ibert as well as Greek and American folk songs that similarly suggest narrative. This evening of eclectic music celebrates stories from many different cultures and traditions, and as musicians and listeners we are reminded that sounds have an origin, a trajectory and a place in our human story.
George N. Giannopoulos Three Scherzi for Solo Oboe, selections
WA Mozart Oboe Quartet
Jacques Ibert Escales: Tunis-Nefta
Howard Chen Elegy
Manuel Calzada La Muerte de un Carburador
Nikos Syropoulos Ocellno
Manos Hadjidakis Rixno Ti Kardia Mou To Pigadi
Manos Hadjidakis Pame Mia Volta Sto Feggari
Manos Hadjidakis Tora Pou Pas Stin Xenitia
Leonard Cohen Suzanne
John Jacob Niles Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair
John Jacob Niles Look Down that Lonesome Road
Wild Mountain Thyme
Robert Berg began playing the violin at the tender age of 5 and by the age of 14 had decided to make the viola his lifelong devotion. He began his high school studies in Leningrad at the renowned Music School of Rimsky Korsakov and continued his studies at the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory where he studied under the tutelage of Juri Kramarov, graduating in 1983 with a Masters in Music and Viola. After completing his studies he began his professional career with the St. Petersburg Conservatory String Quartet and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. After his tenure in St. Petersburg, Robert returned to his native Prague where he worked with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Upon his move to the United States he was quickly welcomed and became a member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. He has also been an active player and contributor in the recordings for motion pictures, television and popular-recording artists projects throughout the years.
Manuel Calzada has been referred to as “one of today’s most original Caribbean composers” and “a Puerto Rican composer whose pieces are characterized by strong rhythmic language, harmonic density and uniqueness in style”. He started his professional career as a percussionist, performing for the Puerto Rico Symphonic Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra, Celia Cruz and Lalo Shiffrin among many other world renowned artists. As an arranger and producer he has worked on a vast variety of musical styles for many recording artist in Puerto Rico, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Calzada is developing as a film composer, having composed the music for several features including the upcoming film “Killing Winston Jones”. Calzada has received several commissions including orchestral works by the Johnstone Fund for New Music, chamber pieces by the prestigious New York-based organization Música de Cámara and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Calzada earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Later he completed graduate studies at UCLA earning a Master Degree in Music Composition and currently he is working on his Ph.D.
Howard Chen was born in Shanghai into a family of musicians, and began his musical studies at age 4. In 2001, he immigrated with his family to Los Angeles. A recent alumnus of a double-concentration music major at UCLA, Howard studied piano performance with Walter Ponce and Antoinette Perry, and composition with the members of the composition faculty. Now continuing for an MA in composition at UCLA, he studies with Richard Danielpour and Bruce Broughton. Notable awards during these years include honorable mentions from the Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Concerto Competition and the MTAC Concerto Competition (Division IV), Benno Rubinyi Scholarship Competitions, Edith Knox Concerto Competition, as well as appearances as soloist with the UCLA Philharmonia as one of the winners in the Atwater Kent All-Star Concerto Competition, playing in Schoenberg Hall, Royce Hall, and the Santa Monica Broad Stage. Howard also received the Herbert E. Wise Scholarship for composition.
Henry Garf is a graduate of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music where he majored in classical guitar under the direction of Dr. Nathan Wysock. An experienced performer of flamenco and samba as well, Henry just returned from two months in Cuba studying congas, salsa, and Bata. Also a music teacher for all ages, Henry is a native Los Angelino.
George N. Gianopoulos began his musical study at age eighteen upon entering college. Enraptured by his first course, an Introduction to the World of Music, George immersed himself in the studies of classical music; the theory, the repertoire, the performance and the history. He immediately began taking group piano lessons and within a semester advanced to private lessons with Dr. Robert M. Auler. Throughout his tutelage he also undertook the art of pedagogy, developing a private piano studio of twelve students as well as working as a church pianist and organist. After four years of intense study, George gave a senior recital that included performances of works by Mozart, Schumann, Rachmaninoff and Chopin as well as faculty performances of original compositions. A native of Syracuse, New York and now a resident of Los Angeles, Gianopoulos’ music has been performed throughout Europe and America, including performances in China, Israel, Spain, England and Greece and regular performances in Southern California. George has been commissioned by the Glendale Philharmonic, The Symbiosis Ensemble, The Helix Collective, The Akropolis Quintet and the Malkin-Trybeck Duo, among others. Mr. Gianopoulos is the currently the Composer-in-Residence for the Los Angeles based Symbiosis Ensemble and concert series Music @ MiModa.
Theodosia Roussos is an oboist, English horn player and teacher based in Los Angeles. She has made several appearances at Disney Hall, Zipper Hall, Royce Hall, the Broad Stage and LACMA’s Sundays Live at Bing Theater. She received her B.A. from UCLA and will be attending Oberlin Conservatory this fall to study with Robert Walters from the Cleveland Orchestra. Theodosia’s teachers have included Anne Gabriele from the LA Philharmonic, Dr. Jonathan Davis from UCLA and Liang Wang from the NY Philharmonic. Theodosia has served as principal oboe of the UCLA Philharmonia and Rome Festival, member of Debut Orchestra, and soloist in Butch Morris’ “Conduction” free jazz ensemble featured on BBC. Additionally, she has accompanied Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dionne Warwick, and jammed with Jackson Browne in concert. Theodosia is also an accomplished coloratura soprano and studied with Vladimir Chernov and Gualtiero Negrini.
Nikos Syropoulos performs and composes a wide range of music reflecting his diverse upbringing. His ensemble, Rozalia, which features piano, string trio, woodwinds, and vocalist, crafts a unique blend of jazz improvisation and classical chamber music. Dedicated to and named after his late ‘yiayia’ (Greek grandmother), Rozalia released their debut album in January of 2012. In 2013, in collaboration with celebrated tap dancer/choreographer, Melinda Sullivan, Nikos scored the music to “Gone,” a feature length dance performance that received its premiere in New York City at the Alvin Ailey Theater. As a pianist and keyboardist, Nikos has played all over the world and is highly sought after for his stylistic versatility, his beautiful touch at the piano, and his deep creativity and sensitivity. In addition to his concert music and sideman work he is also an arranger, songwriter, and film composer. A graduate of USC’s Thornton School of Music, Nikos studied with Russell Ferrante, Alan Pasqua, and John Clayton. He also studies the Taubman Approach to piano technique under Master Teacher Robert Durso.
Kevan Torfeh is a professional cellist and teacher whose activities include playing recording sessions, concerts, and teaching. Previous accolades include Principal and Solo Cellist for the L.A. Mozart Orchestra under the direction of David Keith; Guest Principal Cellist with the South Coast Symphony and the Capistrano Valley Symphony; Guest Principal Cellist with the Mozart Chamber Orchestra in Irvine; and playing with the Temianka Virtuosi under the auspices of Columbia Artists Management. He currently is Associate Principal Cellist of the California Philharmonic Orchestra and plays as a guest in the sections of the New West Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Mr. Torfeh’s studies were completed at U.S.C., at L’Accademia Chigiana in Siena, in London with William Pleeth, and at the Hochschule Mozarteum in Salzburg. Mr. Torfeh has taught general and instrumental music for two years at the Wildwood School in West L.A. and from 2004 to present at Santa Monica College. Kevan is married to cellist Joan Matsuoka Torfeh and has two children, Daniel and Katie.
Elizabeth Wilson, a native of Boston, is from a musical family of seven children. She began playing piano at 8 and violin at 9, and acquired some mean viola skills along the way. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Harvard University. Afterwards she auditioned for Maggio Musicale in Florence and won the position of assistant concertmaster, and played under such greats as Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Georges Pretre and the late Claudio Abbado and Carlos Kleiber. Elizabeth has spent the last 23 years in Los Angeles subbing regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera and doing recordings, TV and movies whenever possible. She hopes to continue in that vein and is happy to share the stage with Theo, a young talented student of her good friend, Anne Gabriele, LA Phil Oboist.
Piano provided by the Kasimoff-Blüthner Piano Co., Hollywood.
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