Southwest Chamber Music

Press Release 

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 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   
May 15, 2012                                                                                              626.685.4455
(Press contact)



Premieres by Elliott Carter, Milton Babbitt, 
Peter Lieberson, Gabriela Ortiz, Alexandra du Bois,
Tn Tht Tit and Vu Nhat Tn
Concerts May 21 and 26 

The Colburn School 


Los Angeles - The final concerts of the inaugural LA International New Music Festival take place on Monday, May 21 and Saturday, May 26 at 8:00 p.m. at The Colburn School. Presented by two-time Grammy Award-winning Southwest Chamber Music, concerts are preceded at 7:00 p.m. by a discussion with the concert's composers and musicians moderated by Martin Perlich.  
The May 21 festival program of nine works includes four premieres. Cracking Bamboo by Vu Nhat Tn, a Southwest commission, is the first of two world premieres on the festival by this composer.  Crackling Bamboo was written for the preeminent dan bau, t'rung and dan tranh master Vn nh Vanessa V and members of the Southwest players, with the composer taking the piano part.  103-year-old Elliott Carter's Three Explorations receives its west coast premiere with bass-baritone Evan Hughes and a 12-member ensemble conducted by Jeff von der Schmidt. Carter, a self-confessed admirer of Eliot's poetry and criticism, uses texts drawn from T.S. Eliot's The Four Quartets in Three Explorations.


Two other works also receive their west coast premieres:  Milton Babbitt's Concertino Piccolino with Lynn Vartan, solo vibraphone, and Forgiveness by Peter Lieberson with baritone Hughes and Peter Jacobson, cello. Together with Daniel Catan's Encantamiento with Larry Kaplan, flute and Alison Bjorkedal, harp, the three works form an homage to composers whose passing has been marked in the last year.


Anne LeBaron's Solar Music opens the program.  The piece was inspired by a painting of the same name by the female Mexican Surrealist Remedios Varo, which depicts a woman standing in a dying forest, bowing rays of the sun. It is written for four flutes (bass, alto, flute, piccolo) and harp, played by Kaplan and Bjorkedal. Two works by Gabriela Ortiz, plus Stravinsky's Elegy for JFK complete the programming. Ortiz' Aroma Foliado is written for string quartet and Atlas Pumas is a duo with Shalini Vijayan, violin, and Vartan, marimba. The Southwest string quartet consists of Vijayan and Lorenz Gamma, violins, Jan Karlin, viola, and Peter Jacobson, cello. The elegant, late-Stravinsky Elegy for JFK features baritone Hughes and a trio of clarinets.
The May 26 festival program, held over Memorial Day weekend, is dedicated to all war veterans.  Any veteran from any country may receive a free ticket to the concert at the box office the night of the performance.  
The program consists of four premieres. The world premieres are by Vietnam composers Tn Tht Tit and Vu Nhat TnTn, now living in Paris, is a long-time friend of Southwest and presented them with Miroir, Mmoire as a gift on their visit to the French capital. Composed for Southwest as a string quartet, the work is the continuation of a series of three works for string quartet and string trio. The series is about the Perfume River that flows through Hue, Vietnam, where the composer was born. Miroir, Mmoire was inspired by a poem of Li Po, which speaks of man and nature.
Vu's The Song of Napalm, which closes the festival, is set to a poem by the noted poet and Vietnam veteran Bruce Weigl. The searingly vivid text describes the "Napalm girl," Phan Thi Kim Phuc, immortalized in Nick Ut's 1972 photo of a young Vietnamese girl, clothes burning off her body, holding her arms like wings and running toward the camera. Commissioned by Southwest Chamber Music, it is sung in English by Hughes and spoken in VIetnamese by Weigl's adopted daughter, Hanh WeiglThe Song of Napalm is composed for an eleven-piece chamber ensemble which also features Vn nh Vanessa V dan bau, t'rung and dan tranh. Von der Schmidt conducts.


Gabriela Ortiz' Rio Bravo, a US premiere, sings of the women of Ciudad Jurez, based on the poem by Mnica Snchez Escuer. Their thoughts flow between terror and smiles. One violin, Gamma, a baritone, Hughes, and six cups of glass, played by ensemble members, sing the whispers of these women, the fear in their prayers, their dreams and their nightmares that lie at the foot of the borderlands.  


The LA premiere of Alexandra du Bois' Night Songs, written for the Kronos Quartet, is based on the diary of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jew living in Amsterdam during WWII. The diary was published as An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-43 in 1981. Du Bois writes, "This is not a narrative work but is rather a response to Hillesum's words. As the world around Etty Hillesum was shrinking, her inner world was growing and blossoming. That was a jumping-off point for my music." Etty Hillesum died at Auschwitz in 1943. 


Martin Perlich, who hosts the festival concert previews, is producer and host of "Conversations in New Music," a new web series featuring video interviews with participants in composing, performing, conducting, programming and writing about contemporary art music.  Perlich, veteran broadcaster, novelist and author of The Art of the Interview, has posted on his web site previous video interviews of festival participants Elliott Carter, Anne LeBaron, Daniel Catn, Alexandra du Bois, Kurt Rohde, Jeff von der Schmidt, Jan Karlin, William Kraft, and Kurt Rohde.


Link to brochure.

For interviews/photos please contact: 

Heidi Lesemann: (626) 685-4455

 Concert Information and Listing  


LA International New Music Festival 

Presented by Southwest Chamber Music


The Colburn School.
All concerts begin at 8 p.m. 
Pre-concert talk: 7 p.m. prior to each concert


Single Tickets: $38 general admission, $28 seniors over 65, and 

$10 students with full-time I.D.


For tickets or information: 1.800.726.7147 or  

Monday, May 21
Anne LeBaron -  Solar Music
Gabriela Ortiz -  Aroma Foliado
Igor Stravinsky - Elegy for JFK
Elliott Carter -  Three Explorations (West Coast Premiere) 
Milton Babbitt -  Concerto Piccolino (West Coast Premiere) 
Daniel Catn -  Encantamiento
Peter Lieberson -  Forgiveness (LA Premiere)
Gabriela Ortiz -  Atlas Pumas
Vu Nhat Tn -  Cracking Bamboo (World Premiere) 
Saturday, May 26
Gabriela Ortiz -  Rio Bravo (US Premiere)
Tn Tht Tit -  Miroir, Mmoire (World Premiere)
Alexandra du Bois - Night Songs (LA Premiere)
Vu Nhat Tn -  The Song of Napalm (World Premiere)


            vu nhat tan small du Bois smallton that tiet small Carter

L to R: Composers Anne LeBaron, Vu Nhat Tn, Gabriela Ortiz, Alexandra du Bois, Tn Tht Tit, Elliott Carter

Location, Parking and Tickets
The Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012


Parking is available on the street and at Disney Hall parking garage.


For more information, 

or call 1-800-726-7147 
(please use this number in all published materials).
LA International New Music Festival - Performers
Huntington Group Photo compressed


Guest artists include Vn nh Vanessa V, dan bau, dan tranh; Evan Hughes, bass-baritone; Hanh Weigl, speaker; Bruce Weigl, poet; Vu Nhat Tn, piano.  
Ensemble: Shalini Vijayan, violin; Lorenz Gamma, violin; Jan Karlin, viola; Peter Jacobsen, cello; Tom Peters, bass; Larry Kaplan, flute; Lisa Edelstein, flute; Diane Alancraig, alto and bass flutes; Jonathan Davis, oboe; Jim Foschia, clarinet; Helen Goode, bass clarinet; Phil O'Connor, contrabass clarinet; Adam Bhatia, trumpet; Daniel Rosenboom, trumpet; Marissa Benedict, trumpet; Rob Schaer, trumpet; Bill Booth, trombone; Al Veeh, trombone, Terry Cravens, trombone; Alison Bjorkedal, harp; Ming Tsu, piano, Lynn Vartan, percussion; Jeff von der Schmidt, conductor. For biographies on Southwest Chamber Music, please visit

Southwest Chamber Music

638 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 201

Pasadena, CA 91101-2006