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Southwest Chamber Music


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Composers pictured top to bottom: Vu Nhat TânAlexandra duBois, Gabriela Ortiz, Tôn Thât Tiêt 




















































5/26 Memorial Day Weekend Concert honors veterans and war-torn countries


All veterans of any war from any country receive free tickets.


8:00pm, The Colburn School, downtown LA


Concert preview at 7:00 pm with host Martin Perlich and composers Gabriela Ortiz, Alexandra du Bois, and Vu Nhat Tân


The final concert of the inaugural LA International New Music Festival honors all war veterans by presenting probing works that reflect on the humanity and inhumanity of war-torn peoples. Presented by two-time Grammy® Award-winning Southwest Chamber Music, the concert is preceded at 7:00 p.m. by a discussion with the concert's composers, Alexandra du Bois, Vu Nhat Tân, and Gabriela Ortiz, moderated by Martin Perlich. Veterans from any war will be admitted free.


Night Songs by Alexandra du Bois

The string quartet is a musical response to An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943.  Hillesum was a Dutch Jew who did not survive the extermination camp at Auschwitz but left a remarkable memoir in her diaries and letters.   


Du Bois says, "Night can represent the darkness of that time, of humanity, but it also represents the unconscious. Etty Hillesum was always uplifting--she was almost always singing a song. She had an incredible sense of inner light...As the world around Etty Hillesum was shrinking, her inner world was growing and blossoming. That was a jumping-off point for my music."  The Southwest string quartet is Lorenz Gamma and Shalini Vijayan, violins, Jan Karlin, viola, and Peter Jacobson, cello.


The Song of Napalm by Vu Nhat Tân

The Song of Napalm, which closes the festival, is the setting of a poem by 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.
Van Anh Vanessa Vo
The Song of Napalm is sung in English by bass-baritone 
Evan Hughes and spoken in Vietnamese by Hanh Weigl. The music is composed for an eleven-piece chamber ensemble which also features the virtuoso 
Vân Ánh Vanessa Võ playing dan bau, t'rung and dan tranh
Von der Schmidt conducts.   


Rio Bravo by Gabriela Ortiz
Opening the concert, Rio Bravo addresses a different war, the Drug War between the drug cartels and the US-Mexican border. The women of Ciudad Juarez are collateral damage and stand together at the banks of their Rio Bravo looking across the border at the US-named Rio Grande. Composed for baritone (Hughes), violin (Gamma), and 6 players on crystal cups, Rio Bravo will receive its US premiere at the concert.


Miroir, mémoire by Tôn Thât Tiêt
In the string quartet,
 Miroir, mémoire, the Paris-based composer recalls the pre-war Vietnam of his boyhood by the Perfume River in in the town of Hue through the poetry of Li Po. Miroir, mémoire concludes a cycle of four string works inspired by the river, two of which Southwest has played to great acclaim in Vietnam and the U.S.  The piece was presented as a gift to Southwest and this will be the world premiere.


Link to brochure




Saturday, May 26
Gabriela Ortiz - Rio Bravo (US Premiere)
Tôn Thât Tiêt - Miroir, Mémoire (World Premiere)
Alexandra du Bois - Night Songs (LA Premiere)
Vu Nhat Tân - The Song of Napalm (World Premiere)

Location and Tickets


The Colburn School, Los Angeles

200 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012 

Parking is available on the street and at Disney Hall.  


Concert begins at 8 p.m. 
Pre-concert talk: 7 p.m. 


Single Tickets: 
$38 general admission 
$28 seniors over 65
$10 students with full-time I.D. 

For tickets or information: 1.800.726.7147 or www.swmusic.org 



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A World Premiere Musical


Book and Lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh  
Music by Michael John LaChiusa  
Directed by Graciela Daniele 


Mark Taper Forum 

May 23 - July 1, 2012 


Call 213-628-2772 or visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/LosOtros 
Tickets start at $20!