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 1997 Conference
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1997 Conference, Concert 2

Friday, April 25, 1997, 8:00 p.m., Grace Episcopal Church, Madison.


String Quartet Tom Patterson
Jeu de Temps
     I. Privation et angoisse
     II. Ame de doleur
     III. Esprit reveille
Michael Sinshack
This Place Without Us Emily Maxson Porter
Fabrica Mundi Thomas Powell
The Artaria Quartet of Boston
Ray Shows, violin
Nancy Oliveros, violin
Ken Martinson, viola
Laura Thielke, cello

Notes on the Music and Composers

Tom Patterson grew up in Wausau, where he was born in 1967. He moved to Madison in 1986 to study French. After graduating from the UW in 1990, his childhood interest in composing was rekindled and he decided to go back to school to study music. In the fall he hopes to begin a graduate program in composition.

"The String Quartet was completed in January of this year and is my first effort at writing in this genre. The work is in two continuous movements, conceived as a sort of large prelude and fugue. The first movement is a slow introduction which expands melodically over (or under) a shifting drone and then fades away. The energetic fugue which follows is in three main sections, treating first a jagged, syncopated motive, then its inversion, and finally the original motive in stretto. These sections are set apart from each other by two contrasting episodes which are rhythmically and harmonically simpler."

A native of Chicago, Michael Sinshack is currently in his second year of Master's Degree study with Dr. John Downey in music composition at UWM. After attending DePaul University and Wright College in Chicago, Michael earned a Bachelor's Degree from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. There, he studied composition with Dr. Lawrence Sisk and piano with Ms. Mary Beth Diab. Michael is currently a percussionist for both the UWM Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band and has appeared as a percussionist with the UWM Symphony, the Northwest Chicago Symphony Orchestra, LUSO, MYSO, and numerous pit-orchestras in and around the Chicago metropolitan area. As a composer, Michael's output includes: a four movement symphony premiered at the Rialto Square Theater, Joliet, Illinois, in June of 1994 under the baton of Dr. Sisk; a two movement symphony for winds, brass, and percussion entitled A Soul's Journey, premiered by the UWM Symphony Band under the baton of Professor Thomas Dvorak; a four-part tone poem for symphony orchestra; a fair amount of solo and chamber repertoire; and incidental music written for a production of William Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors for the Philip Lynch Theater.

Completed in April of 1996, the string quartet Jeu de temps (Game of Time) is a programmatic work which is a musical representation of the unfortunate conflict, confusion, and the mental strain experienced by one due to his unjust imprisonment. The music is symbolic of the distress experienced through one's hardship and anguish (Privation et angoisse); the sorrow of the soul and the agony within (Ame de douleur); and the awakening and renewal of the spirit (Esprit reveille). The work is void of tonal implications; the intervals of a half-step and a tritone serve as its foundation, yet are often contrasted with major seconds, and quartal/quintal harmonies. Prime, inverted, transposed, rotated, and retrograde forms of melodic cells and harmonic progressions are used throughout, as well as rhythmic retrograde, augmentation and irregular changes in meter.

Emily Maxson Porter holds a BA in elementary education from Concordia College, St. Paul, Minnesota, an MFA in organ from the University of Minnesota, and an MS in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She studied organ with Paul Manz, Heinrich Fleischer, and Robert Glasgow, and composition with Dominick Argento, Paul Fetler, and Jan Bender. She taught organ and theory at Concordia, St. Paul, and Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and has served as organist at numerous churches in the Midwest. Currently she is principal organist at Peace Lutheran Church in New Berlin and a member of the American Guild of Organists.

"This Place Without Us is a reworking of an earlier choral work (pretty much unsingable) based on Richard Wilbur's poem 'Advice to a Prophet.' The title of the string quartet is taken from the poem. For the quartet, I expanded my treatment of the basic material and reorganized the structure. Generating pitch-class sets (harmonically and melodically) are: [0 1 4 8] (C E-flat G B), [0 4 7 8] (C E G-sharp B), [0 4 6 7] (C E F-sharp G). In addition, the motif <C B C-sharp>, along with its inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion, plays a significant role melodically."

Thomas Powell is currently a DMA dissertator in music composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a music lecturer at UW-Oshkosh and UW-Rock Co. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, he has completed graduate degrees in music and the arts at Michigan State University, and Warwick and Surrey Universities in England.

Most recently he has had works premiered at The Guildford International Music Festival (England), The Edmonton Fringe Festival (Canada), The Viterbo New Music Festival (La Crosse), Danceworks (Milwaukee), The MadWAC 99-cent Concert Series (Madison), the Ear and Now Concert Series (Madison), and various Kanopy Performing Arts Center dance concerts (Madison). He is Vice-President of the Wisconsin Alliance of Composers, and co-founder of the Madison Chapter.

The warm, rich sound of the Artaria Quartet of Boston has been the hallmark of this young, vibrant quartet. Highly recommended by some of todays greatest musical artists, this technically accomplished group has met with critical acclaim both in North America and in Europe with their refined and thoughtful playing. The Boston Globe has described Artaria as "exquisitely balanced and sonorous" and went on to state "their musical understanding was first-rate."

Formed in 1986, the Artaria Quartet of Boston has appeared in concert at many prestigious venues including Dame Hess in Chicago, Rockefeller University in New York, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Prize winner in the 1991 Alliance Auditions, the quartet was one of the first recipients of a National Endowment for the Arts Rural Residency Program grant. Artaria has been Quartet-in-Residence at Boston College since 1992 and has since made their home at Viterbo College in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Possessing an "intimate and compelling" quartet sound, the Artaria Quartet of Boston is firmly rooted in the great traditions of the chamber music masterpieces. As staunch advocates of the great un-discovered gems of the 20th century, they have numerous commissions to their credit. Artaria is recorded on Centaur Records.

1997 Conference
[Concert 1] [Panel Discussion] [Concert 2] [Concert 3] [Concert 4]

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