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Cello Squared!

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble 20th Season


$30 General Admission
$15 Students

Kurt Rohde  maestoso....misterioso   World Premiere

Matt Schumaker  New Work for Two Cellos and Bass World Premiere

Jimmy Lopez  New Work for Cello and Piano World Premiere

Frederic Chopin  Introduction and Polonaise Brillante for Cello and Piano, Op. 3

J.S. Bach  Chorales for Violin, Viola and Two Cellos

Anton Arensky  String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor for Violin, Viola and Two Cellos, Op. 35

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s concert Cello Squared celebrates the consummate artistry of the company’s two cellists Tanya Tomkins and Leighton Fong with a newly commissioned work for two cellos accompanied by bass and electronics by the young Bay Area composer Matt Schumaker.  Tomkins and Fong team up again when their two cellos replace the customary pair of violins in two classical works for string ensembles: deep-hued arrangements of Bach Chorales for strings are followed by Anton Arensky’s lush string quartet, which was written as an homage to Tchaikovsky.  The cello's virtuosic side is further explored in Chopin's Introduction and Polonaise Brilliante, in which Tomkins’ cello is accompanied by Eric Zivian’s piano.  Also on the program is another inventive work with electronics, LCCE composer Kurt Rohde's duet …maestoso…misterioso…, which incorporates harmonica, paper accordion and percussion.

“Left Coast is fortunate to have not only one, but two, exceptional cellists as longtime members of the company,” said Anna Presler, LCCE Artistic Director.  “This concert features their talents and provides the rare opportunity to hear them play together. The new piece by Matt Schumaker commissioned for Leighton and Tanya, along with Left Coast’s double bassist Michel Taddei will stretch their talents and should prove to be a real adventure for listeners.”

“For many years now, I have admired the work of Leighton Fong and Michel Taddei, their dedication to new music, their artistry, and their camaraderie,” commented composer Matt Schumaker.  “From a composer’s vantage, I am thrilled to write for them now, and also for cellist Tanya Tomkins, and to have to access their wonderful knowledge, musicianship, strength in new music, and adventurous spirit to create a new work.”

These performances are made possible in part by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and the Board of Directors also wish to thank Judith Flynn for her generous sponsorship of this concert in celebration of the 20th season. 

About the Cellists
Leighton Fong
, longtime member of LCCE, is Principal Cellist of the California Symphony. He plays regularly with Eco Ensemble and Empyrean Ensemble, and was a member of the SF Contemporary Players. Mr. Fong studied at the SF Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, the Bern Conservatory in Switzerland, and the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has taught at UC Berkeley since 1997. 
Tanya Tomkins
 is the first cellist ever to win the international Bodky Competition for Early Music Soloists, she is equally at home on baroque and modern instruments and has performed on many chamber music series to critical acclaim, including at the Frick Collection, Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, San Francisco Performances, and the Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal. Currently one of Philharmonia Baroque and Portland Baroque’s principal cellists, Tomkins has performed as soloist with both orchestras. She also performs with the American Bach Soloists, Voices of Music, the Oregon Bach Festival, Music in the Vineyards Festival, Olympic Chamber Music Festival, and the Moab Chamber Music Festival. She is a member of the Tomkins-Zivian Duo and the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio with Monica Huggett and Eric Zivian. Tanya is fond of teaching and has given master classes at Juilliard, Yale, SFCM, San Jose State University, and is on the faculty of the American Bach Soloists Summer Academy. 

About the Contemporary Composers 
Matt Schumaker received an MA in Music Composition from Princeton University, before studying composition with Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam through Holland’s Royal Conservatory.  In Fall 2009, Matt entered the PhD program in Composition at the University of California, Berkeley.  Having advanced to candidacy, his current dissertation work integrates computer-assisted composition and computer music with music for live performers.  He is the recipient of Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center Creative Arts Award and UC Berkeley’s Eisner Award.  This spring, he received the first place award in Berkeley’s Nicola De Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition.

Kurt Rohde, violist and composer, is a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is the winner of the 2012 Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize. He has received commission awards from Meet the Composer ­Commissioning Music/USA, the NEA, and the Barlow, Fromm, Hanson, and Koussevitzky Foundations. Mr. Rohde recently completed new works for eighth blackbird, the Scharoun Ensemble, pianist Genevieve Lee, and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. A Professor of Music Composition at UC Davis, he will be a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for 2012-13.