Left Coast String Bands
Left Coast Chamber Ensemble
$30 General Admission
142 Throckmorton Ave,
Edgar Meyer • First movement from Concert Duo for Violin and Double Bass
György Ligeti • String Quartet No. 1, Métamorphoses nocturnes
Frank Zappa • None of the Above for String Quintet
Johannes Brahms • String Quintet No. 1 in F Major, Opus 88
Kurt Rohde • Hear No Evil for String Septet
In the upcoming concert Left Coast String Bands, LCCE’s string musicians take on a dazzling array of compositions created for string ensembles in a variety of combinations. String ensembles present endless possibilities for composers, who can exploit the homogeneity of the instruments’ sonorities and their variety in articulations and colors; this allows them to blend sounds and to delineate independent voices. The concert begins with a work by Edgar Meyer, the virtuoso bass-player whose crossover hits blend folk and classical music, and continues with György Ligeti’s quartet drawing on folk materials from Hungary. The program is highlighted by a performance of Brahms’ exceptional String Quintet in F Major. Of the piece the composer himself wrote, “You have never had such a beautiful work from me.” Critics and music historians have agreed, praising the quintet as an ingenious, lovely, glowing chamber work that shows the great composer at the height of his powers. The concerts culminates with Kurt Rohde’s fast-paced hear no evil for string septet, a musical reflection on a striking sculpture in Davis, California.
The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble has commissioned and premiered a dozen pieces from Kurt Rohde over the past twenty years and has also offered performances of works premiered elsewhere, following a long tradition of ensembles championing work of particular composers of their time. “A long-term collaboration like this one allows both the audience and musicians to learn the musical dialect of a contemporary composer, and lets the composer exploit the playing of musicians he knows inside out,” explains Left Coast’s violinist and artistic director Anna Presler. Rohde’s work on this program, hear no evil, was commissioned by UC Davis for performances by members of the St. Louis Symphony on the Davis campus near various garden sculptures by Robert Arneson. “It is a work that is meant to be, like Arneson’s sculptures, both immediate and secretive,” said Rohde. “It is now thrilling to have the opportunity to perform this piece along with friends and colleagues that I know so well.”
About the Contemporary Composers
Edgar Meyer, composer and bassist, has formed a role in the music world unlike any other. Hailed by the New Yorker as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument,” Mr. Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicianship in combination with his gift for composition have brought him to the fore, and earned him appreciation by a vast, varied audience. Mr. Meyer was honored in 2002 with a MacArthur Award.
Fruitful collaborations are a major aspect of Mr. Meyer's work. Mr. Meyer joined with violinist Joshua Bell and bluegrass musicians Sam Bush and Mike Marshall to form a quartet featuring a fusion of classical and bluegrass musical styles. The album, Short Trip Home was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Classical Crossover album. Mr. Meyer is also a sought after guest bass player for an assortment of recording artists, such as Garth Brooks, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Hank Williams, Jr., Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, and the Chieftains.
Kurt Rohde is a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and winner of the 2012 Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize. He has received commission awards from New Music USA – Commissioning Music/USA, the NEA, and the Barlow, Fromm, Hanson, and Koussevitzky Foundations. Mr. Rohde recently completed new works for the Lydian String Quartet, eighth blackbird, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Scharoun Ensemble, pianist Genevieve Lee, and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Rohde is currently working on a new work for the ZOFO Duet, and an opera with writer Dana Spiotta and artist David Humphrey. Mr. Rohde is also collaborating on a number of film projects with artist and filmmaker Shelley Jordon. His 2012 CD, ONE – chamber music of Kurt Rohde, was released by Innova Recordings, and his 2005 CD, Oculus – music for strings with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, was released on the Mondovibe label.
The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble is a versatile group of twelve musicians that performs in different combinations, presenting chamber music new and old. Programs include important chamber works from previous centuries along with new works by both well-known and emerging composers. LCCE’s commitment to presenting both old and new music is unique in this area. “By embracing both musics, we enrich the audience’s experience — we reawaken a feeling of immediacy in performances of familiar masterpieces and we bring out the powerful expressive intentions in music of our time,” explained Anna Presler, LCCE’s Artistic Director. LCCE’s commitment to create programs in which new and old music complement each other has introduced new music to those mainly familiar with older music, while demonstrating the influence of the great masters on contemporary composers.
In addition to producing its own concerts, LCCE has commissioned and premiered over 70 new pieces, sponsors an annual composition contest that draws over 150 applicants each year, and carries on a tradition of performing the very best that the composers of today have to offer.