Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity
Recorded During a Live Webcast from Evergroove Studio, Thursday, April 26, 2012.
Next in program: DILEMMA vimeo.com/44128212
"A few years ago I was sailing with friends from Block Island to Huntington, Long Island in mid October. My trick at the helm was from 4 AM to 8 AM. Even in rough seas, time slows down and the senses sharpen, taking in all kinds of detail that may otherwise go unnoticed. On this morning the sky went from pitch black with a million stars occasionally blocked by ominous passing clouds, to a beautiful predawn sapphire. The unfolding light and journey of that morning was the inspiration for this piece." (Preston Stahly).
PRESTON STAHLY grew up in South Bend, Indiana, and started studying piano at age seven. By the time he was a teenager, he was performing and arranging music in soul, R&B, and rock bands on the Midwest college circuit, in the Chicago/Milwaukee area, and as a studio musician at Chess Records. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Ross Lee Finney, Eugene Kurtz, and George B. Wilson. His concert music encompasses a wide variety of instrumentation, from solo and chamber works to his Chimera, a three-part work for orchestra that received the Charles Ives Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. His music has been recorded on the Fleur De Son Classics, Musical Heritage, and NYAE labels. In addition to chamber, vocal, and symphonic works, he has also written music for film (Robert Altman’s Secret Honor) and television (the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Children’s Television workshop). He currently serves as Artistic and Executive Director of the New York Art Ensemble.
KAREN BENTLEY POLLICK has performed as violinist with Paul Dresher’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble since 1999 and performs a wide range of solo repertoire and styles on violin, viola, piano and Norwegian hardangerfele. A native of Palo Alto, California, she studied with Camilla Wicks in San Francisco and with Yuval Yaron, Josef Gingold and Rostislav Dubinsky at Indiana University where she received both Bachelors and Masters of Music Degrees in Violin Performance. She has several recordings of original music, including Electric Diamond, Angel, Konzerto and Succubus and Ariel View, for which she has received three music awards from Just Plain Folks, including Best Instrumental Album and Best Song. On her own record label Ariel Ventures she has produced Dancing Suite to Suite, , and Homage to Fiddlers and Bebop for Beagles. She filmed Dan Tepfer’s Solo Blues for Violin and Piano in Shoal Creek, Alabama, in June 2009.
Pollick was concertmaster of the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1984 and has participated in the June in Buffalo and Wellesley Composers Conferences. She has appeared as soloist with Redwood Symphony in the world premiere of Swedish composer Ole Saxe’s Dance Suite for Violin and Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, and orchestras in Panama, Russia, Alaska, New York and California. She has performed in recital with Russian pianist/composer Ivan Sokolov at the American Academy of Rome, Seattle, New York City and Colorado, throughout the Czech Republic with cellist Dennis Parker at the American Spring Festival, and in England at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Along with choreographer Teri Weksler and percussionist John Scalici, Pollick received a Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham 2008 Interdisciplinary Grant to Individual Artists. Pollick received a grant from the Alabama State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for her March 2010 Solo Violin and Alternating Currents concerts in Birmingham, Seattle and at Music Olomouc 2011. With Australian pianist Lisa Moore, Pollick formed the duo Prophet Birds in spring 2009 and the Double Duo with Paul Dresher and Joel Davel. Pollick performs on a violin made by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume in 1860 and a viola made in 1987 by William Whedbee. She currently resides in Evergreen, Colorado.
SHERI WILLS is an artist whose work is based in film, video performance & installation. Her work has been exhibited around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the London Film Festival, the Director’s Lounge in Berlin, the San Francisco Cinematheque and the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. Her work is featured in the Rizzoli book Sonic Graphics: Seeing Sound, by Matt Woolman. She holds an MFA in filmmaking & an MA in art history, theory & criticism, both from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her collaborations include video projects with music composed by Bright Sheng, Jan Jirásek, Charles Norman Mason, and Ofer Ben-Amots and video performances with music ensembles, including the Providence String Quartet and Luna Nova New Music Ensemble. Sheri Wills is a professor of art and the director of the film/media program at the University of Rhode Island. She lives in New York City.
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