Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity
Recorded During a Live Webcast from Evergroove Studio, Thursday, April 26, 2012.
Next in program: RED CURTAIN DANCE vimeo.com/44128213
"The title of the piece describes its content. Four basic musical ideas representing four basic emotions are confronted in order to express the feeling of a dilemma. Dilemma was originally composed for solo cello and recorded on the BMG/Ariola “Jan Jirásek: Bread and Circuses“ CD." (Jan Jirásek)
Born during January in Rychnov nad Kneznou, Czech Republic, JAN JIRASEK graduated from the Janácek Academy of Musical Art in Brno (JAMU), where he studied composition with Prof. Zdenek Zouhar as well as electro-acoustic, computer and electronic music and music theory.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Jirásek’s music was widely performed at the following festivals: “Synthese 90” Festival in Bourges; “Elektronmusik Festival” Stockholm; “ler Colloque International des jeunes Compositeurs de Musique Electro-accoustique 1991,” UNESCO in Paris; Prague Spring Festival; Schleswig - Holstein Festival; “Czechoslovak Night” Munich 1990; twice at Munich Biennale; Plymouth Music Series in Minneapolis and Summer Music Symposium Colorado Springs.
Jan Jirásek has composed for numerous renowned institutions and performers: Kulturkreis Gasteig e.V. commissioned “Bread and Circuses” for six percussionists for the Munich Biennale 1992; Kulturkreis Gasteig e.V. commissioned the reconstruction Carl Orff’s “St. Luke Passion” according to the manuscript of J.S.Bach, which was destroyed during World War II; Duo Quattro Mani commissioned a piece for 2 pianos; Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra commissioned a piece for chamber orchestra, Festival “Voor de Vind” commissioned a piece “Viribus unitis” (for organ and tuba).
Jan Jirásek is a frequent guest on international radio and television discussions and interviews: Hessen Radio, Bavarian Radio, Czech Radio Prague, Radio Free Europe, Czech Television Prague, Spanish Television Madrid, Ars Electronica Linz, UNESCO Paris, and Minnesota Public Radio.
Mr. Jirásek’s music is recorded on BMG Classics (the CD “Renaissance of Humanity” with music by Jan Jirásek, Arvo Pärt and Hildegard von Bingen), and BMG-Ariola (the CD “Bread and Circuses”).
Jan Jirásek received a Fulbright Fellowship and spent the academic year 1996-97 as a visiting Professor of Composition in the USA at the Hartt School of Music and University of Colorado at Boulder.
Mr. Jirásek writes prolifically for films. He was awarded with the prestigious film music prize “The Czech Lion” for movie “An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World” (dir. Juraj Jakubisko) and for movie “Kytice” (Wild Flowers), directed by F.A.Brabec.
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.