Faculty Recital: Kenneth Radnofsky, saxophone | Cross Currents
"Cross Currents" is an evening of world premieres and works commissioned by or written for Kenneth Radnofsky. Joining him on stage are guest artists Yoshiko Kline (piano) and Donald Palma (double bass).
This performance is open to in-person audiences, and can also be viewed via livestream.
View livestream from Jordan Hall
Rufus Reid | Cross Currents (2021)
This commission is made possible through the NEC Faculty Professional Development Fund and the generous support of donors to the Laurence Lesser President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
For the last 50 years, Rufus Reid has been a consistent, formidable, and influential presence in the jazz world as a bassist and educator. His compositional journey began 1999-2005, when he became a member of the BMI Composers Workshop that ignited his intrigue and desire to delve into the process of composition. In 2003 he was awarded his first commission for Whims of the Blue Bird. His receipt of the 2006 Raymond Sackler Commission resulted in his five-movement suite for large jazz ensemble, Quiet Pride-The Elizabeth Catlett Project. He was awarded the 2008 Guggenheim Fellow in the field of composition, which resulted in the three-movement symphonic work, Mass Transit. In April 2017, Lake Tyrrell In Innisfree, Rufus’ second symphonic work, was commissioned and debuted by the Raleigh Civic Symphony. The Vermont Philharmonic and the North Jersey Regional High School eighty-piece Symphony performed it in 2019. May 2017, Rufus Reid was awarded the American Composers Forum Commission to compose Remembrance for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, premiered in July 2018. In early March 2020, The WDR BAND in Köln, Germany performed and recorded nine of his original compositions for jazz big band. Harness The Winds will be debuted on March 2022 by The Palisades Virtuosi Trio for piano, flute, and clarinet. This evening it is a special honor to witness the world premiere of Cross Currents for Alto Saxophone, Double Bass, and Piano, made possible by Kenneth Radnofsky and the NEC Faculty Professional Development Fund.
John D. McDonald | Prologue in the Form of a Qaddish (2001)Artists
- Kenneth Radnofsky, saxophone
- Yoshiko Kline, piano
John D. McDonald | Simple Gunther Elegy, op. 588a (2015)
in memoriam Gunther Schuller
John D. McDonald | In Eight Directions, op. 679 (2021)
John D. McDonald
Described as “the New England master of the short piece,” John McDonald is a composer who tries to play the piano and a pianist who tries to compose. He is Professor of Music at Tufts University, where he teaches composition, theory, and performance, and has servedas Music Department Chair and Director of Graduate Music Studies. His compositional output concentrates on vocal, chamber, and solo instrumental works, and includes interdisciplinary experiments. He was the Music Teachers National Association Composer of the Year in 2007 and served as the Valentine Visiting Professor of Music at Amherst College in 2016–2017. A recording of McDonald’s solo piano music, At All Device (with pianist David Holzman), was released on Bridge Records (9528) in March 2020, and his book, Stirring Up the Music: The Life, Works, and Influence of Composer T(homas) J(efferson) Anderson, is forthcoming from BorikPress.
Suggested by a recent chi kung drill I encountered (related to the bagua in Taoist cosmology), In Eight Directions seeks a musical balance inspired by physical movements. “Directions” is used here in the instructional sense (“how-to’s” for the saxophonist to shape each short section of the solo) as well as to indicate a course for literal linear movement (up, down, around, etc.). Though this miniature is to be played in a through-line, it “breathes into” eight short sections or phrases that establish individual characters (directions) as follows:
Up (1): Adagio non troppo
Hovering (2): Quasi Andante
Flipping (3): Scherzando
Plummeting (4): Molto Agitato
Divaricated (5): Lento con calore
Disjointed (6): Preciso
Taking A Dip (7): Larghetto
Down (8): Drammatico e pesante
– John McDonald
Shih-Hui Chen | Twice Removed (2000)
Immigrating to the U.S. in her early twenties, Taiwanese-American composer Shih-Hui Chen is fascinated by the narratives at the intersection of identity, culture, and tradition. In her works, she seeks to cross boundaries between music and society, between the music of distinct cultures, and between music and other art forms.
These influences inform her creative works and community projects. For example, or/and, a collaborative theatrical work explores issues of empathy, diaspora and personal identity. In her efforts to create connections among members of the global community, she founded 21C: Classical, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Asian Music, a performing arts festival that fosters international exchange between Asia and the U.S. through an annual series of lectures and performances. Seeking a more in-depth understanding of the musical culture of her native Taiwan, Chen spent two years studying indigenous and nanguan music in affiliation with the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica.
Chen is on faculty at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, and also serves on the programming committee for Asia Society Texas. Recognition of her work has come from institutions that include: American Academy in Rome, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fulbright Scholar Program, and American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Michael Colgrass | Chameleon (1999)
Michael Colgrass began his musical career as a jazz drummer in his native Chicago. Throughout his career Michael Colgrass won many prestigious awards including the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Music for Déjà vu, First Prize in the Barlow and Sudler International Wind Ensemble Competitions, and the 1988 Jules Leger Prize for Chamber Music. Following studies at the University of Illinois and two years as timpanist in the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart, Germany, he spent eleven years supporting his composing activities as a free-lance percussionist in New York City. The wide musical range of his performance experience had a profound influence on his compositions, including Dream Dancer, composed in 2001 and premiered by Ken Radnofsky. In the preface to the score, Colgrass wrote: “Dream Dancer is a fantasy about a musical instrument that feels attracted to various styles of music, trying to decide which one to play”. Throughout this piece, musical influences from the Mideast, Asia and America (especially jazz) play against each other. Of combining these various cultures, Colgrass says “The concept of mixing cultures in music is natural to me living in Toronto, perhaps the world’s most cosmopolitan city, which offers a rich palette of authentic folk music from around the world”.
Chameleon, first titled ‘Preview,’ and emotionally if not thematically related to Dream Dancer , was written for me at the same time as Dream Dancer, for a concert celebrating musical friendships and teaching which included music by Amram and Martino, also heard on this concert.
– Kenneth Radnofsky
Donald Martino | Piccolo Studio (1999)
Donald Martino was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and began music lessons at nine – learning to play the clarinet, saxophone, and oboe – and started composing at 15. He holds degrees from Syracuse and Princeton Universities. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, his many awards include two Fulbright scholarships; three Guggenheim awards; grants from the Massachusetts Arts Council, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Brandeis Creative Arts Citation in Music; the 1974 Pulitzer Prize in music for his chamber work Notturno, First Prize in the 1985 Kennedy Center Friedheim Competition for his String Quartet (1983), and most recently, the Boston Symphony's Mark M. Horblit Award. Mr. Martino taught at The Third Street Music School Settlement in New York, Princeton, Yale, The New England Conservatory of Music, where he was chairman of the composition department from 1969-1979, Brandeis, where he was Irving Fine Professor of Music, and Harvard, where he was the Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music, Emeritus. He was active as guest lecturer and was Composer-in-Residence at Tanglewood, The Composer's Conference, The Yale Summer School of Music and Art, The Pontino Festival (It.), May in Miami, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, The Warebrook Festival, The Ernest Bloch Festival, The Festival Internacional de Musica de Morelia (Mex.), and was Distinguished Visiting Professor at many institutions of higher learning. Commissions for new works had come from, among others, the Paderewski Fund; the Fromm, Naumburg, Koussevitzky, and Coolidge Foundations; the Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco Symphonies; and a number of musical societies and organizations. According to the New Grove, "Martino's music has been characterized as expansive, dense, lucid, dramatic, romantic, all of which are applicable. But it is his ability...to conjure up for the listener a world of palpable presences and conceptions...that seems most remarkable."
Jaime Fatás | Flamenco sin Limites (1999)
Jaime Fatás is a multi-talented saxophonist composer, and improviser in different musical art forms, from jazz/world/contemporary; a native of Spain, who performed regularly with the Omayra Amaya (Flamenco) Dance Company in Boston. Upon hearing him perform with this magnificent group some years ago, I asked Jaime (a former student and dear friend), if he would consider writing a classical work that embodied the moods of Flamenco that I could introduce to the public. He wrote a beautiful piece, Flamenco sin Limites (Flamenco without limits), for solo saxophone, and in the spirit of a flamenco Cantaor (male singer). –Kenneth Radnofsky
Jaime Fatás Cabeza is the director of the undergraduate degree program in translation and interpretation at the University of Arizona. He is a faculty member and researcher with the National Center for Interpretation, Testing, Research and Policy. Jaime has taught Translation and Interpretation at the School for Professional Studies at Boston University, and at Bentley College; Music and Spanish Language and Culture at Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts/Boston. Recent translations include the books El estudio de la orquestación (The Study of Orchestration by S. Adler/Juilliard School of Music/Norton Publishing Co.); La búsqueda de la seguridad (Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse by L. Najavits/Harvard University); Cave, City, and Eagle’s Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2, by D. Carrasco and S. Sessions (Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University; in print); La cultura española tras las alambradas: memoria y representación de los campos de concentración franceses, 1939-1945) (Spanish Culture Behind Barbed Wire. Memory and Representation of the French Concentration Camps, 1939- 1945, by F. Cate-Arries, Bucknell University Press; in print). Jaime translates regularly for Quodlibet, the music theory review of the Universidad de Alcalá (Madrid, Spain).
David Amram | Prologue and Scherzo (1999)
David Amram started his professional life in music as a French Hornist in the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.) in 1951, and, after serving in the US Army, he moved to New York City and played French horn in the legendary jazz bands of Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton and Oscar Pettiford. In 1957, he created and performed in the first ever Jazz/Poetry readings in New York City with close friend/novelist Jack Kerouac. Since the early 1950s, he has traveled the world extensively, working as a musician and a conductor in over thirty-five countries.
He composed the scores for many films including Pull My Daisy (1959), Splendor In The Grass (1960) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He composed the scores for Joseph Papp's Shakespeare In The Park from 1956-1967 and premiered his comic opera 12th Night with Papp's libretto in 1968. He also wrote a second opera, The Final Ingredient, An Opera of the Holocaust, for ABC Television in 1965. From 1964-66, Amram was the Composer and Music Director for the Lincoln Center Theatre and wrote the scores for Arthur Miller´s plays After The Fall (1964) and Incident at Vichy (1966). He was appointed by Leonard Bernstein as the first Composer In Residence for the New York Philharmonic in 1966.
His most popular recent symphonic compositions include This Land, Symphonic Variations On A Song By Woody Guthrie (2007); Giants of the Night (2002); Kokopeli, A Symphony in Three Movements (1995); Three Songs, A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2009), Greenwich Village Portraits for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra (2018) and Partners: A Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra (2018). He has collaborated as a composer with Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Eugene Ormandy, James Galway, Langston Hughes and Jacques D´Amboise, and as a musician with Thelonious Monk, Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson, Dizzy Gillespie, Odetta, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Betty Carter, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Paquito D´Rivera, Tito Puente and Jerry Jeff Walker.
Amram is the author of three memoirs: Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat (2009), Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac(2005) and the highly acclaimed Vibrations (1968, 2007), and he was the subject of the prize-winning documentary David Amram: The First Eighty Years. His fourth book Amram@90: Notes from a Promising Young Composer will be published in November of 2022, celebrating his 92nd birthday.
Mark Weissman | Fantasy on Jerome Kern's 'All the Things You Are' (1939/2021)
Mark Weissman is a multi-talented jazz instrumentalist, with many years of experience in USAF bands, and currently teaches in Massachusetts. I first met Mark when he was completing his master’s degree at NEC, splitting his lessons with me and Jerry Bergonzi. As one of my favorite jazz sax players (and human beings), I asked him to write a fantasy on All the Things You Are for my wife Violet during the pandemic. Mark immediately and graciously agreed, and I played it for her at home on Feb. 14, 2021. This is the first public performance.
– Kenneth Radnofsky
Matthew Marvuglio | Improvisations on Gershwin's 'Summertime' (1923/1986)
Matt Marvuglio was head of the performance department at Berklee for many years and is a brilliant jazz flutist. I asked him to write Improvisations on 'Summertime' in 1986. Thank you, Matt.
– Kenneth Radnofsky
Gordon Jenkins, arr. Radnofsky | Benny Goodman's 'Goodbye' (1935/1985)
Gordon Jenkins wrote Goodbye after the death of His wife in childbirth. Alec Wilder called it the saddest song he ever heard, and Benny Goodman frequently played it to close his concerts. Despite the tragic story, it is a beautiful tune (which ends in a major key), and I transcribed it many years ago, with help with the chords from my dear friend and former classmate, Bo Winiker.
– Kenneth RadnofskyArtists
- Kenneth Radnofsky, clarinet
- Yoshiko Kline, piano
Kenneth Radnofsky has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur, Jerusalem Symphony with Gisele Ben-Dor and Boston Pops with John Williams. Radnofsky premiered Gunther Schuller’s Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony (composer conducting), and David Amram's Concerto with the Portland Symphony, under Bruce Hangen. The 100 plus solo works he has commissioned also include those by Netzer, Trester, Colgrass, Harbison, Martino, Gandolfi, Olivero, Horvit, Fatas, Yannatos, Perker, Jakoulov, Schwartz, Yang and Bell, to name a few. He teaches world-wide and helped establish saxophone programs in Taiwan with Shyen Lee, and in Venezuela with Claudio Dioguardi. He is Professor of Saxophone and Chamber Music at New England Conservatory, President of the Boston Woodwind Society, Founder of World-Wide Concurrent Premieres and Commissioning Fund, a founding board member of Gunther Schuller Society with John Heiss and Charles Peltz, co-founder of the Amram Ensemble, is a Selmer Artist, and also teaches at Boston University. He studied with Joseph Allard, Jeffrey Lerner and Duncan Hale.
Born in New York City, Donald Palma is a graduate of the Juilliard School. A former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he has also been principal bass of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with which he has toured the world and recorded over fifty compact discs for Deutsche Grammophon including a Grammy Award winning CD of Stravinsky works. In August of 2021, Deutsche Grammophon released a box set of all fifty-five Orpheus’ CDs. Palma has performed with the Juilliard Quartet, the Nash Ensemble, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Da Camera Society of Houston, the Borromeo Quartet, Bridgehampton Chamber Music and is a member of Mistral and the North Country Chamber Players. He was music director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and is currently music director of the Symphony-by-the-Sea in Beverly, MA and the NEC Chamber Orchestra. Don’s extensive recordings include diverse offerings from works written for him by Elliott Carter and Mario Davidovsky to a Wagner Ring Cycle with the Metropolitan Opera, West Side Story with Leonard Bernstein conducting to recordings with Kathleen Battle and rock/pop-icons Sting and Roger Waters. He has given numerous master classes across the country and is currently on the faculties of the New England Conservatory and the Yale School of Music. His students occupy positions in major orchestras, ensembles and universities all over the world.
Yoshiko Kline performs as recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician throughout Asia and North America. Recent travels include a tour of Vancouver, Calgary, Guangzhou and Shenzhen China, with saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky, featuring the music of David Amram. Yoshiko’s performances are reported as “carefully colored and musically refined … with a sensitive ear, relating sound to musical expression… Her remarkably unique interpretations were the charm of her performance…”
Since debuting in Tokyo, she’s appeared in the Steinway Concert Hall in China, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Museum of Fine Arts, and Gardner Museum; Tanglewood and numerous festivals across the country. Live performances have been broadcast from radio stations WGBH & WMNB and Aspen, CO Radio KAJX. In addition to classical interests, she excels as a contemporary artist performing and premiering new works for numerous emerging composers, artists, and ensembles. Recent CD releases include Jon Meets Yoshiko by Jon Appleton; Œuvres Pour piano à 4 mains by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, and Divergent Reflections, contemporary music for saxophone & piano.
Yoshiko teaches at The Winsor School, Rivers School Conservatory, and Winchester Community Music School. Yoshiko received her BM at Toho-Gakuen Conservatory of Music and MM, with honors, at New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers have included Gabriel Chodos, Yoriko Takahashi, and Tamiko Ishimoto.