Dawn Harms, Music Director & Conductor
Rossini - La gazza ladra
Clarice Assad - Scattered and Bach Suite
Clarice Assad, piano
Laura Karpman – Sirens
Joe W Moore, III – Barbaric Passages
Christian Foster Howes, percussion
Alapaki Yee, percussion
Ravel – Bolero
Johannes Mager, Acrobat
Part of BARS’ LGBTQ Composer and Performing Artist Series, which strives to redefine perceptions of LGBTQ music and increase awareness of the beauty, talents, and accomplishments of fellow LGBTQ individuals and groups.
About Clarice Assad, composer & pianist
Versatile, sophisticated, and accomplished, Clarice Assad is a sought after composer, pianist, and vocalist of musical depth and ability. Her music embraces a wide variety of styles, including her own original musical concepts.
Summer 2012 highlights included the world premieres of festival commissions by Ms. Assad for the internationally renowned Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado; a world premiere for the celebrated Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, California, as part of the Hidden World of Girls Symphonic Project; and performances by Ms. Assad in New York, Belgium, France and Brazil. Commission premieres continue in the 2012-2013 season. In October 2012, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio presents the world premiere of Ms. Assad’s concerto commission, Album de Retratos; in March 2013, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra presents an evening devoted to works written by Clarice, including the premiere of a PANDEMONIUM for string orchestra and string quartet.
A mini-residency in April 2013 at The Iolani School in Hawaii will include the performance of a new arrangement by Ms. Assad of Bartok’s Rumanian Dances. Assad will also be the composer-in-residence for the Albany Symphony during the 2013/2014 season. More highlights include the premiere of her new piece for orchestra, entitled SARAVÁ, commissioned by the Orquestra Sinfônica of São Paulo (OSESP). The new work will be premiered in São Paulo, Brail in October 2013. Following performances will take place during their two week European tour.
Ms. Assad is the recipient of such awards as the Aaron Copland Award, several ASCAP awards, Meet The Composer’s Van Lier Fellowship as well as recognition from the Latin Grammy and the Grammy Foundation, the Franklin Honor Society, American Composers Forum and has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Fundação OSESP, the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Concordia Chamber Players and the New Century Chamber Orchestra, to name a few. She is the principal staff arranger for the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and is responsible for most of the orchestra’s musical arrangements, such as the highly praised chamber orchestra version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Clarice Assad has also written for theater and ballet. Works include Ópera das Pedras, written and directed by Brazilian visual artist Denise Milan and co-directed by Mabou Mine’s co-founder and director Lee Breuer; an original soundtrack for the play A Lição de Anatomia by Argentinian playwright Carlos Mathus, the ballet Steps to Grace, by choreographer Lou Fancher and Essentials of Flor by Kristi Spessard. Assad’s Impressions, a suite for chamber orchestra, was choreographed by Steve Rooks for the Masterworks Festival in Winona Lake, Indiana.
A native of Rio de Janeiro, Clarice Assad was born into one of Brazil’s most famous musical families (she is the daughter of Sergio Assad, one of today’s preeminent guitarists and composers), and has performed professionally since the age of seven. Formal piano studies began with Sheila Zagury in Brazil; she then studied with Natalie Fortin in Paris and had additional instruction in Jazz and Brazilian piano under the tutelage of Leandro Braga. Clarice continued her classical piano studies in the United States with Ed Bedner (Berklee School of Music) and then Bruce Berr at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Composition studies have been with Ilya Levinson, Stacy Garrop, David Rakowski, Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Daugherty, Evan Chambers and Claude Baker. Clarice studied voice with Susan Botti and Judy Blazer. Ms. Assad Holds a Bachelor of Music from the Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, and a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
About Laura Karpman, composer
With a feverish imagination, impeccable musicianship, complexity, versatility, unbridled joy, and fearlessness, Laura Karpman makes music, which is, in the words of George Manahan, music director of the American Composer’s Orchestra, “a rare combination of heart and groin.” With her rigorous musical approach, coupled with conceptual and progressive uses of technology and recording, Laura is a true 21st century American composer. She is one of a handful of female composers with an active career in film and television, winning four Emmys and receiving an additional seven nominations, an Annie Award nomination, and a GANG award and nomination for her video game music. She was named one of the most important women in Hollywood by VARIETY MAGAZINE, and is a professor at UCLA in the School of Theater, Film, and Television. She is a founder and president of the Alliance for Women Film Composers. She serves on the Music Peer Group Executive Committee of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was recently invited to join the Music Branch of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
A native of Los Angeles, Laura began composing music at seven years old and continued her studies at Phillips Academy at Andover and the National Music Camp, Interlochen, Michigan. Her lifelong obsession with jazz began early on as well, when, at age 11 she started memorizing Ella Fitzgerald’s scat solos.
Later she started playing and singing in high school bands, sneaking into clubs with a fake I.D. to hear great players like Anthony Braxton, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Ahmad Jamal, and Betty Carter. Laura attended the University of Michigan School of Music, studying composition with William Bolcom and Leslie Bassett, and spent a life-changing summer studying with the legendary Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau. She then went on to Juilliard, where she received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees as a student of Milton Babbitt, composing and studying the complexities of concert music by day, while playing jazz and scat singing in Manhattan clubs by night.
Laura subsequently received kudos in concert music with awards including the Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2 ASCAP Foundation grants, multiple Meet the Composer grants, and residencies at Aspen, Tanglewood and The MacDowell Colony. She credits a fellowship to the Sundance Institute’s Composer’s Lab as a pivotal moment in her life. For the first time, she saw computers and music work together and was utterly enthralled with this then new technology. She relocated back to Los Angeles from New York, attended the ASCAP Film Scoring workshop, and soon after began working steadily in the commercial world.
Laura has scored projects for every major network, and has a new unannounced series forthcoming with the iconic R&B artist Raphael Saadiq. She created a unique soundscape for Showtime’s acclaimed science fiction series, ODYSSEY 5 starring Peter Weller. This Emmy-nominated highly unusual score, featuring 12 cellos, bassoons, basses, duduk and countertenor, caught the attention of Steven Spielberg, who invited her to create an epic orchestral score for his 20-hour miniseries, TAKEN. She seamlessly intertwined traditional Americana with evocative modernist strains in this sprawling, adventurous sci-fi score.
Other notable works include the acclaimed DOING TIME ON MAPLE DRIVE directed by Ken Olin for Fox, DASH AND LILLY directed by Kathy Bates for A&E, and the highly rated SINS OF THE MOTHER, starring Jill Scott for Lifetime. She also composed music for NBC’s hit miniseries A WOMAN OF INDEPENDENT MEANS, starring Sally Field, creating music stylistically spanning the first half of the 20th century. Laura scored the series WIOU for CBS and the procedural drama IN JUSTICE for Robert and Michelle King on ABC. She has also collaborated with directors Michael Tolkin, Michael Petroni and Darnell Martin on the limited series MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION for ABC, for which she received an Emmy nomination for her quirky score to JERRY WAS A MAN. She most recently created a massive suspense soundtrack for LAST MAN STANDING, Lifetime’s first action movie, produced by Gale Ann Hurd and directed by Ernest Dickerson.
Laura’s imaginative scores for numerous independent films include BLACK NATIVITY for director Kasi Lemmons and Fox Searchlight; for THE BREAK UP starring Bridget Fonda and Keifer Sutherland; FOR MAN IN THE CHAIR starring Christopher Plummer and Michael Angarano; THE ANNIHILATION OF FISH starring Lynn Redgrave and James Earl Jones for director Charles Burnett; and most recently, the hybrid orchestral score for THE TOURNAMENT for The Weinstein Company. She received a feature Annie nomination for her score A MONKEY’S TALE, combining Chinese instruments and traditional cartoon scoring, and has enjoyed creating scores for SANDLOT 2 and ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE, JR., directed by David Mickey Evans.
Laura has composed music for dozens of game titles, including the large orchestral scores for Sony’s EVERQUEST 2 and many of its updates. She created an epic choral sound and set a Middle Scots war text for the PS3 launch title and PSP versions of UNTOLD LEGENDS: DARK KINGDOM. Laura is currently scoring Microsoft’s PROJECT SPARK, and has recently worked on Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Warner Brothers’ GUARDIANS OF MIDDLE EARTH, and a Chinese action score for KUNG FU PANDA 2 for DreamWorks/THQ, and has contributed additional music to Clive Barker’s JERICHO and HALO 3. She was included in the original production of Video Games Live and received 2 GANG awards for her work on EVERQUEST 2 and KINECT DISNEYLAND ADVENTURES. Her music has also been featured by The National Symphony at The Kennedy Center, and performed throughout Europe. She conducted Games in Concert 2, Metropole Orchestra and PA’dam Choir, Music Centre Vredenburg, in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 2007. She also contributed to PLAY FOR JAPAN, a collection of tracks from top videogame composers for the Japanese tsunami relief effort.
Laura has a passion for documentary film, and has won four Emmy’s and been nominated for an additional five for her work in this genre. She has served as an advisor for the Sundance Composer’s Lab. She credits THE LIVING EDENS, the long running nature series on PBS, for helping to shape her creative voice. To create a sound for the last unspoiled places on earth, Laura melded world music with jazz and traditional Western scoring and started sampling from her collection of over 200 instruments from across the globe.
Laura has scored dozens of documentaries, including REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG for HBO, and three seasons of the Peabody award-winning PBS series, CRAFT IN AMERICA, where her re-contextualizing of classic American tunes earned her another Emmy nomination. For directors Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine she wrote the music for THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and was showcased at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as a “cool” jazz score, featuring the Turtle Island String Quartet, for Geller and Goldfine’s feature documentary SOMETHING VENTURED, which premiered in 2011 at South By Southwest. Laura has also helped shape dozens of winning political campaigns, having written music for candidates Diane Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Lois Capps, and many others—she scored a third of the campaigns for the DCCC in 2000.
Hailed by Vanity Fair as “super-lush…always impressive,” Laura’s epic multimedia work ASK YOUR MAMA was commissioned by Carnegie Hall. At its sold-out world premiere there, The New York Times reported that the audience “thundered its approval,” and raved that the ground-breaking music, “melding Ivesian collage with club-culture remixing, morphed from one vivid section to the next in a dreamlike flow.” ASK YOUR MAMA, based on an iconic cycle of poems by Langston Hughes, was written for Jessye Norman, The Roots, Nnenna Freelon, d’Adre Aziza, and large orchestra, conducted by George Manahan. The work received its West Coast Premiere at the Hollywood Bowl, returned to New York’s Apollo Theater in 2013, and Avie Records will release the recording in 2015.
SIREN SONGS, premiering on June 11th, 2015 was commissioned by the Pacific Symphony to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its music director, Carl, St. Clair. This multimedia work explores women, the ocean and our alarming future; it is based on a set of poems by the exceptional poet, Amy Gerstler, and is accompanied by video and animation by Tempe Hale, who has used footage from Gregory MacGillivray, an Academy-Award nominated cinematographer. Laura’s concert music has been commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (with Marin Alsop), Concordia, the American Composers’ Orchestra, Metropole Orkest, Northwest Sinfonia, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Detroit, Houston, National, New York Youth, Richmond, and El Paso Symphonies. Upcoming commissions include works for The Gay Men’s Chorus of San Francisco (2015) and WILDE TALES for Glimmerglass (2016). Laura has also received an Opera Grant for Female Composers from Opera America to develop BALLS, an opera about the Billie Jean King/ Bobby Riggs tennis match with NY Times columnist Gail Collins. She is also developing multimedia works for clarinetist David Krakauer and Evelyn Glennie.
Recent commissions include the evening-length THE HIDDEN WORLD OF GIRLS, in collaboration with NPR’s the Kitchen Sisters and visual artists Obscura Digital, for which she also served as creative director, for the Cabrillo Festival; ONE TEN PROJECT for the Los Angeles Opera, celebrating both the 70th anniversary of the dedication of the freeway and the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles Opera; DIFFERENT LANES for string quartet and two iPads for Pacific Serenades; THE TRANSITIVE PROPERTY OF EQUALITY for orchestra and electronics, conducted by Marin Alsop with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, commissioned by Red Bull; WAXING NOSTALGIC for Laura Klugherz (viola) and Roberto Limón (guitar); NOW ALL SET, a memorial tribute to her teacher Milton Babbitt, for Perspectives of New Music.
Laura is an active composer for the theater. She has created underscore and songs for A Noise Within in Los Angeles, The Georgia Shakespeare Festival, The Old Globe Theater, and Los Angeles Theater Works, among others. She takes great pride in A WILDE HOLIDAY, her original musical theater production of Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales, which ran to critical acclaim for three seasons at A Noise Within, and her work with Tony award-winning singer/actress Tonya Pinkins, for whom she created arrangements for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Stephen Sondheim’s 75th Birthday Celebration.
Laura loves to teach and does so whenever she can. As a professor at UCLA in the School of Theater, Film, and Television, she has taught about interdisciplinary multimedia performance, and about film music, mentoring the collaboration between filmmaker and composer. In 2012-13, she ran the first master’s degree film-scoring program at Berklee College of Music, where she taught videogame scoring as well as film composition. Laura serves as an advisor at the Sundance Institute and has lectured at The Juilliard School, USC, UCLA Herb Alpert School, Mills College, Berklee College of Music, Emerson College, and The Tides Momentum Leadership Conference, and is a fellow of The Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She has served on the boards of the American Music Center, the Society of Composers and Lyricists and currently is on the Artist’s Council for New Music USA. Next year she will be a visiting artist at the San Francisco Conservatory’s New Media and Music Technology Program.