LSM Newswire

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NEC's "Sick Puppy" Presents Seminars, Week of Free Public New Music Concerts

NECs Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) Features Composer-in-Residence Jo Kondo, June 16-22

Pianist Aki Takahashi is Guest Artist

"Each sound must have its own entity and life. What I am doing in my compositions is to create a web of intertonal relationships, while trying to safeguard the possibility of aurally perceiving the individual entity and life of every single tone in that relationship." - Jo Kondo

Jo Kondo, arguably Japans most eminent composer who has described his music as the art of being ambiguous, will be BnG Foundation Composer-in-residence at this years Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (fondly and forever known as Sick Puppy). Under the artistic direction of pianist Stephen Drury, the Institute takes place June 1620 at New England Conservatory. It will also feature pianist Aki Takahashi as guest artist.

SICPP is an intensive performance seminar on new music for advanced pianists, percussionists, and instrumentalists. This years faculty features Kondo, Takahashi, and Drury, along with pianists Louis Goldstein and Yukiko Takagi; percussionists Scott Deal and Mathias Reumert; and voice faculty Pamela Wood.

Along with the daytime workshops offered to registered students, SICPP will also present free public concerts every evening in NECs Jordan Hall or Williams Hall. The concerts will highlight Kondos music and feature performances by the faculty and the Callithumpian Consort. Student compositions and other works will be featured in the marathon concert June 21.

The Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice is made possible by a generous grant from the BnG Foundation, The Gaudemus Foundation, Nomura, and Mode Records.


Born in Tokyo in 1947, Jo Kondo graduated from the composition department of Tokyo University of Arts in 1972. He spent a year in New York on a scholarship from the John D. Rockefeller III Fund in 1977-78. In 1979 he taught as guest lecturer at University of Victoria, British Columbia, invited by the Canada Council, and in 1986 resided in London as a British Council Senior Fellow. In 1987 he was composer in residence at Hartt School of Music, Hartford, Connecticut, USA, and taught at Dartington International Summer School in England. At present he is Professor of Music at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, and also teaches at Tokyo University of Arts and Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima.

In 1980 Kondo founded the Musica Practica Ensemble, a chamber orchestra devoted to contemporary music, and was artistic director of the group until its disbandment in 1991.

He has written more than eighty compositions, ranging from solo pieces to orchestral and electronic works, which have been widely performed in Japan, North America and Europe and recorded on Hat Art, ALM, Fontec Deutsche Grammophon and other labels. He has received commissions from numerous organisations, and his music has been featured at many international music festivals. Performers associated with his music include the conductor Tadaaki Otaka, the pianist Aki Takahashi, the Ives and Nieuw Ensembles in the Netherlands, the London Sinfonietta and many others.

Kondo has written extensively on musical matters, and since 1979 he has published four books spelling out in detail his own aesthetic and compositional ideas. He is also an associate editor of Contemporary Music Review. During 2000 he directed the composition classes at the Dartington International School of Music and was on the jury of the Gaudeamus International Composer's competition, and was a featured composer at the 2005 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Pianist Aki Takahashi, is a new music interpreter who has attracted the attention of many composers. Cage, Feldman, Takemitsu, Yun, Oliveros, Ruders, Satoh, Lucier and Garland, to name a few, have all created works for her.
Ms. Takahashi received the first Kenzo Nakajima prize in 1982, and was recipient of the first Kyoto Music Award (1986). She directed the "New Ears" concert series in Yokohama (1983-97), was artist-in-residence at SUNY Buffalo (1980-81) and guest professor at the California Institute of the Arts (1984).
Her landmark recording of 20 contemporary piano works, Aki Takahashi Piano Space, received the Merit Prize at the Japan Art Festival (1973). Her series of Erik Satie concerts (1975-77) heralded a Satie boom in Japan, resulting in her editing all of his piano works for Zen-On and recording them on Toshiba-EMI. She created the Hyper-Beatles project with Toshiba, which invited 47 international composers to arrange/recompose their favorite Beatles tunes.

Concert Schedule:

Monday, June 16

8 p.m. NECs Jordan Hall

Aki Takahashi, piano

Callithumpian Consort

Iannis Xenakis: Morsima-Amorsima, for piano and strings

Erik Satie: Nocturnes

Morton Feldman: Extensions 3

Christian Wolff: Pianist: Pieces.

Tuesday, June 17

8 p.m. NECs Williams Hall

SICPP Faculty members

Nicholas Vines: Terraformation: Sonata for Piano with Yukiko Takagi, piano

Helmut Lachenmann: Allegro Sostenuto

Brian Ferneyhough: Terrain by with violinist Gabriela Diaz and the Callithumpian Consort

Andrew Estel: Scrape the Colour with Louis Goldstein, piano.

Wednesday, June 18

8 p.m., NECs Williams Hall

Recital by Stephen Drury, piano

Jo Kondo: A Dance for Piano, "Europeans"

Helmut Lachenmann: Serynade

John Zorn: Fay Ce Que Vouldras

Toshio Hosokawa: Nacht Klange.

Thursday, June 19

8 p.m. NECs Williams Hall

Performances by SICPP faculty.

Jo Kondo: Aquarelle for piano and percussion, and Dithyramb for flute and guitar. Toshio Hosokawa's Lied for flute and piano

James Romig: Piano Sonata

Stephen Mosko: Rendering

Friday, June 20

8 p.m. NECs Jordan Hall

Percussion extravaganza!

Jo Kondo: Pendulums with Nicholas Tolle, percussion, and Trio (Moor) for viola, bassoon, and piano.

Dorothy Hindman: new percussion work with Scott Deal, percussion

Brian Ferneyhough: Bone Alphabet

Christina Viola Oorebeek: Edges with Mathias Reumert, percussion

Steve Reich: Sextet.

Saturday, June 21

4 p.m. NECs Brown Hall

The legendary SICPP Iditarod! Six hours of new music, performed by the faculty and fellows of SICPP!

Jo Kondo: Luster Gave Her the Hat And He And Ben Went Across the Backyard, Strands II (for three pianos), Standing, An Elder's Hocket, The Shape Follows Its Shadow, and Under the Umbrella

New works by: Liza White, Megan Beugger, David Carter, Juhi Bansal, Marti Epstein, Mischa Salkind-Pearl, and David Grant

Frederic Rzewski: Moonrise with Memories and Bring Them Home!

Lee Hyla: We Speak Etruscan

George Crumb: Voice of the Whale and Madrigals

Louis Andriessen: Workers Union;

Toru Takemitsu: Toward the Sea;

Helmut Lachenmann: temA;

Giacinto Scelsi: Okanagon;

Niels Roensholdt: Hammerfall;

Tan Dun: Elegy: Snow in June for cello solo and four percussionists;

Luciano Berio: Linnea;

Michael Finnissy: Post-Christian Survival Kit

For further information, check the NEC Website, the SICPP website or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122. NECs Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. St. Botolph Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.

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