Mark Robson has been lauded by the Los Angeles Times on numerous occasions, singled out as a pianist with “one of the great techniques” and “an inquiring mind”. His career has included performance as a keyboard soloist, chamber artist, composer, conductor and vocal coach. He was a regular member of the music staff of the Los Angeles Opera from 1991 to 2005 as an assistant conductor and has worked as a musical assistant at the Salzburg and Spoleto (Italy) festivals. Mr. Robson has been on the faculties of USC, Chapman University, Cal State Fullerton and Cal Arts in the capacity of vocal coach and piano teacher. His music has been performed widely, including orchestral works premiered by the Brentwood - Westwood Symphony Orchestra and the Idyllwild Orchestra.
The theme for this Fifteen Minutes of Fame call is: The Four Elements: earth, wind, fire, water. 15 one-minute solos for piano and/or toy piano composed for Mark Robson to be premiered by him in Spring 2014 at the Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California for their reopening festivities.
April 6, 2014 - Brand Library & Art Center, Glendale, California
David Bohn received degrees in composition from the University of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois. He currently resides in West Allis, Wisconsin, and is the music director at St. John's Lutheran Church in West Milwaukee. He is the President of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers.
Silvia Corda is a pianist, a composer and a piano teacher. She is mainly interested in contemporary and improvised music. She is also a toy piano player. Her piece “Tre ritratti del tempo” for toy piano and toy dulcimer was runner-up for 2013 UnCaged Toy Piano Call for Scores.
The wind is movement and transformation according to its origin and intensity. The composition does not describe the wind but just evokes its changes using “accelerando”, “esitando” and sudden rests. The title comes from an Emily Dickinson’s poem.* *(J1302 / F1295)
Bobby DeLisle received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in December 2010. He is currently completing the thesis for his Master’s Degree in Music Composition from Wayne State, under the direction of Jon Anderson.
When I think of the element Earth, my first thought is of playing in the mud as a child. It’s a silly thought, but I loved to stomp around in the cool, wet dirt or play football in it with friends.
Yvonne Freckmann is a composer and pianist thrilled to be exploring the toy piano. Her piece Toycycle for toy piano and tricycle was premiered by Kathleen Supové at the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival in December 2013. Yvonne earned her M.M. at the University of Louisville as a Bomhard Fellow in May of last year.
Twisting Brook is inspired by the beauty and power of water to adapt and shape its surroundings. The toy piano creates a the sound of a silvery brook running along and splashing over rocks.
Jay Anthony Gach’s music has been critically acclaimed as "witty, virtuosic and accessible", "so exuberant [and] so characterful", "a natural crowd pleaser", "multi-layered, whirling and propulsive". Lukas Foss described "his writing for orchestra brilliant beyond words". Hugo Weisgall wrote of him, "a composer... of extraordinary technical command and intellectual grasp..."
As a pianist I often compose/improvise short etude-like pieces for myself to work on that present technical problems that I find difficult and need to work on.
Winner: Borromeo Award, Brandenburg Chamber Music Prize, Copland Award, Ettelson Award, CAP Grants, Aspen Institute, NEH Award at Schoenberg Institute. Albany Records - Arditti Quartet - Aspen Quartet. Composed trailers for major motion pictures. Taught composition and electronic music : UC Santa Barbara, Scripps, CSULB and CSULA.
Fifty words about sixty seconds seems like a lot, so forgive me if I say only that in this piece I think you can hear my two basic motivations - to make a rigorous construction and to express some passion or other. The rigor certainly can be heard in the harmony - everything comes out of the same basic chord. I could tell you the set-theoretic details - but then you'd have to kill me! I also like to compose several streams of music to be heard together, each in different tempi, but all written in the same meter without recourse to too many tuplets.
Ben Hase (b. 1989, Wisconsin) holds a Bachelor of Music-Composition degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he studied with Dr. Ethan Wickman. He enjoys experimenting with the fusion of dissimilar elements found within renaissance, electronic, pop, progressive rock, and minimalist music.
Among wind's better traits is its ability to move us forward. Wind Shift is a recollection of an afternoon on a lake in my father's sailing canoe. There were moments of bliss abruptly interrupted by jolts of excitement and fear as the craft bowed to the shifts in the wind.
Matthew Hetz, a Los Angeles native, began piano lessons at age 16. Hetz began playing the violin at age 23, and is primarily self-taught. He studied composition with Marshall Bialovsky, Cal State Dominguez Hills. He is president/executive director of the Culver City Symphony Orchestra. He is an environmental and mass transit advocate.
Element: Fire. Astrology incorporates the four elements in the twelve Zodiac signs. I was born under the Fire Sign of Aries, and have six Fire Signs in my astrological chart. This work is the the embers of a dying fire with hope rising from the embers.
"Steve Lansford has been a composer, musician, writer, actor, artist, radio announcer, language instructor, and freelance translator over the past two decades. Most recently, he has presented multimedia works at the 2011 and 2012 Black Mountain College Conferences in his current home of Asheville, NC."
"Ether, energy, prana, etc. – it is the essence making up and pervading the four elements. Ether, as a piano piece, takes the listener through rapid transformation from earth (the most “solid” element), through water and air, to fire (the most volatile of the traditional four elements)."
Raised in Warm Springs, Georgia (population <475), composer Alan Shockley has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Atlantic Center, the Centro Studi Ligure, and the Virginia Center for the Arts, among others. He's currently Director of Composition/Theory in the Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach.
The title "the reverse balducci" refers to a very old illusionist’s levitation trick, especially popular amongst street performers, in which the illusionist appears to become lighter than air and floats a little above the stage or ground. The reverse balducci for toy piano was composed for Mark Robson.
I received my BM and MM Music Degrees from Manhattan School of Music, and have been a performer/composer/teacher in the New York area for the past thirty five years. My music runs the gambit from pop influenced electronic realism through reinvented jazz standards to experimental electronic pieces and improvisations for the African thumb piano. My work can be found on iTunes, YouTube, and cdbaby.com/bobsiebert Upcoming performances include Experimental music festivals in the metropolitan area and cafe’ venues in Brooklyn and New Jersey
James SOE NYUN is a composer and artist living in San Diego. His music has been performed nationally, and has been heard on three previous 15 Minutes of Fame concerts. His visual works have also been presented nationally, and are in several permanent museum collections.
Into Thin Air develops several waves of sound that ascend from the solid firmament built on partials of the lowest B-flat on the keyboard, and dissipate into the quick, busy molecules high in the atmosphere.
José Jesus de Azevedo Souza studied in England at the Purcell School with a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and later studied at the Trinity College of Music and the University of Sheffield. He has since composed a considerable amount of music, some of which has been performed.
Above a current of water reflected by the left hand performed on an acoustic piano, the ethereal Spirit of the Water performed by the right hand on a toy piano floats around in this piece for Mark Robson.
David Nelson Tomasacci (b. 1984) is a composer – theorist from Shickshinny, PA. His teachers were William Duckworth, Donald Harris and Thomas Wells. He received his PhD in Music Theory from OSU in May 2013, has taught at OSU and Kenyon College, and is currently Adjunct at Columbus State Community College.
A Dancing Wind Through Chimes Blue was written during the second polar vortex and thoughts of bitter winds and blue fingers, and can be played three ways: for toy piano, and / or piano. The theme is an homage / monogram for CAGE, the pioneer of toy piano music.
Adam Zahller (b. 1988) is an American composer. His works have received premieres by Duo Gelland, Daniela Mineva, and the Eclipse Quartet. He holds a B. Mus. from Chapman University, where he studied under Jeffrey Holmes and Sean Heim, and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota, where he studied under James Dillon.
“So universall contracted light was ordained the capitall organ of life in the starry world, which did showre down fiery spiracles of life, vegetation, and multiplication upon the sublunary earth and waters. Thus the reason of Condensation and Rarefaction, whereby the invisible heavenly substance, and visible celestial bodies, were made.” --Robert Fludd