Surrealist Art Music

Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Surrealist Art Music

Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: Surrealist Art Music. This Fifteen Minutes of Fame will feature performance from Sophia Yan, William Lane, and Izumi Nikaido. The works will be premiered in November 2013 as part of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble’s Salon Series at Southsite, Hong Kong.

Sophia Yan

Sophia has dedicated herself to new music, premiering and performing pieces by living composers including Emily Koh, Ryan Pratt, Emily Doolittle and Faye-Ellen Silverman, and appearing frequently on the “Composer’s Voice” series in New York, sponsored by contemporary music group Vox Novus. She has further collaborated with Vox Novus to commission and premiere works, including a project for 15 one-minute pieces by composers age 15 and under. In 2006, Sophia performed Erik Satie’s Vexations in a 16-hour concert with a team of about 20 pianists.

She has been praised by the New York Times as a performer whose “music literally pulls her off the piano bench; she ranges up and down the keyboard so quickly and with such ferocity that mere sitting will not do."

Recognized with an “Exceptional Artist” award by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in the U.S., she has also been featured internationally as a soloist with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Chioggia and Battleground Symphony, among others. In 2011, she won First Prize and the Most Outstanding Performer award at the Princeton Piano Festival Competition, and is a four-time First Prize winner of the Steinway Society Competition. She has also won prizes at the New York Piano, International Young Artist Piano, International Concert Alliance and Music Teachers National Association competitions.

Other notable performances include appearances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Steinway Hall, Chateau de Fontainebleau in France, Mannes International Keyboard Festival in New York, Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, as well as the Niagara International Chamber Music and the George Bernard Shaw Festivals in Canada. Sophia has also performed with her brother, violinist Albert Yan, on the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic’s summer chamber music series in Virginia. In 2006, she appeared in PBS documentary, Beyond the Practice Room, and has been heard on NPR.

William Lane

William Lane performed as a soloist, orchestral player and chamber musician all over Australasia, Asia, Europe and North America. Recipient of a number of large scholarships and prize-winner at various international competitions, he studied under Jan Sedivka (Australia), Bruno Giuranna (Italy) and Garth Knox (France), as well as in Germany at the International Ensemble Modern Akademie. He has been recipient of a number of awards and scholarships, including the Alcorso Scholarship and an Asialink Fellowship. William was Violist in the Hong Kong Philharmonic (2008-2010), Principal Viola of Ensemble Resonanz (Hamburg/ Germany, 2007-2008), as well as working on a freelance basis with Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt, 2006-2007), the SMASH Ensemble (Salamanca/ Spain, 2008). As an orchestral musician he has worked as Principal Viola with the Australian Youth Orchestra and casual player with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. As a new music advocate, William is Artistic Director of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, giving regular concerts in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. He is also member of the Anonymous Quartet (HK). He has also appeared as a guest lecturer and performer at University College Cork (Ireland), University of Newcastle (UK), Australian Institute of Music (Sydney), ORKA-M (India), Princeton University (USA) and Kings College (London).

Izumi Nikaido

Izumi Nikaido Izumi was born in Kagoshima city, Japan. She started to play the piano when she was 3 years old and self taught the piccolo when she was 11. She switched the piccolo to the flute a year later, after her family moved to Tokyo. Also she was in the popular music course in Yamaha Music School. She studied at Kagoshima junior college, Royal academy of music, HKAPA, L’ecole normale musique de Paris. Izumi was an assistant principal flute of Guangzhou Symphony orchestra (2000-2006), acting flute/piccolo of Hong Kong Sinfonietta (2006-2008). Currently flute player of Duo Fluxion (2008-present), also a freelance flute player.

Concert Dates

  • November 28, 2013 - Southsite Salon, Hong Kong

15 one-minute selections for Surrealist Art Music

Concert program
  • Murmuring 'Tea for Two'

    Marco Alunno

    Marco Alunno was born in Italy where he studied piano, composition, cinema and film music. He earned a PhD in Composition at the Eastman School of Music. At the present he works as a professor of Composition and Theory at the Universidad EAFIT in Medellín (Colombia) and as a scholar in film music.

    Why is the piece surreal? I think it is so because the famous tune came haphazardly out while composing a sort of minimalist piece. Decontextualized and deformed, this sweet melody is still recognizable but looses its gracefulness and turns into a frenetic, motor-like run.

  • Persisting Memories

    Julius Bucsis

    Julius Bucsis is an award winning composer, guitarist, and music technologist. His compositions have been included in many juried concerts, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He also frequently performs a set of original compositions featuring electric guitar and computer generated sounds. His artistic interests include using computer technology in music composition and developing musical forms that incorporate improvisation.

    Persisting Memories was inspired by the Salvador Dali painting The Persistence of Memory.

  • This is not a piece

    Charis Bean Duke

    Charis Bean Duke is a composer of chamber music, vocal music, and children's opera. Her choral music has received many awards. She enjoys collaboration with other artists and musicians and takes inspiration from many genres. Charis currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.

    René Magritte's famous painting "The Treachery of Images," otherwise known as "This is not a pipe" asks many questions of the viewer, including what is real, what is true, and what is art. The same questions are asked of music. Who will determine the answers?

  • A Jewel-Studded Cigarette Case In Which to Store Mustaches

    Whitney George

    George’s music has been performed by ensembles such as Mivos Quartet, Cygnus Ensemble, Transit Ensemble, Fulcrum Point Quartet, CME, Curiosity Cabinet, and Vigil Ensemble. George is the artistic director and conductor of ‘The Curiosity Cabinet’, a NY-based chamber orchestra whose members were culled from a network of close collaborators. (

  • Micrometamorphosis

    Ernest Hui

    Ernest Hui is a Hong Kong composer. He read music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Also an active singer in choirs and a cappella groups, Hui has keen interest in choral and vocal music.

    Micrometamorphosis is inspired by M. C. Escher's set of woodcut "Metamorphosis". As a kid years ago, the composer was fascinated by Escher's works and wish to pay a tribute writing this music base on Escher’s name (E-Eb-C-B-E-D).

  • The contrasts

    Vladimir Karpenko

    Vladimir Karpenko (1958) was born in Ridder (East Kazakhstan), studied in Almaty conservatory. Now he lives in Irkutsk, Russia. Нe is the composer, the musicologist, the pianist, the teacher. The author of compositions for a symphonic orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, a piano, a organ, vocal music.

    I wanted to show children's naivety and dreadful visions – two poles of surrealism.

  • Farfallone in a Landscape

    Albert HC Mandersr

    Amsterdam based flutist, composer and impresario Albert HC Manders grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where he earned a degree in Business and Anthropology. His compositions have been performed in the US, Netherlands, France and Spain. In the last few years he has studied contemporary flute with Anne Le Berge and Wil Offermans.

    Farfallone in a Landscape was partly inspired by a trip to the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres, Spain. It's a collage full of references and surprises.
  • Celebes

    Djordje Markovic

    Djordje Markovic (1978) is finished composition at the Academy of Arts at University of Novi Sad (Serbia). His works have been performed at Afest, KoMA festival, International Review of Composers in Belgrade, Kings Place Festival in London, and at numerous concerts.

    Celebes is a 1921 painting by Max Ernst. It combines the vivid, dreamlike atmosphere, wich is also the essence of this miniature!

  • (6e+10) to infinity

    Sascia Pellegrini

    Contemporary musician Sascia Pellegrini is no stranger to crossing frontier: bred in Italy and now based in Hong Kong, his music traverses the borders of media and genre. A classically trained percussionist, pianist and composer, with two consecutive scholarships from IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique, France) under his belt, Sascia sculpts contemporary soundscapes with digitally-processed backtracks, live electronics and videos in combination with his technically-flawless and physically intense percussion playing. He has earned the reputation of the percussion wizard not only by his immaculate mastery of traditional percussion instruments but also his uncanny ability to turn most unconventional materials into his music paraphernalia. Having performed in Italy, France, German, Japan and China, Sascia invites his worldwide audience to experience his unpretentious and innovative land of music. In his new-found home Hong Kong, he collaborates with all walks of musicians, artists and establishments such as Hong Kong University, Chinese University and Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. His composition and performance in recent events such as MOBILE M+ and Sonic Anchor #11 have gained him growing critical acclaims and recognition.

    Freely inspired by master painters of the surrealist period such R.Magritte and G.De Chirico, the piece transpose the distorted vision of reality of those artists on the instruments, approaching them from a displaced perspective. The instruments goes then in three opposite directions: a still bang of the piano, a sliding slow movement of the viola and an electric fast ostinato movement on the flute, all gradually fading to nothing.

  • Cries

    Gene Prtisker

    Composer/guitarist/rapper/Di.J. Gene Pritsker has written over four hundred compositions, including chamber operas, orchestral and chamber works, electro-acoustic music and songs for hip-hop and rock ensembles. All of his compositions employ an eclectic spectrum of styles and are influenced by his studies of various musical cultures. He is the founder and leader of Sound Liberation; an eclectic hiphop-chamber-jazz-rock-etc. ensemble who have released cd's on Col-legno and Innova Records. Gene's music has been performed all over the world at various festivals and by many ensembles and performers, including the Adelaide Symphony, The Athens Camarata, Brooklyn and Berlin Philharmonic. He has worked closely with Joe Zawinul and has orchestrated major Hollywood movies. The New York Times described him as "...audacious...multitalented." Joseph Pehrson, writing in The Music Connoisseur, described Pritsker as "dissolv[ing] the artificial boundaries between high brow, low brow, classical, popular musics and elevates the idea that if it's done well it is great music, regardless of the style or genre".

  • L'anneau de Moebius

    Dimitri Rastoropov

    Dimitri Rastoropov is a Russian composer and artist from Latvia who is currently living in the UK, and is working on compositions and sound installations. He has graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 2012, and from Lancaster University in 2013, subsequently studying music composition and contemporary arts. Both, his compositional and installation works explore the varied connections between chance and repetition.

    I find this piece to be an interesting connection between my interest in cycles and repetition, and Robert Desnos' poetry that resulted in a piece that attempts to give an impression of forever-moving eternity in one minute, and progresses by a constraining set of rules and patterns. In addition, I deliberately chose not follow my usual compositional logic and instead went 'with the flow' of a sleep deprived state that I suffered during the writing of this composition, and during which I made most important compositional decisions on this work.

  • Aquis Submersus

    Bob Siebert

    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 Upcoming performances include Experimental music festivals in the metropolitan area and cafe’ venues in Brooklyn and New Jersey Seven of my pieces have been winners in the “15 Minutes of Fame” competitions! In addition to performing and composing I enjoy cooking, specializing in Chinese cuisine, and fencing epee’ and foil. “Aquis Submersus” piece description

    a Inspired by Max Ernst’s painting “Aquis Submersus” this surealist dream landscape calls you to enter.

  • Die alte Frau

    David Jason Snow

    The compositions of David Jason Snow have been performed in concert by the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the American Brass Quintet, the Harvard Wind Ensemble, et al. Snow is the recipient of composition awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the ASCAP Foundation, BMI, and Keyboard magazine.

    The power of surrealist imagery derives from its representation of everyday objects in anti-rational contexts and configurations. Die alte Frau achieves a musical analogy by juxtaposing conventional melodic and harmonic gestures in the flute and viola against the anti-musical rhetoric of the pianist.

  • Mein Merveilleux Salvador

    Samuel Stokes

    Samuel Stokes has a PhD in music composition from Louisiana State University where he studied under Dinos Constantinides. Among Stokes’s compositions are Symphony No. 1, "Eustace the Monk," which was premiered by the LSU Symphony, and two full-length musicals entitled Dracula and Bird Millman.

    Mein Merveilleux Salvador pays homage to Salvador Dalí and his incredible artistic output.

  • Moonbird

    Ruben Vizcaino

    Ruben Vizcaino is a composer from Galicia (Spain). He studied composition with Anton Garcia Abril at the EAEM (Galicia). He also attended composition courses by prestigious composers like Cristobal Halffter, Tomas Marco and Alberto Posadas. He has been nominated for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards 2013 (best classical music).

    Moonbird is a composition inspired by surrealist paintings by Catalan artist Joan Miró, where strange birds often appear in dark sceneries. The three instruments play similarly important roles in the composition, which is infused with a powerful rhythmic energy, being intriguing and joyful at the same time.