Wonki Lee

Korean saxophonist Wonki Lee was born in Tokyo and began playing the saxophone at the age of thirteen. He has distinguished himself as a remarkable saxophonist with his instrumental prowess and keen artistic grasp. He was the first Korean selected as a semi-finalist in the Adolphe Sax International Competition. As an active concert saxophonist, he performs a wide range of music, including solo premieres and chamber music. Wonki made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 2008 and has performed at the Metropolitan Museum, Merkin Concert Hall, Time Warner Building, and Macys. His concerto recording was broadcasted on a WQXR. He won 1st prize for MTNA Young Artist NY State Competition, and 3rd prize for the LISMA International Music Competition. Wonki exclusively uses YAMAHA Custom EX saxophones.

Riko Higuma

Pianist Riko Higuma has performed and collaborated with legendary artists such as Albert Markov, Neil Rosenshein, Aaron Rosand, Cho-Liang Lin, Alan Gilbert, Steven Tanenbom, Dora Schwarzberg, and Timothy Eddy. She was a top-prize winner at the Jacob Flier International Piano Competition and was one of the Young Artists at the Van Cliburn Piano Institute, where she appeared with the Fort Worth Symphony. Individually and as the pianist of the acclaimed Zodiac Trio, Ms. Higuma has performed around the globe, including the LaJolla Music Society Summerfest, Summit Music Festival, Russian River Chamber Music, Festival c'est pas classique, and most recently at the Festival Radio-France Montpellier. Ms.Higuma studied with Phillip Kawin at the Manhattan School of Music and with the Ysaye String Quartet at the Paris Conservatory.

Concert Dates

  • May 13, 2012 - Jan Hus Church - New York City

15 one-minute selections for Wonki Lee and Riko Higuma

  • La necesidad de crear

    Guido Bisocoli

    Composer, drummer and programmer from La Plata, Argentina, Guido Bisocoli (born 1982) studied composition 5 years with a private teacher covering counterpoint, classical harmony and XX century trends. He creates musical works ranging from Electroacoustic through contemporary, to Progressive Rock. He's always searching for innovation and looking for new sounds on every composition.

    "La necesidad de crear" is a piece for Soprano Sax and Piano, it starts with a sustained note by the sax, then imitated by the Piano followed by a sudden agitation to return again to the, now, uneasy calm. Chaos again takes control until gradually all stabilizes again.

  • 1947

    Gordon Francis Blaney Jr.

    Gordon Francis Blaney Jr. (b. 29 November 1982) is an American writer, performer, educator, and theorist with an extensive background in classical and jazz. He studied at Berklee College of Music where he received a BM in Composition. He studies composition with Berklee College of Music composition department professor Dennis LeClaire.

    "1947" is dedicated to Liana Alexandra, a colleague in composition. She chose the profession of composer, because she loved it. It didn't matter that her passion became her job, for what's work when it's love? It didn't matter that her job became her career, for what amount of time, space, and resources can compare to living the dreams one dreams?

  • He couldn't Boogie Woogie Worth a Damn

    Scott Brickman

    Scott Brickman (b. Dec. 28, 1963, Oak Park, Illinois) was educated in the Chicago Public school system and holds music degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Brandeis University. Since 1997 he has taught at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where he is Professor of Music and Education.

    He couldn't Boogie Woogie Worth a Damn (2012) takes its title from a short story of my favorite author, Nelson Algren. The piece is in a simple ternary form. Written using the 12-tone technique, the initial idea is based on the octatonic scale.

  • Consonances

    Andy Cohen

    Andy Cohen did the classical-music-studies thing at Oberlin and Manhattan School of Music, and enjoys revisiting that universe from time-to-time. For the most part, he is keeping busy doing sound, original music, and musical direction for theater shows. For more information, visit him at www.andycomusic.com.

    The musical materials for Consonances (for Liana) are derived and developed from a short section of the third movement of Liana Alexandra's Fourth Symphony. Liana wrote many pieces of chamber music with the title "Consonances"; here is one dedicated to her in return.

  • crashing into the sun

    David Heuser

    David Heuser's music has be hailed as "all-American music at its most dynamic and visceral," "thoughtful, beautiful and wonderfully made," and "just the sort of music classical music needs more of." A native of New Jersey, Heuser now lives in Potsdam, New York.

    "crashing into the sun" uses the jarring loud clusters which begin the third movement of her Symphony No. 4 as an ending point, with the piece an exercise in figuring out how to get there.

  • Shadowthoughts

    Ching-chu Hu

    Born in Iowa City, Iowa, Ching-chu Hu earned his DMA from the University of Michigan. His music has been performed around the world at various festivals and venues and recorded on Albany Records, ERM Media, and Capstone Records. He is Associate Professor of Music at Denison University at Granville, Ohio.

    Shadowthoughts was inspired by Liana Alexana's Cadenza for piano. The soprano saxophone melody is "protected" by the piano, as if its lines are a shadow of Alexana's work. Shadowthoughts is dedicated to Wonki Lee and Riko Higuma as part of the Vox Novus 2012 Fifteen Minutes of Fame project.

  • Melody Drops

    Jose Mora-Jimenez

    Jose Mora-Jimenez was born in Costa Rica. He studied the majors Classical Guitar and Music Composition at the University of Costa Rica. He completed his composition studies at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague under the guidance of Gilius van Bergeijk and Cornelis de Bondt. He is currently living in the Netherlands where he is active as a composer of modern music as well as composer of music for the media.

    While listening to music by composer Liana Alexandra I came across a short work called "Melody", a melodic and slow piece for cello and piano. Thus, I decided to make a slow melodic piece as well. For this piece I used the concept of how circular waves are formed after dropping a single drop of water into a liquid surface. In my piece, the notes of the melody played by the sax are like drops producing "waves" of sound in the piano.

  • Meditation on Liana Alexandra

    Wade Meyers

    Wade Meyers is an active pianist and composer currently in the Washington - Baltimore metropolitan area. He holds degrees in piano performance from Stetson and George Mason Universities, where he studied piano with Michael Rickman and Anna Balakerskaia; improvisation with Harold Blanchard; and, composition with Manuel de Murga.

    "Meditation on Liana Alexandra" is written as a pensive, somewhat impressionistic reflection on Liana Alexandra's life, work, and legacy. Though the piano sets the tone for the tenor saxophone's entrance, it is also the piano's descending bass line that provides the structure of the piece.

  • Broken Waltz In Memoriam LIANA ALEXANDRA

    Daniel Mihai

    Daniel Mihai studied with the Maestro and teachers like Serban Nichifor, Stefan Gheorghiu and a lot of great teachers of Romanian School of Music! He has attended MBA courses in the Faculty of Performing Art, with the objective of improvement and assimilation of all knowledge related to contemporary music.I am teacher of violine in Constanta and also i play with pleasure this kind of music wherever! Also, I want to finish my final thesis soon as possible! For this composition iI reach one of the meaning of the soul of Liana A;exandra a powerfull romanian composer. I choose one of the feelings of she in 60 seconds . My personal advice to the soloist is to be more relaxing.

    For this composition iI reach the Waltz FROM THE BALLET "THE LITTLE MERMAID" BY LIANA ALEXANDRA like an hommage!

  • Do Not Kill A Mockingbird

    Serban Nichifor

    Serban Nichifor, composer. Married to Liana Alexandra, composer.

    This miniature is trying to express the contrast between the purity of Liana's Spirit and the deadly blows received from her so jealous Romanian colleagues... The melody is a quote from Barcarola by Liana Alexandra Serban, Liana's husband.

  • A Desire

    Mike Perdue

    Mike Perdue is an improvising percussionist and composer of experimental chamber music. Originally from rural south Alabama, Perdue is a product of competitive marching bands, church music, the symphony orchestra, the Internet, and the 20th Century avant-garde. Perdue has been a featured solo improviser at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Festival Internacional de Percusión in Puerto Rico, and with the ensemble Tactus in New York. His extensive list of creative collaborators includes cellist Mariel Roberts, violinist/visual artist Leah Asher, actor/director Tyne Rafaeli, composer Matt Aelmore, and choreographer Jeanne S. Mam-Luft. Perdue holds degrees in percussion from Carnegie Mellon University and Manhattan School of Music.

    The thematic material in this short duet is derived from a quote by the late Romanian composer Liana Alexandra, which reads as follows: "I chose the profession of composer because I like that and probably was the vocation of my life. Sure, that becomes a job, but becomes a job after that stage overcome by passion and creative, a desire, the need to create." This quote is taken verbatim from a website dedicated to Alexandra's memory, and does not make perfect grammatical sense in English; this is likely because English was not Alexandra's native language, and was probably dictated from extemporaneous speech. Nevertheless, its message is genuine and clear. The idiosyncratic rhythm and notation in this piece intends to capture the spirit of Liana Alexandra's quote, both in grammar and meaning. Text from the quote is printed inline with the score as a loose guide to articulation and rhythmic interpretation.

  • Susura

    Kala Pierson

    Kala Pierson is an American composer and sound artist. Her works have been performed and installed in 22 countries. Her long-term projects include Axis of Beauty (setting texts by Middle Eastern writers since 2004, in an ongoing response to her government's "Axis of Evil" propaganda) and Illuminated (setting texts about sex and sexuality from a broad range of cultures).

    "Susura" is Romanian for murmur. The piece is similar in style to a Romanian doina -- a rhythmically free, delicately ornamented mourning song played by a single melody instrument (here, soprano saxophone) and sometimes accompanied by one or more drone instruments (here, piano).

  • Mystic Dances

    Josh Ransom

    Josh Ransom is an Australian composer and musician residing in his hometown of Sydney. He currently is studying his Bachelor of Music degree majoring in Composition under the guidance of composers Matthew Hindson and Damien Ricketson. Josh has composed symphonic works for both symphony and Wind orchestras which have been performed throughout the state at contest and festival level.

    "Mystic Dances" is a brief encounter of effect when one walks through a dimly lit, fog bound park in the dead of night. Presenting both a calm and uncertainty of what lies ahead. This brief dance begins with a music box idea portraying a dreamscape which quickly develops into a raucous festivity of fog bound fret.

  • Waltz for Alexandra

    Corina Alexandra Tirziman

    My name is Corina Alexandra Tirziman. I am 20 years old, and I have been studying Contemporary Classical Music Composition for two years at the "National University of Music from Bucharest", Romania. By participating in numerous workshops and competitions, I can describe myself as a perseverant, tenacious, and ambitious student.

    "Waltz for Alexandra" is a piece for soprano saxophone and piano, written in Neo-Consonant style, which is one of the composing directions approached and promoted by Liana Alexandra. The piece is built from a generating motif, which consists in the succession on the following keys: AEADA. The keys represent Alexandra's melogram: ALEXANDRA.

  • Dance

    Georgiana Trandafir

    Born in 1989 in Bucharest (Romania), GEORGIANA TRANDAFIR studied performing arts (violin, chamber music) and composition at the National University of Music Bucharest, and legal sciences at the "Nicolae Titulescu" University.

    "DANCE" for Bb Tenor Saxophone and Piano This piece is written In Remembrance of the great composer LIANA ALEXANDRA ! The music is directly inspired by the marvellous "CLARINET QUARTET" by LIANA ALEXANDRA. I dedicate this work to the wonderful Duo WONKI LEE, saxophone and RIKO HIGUMA, piano.