Nevada County Composers Cooperative Presents Chamber Music Concert

The Nevada County Composers Cooperative tempts fate and does musical mischief. Defying superstitions, on Friday the 13th they present a concert of chamber music for strings, piano, marimba and voice. All works are world premieres, never heard before, and most were composed during the pandemic when live performances were halted.

The concert will take place at Ranch Trabucco in the Il Tempio di Musica (Temple of Music), a barn-like building with acoustics that was built especially for the music.

The composers who will present works are Mark Vance, Durwynne Hsieh, Jesse Haennelt, Jake Collins and Alexis Alrich. Some of the tracks reveal what ideas were simmering and brewing in their minds – for example, Jake Collins’ string quartet: ‘Overwhelmed and Powerless’. From Jesse Haennelt’s string quartet: “Blind Spots”. And Durwynn Hsieh’s Piano Sonata: “Useless, station stop and click”.

Musicians include local and regional favorites: Nevada County’s own concert pianist Lynn Schugren; Bay Area fiddler Rick Shinozaki; mezzo-soprano Sarah Saturnino; percussionist Michael Downing; violinist Miriana Stef; violist David Thorpe; and composer Durwynne Hsieh on cello.

The program includes a variety of instrumental combinations, from solo to duo to quartet. Hsieh’s Piano Sonata is a major four-movement work by Lynn Schugren. Vance’s piece is titled “Three Poems” by Antonio Machado, intriguingly accompanied by marimba rather than piano. Marimba player Michael Downing is often heard as a percussionist with local orchestras and is about to embark on a tour of Austria with percussion quartet Orphic. Alrich’s set of three violin duets has a new-age flavor and a pastoral theme. Two short string quartets by young composers Collins and Haennelt complete the program.

The concert will take place on Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. Trabucco Ranch (Linden Lea) is located at 14328 Barr Ranch Road, Nevada City. Tickets available at the door – $30 adult – $5 student.

The Nevada County Composers’ Cooperative presents a concert of chamber music for strings, piano, marimba and voice. Pictured are Mark Vance and Alexis Alrich at the piano.
Photo provided

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