Program - Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

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					Tatiana Shustova, piano
John Nichols, composer

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Foellinger Great Hall
Thursday, March 14, 2013
7:30 PM




            JOHN NICHOLS III     Headbanger

       ALEXANDER SCRIABIN        Fantasie, Op. 28
                (1872-1915)
             SAMUEL BARBER       Piano Sonata
                  (1910-1981)    III. Adagio mesto
                                 IV. Fuga: Allegro con spirito

     DIMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH        Prelude & Fugue in D minor, Op. 87, No. 24
                  (1906-1975)

                                 INTERMISSION

            JOHN NICHOLS III     Praxis Accidens (short version)

            JOHN NICHOLS III     The Cloud
   words by Vladimir Solovyov    I. Ancient of Days (Amovi Alaan)
                                 II. The Pillar
                                 III. The Contrite Ones
Headbanger
Headbanger is inspired by the following John Cage quote:

I certainly had no feeling for harmony, and Schoenberg thought that that would make it impossible for me to
write music. He said, “You'll come to a wall you won't be able to get through.” So I said, “I'll beat my head
against that wall."

Considering Cage’s influence on electroacoustic music, I felt it would be appropriate to make a
reference to his first electroacoustic composition. Headbanger concludes with an allusion to the
constant note record heard at the beginning of Imaginary Landscape No.1 (1939).

Notes from the composer

Fantasie, Op. 28
The Fantasie, Op. 28, was first performed by Gol¢veysev as late as 1907 — Scriabin apparently forgot
that he had written the work. Scriabin is unique among composers for his obsession with philosophy
and mysticism and the global nature of his imagination. His philosophical tenets were reasons,
commentaries, and justifications of his music. Seen in the context of the literature of the time and the
art of the Russian Silver Age as a whole, Scriabin loses much of the alien quality he assumes when
compared with other musicians. Scriabin sanctified ecstasy and the act of creation by which that
state is achieved. This process represented a means of passage to and a form of self-identification
with the divine, or in essence, a form of gnosis. Scriabin's demiurge sought to convey the listener – or
in the case of the Misteriya, participant – on a journey to a supernaturally heightened plane of
existence by means of a language of symbols, a language in which conventional musical phenomena
are dislocated from their usual significance by means of an extraordinary departure from traditional
tonal procedures.

Scriabin's early works reveal him to have assimilated a complex late Romantic language, to be
frequently experimenting in formal matters (only the Third Piano Sonata follows the conventional
four-movement format), and to be forging a personal harmonic language. Even though it has been
said that Scriabin ‘owed nothing to his predecessors nor to his Russian contemporaries’ (de
Schloezer), and that the early works bear the imprint of Scriabin's hand, they are not stylistically
unusual for the period; the harmony is chromatic but not daring and in many ways represents the
lingua franca of the era.

Notes adapted from Oxford Music Online, Colin Wilson, and Wikipedia
Piano Sonata
Samuel Barber once remarked concerning his Piano Sonata, “I would have made it harder if they had
given me more money.” One of the first American composers to visit the Soviet Union, Barber’s
favorite author was Turgenev. The international recognition accorded him throughout most of his
life and the new significance his works have gained since the arrival of the ‘new romanticism’ is
testimony to the vitality and enduring viability of his extended tonal language and melodic
invention.

Barber shared the concern of his generation for writing music accessible to a broadly based audience
but rarely incorporated popular, jazz, and folk idioms into his compositions. Of his works that do
include native elements, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is considered the most American. A reverie of
childhood in a small Southern town, on a text by James Agee, it is a palpable evocation of folklore in
a quasi-pastoral style with frequent word-painting, hints of the blues, rich orchestral color, and
freely varied meter. Diamond claimed Knoxville was, “The pinnacle beyond which many a composer
will find it impossible to go.” Barber’s few instrumental works that draw on the vernacular include
Excursions (1941–2), a set of stylized piano pieces based on American idioms (a boogie woogie, a
blues, a barn dance, and a Latin American popular dance), the Piano Sonata (1949), with its
paradigmatic contemporary fugue, and the Piano Concerto (1962), which makes use of motoric jazz
rhythms.

Notes adapted from Oxford Music Online and Paul Wittke

Prelude & Fugue in D minor, Op. 87, No. 24
Prelude & Fugue in D minor is the final work in the cycle of twenty four preludes and fugues that was
inspired by Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and the celebrations in Leipzig commemorating the two
hundred year anniversary of the composer’s death. Shostakovich served as a judge for the First
International Bach Competition. Tatiana Nikolayeva was awarded the gold medal for her stunning
performance of every single Bach prelude and fugue. After winning the contest, Shostakovich
requested that she perform his own preludes and fugues.

In Shostakovich’s cycle, he utilizes seven diatonic and melodic modes. The tonal plan of the entire
composition is regulated by the circle of 5ths. The pieces proceed through the circle in relative
major/minor pairs. Shostakovich employed many authentic Russian folk tunes in these
compositions. His approach to the last fugue (D minor) is symphonic in nature. Shostakovich uses all
registers of the instrument, and the work parallels the final movement of his eleventh symphony
with the imitation of large bells that some believe is a dedication to the heroes of World War II.

Notes adapted from Aleksandr Dolzhansky and Wikipedia
Praxis Accidens
Praxis Accidens means the practice of an accident. This composition is mostly comprised of material
from the fifth and final movement of a larger composition, entitled Theory of Accidents. I inserted
sections from the other movements based on the initial direction and free associations with auditory
indicators in my environment at the time of revision and composition. The title reflects one of my
methods of eliminating preexisting, self-conceived structures from the composition. I use what I call
a “found template” (ex. an improvised session recording or field recording) as a point of departure
from which to influence the general direction, pacing, and proportions of the resulting composition.

Notes from the composer

The Cloud
Composed in 2013, The Cloud is a three movement work for piano and electroacoustic sounds that
was partly inspired by Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov. His theology includes the notion of
“Christian Politics,” which revolve around the idea that if the politicians who called themselves
Christians would only obey the teachings of Christ, then political discord would be replaced by a
cooperative effort toward attaining the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Owing to Solovyov’s strong
theological system, I felt it appropriate to name the composition, as well as each individual
movement, after information gathered from an inflected practice of bibliomancy.

The first movement, Ancient of Days (Amovi Alaan), utilizes additive synthesis components created in
Digital Instrument for Sound Synthesis and Composition (DISSCO), created by Dr. Sever Tipei at the
Computer Music Project (UIUC). Recordings were made in University of Illinois Experimental Music
Studios and field recordings were taken in Chicago. This movement was inspired by the following
quote from Harmann, to whom Solovyov refers to in his first published essay, completed when he
was twenty-one years of age:

Apart from the conscious activity of certain individuals, phenomena are determined by the purposeful
action of the spiritual principal, which is independent of any particular consciousness and which, in its
inner power, infinitely surpasses any particular consciousness, and is therefore called the unconscious (das
Unbewusste) or the superconscious (das Ueberbewusste). (Philosophie des Unbewussten, Fifth Edition,
by Eduard von Hartmann, quoted in Vladimir Solovyov’s “The Crisis of Western Philosophy”
Chapter V, 1874)

The ‘unconscious’ is musically represented by a fundamental group of four notes that unifies the
entire work. Particular variations are achieved by stacking the four note groups and altering the
interval by which the tetrachord is transposed. Each pitch in the resulting gamut is fixed to a specific
register on the piano — there are four main gamuts that are heard throughout the composition.
The second movement, The Pillar, utilizes text taken from the introduction of Vladimir Solovyov’s The
Spiritual Foundations of Life (1885). The piano part is a rendering of the rhythms derived from
transients found in Tatiana Shustova’s delivery of the text. A musical mapping of an image of the
Pleiades constellation provides a center to this movement, as well as to the entire work. This musical
depiction of Pleiades relates to a passage from Ignatius Loyola, who Solovyov praised in his essay,
Nationality From a Moral Point of View (1895):

...the Spanish genius Ignatius Loyola founded the Order of the Jesuits for the struggle with Protestantism on
peaceful grounds. (Ed. & Trans. by Wozniuk)

In Ignatius’s autobiography, St. Ignatius’ Own Story as Told to Luiz Gonzalez de Camara, (1555) he
mentions:

It was his [Ignatius’] greatest consolation to gaze upon the heavens and stars, which he often did, and for
long stretches at a time, because when doing so he felt within himself a powerful urge to be serving our Lord.
(From A Commentary on Saint Ignatius’ Rules for the Discernment Of Spirits, Jules J. Toner, 1979.)

While composing the third movement, The Contrite Ones, I considered the parallels between
Scriabin’s and Solovyov’s conceptions of “all-unity” and “wholeness.” According to Solovyov:

Perfect all-unity, according to its very conception, requires full equilibrium, equality of worth, and equality of
rights between one and all, between the whole and the parts, between the common and the individual.

and

In general, the meaning of human love is the justification and redemption of individuality through the
sacrifice of egoism. (Meaning of Love, 1892-84, ed./trans. Vladimir Wozniuk)

The influence of these passages may be heard in the balance between the piano part and pure
electro-acoustic sound.

Notes from the composer
Text from The Spiritual Foundations of Life by Vladimir Solovyov
Adapted from the translation by Paul Valliere


Разум и совесть обличают нашу                The Wickedness and futility of the way our
обычную смертную жизнь как                   mortal life is lived is recognized by human
дурную и несостоятельную.                    reason and conscience,


Человек, погруженный в эту дурную            but man, immersed in this life, has to find
жизнь, должен, чтобы исправить её,           some foothold outside of it before he can
найти опору вне её.                          begin any process of correction.


Верующий находит такую опору в               The believer finds this foothold in
религии. Дело религии —возродить и           religion, whose function it is to renew
освятить нашу жизнь, сочетать её с           and sanctify our life and make it one with
жизнью божественною.                         the life of God.


Это есть, прежде всего, дело Божие,          This is in the first place a work of God
                                             himself,


но без нас оно сделаться не может: наша      but it cannot be carried through without
жизнь не может быть возрождена помимо        our cooperation, our life cannot be
нашего собственного действия.                regenerated without personal action on
                                             our own part:



Религия есть дело богочеловеческое, дело     religion is a theandric, that is to say a
и для нас самих. Но во всяком деле нужно     divine-human,activity. With religion,
сначала усвоить неизменные основные          as with everything else, it is first of
приёмы и действия, без которых нельзя        all necessary to master certain fundamental
идти дальше. И для религии необходимо        methods and activities without whose
требуются такие начальные действия.          practical background no progress can be
                                             made.
Они не выбраны нами случайно или          and these things must not be chosen
произвольно, а определяются самым         haphazard and arbitrarily but must be
существом религиозного дела.              determined by the essence and object of
                                          religion itself.


Задача религии исправить нашу             Generally speaking, we live unworthily,
извращённую жизнь. Ибо вообще мы          inhumanly, enslaved by temporal things;
живём безбожно, бесчеловечно, в рабстве   we are in rebellion against God, we quarrel
у низшей природы. Мы восстаём против      amongst ourselves,
Бога, отделяемся от ближних,
подчиняемся плоти


А для истинной жизни, какая должна        we are self-indulgent-the very opposites of
быть, нужно прямо обратное:               the essentials of what life ought to be, a free
добровольное подчинение Богу,             submission to God, a unity with our
единодушие (солидарность) друг с другом   neighbors, a control of our
и владычество над природой.               natural inclinations.


Начало этой истинной жизни близко к       It is quite within our ability to begin to live
нам и не трудно. Начало добровольного     justly, The beginning of a free submission to
подчинения или согласия с Богом есть      God, of harmony with him, is prayer; the
молитва, начало единодушия между          beginning of human concord is kindness
людьми есть благотворение, начало         and charity; the beginning of the conquest
владычества над природой есть             of unsupernaturalized nature is an effort
освобождение от её власти чрез            towards control of our bodily appetite:
воздержание от низких желаний
и страстей.


Итак, чтобы исправить свою жизнь, нам     personal religion may be said
нужно молиться Богу, помогать друг        to consist in prayer, alms-deeds,
другу и полагать предел своим             and fasting.
чувственным влечениям.
The composer and pianist gratefully acknowledge the endorsements of Jana M. and Richard C. Anderson and
their continuing support of the arts. They would also like to acknowledge professors Ian Hobson, Erik Lund,
Christopher Ericson, Sever Tipei.

Tatiana Shustova was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov
Music School and the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory. She participated in piano and chamber
music master classes at the Music Hochschule in Leipzig, Germany, in collaboration with New
York’s Juilliard School. Tatiana completed the Artist’s Certificate Program and a Master’s degree in
piano performance at Bowling Green State University, where she studied with Maxim Mogilevsky
and Robert Satterlee and won first prize in the 40th annual Concerto Competition. In 200,8 she was
awarded a fellowship to enter the doctoral program in piano performance at the University of
Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is currently completing her DMA in Piano Performance with her
teacher, Dr. Ian Hobson.

She also received numerous awards in solo and chamber music competitions in Italy and Russia and
has played many concerts in Europe. At the competition Musica Atri (2004), she received 1st place
along with an invitation to play concerts and the opportunity to participate in master classes with
Eugenie Mogilevsky, professor at the Brussels Conservatory. During the summer of 2010, Tatiana
was appointed as a vocal coach at the Scuola Italia program (Urbania, Italy) and worked as a
faculty member in piano and chamber music at camp Encore-Coda (Sweden, Maine). She also
participated in the international music competition Premio Alberto Gori where she received second
prize for the best performance of Liszt’s Spanish Rhapsody. Tatiana has appeared at festivals such as
Interlochen, ISYM, Bowling Green Music Insitute, Toradze Piano Institute, Corfu Festival, Embrun
Festival, Suomussalmi Festival, Musica Atri, Scuola Italia, and Leipzig Summer Music Academy.

In 2010, Tatiana and her husband Aaron Jacobs (violin) received second prize for the best
performance of Liszt’s Spanish Rhapsody in the international music competition Premio Alberto Gori.
In October 2011, Tatiana and Aaron where invited to perform works by Liszt in the Liszt-Garrison
Festival and won an award in the Liszt Competition in Baltimore, Maryland. In November 2012,
Tatiana received First Place in the American Protégé International Romantic Music Competition and
made her Carnegie Hall Debut.

Currently, Tatiana serves as piano faculty in the Community Center for the Arts at Urbana and is a
piano instructor for Piano Laboratory Program of UIUC. Additionally, she is principal keyboardist of
the University of Illinois Wind Ensemble, piano faculty member for Encore-Coda Summer Music
Camp, and a member of Music Teachers National Association and American Liszt Society.

John NicholsIII’s compositions have been selected for performance at numerous national and
international conferences and festivals, such as the Music Since 1900 Conference (2013, Liverpool,
UK); New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF 2013); Slingshot 2013 (Athens, GA);
Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS 2011 & 2012); Toronto
Electroacoustic Symposium (TES 2012); International Computer Music Conference (ICMC 2012,
Ljubljana, Slovenia); and International Workshop on Computer Music and Audio Technology,
where he was a winner of the WOCMAT 2012 International Electroacoustic Music Young
Composers Awards (Taipei, Taiwan).

His string quartet won the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation Composition Contest in 2004 and
the La Rock Composition Contest in 2005. His compositions Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano, and
Shadows of Love (song) also won a Union Civic League Award from Chicago. His composition Ole
Grandaddy is included on the recent Measures of Change CD (2011), produced by Dr. Scott Wyatt at
the Experimental Music Studios at the University of Illinois. His 33 minute, multi-movement
electroacoustic composition, Theory of Accidents, was a finalist in the 2011 Morton Gould ASCAP
Young Composer Competition. Mr. Nichols was awarded a Special Mention and was selected for
inclusion on the CD for the 2012 Métamorphoses Acousmatic Composition Competition (Brussels,
Belgium) for his composition AGE. His composition Headbanger was selected for inclusion in the
SEAMUS 2012 Electro-miniatures “Re-Caged” CD and his composition Amovi Alaan was recently
selected for inclusion in the Electronic Masters Vol.2 CD (ABLAZE Records, 2013).

Mr. Nichols, a native of Chicago, attended the University of North Texas, Roosevelt University, and
the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He has appeared on WNUR FM radio in Evanston, IL; KUAC
FM radio in Fairbanks, AK; and WEFT FM radio in Champaign, IL.
The 21st Century Piano Commission is awarded annually through the Jana M. and Richard C. Anderson
Twenty-First Century Piano Endowment Fund. The commission was established in 1998 by sponsors Jana
Mason and Richard Anderson, as a way of honoring talented new composers at the University of Illinois
School of Music and of promoting their musical ideas in a concert. The selection of the commission recipient
is based on scores and recordings submitted by graduate student composers and pianists. Judging is based on
artistic merit, with preference given to demonstrated success with writing for the piano.

Winners of the 21st Century Piano Commission
First name is the winning composer; second name is the winning pianist.

1999   – Mei-Fang Lin*
2000   – Timothy Johnson and Brad Friedman
2001   – Kyong Mee Choi and Anthony Fuoco
2002   – Jeffrey T. Morton, Sharon Hudson, and Maria J. Cueva-Mendez
2003   – Brad Decker and Soohyun Yun
2004   – David Psenicka*
2005   – Edward P. Martin and Ji-Eun Yun
2006   – Tsai-yun Huang and Tzu-feng Liu
2007   – John T. Ritz and Pei-I Wang
2008   – James Bunch and Samuel Gingher
2009   – Ju Ri Seo*
2010   – Jinok Cho and Ok Jae Lee
2011   – William Andrew Burnson and Casey Gene Dierlam
2012   - John Nichols III and Tatiana Shustova

* Recipient composed and performed the work commissioned in this year.

				
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