World premieres by American composer Elena Ruehr

Event Date: 

Friday, January 24, 2020 - 7:30pm

Event Date Details: 

Event Location: 

  • Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall (UCSB)

Event Price: 

General ($10)
Non-UCSB students with ID ($5)
UCSB students with ID (FREE)*
Children under 12 (FREE)*
UCSB AS Ticket Office: 
(805) 893-2064
UCEN Room 1535 (across from Corwin Pavilion)
 
*Youth and UCSB student tickets may be reserved in advance by contacting the ticket office

 

Event Contact: 

Adriane Hill
Marketing and Communications Manager
UC Santa Barbara Department of Music
(805) 893-3230
Elena Ruehr
 
UCSB Music faculty members will present works by composer Elena Ruehr, including two world premieres, on Friday, January 24, 2020 at 7:30 pm in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Featured artists include violinist Ertan Torgul, violist Jonathan Moerschel, cellist Jennifer Kloetzel, and pianists Paul Berkowitz, Natasha Kislenko, and Robert Koenig. The program will include Lift (solo cello), Errinerung (solo piano/world premiere), and Red (solo violin), as well as Ruehr's Viola Sonata and Piano Quartet (world premiere). 

Program

MUSIC BY ELENA RUEHR (b. 1963)
 
Lift, for solo cello (2013)
Jennifer Kloetzel, cello
 
Errinerung, for solo piano (2019) * World Premiere
Paul Berkowitz, piano
 
Viola Sonata, for viola and piano (2017)
Jonathan Moerschel, viola
Natasha Kislenko, piano
 
Red, for solo violin (2007)
Ertan Torgul, violin
 
Piano Quartet, for violin, viola, cello and piano (2019) *World Premiere
Ertan Torgul, violin
Jonathan Moerschel, viola
Jennifer Kloetzel, cello
Robert Koenig, piano

About the Composer

Elena Ruehr (b.1963) grew up in Houghton, Michigan, was taught the piano by her mother, and began composing as a child. She studied composition formally with William Bolcom at the University of Michigan and with Vincent Persichetti and Bernard Rands at Juilliard (where she earned her doctorate), and her music reveals a wide variety of influences—particularly dance, which was a major preoccupation in her childhood, and jazz. As a performer, she also studied African drumming and was a member of the University of Michigan Gamelan. Her own work is frequently suffused with an organic sense of movement via sensual melodic lines, irregular but strongly pulsed rhythm and meter, and vibrant timbral combinations. She has written a great deal of music for voice, including several stage works, and her instrumental melodies frequently evoke vocal music. More broadly, Ruehr’s music is often inspired by natural processes and visual imagery. She has compared her approach to rhythm and meter to the fluid periodicity of waves, for example, or to the rhythms of breathing and walking. Ruehr’s pieces are often inspired by other arts, especially visual art—e.g., her orchestral triptych O’Keeffe Images—or literature, such as her Cloud Atlas, a cello concerto named for David Mitchell’s novel.
 
She says of her music “the idea is that the surface be simple, the structure complex.” Her work has been described as “sumptuously scored and full of soaring melodies” (The New York Times), and “unspeakably gorgeous” (Gramophone). An award winning faculty member at MIT, she has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute and composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which performed and recorded her major orchestral works (O’Keeffe Images, BMOP Sound) as well as the opera Toussaint Before the Spirits (Arsis Records). Three of her six string quartets were commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet, who have recorded Six String Quartets by Elena Ruehr (Avie), with the Borromeo Quartet and Stephen Salters. Her other recordings include Averno (Avie with the Trinity Choir, Julian Wachner, conducting), Jane Wang considers the Dragonfly (Albany), Lift (Avie), Shimmer (Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble on Albany) and Shadow Light (The New Orchestra of Washington with Marcus Thompson on Acis), among others. She is currently writing a new opera, Cosmic Cowboy, for White Snake Projects, which will premiere in Boston in September 2020.  She has taught at MIT since 1992 and lives in Boston with her husband and daughter. 

About the Artists

Ertan Torgul, Violin

Balancing a busy career of recital engagements, a full calendar of chamber music concerts and Guest Concertmaster appearances, Mr. Torgul is a well-rounded and much sought-after violinist. As a soloist and Guest Concertmaster he has performed with numerous orchestras around the country including Indianapolis, Sacramento, Phoenix, Tucson, Dallas Opera, Shreveport, and San Antonio, among many others. His solo repertoire includes more than twenty concertos and his most recent performance of The QUAD Concerto as a member of SOLI Chamber Ensemble has earned him rave reviews. Before deciding to leave his post in 2012, Mr. Torgul has served as Associate and Acting Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony for 16 seasons.
 
His chamber music and recital performances have taken him around the world to such prestigious locations as Paris, Vienna, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Reykjavic, Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, Brasilia, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, San Diego, Houston and Miami, where he performed with renowned individuals and groups such as violinist William Preucil, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, the Miami, Fry Street, Degas, ES, and ROCO String Quartets, and many others. Mr. Torgul has been a member of SOLI Chamber Ensemble since 1996 and has been serving as its Managing/Artistic Director since 2011. The group, which specializes in contemporary repertoire, performs concerts and residencies around the country and in 2013 was awarded the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award for its innovative programming. With SOLI he has recorded five CDs, and commissioned over 70 new works. Mr. Torgul has performed regularly with Camerata San Antonio, Music at the Mission in Freemont, California, Spectrum series in Fort Worth TX, as well as Music at Market in San Jose, California. Mr. Torgul is a founding member of the critically acclaimed SUONO Duo with renowned pianist Aileen Chanco and also is a founding member of “Quinteto Quilombo”, a Tango Quintet specializing in “Tango Nuevo”. Mr. Torgul is also a former member of the Plymouth String Quartet. The Florida-based quartet received First Prize in the Prix Mercure Wettbewerb in Vienna, Austria, Second Prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in Indiana and was a finalist in the Paolo Borciani String Quartet Competition in Italy. His summer engagements include Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego California, and Point Counterpoint Chamber Music Camp in Vermont.
 
Torgul started his violin studies at the Ankara State Conservatory at the age of twelve with Prof. Nuri Çeken. Later he was entered in the “Special status” program designed for gifted students where he studied violin with Professor Suna Kan, one of Turkey’s premier soloists. After receiving his Bachelor of Music Degree in 1987 Mr. Torgul moved to the United States and continued his studies with William Barbini, Concertmaster of the Sacramento Symphony. He was a member of the Sacramento Symphony for two years before he went to Indiana University for further studies with Prof. Franco Gulli where he received his Performers Diploma. Shortly after Mr. Torgul joined the New World Symphony where he served as Concertmaster under Michael Tilson Thomas for two seasons, and recorded, under Argo Label, “Defining Dahl. The Music of Ingolf Dahl.”

Jonathan Moerschel, Viola

Jonathan Moerschel was born in Boston, Massachusetts into a musical family. His mother, a pianist, and his father, a cellist in the Boston Symphony, fostered his early music studies both in piano and violin. At the age of sixteen, he began studying the viola with John Ziarko and chamber music with the violist from the Kolisch Quartet, Eugene Lehner. Moerschel made his Boston Symphony Hall solo debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra, directed by Keith Lockhart, in 1997 after taking first prize in the Boston Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
 
He is the violist of the reknowned Calder Quartet, which enjoys a diverse career, playing both the traditional quartet literature as well as partnering with innovative modern composers. The quartet, a receipient of the 2014 Avery Fischer Career Grant, has recently premiered new works by John Luther Adams, Andrew Norman, Tristan Perich, Daniel Bjarnason, Aaron Jay Kernis, and David Lang. They have had recent performances at Lincoln Center and Walt Disney Concert Hall as well as London’s  Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre and at the Salzburg Festival. They have performed at top halls and festivals across the globe including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Ojai Music Festival, Melbourne Festival, IRCAM in Paris, Frankfurt Opera, Berkeley’s Cal Performances, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Edinburgh Festival and the Mozarteum.
 
Moerschel is a Lecturer of Viola and Chamber Music at the University of California Santa Barbara. He has collaborated with eminent musicians Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Paul Neubauer, Steven Tenenbaum, Joseph Kalichstein, Claude Frank,  Menachem Pressler and Anne-Marie McDermott. He plays on the “ex-Adam” Gasparo Da Salo viola made in the late 16th Century on generous loan from the Stradivari Society.
 
He received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in viola performance from the University of Southern California, studying with Donald McInnes, and an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School. 

Jennifer Kloetzel, Cello

A graduate of The Juilliard School and a Fulbright Scholar, cellist Jennifer Kloetzel has concertized throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist and chamber musician. A founding member of the San Francisco-based Cypress String Quartet (1996-2016), Ms. Kloetzel has toured the globe and performed at such renowned venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Chautauqua Institute and the Ravinia Festival, the Lobkowicz Palaces in both Vienna and Prague, as well as prominent colleges and conservatories worldwide.
 
Ms. Kloetzel is noted for her elegant playing and her vibrant tone. She is a sought-after recitalist, performing recent concerts for San Francisco Performances and on WQXR in New York. Strad Magazine hailed,  “Cellist Jennifer Kloetzel is impressively passionate…” A fervent champion of new music, she has received the Copland Award for her work with living American Composers and has commissioned and premiered over fifty works, including five concertos written specifically for her. In the past few seasons, premieres included a Cello Suite by Daniel Asia, a Cello Concerto, “Cloud Atlas” and unaccompanied cello work “Lift,” which were both written for her by MIT composer Elena Ruehr and a Cello Sonata dedicated to her by Joseph Landers. The San Jose Mercury News proclaimed, “Cellist Jennifer Kloetzel shines in premiere” and called her a “terrific soloist…with a robust and earthy sound.” Ms. Kloetzel has recorded the Ruehr Cello Concerto with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which was released to critical acclaim in October 2014. “Lift” is the title track of an all-Ruehr disc, released on the Avie label, and was included on Keith Powers’ 13 Best Classical Music Recordings of 2016. Ms. Kloetzel is the featured cellist on a 2019 Albany Records release of music by Richard Aldag, and recently premiered Lee Actor’s Cello Concerto, written for her in 2017. In the 2019-20 season, she will also give world premieres of sonatas written for her by composers Richard Aldag and Elena Ruehr and “Inferno: Double Concerto for Viola, Cello and Chamber Orchestra” by Joel Friedman.
 
Ms. Kloetzel is winner of The Juilliard School’s top award, the “Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement in Music,” and a Presser Music Award, as well as a Fulbright Grant to England. In 2004 she was honored with the McGraw-Hill Companies’ “Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach” in recognition of years of outreach work in schools and community centers. She has appeared at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Sarasota and Aspen Music Festivals, the Britten-Pears School, the Prague Mozart Academy, and performed as cellist of the Cassatt Quartet during the 1995-96 season. From 2003-2009, Ms. Kloetzel taught cello and chamber music at San José State University, where the Cypress String Quartet was Ensemble-in-Residence. She has given master classes at The Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory and at universities throughout the U.S. 
 
Growing up near Baltimore, Ms. Kloetzel began her cello studies at age six. Her teachers included Aldo Parisot, William Pleeth, Harvey Shapiro, Stephen Kates and Paula (Virizlay) Skolnick, as well as members of the Juilliard String Quartet, the Amadeus Quartet and the Cleveland Quartet. After performing with pianist Andre Previn at the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, Ms. Kloetzel was invited to appear as one of his select “Rising Stars” for two seasons at the Caramoor Festival in New York.
 
Ms. Kloetzel has been featured regularly on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and her performances have been broadcast on radio stations from coast to coast. A passionate recording artist with 36 CD releases to date, recent recordings include the entire cycle of Beethoven Quartets and Brahms Sextets on the Avie label. She performed as principal cellist of the Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Baltimore Opera and the Juilliard Orchestra under Maestro Kurt Masur. In addition, she is a frequent soloist with orchestras throughout the United States, performing works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvořák, Elgar, Glazunov, Fauré, Ibert, Haydn, Hindemith, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Shostakovich, Strauss, and Walton. In 2016, Ms. Kloetzel was invited to join the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where in 2018 she was named Assistant Professor of Cello and Head of Strings.
 
To learn more about Ms. Kloetzel, please visit jkcello.com.

Paul Berkowitz, Piano

Paul Berkowitz has recorded the complete Piano Sonatas of Schubert for Meridian Records to worldwide acclaim. He was described by the Sunday Times (London) as being “in the royal class of Schubert interpreters” and his CD recordings of the Last Three Schubert Piano Sonatas were included among the same newspaper’s Records of the Year. His recording of Schumann’s Kreisleriana was selected by BBC Radio Record Review as the best of all available recordings. He has also released a series of three CD recordings of Brahms Piano Music. BBC Music Magazine reviewed Vol. II commenting, "...praise to Meridian, which has in the Canadian pianist Paul Berkowitz an artist who isn't shy of taking on the kind of repertoire traditionally the preserve of more internationally high-profile artists. Rightly so, for he has a voice, a musicality, a bigness of pianism distinctively his own...his integrity is commanding, his stylistic authority convincing and his refusal merely to play the notes impressive."
 
Mr. Berkowitz recently recorded the Schubert Impromptus, Moments Musicaux, and other repertoire as the final two volumes of his 9-CD cycle of major works for piano by Schubert for Meridian, which he began in 1984. The two new CDs are available in the US at naxosdirect.com/labels/meridian-records-ltd-5571. All earlier volumes are being reissued along with the two new recordings as Schubert Piano Works Vols. 1-9.
 
Mr. Berkowitz, a native of Montreal, Canada, is a graduate of McGill University and of the Curtis Institute, where he studied with Rudolf Serkin. He lived in Britain for 20 years appearing frequently at the Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls and on the BBC, as a soloist with major orchestras in Britain and Canada and at music festivals in Belgium, Denmark, England, Scotland, France, Italy and Spain. Mr. Berkowitz left the Guildhall School of Music in London, where he had been a professor since 1975, to join the music faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1993, where he is Professor of Piano and served as Chair of the Department of Music 2007-12. He has been invited to present master classes at major conservatories, universities and festivals, and his students have won prizes in numerous competitions, including the BBC Young Musician of the Year (Thomas Adès), the International Piano Competition Palma d'Oro in Italy, the Bradshaw and Buono International Competition in New York, and the Los Angeles Liszt Competition and have gone on to have concert and academic careers of their own in Europe, North America and Asia.

Natasha Kislenko, Piano

Pianist Natasha Kislenko, hailed for her “vividly expressive” interpretations and “virtuosity that left the audience exhilarated,“ (Santa Barbara Independent) offers unique concert programs and presentations to the worldwide community of music listeners. A prizewinner of several international piano competitions, she has extensively concertized in Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and across the Americas.
 
Ms. Kislenko made her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut after taking the Grand Prize at the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition in 1996. Recent solo engagements include the Eskişehir Greater Municipality Symphony Orchestra, Turkey and the Varna Chamber Orchestra, Bulgaria. A resident pianist of the Santa Barbara Symphony since 2010, she has been a featured soloist for the Shostakovich, Grieg, Clara Schumann, de Falla, and Mozart piano concerti, to great critical acclaim. In 2013, Ms. Kislenko was invited as a special guest to present the new Steinway D piano at the Teatro Municipal Ignacio A. Pane in Asunción, Paraguay, performing with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Congreso Nacional.
 
Ms. Kislenko has shared the stage with many distinguished musicians including Alban Gerhardt, James Buswell, Richie Hawley, Joshua Roman, and the Takács Quartet, to name only a few. She, along with the violinist Chavdar Parashkevov, released two CDs for violin and piano, “Russian Sonatas” and “Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler.” The Strad magazine praised her “limpid and beautiful pianism.”
 
Born in Moscow, Natasha holds degrees in piano from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University, NY. Her main teachers include Anatoly Vedernikov, Gilbert Kalish, and Joaquín Achúcarro.
 
In addition to a successful performing career, Dr. Kislenko has been a dedicated educator and mentor to the younger generations of aspiring musicians. A collaborative faculty member at the Music Academy of the West, CA since 2004, Natasha joined the faculty at University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007 after serving at California State University, Fresno for five years. She has recently appeared with performances and masterclasses at University of Maryland College Park, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Houston Moores School of Music (TX), Morgan State University (MD), Tulane University (LA), Fort Hays State University (KS), Ankara University (Turkey), Scuola Musicale di Sesto Fiorentino (Italy), and Würzburg Musikhochschule (Germany) in addition to numerous adjudications for MTNA and MTAC.

Robert Koenig, Piano

Now in his third decade as a much sought-after performing artist, Canadian pianist Robert Koenig has performed throughout the world to great acclaim as a collaborative pianist and chamber musician. His partnerships with many of today’s leading classical artists have seen him grace many of the world's most important stages including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston’s Jordan Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Vancouver’s Chan Center, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Taiwan’s National Theater, Hong Kong’s City Hall, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Paris’ Louvre Museum, Brussels’ BOZAR, and Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw. These frequent recital appearances have seen him collaborating with many of this generation’s most renowned musicians, including Augustin Hadelich, Sarah Chang, Hilary Hahn, Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, Kyoko Takezawa, Esther Yoo, Paul Huang, Roberto Diaz, Jonathan Moerschel, Zuill Bailey, Sara Sant’Ambrogio, Jennifer Kloetzel, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Miro String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, and members of the Tokyo and Juilliard String Quartets. Of significance is Koenig’s frequent partnership with legendary late violinist Aaron Rosand that resulted in many successful recital tours throughout the world, in addition to a recorded legacy of live performances. Koenig’s 25-year collaboration with renowned American violinist Elmar Oliveria continues to see the pair travel the globe in recital performances as well as in multiple acclaimed recordings for the Artek and Biddulph Recording labels. His additional recording activity includes a GRAMMY nominated CD for Naxos of William Primrose Transcriptions for Viola and Piano with violist Roberto Diaz as well as recordings for Decca, Cedille, Eroica, Ambassador, Centaur, and CRI.
 
A favorite at summer festivals, Koenig has performed at such prestigious festivals as Ravinia, Aspen, Saratoga, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Caramoor, Banff, Mostly Mozart, Campos do Jordao Festival in Brazil, and Interlochen Summer Arts Festival. A strong advocate for new music, he commissioned American Composer Lowell Liebermann to write his Piano Trio for flute, cello and piano, Op. 87 and gave the world premiere at the National Flute Association Convention in Nashville, TN.
 
Mr. Koenig’s 2019-20 season includes performances at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, The Forum in Harrisburg, PA, Bankhead Theater in Livermore, CA, and recitals in Copenhagen and Brussels. In addition to a southern California tour with well-known Camerata Pacifica, he will also perform Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra in Virginia.
 
A native of Saskatchewan, Canada, Koenig is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with renowned collaborative pianist Dr. Vladimir Sokoloff. In addition to his decade long association with the Juilliard School where he served as staff pianist, he was formerly Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. Since 2007, Koenig has been Professor and Head of Collaborative Piano at the University of California Santa Barbara where he also serves as the Chair of the Music Department and Head of Performance. His summers are spent at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp where he is Coordinator of Collaborative Piano.
 

 

Elena Ruehr