Zeltsman Marimba Festival has announced a series of eight concerts at Herbert Zipper Hall at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, Sunday, July 6 – Saturday, July 19. The programs will feature this year’s renowned faculty, special guests, and emerging marimba stars, in music ranging from classical arrangements to contemporary works and jazz. Marimbists from eleven countries will perform in a wide array of styles and genres, underlining the instrument’s exceptional versatility and range.
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One of the highlights of the festival takes place on Saturday, July 12 as Nancy Zeltsman, ZMF’s artistic director, introduces new scores by Daniel Levitan and Paul Simon, including the premiere of Simon’s contribution to ZMF New Music, the festival’s commissioning project.
The concerts are an integral part of Zeltsman Marimba Festival 2008, an intensive two-week seminar co-sponsored by The Colburn School.
Participants include ten Faculty/Associate Faculty members, twelve guest performers, speakers, and presenters, and 46 participants (ranging in age from 16 to 41) from the United States as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Sweden, Poland, Greece, and The Netherlands.
The final ZMF concert, July 19, will be a five-hour marathon in which the seminar participants will perform.
All concerts start at 20:00, except for the Marathon Concert on July 19, which begins at noon. Visit www.zmf.us/ticketchart.cfm for ticket information, including special packages.
Sunday, July 6: Jack Van Geem, a member of The Colburn School’s faculty, has been Principal Percussionist of the San Francisco Symphony for over 20 years. His musical career began, as lead soloist of a marimba band, at the age of four!
Van Geem’s program to kick off ZMF 2008 will feature music of South American composers, including Alejandro Viñao’s landmark marimba solo Khan Variations, and adaptations of guitar music by Astor Piazzolla and Francisco Tarrega.
Tuesday, July 8: Amy Knoles is a composer/percussionist who tours globally performing computer assisted live electronic music with percussion controllers. Executive Director of the California E.A.R. Unit for 26 years, Amy Knoles has been called “Los Angeles’ new music Luminary, infinitely variable, infinitely fascinating” (Los Angeles Times).
Knoles’ ZMF program will feature her composition Sacred Cow with inter-disciplinary artist d. Sabela grimes, funded by a 2006 Meet The Composer “Commissioning Music” Award.
Friday, July 11: The ZMF 2008 Showcase Concert will feature two notable young Japanese marimbists. Naoko Takada, currently based in Los Angeles, is a recent winner of the prestigious Young Concert Artists competition. She is joined in the Naoko Takada Trio by two L.A.-based musicians,
percussionist Robin Sharp and pianist Luke Alberti.
She will present Burned Fire by Yasataki Inamori (a new commission), Shuichi Hidano’s Mon Cheri, as well as an arrangement of Lennon/McCartney’s Yesterday, and selections from her debut CD Marimba Meets the Classics.
Keiko Kotoku, 2nd-prize winner of the 2001 Belgium International Marimba Competition, studied in Japan, Boston and Sweden and now lives in Australia and Japan. For her ZMF 2008 set, she will be joined by Rolf Landberg and Marcus Strom from Sweden. They will perform Kotoku’s compositions, which include influences from many other countries and cultures, as well as vocals by Kotoku.
Saturday, July 12: Nancy Zeltsman, ZMF’s Artistic Director, plans a special program highlighting the music of two composers: Daniel Levitan and Paul Simon. Levitan is well known among percussionists for his clever, intricate, “funky,” rhythmic music.
Zeltsman will perform excerpts from Levitan’s 1980 marimba solo, Baroque Suite, as well as the world premiere of his Marimba Four Hands: a cycle of five duos, on the theme of childhood, for two marimbists sharing one instrument.
For the second half of her program, Nancy Zeltsman will perform her own arrangements of Paul Simon compositions, and the first performance of Simon\'s new marimba solo, Amulet, written for the ZMF New Music project. With special guests Jack Van Geem, Brian Calhoon and Setsuko Kutsuno.
Monday, July 14: Orlando Cotto, a classically-trained marimbist and virtuoso Latin percussionist, has been described as ”an artist of musical sensitivity and accomplished technique” (San Juan Star of Puerto Rico). He is forging previously uncharted territories by applying Afro-Caribbean rhythms to the classical marimba.
Orlando Cotto\'s ZMF concert will feature traditional and original Latin American music composed by Antonio Lauro, Ernesto Lecuona, Orlando Cotto, Fernando Bustamante and José R. Alvira.
Tuesday, July 15: This two-part concert will feature Showcase Artist Theodore Milkov, a percussionist in the State Orchestra of Athens, Greece, who is acclaimed for his adaptations of music by Domenico Scarlatti.
For the second half of this concert, he will join his former teacher and 2008 ZMF faculty member, Peter Prommel, one of Holland’s most respected solo percussionists and teachers. Prommel’s program will feature contemporary music of noted Dutch composers including Theo
Loevendie and Ton de Leeuw.
Friday, July 18: Emil Richards, the L.A.-based, legendary mallet percussionist, will present an evening of jazz performed on the marimba, assisted by pianist/saxophonist/clarinetist Tom Ranier; Bruce Lett, bass; and Joe Porcaro, drums. 2008 marks 70 years that Emil has been playing mallet instruments.
Emil Richards has been recorded on more than 1350 film scores, and has recorded and performed with more than 650 artists – from Harry Partch to Frank Sinatra. The Quartet will perform favorites by Miles Davis, Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie.
Saturday, July 19: The ZMF 2008 Participants’ Marathon Concert, which will run continuously for five hours, will feature this years’ attendees from around the world. More than 40 performers will be heard in a wide variety of repertoire. The audience is invited to come and go as it pleases for the entire afternoon. Admission is free ($2 suggested donation) to this final celebration.