Violin Portraits: Recent Music of Stuart Saunders Smith
Airi Yoshioka, violin, with the UMD Percussion Ensemble
Violinist Airi Yoshioka presents major new compositions by composer Stuart Sanders Smith: The Rivers of Maine (2015) for solo violin and Crystal Night (2014) for solo violin and percussion quartet, for which she will be joined by the University of Maryland Percussion Ensemble (Lee Hinkle, director; Jonathan Clancy; Chris Herman; Robert Shroyer).
The composer states, “The Rivers of Maine is a painting of the vast, expansive, crystal clear waters of the Pine Tree state. These rivers are food for the land. These rivers green with the sun and gray with the clouds. A portrait in power, the rivers of Maine are present with us or without us. Crystal Night is a portrait of a suffering world, a violent-drenched place, where the individual is attacked by the distant drums of chaos. Both The Rivers of Maine and Crystal Night have the overall ethos of elegies. As well, each continues the tradition of my creating a music of autobiography. Since 1970, I have composed music of emotion-laden portraiture of feelings about the present, and the past, and the future. Also, these works continue the political commitment to compose non-commercial or academic music. He who thinks about consequences cannot be brave.”
Stuart Saunders Smith is a noted American composer who was a member of the music faculty at UMBC for decades. His music is regularly performed throughout North America, Western Europe, and has had notable performances in Asia. His music is recorded on O.O. Discs, Capstone Records, and on European labels in Austria, France, and Germany. He has received the East/West Artist Award, the Maryland State Artists Fellowship, the Pittsburgh Film Forum Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts Composer’s Fellowship, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist Award. Smith’s music is published by Sonic Art Editions. Articles on Stuart Saunders Smith’s music have appeared in Percussive Notes Research Edition, Perspectives of New Music, Interface, and Ex Tempore. In 1997, The Music of Stuart of Saunders Smith, by John Welsh, was published by Excelsior Press. Now retired from the university, he lives in Vermont, where he continues to compose.
Hailed by Gramophone magazine as “brilliant and intrepid,” violinist Airi Yoshioka has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician. She is the founding member of the Damocles Trio and Modigliani Quartet and has performed and recorded with the members of the Emerson, Brentano and Arditti Quartets. Damocles Trio’s debut disc of complete Piano Trios and Piano Quartet of Joquín Turina has won a four-star rating from the BBC Music Magazine, Le Monde de la Musique and Diapason. Her orchestral credits include performances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Sinfonietta and engagements as concertmaster and soloist with the Manhattan Virtuosi and concertmaster of one of the festival orchestras at the Aspen Music Festival. Her solo and chamber performances can be heard on Naxos, New World, Claves, Mode, Albany, Neuma, and Pony Canyon records labels. She is Professor of Violin at UMBC.
Admission: $15 general admission, $10 seniors, $5 students, free for UMBC Music majors and Music faculty/staff. Tickets will available at MissionTix and at the box office.