Mark Menzies, violin (New Zealand)

One of New Zealand’s foremost musicians, Mark Menzies was recently described in a Los Angeles Times review as ‘an extraordinary musician’ and a ‘riveting violinist’. At 31 years, his career has seen concerts in Great Britain, France, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, and throughout New Zealand. A commitment to contemporary music has led to Mark Menzie’s appointment to Sonor and Sirius, ensembles resident at the University of California, San Diego (1994-9). His first release as leader/soloist and Artistic Director of the London-based Salomon Ensemble was nominated for a Grammy award, a ‘debut’ solo recital recording, as well as the World Premiere recording of Michael Finnissy’s ‘…above earth’s shadow’, is due for release later this year.

Dr. Menzies frequently gives master classes on solo string playing and chamber music, as well as lectures on issues of present day performance practice in both avant-garde music and music in older styles. Currently residing in Southern California, Mark Menzies is on the faculty at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he teaches violin, viola and chamber music.

Stephanie Bland, violin (USA)

Stephanie Bland has been playing the violin since the age of three. She has traveled extensively with various orchestras to places such as Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, France, and Spain. Originally from St. Paul, MN, she received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota in 1996, where she studied with Sally O’Reilly. She received her Master’s degree in violin performance from Texas Tech University in 1999. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in fine Arts at Texas Tech University where she studies with John Gilbert. She is the current Associate Concertmaster of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and has served as Concertmaster and Principal Second for the Abilene Philharmonic.

Mark Neumann, viola (Canada)

Mark Neumann has established himself as one of the leading Canadian violists of his generation. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, he began violin studies at the age of four through the Talent Education program headed by Thomas Rolston, and continued his studies in Victoria, British Columbia with the eminent violinist/composer, Murray Adaskin. His post-secondary studies took place at the University of Victoria from which he earned his Bachelor of Music degree as a violinist and his Master of Music degree as a violist. Neumann earned the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the Julliard School in New York in 1995. His principal teachers have included Karen Tuttle, chair of the viola department at Julliard, and Robert Vernon, Principal Viola of the Cleveland Orchestra. Dr. Neumann has pursued a versatile performing career including solo appearances with the Calgary Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony and Thunder Bay Symphony orchestras, chamber music recordings for CBC and Deutschland - Funk in Germany, frequent chamber music appearances at the Banff, Sarasota, and Victoria International Festivals, as well as holding positions with the Victoria Symphony and Montreal Symphony Orchestras. As a member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, from 1993-1997, Neumann participated in many recordings for the Decca-London label and performed on numerous tours to Europe, Asia, the United States and Puerto Rico. Most recently, Dr. Neumann served as Assistant Principal Viola of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra for the 1998-1999 season. He has been Professor of Viola at Texas Tech University since 1999.

Alexander Ezerman, cello (U.S.A.)

Alexander Ezerman, Professor of Cello at Texas Tech University, comes from a family where the cello runs four generations deep, including two former associate principals of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He began his studies at the age of six, and grew up in Vermont where he won many competitions and performed with local orchestras, studying with his grandmother Elsa Hilger. An active advocate and performer of new music for years, he has been involved in numerous premieres and has recently given several performances of the twelve pieces based on the name of Paul Sacher. He has had considerable success in competitions, winning the MTNA national collegiate competition, the award for best cello performance at the Kingsville International Competition, the Crane School of Music's National New Music Competition and has been a finalist in many others. Ha has also been awarded the John Frazier prize for excellence in violoncello from Oberlin Conservatory and the Elizabeth Ackerman award for excellence in graduate studies from SUNY at Stony Brook, where he studied with Norman Fischer. He received his Doctoral degree from SUNY at Stony Brook, where he studied with Timothy Eddy.

David Dees


David Dees a choisi d'interpréter:
David Dees has chosen to perform:

Teresa LeVelle

The Shadowlands *

avec la participation de:

with the pariticipation of:

String Quartet from Texas Tech University

Mark Menzies, violon / violin

Stephanie Bland, violon / violin

Mark Neumann, alto / viola

Alexander Ezerman, violoncelle / cello

* Création - World premiere

David Dees has been Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Texas Tech University since the fall of 1998. He was recently selected as one of five faculty members from Texas Tech University and the TTU Health Sciences Center as a 1999 Outstanding Faculty Member. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas Tech University he was a saxophonist with the United States Army Band (Pershing's Own) in Washington, DC, and a member of the National Saxophone Quartet.

Recent performances include the world premiere, in Carnegie Recital Hall, of Kanza for flute, soprano saxophone, and cello by Teresa LeVelle. He appeared as soloist with the Texas Tech University Faculty/Alumni Chamber Ensemble performing Ibert’s Concertino da Camera at the 1999 Texas Music Educator’s Convention in San Antonio. He has also performed as soloist at the United States Capitol, and the Washington Monument as part of the United States Army Band’s (Pershing’s Own) summer concert series. He has been a featured soloist in performances of Frank Martin’s Ballade with the Mount Vernon Chamber Orchestra, and Edison Denisov’s Sonate at The United States Navy Band’s International Saxophone Symposium at George Mason University. He has performed solo and chamber recitals in venues throughout the Washington, DC area including; the Austrian Embassy, Montpelier Cultural Arts Center, Fairfax Library, Levine School of Music, University of Maryland, George Mason University, and Brucker Hall.

As a concert saxophonist, he has received awards from the San Angelo Symphony Concerto Competition, Kingsville Young Artist Competition, North American Saxophone Alliance Competition, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and was a semi-finalist in the Concert Artist's Guild Competition in New York. At the University of North Texas, Mr. Dees was a recipient of the Pi Kappa Lambda Performance Scholarship, and the 1986 winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition.

He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas where he studied with Debra Richtmeyer and his Master of Music degree from Northwestern University where he studied with Frederick Hemke.

Written for David Dees, The Shadowlands for soprano saxophone and string quartet, is a virtuosic exploration into the gamut of saxophone technique. Although the overall structure is comprised of a three-movement (fast-slow-fast) format, each movement contains at least three subsections. Though these subsections flow from one to the next generally without pause, they are delineated by clear changes in character.

The first movement opens with a cadenza from which the motivic and rhythmic materials for the entire work are drawn. Intervalically, the use of isolated tritones, major and minor seconds and sevenths are used in conjunction with quasi-octatonic and lydian-mixolydian scalar materials. The primary compositional focus of this movement is a dichotomy (frenzied, aggressive contentiousness versus a sparse, lyric expressionism) found not only in the solo material but also expressed throughout the ensemble.

The saxophone line is seductively lyric in nature in the second movement. The use of ad libitum and molto rubato throughout the movement creates a quasi-improvisational atmosphere. Melodically, this movement is based around a C lydian-mixolydian scale. The string quartet provides a smooth underpinning of undulating motion, which supports the unfolding of the solo line.

The third movement springs forth, leaving the expressive contours of the second movement behind. This movement is loosely based on an octatonic ostinato figure, which is repeated to form a cyclic pattern that is manipulated throughout the movement.

Disassociated with the ostinato, the solo line vigorously propels through the pitch material. A cadenza follows a middle section, which is more reflective in nature. The ensemble then rejoins the soloist, at a breakneck pace, for the conclusion of the movement.

Interprètes Performers


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