From Cocoon to Debut: Moth at the Fremont Symphony

Stephanie Jones on January 31, 2014
Keisuke Nakagoshi,
Keisuke Nakagoshi

San Francisco Conservatory pianist-in-residence Keisuke Nakagoshi, and half of the Grammy-nominated piano duet ZOFO, will perform a debut solo recital featuring the premiere of Moth, a new piece by Jack Curtis Dubowsky, as part of the 50th season of the Fremont Symphony Orchestra.

“I was asked for one of Fremont Symphony’s benefit concerts,” said Nakagoshi. “I’m very happy and excited as this is my first entirely solo recital (without any guests for chamber music) presented by an organization. I think it’s wonderful and important to keep a powerful art form like orchestra music more accessible to more people. I would be happy to support that.”

Moth, which will be played alongside Beethoven, Ravel, Khachaturian, and Gershwin, was created in response to a Facebook post by Nakagoshi for bug-inspired works. Dubowsky, a fellow grad and composition major at the Conservatory, answered the request without duplicating Rachmaninov.

“No one wants another Flight of the Bumble Bee. So the thinking was to do insects that were original and different and that people hadn’t done,” said Dubowsky. “I was trying to make the piece very gestural. So instead of coming up with this sort of melody that might have some programmatic meaning, I was imagining those insects in human size at the keyboard.”

Nakagoshi is particularly interested in new music:

“One of my passions in music is playing modern music. I love the aspect of introducing new music to people. This program turned out rather traditional, due to a request from the presenter, but I’m very happy to have Jack’s piece in the program as a part the segment of short, character pieces.”

Dubowsky, too, is strongly supportive of regional orchestras, partly for professional reasons.

“A lot of my work is performed by small, regional orchestras — the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra. And the Fremont Symphony Orchestra falls into that grab bag of these smaller regional orchestras. So, I think it's good for people to be aware of these smaller, regional orchestras in their community,” said Dubowsky. “A larger, commercial orchestra may have a lot of pressure to play a lot of big names that everybody knows. Sometimes these smaller regional orchestras do interesting things. So, they're really worth checking out.”

The concert is Feb. 8, 8 p.m., Logan High School Performing Arts Center, Fremont. Tickets: $45-$49 ($20 students). The orchestra returns to the stage March 30 for “A Celebration of Fremont."