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Lynn Schugren - Sierra Prelude Project

Old First Concerts

Old First Concerts Lynn Schugren - Sierra Prelude Project

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Lynn Schugren, piano

Preludes by Alexis Alrich, Eleanor Armer, Molly Axtmann, Jake Collins, Jerry Grant, Robert Greenberg, Durwynne Hsieh, Dennis Lauderdale, Bruce Nalezny, and Mark Vance

The Sierra Prelude Project is a series of ten preludes for solo piano, commissioned by pianist Lynn Schugren. Ten California composers have written pieces on the subject of the Sierra Nevada Mountains for this project, with varying titles, from sunrise to forest sounds, desolation at Man’s destruction of the environment to evocative portraits of the mountain’s majesty, from the destruction caused by wildfires to the serenity of a mountain sunset. Each composer has chosen an image evocative of his or her piece which will be projected on a screen on stage, and on the image will also be text chosen by the composer to accompany the image and the music.

As this project is meant not only to present new music but to also raise awareness of the crisis our mountains (and all lands) face, two Nevada County environmental groups, Sierra Streams Institute and South Yuba River Citizen’s League will be represented by images and text projected at intervals between the works being performed. A portion of proceeds from the performances will be given to these environmental groups to help with their efforts.

Composers in the project include Alexis Alrich, Eleanor Armer, Molly Axtmann, Jake Collins, Jerry Grant, Robert Greenberg, Durwynne Hsieh, Dennis Lauderdale, Bruce Nalezny, and Mark Vance. The project will debut in Grass Valley during late summer 2020 through InConcert Sierra, and will be presented at several other venues, including Old First Concerts in San Francisco. It is the goal in presenting this project to give new music a creative voice and to continue to help raise awareness about the health of our environment.

Pianist Lynn Schugren began her studies at the age of 5 with Nadya Lorenz of Berkeley, a protégé of Claudio Arrau. In high school she attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and later was awarded a Ford Foundation Talent Award Grant to study at Mills College.

Ms. Schugren has had a long performance career, in both solo piano and chamber music. She has been a regular guest at Old First Concerts, Crocker Art Museum, Oakland Museum, Julia Morgan Masters of the Piano Series, and more. Her concerts have been broadcast over KPFA, KQED and other classical stations. She has had a long-term affiliation with Music in the Mountains as both a featured soloist and a chamber musician.

Ms. Schugren has long been a champion of new music and has played world and west coast premieres of several important American works. She commissioned The Dance of Shiva from Ken Durling, a well-known Bay Area composer, which was broadcast live over KPFA. Points in Time is a 2017 commission from Nevada County composer Mark Vance. She is currently preparing her Sierra Prelude Project, a collection of 10 preludes which she commissioned from California composers on the subject of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She will premiere the Project in Nevada County in September 2020 and perform it at various venues throughout the state in the 2020 season.

Since moving back to Nevada County in 2006, Ms. Schugren has been involved performing with Music in the Mountains, the Nevada County Composers Cooperative, and the Young Composers Program of MIM, now the Composers Project at InConcert Sierra, as well as in the Bay Area. She is also pianist in the North Star Piano Trio, a chamber group which plays almost exclusively music by women composers. Ms. Schugren currently has teaching studios in her home in Nevada City as well as in the Bay Area.

She lives on her family vineyard in the Sierra Nevada foothills with 4 horses, 2 goats, numerous chickens, four dogs and two cats. When not at the piano, she can be found enjoying her 2 local grandchildren, riding her horse, or out in the garden.

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