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Winners of InterMusic’s Grant Program Announced

June 11, 2019

InterMusic S.F., which we used to know as S.F. Friends of Chamber Music, announced their latest round of awards in the Musical Grant Program last week to Bay Area musicians. The grants, none larger than $4,000, are made to organizations with budgets under $150,000 in a competitive process. Major funders of the InterMusic grant program include S.F. Grants for the Arts, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

For the second time, InterMusic named winners of the Cypress Award, named for the recently retired quartet who endowed it. That award is for a project that “strives to make an educational impact in the greater Bay Area.” The winners were Mads Tolling, for a series of outreach programs for middle and high schoolers, and also a series of university workshops that “focus on the process of making music that crosses and blurs cultural boundaries.” Meanwhile, Brass Over Bridges, with composer Julie Barwick, launch a performance program that encourages school children to experiment with composition culminating in the performance of a group composition.

Here are the 21 winners announced last week:

Ars Minerva — for producing Ermelinda, an opera composed by Domenico Freschi in 1680. The “modern world premiere” will take place November 2019 at ODC Theater.

The Berkeley Festival of Choro — for producing and recording its annual festival at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, in October 2019.

Brass Over Bridges / Julie Barwick — to commission composer Julie Barwick for a new work, inspired by Bay Area poetry and poets.

The Chromelodia Project / Chris Brown — Composer/performer Chris Brown will compose and record a new piece for his ensemble, The Chromelodia Project (with Theresa Wong and Kyle Bruckmann) exploring just intonation, improvisation, and interactive computer music.

Ensemble ARI / Jean Ahn — to commission Jean Ahn to write a new piano quartet to premiere on their Women Composers concert, January 2022, at St. Mary’s College, Moraga.

Ensemble for These Times / Elinor Armer — to commission and premiere Matrix for soprano and piano, setting texts by two Bay Area poets, Ursula K. LeGuin and Rella Lossy.

The Frank Tusa Ensemble — Frank Tusa will write and record eight new compositions within diverse jazz combos, from duos with flute to sextet including tabla.

Friction Quartet / Danny Clay — to commission Danny Clay and present a new educational concert developed to be engaging and inclusive of youth with cognitive, behavioral, and physical differences. The new work, to be premiered at the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco, will involve audience participation and will be designed to be accessible for all levels of ability.

L’arc Trio / Vivian Fung — to commission Vivian Fung for a work “inspired by Beethoven’s indomitable spirit.”

Mads Tolling / The Mads Men Mads Tolling will compose a four-movement piece for his band, The Mads Men, inspired by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s masterpiece Either/Or, with rapping, singing, and spoken word in English and Danish by special guests and Mads Tolling. The premiere performance will take place at The Freight & Salvage in October 2020.

The MANA Quartet / Common Sense Composers' Collective — MANA Quartet will premiere and record eight new compositions with the eight-member Common Sense Composers’ Collective.

MediusTerra Horn Duo / Aida Shirazi — to commission and premiere Songs of Dionysus, by Aida Shirazi, juxtaposing Iranian classical music with modern French horns and electronics.

Melody of China — for presenting a concert with Nejad World Music Center as part of the 2020 San Francisco International Arts Festival. Collaborating with Mohammed Nejad and guest musicians, the program will feature new arrangements of traditional Chinese and Persian melodies as well as an experimental new work for Chinese/Persian mixed ensemble.  

New Moon Duo / Nicolas Lell Benavides — Pianist Anne Rainwater and mezzo-soprano Melinda Becker will commission composer Nicolas Lell Benavides to write a new song cycle exploring the unique cultural identity of New Mexicans. The songs will be sung in caló, a dialect of Spanish spoken first by Chicano communities in New Mexico and Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border, which later spread to Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

Outsound Presents: Outsound New Music Summit — for presenting its 18th Annual Outsound New Music Summit, July 2019, at the Community Music Center in San Francisco. The Summit will feature six nights of performances showcasing new musical works and improvisations by local artists and national guests.

Quinteto Latino — for producing studio-recorded videos of Waldir Azevedo’s Brasileirinho and Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango, two short works central to their core concert repertoire, both arranged by composer Mark Fish.

Rent Romus / Heikki Koskinen Rent Romus will record a new project, co-written with Heikki Koskinen, titled Manala (Netherworld), for Romus’s nonet, Life’s Blood Ensemble. The project weaves elements of jazz, traditional folk, and free improvisation, inspired by the mythic prose of cultural liberation and identity in the Finnish national epic The Kalevala and the folklore of northern Arctic traditions.

Splinter Reeds / Amadeus Regucera — to commission With|Against, a new multimedia work highlighting the reed quintet’s virtuosity and engaging in interdisciplinary practices including video, light, and spatialized movement in an exploration of uncommon audience engagement and participation. The premiere will be presented by Indexical, an experimental music nonprofit in Santa Cruz, at Radius Gallery in early June 2020.

Teslim — for producing 7 Decades, a recording of compositions by Kaila Flexer, inspired by Turkish, Greek, and Sephardic folk music as well as blues, jazz, and western classical.

Hyo-shin Na / Wooden Fish Ensemble — for presenting a program of Hyo-shin Na’s music for Japanese, Korean, and western instruments at Old First Concerts on Oct. 27, 2019. Four new works will be commissioned and premiered, along with three of her older works. 

ZOFO / Pablo Ortiz — to commission Argentine American composer Pablo Ortiz for a piano duet concerto with two versions, one with string orchestra and the second with string quintet, premiering in 2020. The pianists will sit on cajónes, changing quickly between playing the Latin-American box percussion instruments and the keyboard.

Michael Zwiebach is the senior editor/ content manager for SFCV. He assigns all articles and content, manages the writing staff and does editing. A member of SFCV from the beginning, Michael holds a Ph.D. in music history from the University of California, Berkeley.