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April 27, 2024

gathering | streams

7:30PM Central Time
St. James Cathedral, Chicago, East Huron Street, Chicago, IL, USA

A celebration and exploration of the contributions and experiences of immigrant and multicultural communities featuring world premieres by Mari Takano, Tyler Taylor and Fernanda Aoki Navarro.

*Tickets will also be sold at the door. Join us for a free pre-concert talk at 6:45pm! 

The 2023-2024 season is sponsored by the Katherine L. Griem and Anthony G. Montag Charitable Fund.

Mari Takano - Doppelconcerto for 2 Violins & Orchestra featuring soloists Sarah Plum & Michi Sugiura, violin *WORLD PREMIERE

Mari Takano got her first piano lessons from her mother at the age of three and wrote her first composition at five. After completing composition studies under Mutsuo Shishido at the Toho Gakuen College of Music, she went on to study in Germany at the College of Music, Freiburg, under Brian Ferneyhough, and at the College of Music and Performing Arts, Hamburg, under Gyorgy Ligeti. She graduated in 1988.

Since the 80's, Mari Takano has been awarded numerous prizes. Encouraged by Gyoergy Ligeti, she overcame Avantgarde influences and developed her own original style. In 2002, BIS released a CD devoted to her works ("Women's Paradise", BIS 1238), which earned international acclamation and has been broadcasted in several countries of Europe, in the USA and Australia. In the same year, she stayed three months as a guest composer at the North-Western University (USA) on a scholarship by the Japanese Education Ministry. Mari Takano has received numerous commissions for new works, for example from the City of Hamburg (1993 and 1995), from the American Embassy in Tokyo (1995), from the Kanagawa Arts Festival (1997), from Music from Japan (2009), from Dark music Days Festival (2022) from as well as from various performers.

Her second CD, “LigAlien” (BIS 1453) was released in 2011 and selected by Mr. Peter Burwasser as one of the best five CDs of the year 2012 in the CD magazine Fanfare. “Flute Concerto”, which is also included on this CD, was broadcasted on BBC Radio 3 in 2018.

In 2022, the third CD "In a Different Way" was released by Fontec in Japan. Takano has been invited to give special lectures at Roosevelt University in Chicago, at New York University, at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf and at the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim. A former associate professor at the Ferris University, she is now a lecturer at the Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music and at the Bunkyo University.

About the Soloists:

Praised as “both an intrepid new music champion and a violin virtuoso” (textura music magazine), Sarah Plum has had a prolific career advocating for new music, commissioning composers and bringing contemporary music to a wider audience.

Personal Noise, Plum’s recent CD release of new music for violin and electronics, has been lauded as “a fantastic new release - a must have for everyone who loves meaningful sonic adventures” (Whole Note Magazine).

Plum has been featured at festivals and venues worldwide, including Ankunft:Neue Musik Berlin, Center for New Music San Francisco, Spectrum NYC,  Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics as well as at residencies at the Mannheim University for Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim Germany,  UC Davis, Duke, Cal State Fullerton and James Madison University among others.

Recent concerts include solo recitals at the University of Iowa, Oakland University, Frequency Series in Chicago,  Ear Taxi, SEAMUS, Chimefest at the University of Chicago, NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival and chamber music performances with the Fulcrum Point Ensemble, Zodiac Festival Ensemble  in France and at the University of Oklahoma’s String Academy.

Sarah Plum moved to Chicago in 2018 and since then has been active in local new music, playing with groups such as Dal Niente Ensemble, Fulcrum Point Ensemble and Access Contemporary Music as well as collaborations with numerous Chicago composers and performers.  She is on the faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago, Lake Forest College and Michigan State University.

Her gold medal at the International Stulberg Competition in 1983 launched her performance career.

Born in Washington D.C., Michi Sugiura was invited to attend the Curtis Institute of Music by renowned pedagogue Ivan Galamian. Upon graduation, she continued her studies at the Indiana University of Music. Starting with the tutelage of Berl Senofsky, her teachers include Ivan Galamian, Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), Yumi Ninomiya Scott, Miriam Fried, Franco Gulli, and Toshiya Eto.

Ms. Sugiura has received prizes at the Queen Elisabeth (Belgium), Menuhin (UK), Carl Flesch (UK), Montreal (Canada), and Japan International Violin Competitions. Awards at national competitions led to performances with orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Other engagements have included concerts with the BRT (Belgian Radio-Television) Philharmonic Orchestra, Knoxville Chamber Orchestra, Filharmonie Bohuslava Martinu (Czech Republic), Gunma Symphony Orchestra (Japan), and recitals in Tokyo, Washington, and Brussels. She has been heard on RTBF (Radio-Television belge de la Communaute francaise - Brussels), NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation -- national), and WMFT (Chicago) radio recitals. As part of the “Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music” at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, Ms. Sugiura performed the Corigliano Sonata with composer John Corigliano present. While residing in Indiana, Ms. Sugiura joined the Whitney Piano Trio. Their concerts included performances on the Phillips Collection and the National Gallery of Art Concert Series in Washington D.C., both of which were heard on radio broadcasts. The piano trio received government grants for an educational/concert series serving schools and communities in the Indiana and Kentucky area.

Interested in teaching, Michi Sugiura was a Visiting Associate Professor at the Indiana University of Music. She has performed and given masterclasses in Batumi, Georgia, at the Batumi Music Festival subsidized by the Ministry of Culture of Georgia. She currently resides in Tokyo, Japan, where she teaches and serves on the jury of competitions, including the national Student Music Concours of Japan.


Tyler Taylor - Out of Dust *WORLD PREMIERE

Tyler Taylor (1992) is a composer-performer based out of Louisville, KY. He recently held a full time Resident Composer position at the Louisville Orchestra as part of the inaugural Creators Corps Residency Program. Much of his work is dedicated to creating abstract musical analogies for social-political happenings both past and present. Common among these pieces is a sense of contradiction – sometimes whimsical, sometimes alarming – that comes from the interaction of diverse musical layers.

Recent commissions include orchestral and chamber pieces by the Louisville Orchestra, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jon P. Cherry, Washington and Lee State University, the Youth Performing Arts School, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, the Indiana Band Masters Association, the National Orchestral Institute, and more.

In addition to his pursuits in composition, Tyler also performs the horn in various settings including recitals of contemporary music to professional orchestral settings including the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Huntington Symphony, Louisville Ballet and the Owensboro Symphony. In 2023 Tyler was featured as the Horn Faculty at the Mozart in the Knobs summer music festival where he taught lessons and performed in concerts ranging from chamber to full opera productions.

He holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Louisville.


Fernanda Aoki Navarro - Sisyphus *WORLD PREMIERE

Fernanda Aoki Navarro is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music, developing concert music, intermedia works, performance art and installations. She is interested in sound, in the idiosyncratic relationship between the corporeality of the performers and the physicality of their instruments, in the exploration between music and language, in the use and misuse of technology, and in the transformational power that experimental music can exert on issues related to feminism and social otherness.

At Harvard, she was a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; she studied composition at Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), completed her masters at UC Santa Cruz, and her PhD at UC San Diego.

Her music has been performed nationally and internationally by ensembles such as NY Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea, Yarn/Wire, Fonema Consort, Gnarwhallaby, Platypus, Nadar, among others. Her works have been featured at festivals such as June in Buffalo, Banff music festival, Domaine Forget, New Music Gathering, Visiones Sonoras, MATA, SEAMUS, NYC Electronic Music Festival, Darmstadt Summer Festival and others.

She is engaged with promoting contemporary music, working as an organizer and curator of concerts and music festivals, such as Springfest, FIME, PRISMS New Music Festival, and the XX concert series. Fernanda is also an educator, working as assistant professor at Arizona State University.

Fernanda doesn’t like to be reduced to her gender, doesn’t know how to samba, procrastinates to write program notes, doesn’t know how to react to compliments or critiques, goes to the cinema every week, drinks coffee every day.

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