Pictured above: Percussionist Anthony Di Sanza (left) and timpanist Dan Karas (right) wlll perform music by Michael Udow on Friday, November 13 in San Antonio
Two concerti by Michael Udow will be performed at the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio, Texas on Friday, November 13, 2015 in a 4:00 PM concert by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble conducted by Jerry Junkin: Apparition featuring timpanist Daniel Karas and Moon Shadows featuring percussionist Anthony Di Sanza.
Apparition begins with four intervals (the first five pitches) based on the principal trumpet’s initial entrance in Dimitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 (‘The Year 1905’). The work also pays hommage to Johann Sebastian Bach’s contrapunctal genius, quoting four successive intervals from The Art of the Fugue. As Michael Udow has explained in his program notes for the work, “My intent is to honor these two composers, as well as the art of timpani performance practice, by pushing the technical and musical boundaries to the extreme pinnacle of what is associated with Baroque virtuosity, as Bach did with his violin, cello, and keyboard repertory.” Apparition exists as a timpani solo with four different accompaniments: wind ensemble (2015, which is the version being performed in San Antonio); piano and 2 percussionists; 6 percussionists (2004, which was recorded by the Peabody Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Jonathan Haas); and orchestra (2012). The orchestra version appears on a newly released 2 CD set featuring seven works by Udow performed by the Rhode Island Philharmonic conducted by Larry Rachleff (Equilibrium 130).
Moon Shadows, a concerto for a soloist performing on multiple percussion instruments, is based on ten classic Japanese haiku about the moon, which are unveiled throughout the composition. According to the composer, “haiku seem have a parallel sensibility with many of the smaller gardens I have visited throughout Asia. In particular the tiny gardens within the very small Daisenin Temple in Kyoto, remind me of the purity of this poetic form. The orchestration is intended to imbue this sensibility in ways similar to moonlit reflections of a graceful Yew branch over a moonlit pond, which is further transformed with shifts in the direction and intensity of the evening breeze as Koi fish, unaware of the pure essence of the moment, unabashedly swim by.” The overall orchestration is intentionally transparent, reflecting the clarity of the haiku form. Moon Shadows exists with three different accompaniments: the wind ensemble version from 2010 performed here; a duo with piano; and an orchestra version, completed in 2012, which also appears on the newly released 2-CD collection of Udow’s music.
Jerry Junkin, now serving in his 28th year on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, holds the Vincent R. and Jane D. DiNino Chair for the Director of Bands and serves as a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. Additionally, he is Music Director and Conductor of the Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia, in his 23rd season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dallas Wind Symphony, President of CBDNA, and the recipient of the Grainger Medallion by the International Percy Grainger Society. Junkin also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the Sensoku Gakuen College of Music Wind Ensemble in Kawasaki, Japan and makes guest appearances with the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and the Taipei Symphonic Winds. In 2014, Junkin led the University of Texas Wind Ensemble on a four-week tour around the world.
Dan Karas is the Principal Timpanist of the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra. A native of suburban Detroit, Michigan, he received his musical training at the University of Michigan studying timpani and percussion with Michael Udow, Brian Jones, Ian Ding, and Joseph Gramley. Prior to his post with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Karas performed regularly with the symphonies of Detroit, Toledo, and Lansing as well as New Music Detroit, an ensemble promoting contemporary music in the Motor City. In December 2013, he was the featured soloist on Michael Udow’s timpani concerto Apparition, performing with the New York University Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Professor Jonathan Haas.
Anthony Di Sanza, who is currently Professor of Percussion Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He has appeared as a visiting artist at over 45 universities and conservatories and can be heard on many internationally distributed CD recordings with various artists. Di Sanza’s own percussion compositions have been performed internationally, and his handbook on alternative approaches to practicing, entitled Improvisational Practice Techniques, is published by RGM music.
More information about Michael Udow is available here.