Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Ulrich Krieger, Randy Gloss, Ajay Kapur and Mark Robson Join CalArts Music Faculty
Valencia, CA, September 11, 2007 -- California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) President Steven D. Lavine announced that five new faculty members have been appointed to the Institute's School of Music.
"An exemplary school of music is made up of visionary musicians devoted to the evolution of artistic practice in our culture and generous in extending their experience to supporting and nurturing younger artists," said School of Music Dean David Roosenboom. "These efforts are underpinned by a fluid and adaptable support structure, and with programs steered by insightful and open-minded pilots, eyes affixed to the horizons of our time. We are proud to announce the addition of several new visionary musical artists to the CalArts School of Music community."
Distinguished composer Wolfgang von Schweinitz will hold the Roy E. Disney Family Chair in Musical Composition. Saxophonist and experimental composer, Ulrich Krieger, is to teach Experimental Sound Practices in the Composition Program. Percussionist Randy Gloss will join the World Music program. Electronic/World musician Ajay Kapur will be the Coordinator of the Multi-Focus Music Technologies Program. Pianist Mark Robson will join the performance faculty.
Dean Rosenboom commented, "these additions to our faculty help define the new face of the CalArts School of Music. Together with the many musical masters already in place, they will join in the productive spirit of a great school of music moving forward."
Wolfgang von Schweinitz is known for the impassioned eloquence and lyrical beauty of his compositions. His sensitivity to poetic texts is demonstrated in song-cycles such as Papiersterne and works for large ensembles including Patmos--a setting of the complete book of Revelation. Of Patmos, The Financial Times commented, "Schweinitz has achieved remarkable things here: not only with translucent and tellingly original harmony within a serialist idiom, but with memorably singable lines--rare indeed these days." In recent years, the composer has explored tonal phenomena and developed new microtonal ensemble playing techniques.
Schweinitz brings to CalArts a foundation in contemporary composition and cutting edge technology. He studied with pioneering contemporary composers Gyorgy Ligeti, Esther Ballou and Ernst Klussmann as well as with John Chowning at the Center for Computer research in Music and Acoustics (CCRAMA) at the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Saxophonist Ulrich Krieger's chamber and electronic music compositions are widely performed by ensembles in Europe and the United States. Crossing stylistic boundaries, his current compositions blend experimental and contemporary pop idioms, and are informed by heavy metal, noise and ambient music. Krieger's works range from nearly silent pieces floating between noise and tone to work in which he explores the fringes of rock and noise music. He often uses his saxophone as an "analog sampler" rather than a traditional instrument.
Achieving what was considered impossible, Krieger transcribed and arranged Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music for classical instruments. The work was performed by the jazz ensemble Zeitkratzer with Lou Reed on guitar. He has arranged works by Merzbow, Throbbing Gristle, Deicide, Terry Riley and Henry Cowell and has been commissioned to compose works for the Soldier String Quartet, oh-ton ensemble, Ensemble United Berlin, KONTRA-Trio, Ensemble Experimente, Seth Josel, intersax and Text of Light among others. Percussionist Randy Gloss performs several modalities of hand drums, contemporary percussion and drum set. He has been involved in a variety of ensembles that fuse world music with new music and jazz--most notably with Hands On'Semble, a percussion group devoted to the art of hand drumming.
His diverse projects include Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Orchestra and world percussion group Vashti. Gloss is a member of the Lian Ensemble which was named Best World Music/Recombinant Artist in 2001 and 2004 by the L.A. Weekly. He has performed with a spectrum of international musicians including Swapan Chaudhuri, Aashish Khan, Miroslav Tadic, Vladko Stefanovski, David Rosenboom, Chitravina Ravikiran and Damian Draghichim and has contributed percussion for film soundtracks by composers Danny Elfman and Gary Chang as well as for television and theater. Before becoming a full time member of the CalArts faculty, he taught in the Institute's Percussion and World Music programs.
Ajay Kapur uses microcontroller technology to combine computers with the traditional north Indian tabla. In 2000, he began building his first instrument, the Electronic Tabla Controller (ETabla). "I am trying to capture the movement of the human hand during tabla performance and use the information to synthesize sounds and visual feedback on my laptop," he said.
In 2004, Kapur was awarded the Distinguished Researcher of the Year award in Computer Music by the International Conference of Computer Music. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Princeton University and is a candidate for a PhD from the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Kapur has studied music theory from around the world and continues to hone his skills at the Ustad Allah Rakha Institute of Music in Mumbai, India with renowned teacher Pandit Rakesh Kumar Parihas.
Pianist Mark Robson was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "massively virtuosic" and for his "display of dazzling speed, exquisite control and surprising delicacy." From January 1991 until June 2005, Mr. Robson worked as a repetiteur and eventually as Assistant Chorus Master/Assistant Conductor at the Los Angeles Opera. He often provided recitative accompaniment at the harpsichord for their productions and performed onstage in the role of Boleslao Lazinski in Fedora.
As a conductor, Robson has appeared with the Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Orchestra and has assisted at the renowned festivals in Salzburg and Spoleto. He is a founding member of Piano Spheres, a collective of five pianists who has been presenting new and unfamiliar keyboard works in the Los Angeles area since 1994.
California Institute of the Arts:
CalArts, the first U.S. higher educational institution to integrate the visual and performing arts under one roof, is recognized as the nation's leading laboratory for the arts. Housing six schools--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater--CalArts embraces creative cross-pollination among diverse art forms and traditions and strongly encourages each artist to pursue his or her vision within a broad context of social and cultural understanding.
CalArts School of Music:
The School offers a unique learning environment founded on principles of artistic excellence, experimentation, critical reflection and independent inquiry. Its offered programs include Composition, Performer/Composer, Jazz Studies, Multi-Focus Performance, Multi-Focus Music Technologies, Musical Arts, and World Music Performance. Undergraduate programs lead to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree and graduate programs to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. The School engages students in high-level collaborative work cutting across stylistic and cultural boundaries, allowing students to graduate with creative and technical flexibility. Firmly grounded in traditional and contemporary music forms, the School's programs prepare graduates to develop new expressions and contribute to the ongoing evolution of music practice.