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Sarah Cahill

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Dylan Mattingly: YEAR

Sarah Cahill: A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80 FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015 New works composed in celebration of Terry Riley’s eightieth birthday by Samuel Carl Adams, Pauline Oliveros, Gyan Riley, Evan Ziporyn, Christine Southworth, Danny Clay, Dylan Mattingly, Luciano Chessa, Elena Ruehr, and Keeril Makan. June 24, 2015 is the eightieth birthday year […]

Evan Ziporyn: You Are Getting Sleepy

Sarah Cahill: A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80 FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015 New works composed in celebration of Terry Riley’s eightieth birthday by Samuel Carl Adams, Pauline Oliveros, Gyan Riley, Evan Ziporyn, Christine Southworth, Danny Clay, Dylan Mattingly, Luciano Chessa, Elena Ruehr, and Keeril Makan. June 24, 2015 is the eightieth birthday year […]

Christine Southworth: Sparkita and Her Kittens

Sarah Cahill: A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80 FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015 New works composed in celebration of Terry Riley’s eightieth birthday by Samuel Carl Adams, Pauline Oliveros, Gyan Riley, Evan Ziporyn, Christine Southworth, Danny Clay, Dylan Mattingly, Luciano Chessa, Elena Ruehr, and Keeril Makan. June 24, 2015 is the eightieth birthday year […]

The Success of SoundBox

SoundBox, the San Francisco Symphony’s attempt to draw in a younger crowd with late-evening, monthly concerts in a nightclub style setting, has been successful on a scale that probably nobody ever imagined. The Meyer Sound System has transformed an acoustically dead rehearsal stage at the back of Davies Hall into a reverberant concert hall, the […]

Classics Today gives “Patterns of Plants” Top Marks

Classics Today has given “MAMORU FUJIEDA PATTERNS OF PLANTS” a perfect 10 out of 10 for artistic quality and sound quality. From the Review: “Fujieda’s Plant Patterns are tonal (or modal), but their outward, post-minimalist simplicity conceals real sophistication of technique. The pieces are built out of a few basic ideas: repetition of the initial […]

A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80

2015 is the eightieth birthday year of composer-pianist Terry Riley, who has had a profound influence on generations of composers and musicians. As a master pianist himself, he writes virtuoso pieces which encompass his wide-ranging musical pursuits, from classical music to blues to ragtime, from Indian raga to jazz. This 80th birthday milestone deserves a […]

“A leading light of the new-music piano scene…”

– The New York Times

Pianist, Writer, Producer

Sarah Cahill

Sarah Cahill
Sarah Cahill, hailed as “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by The New York Times and “a brilliant and charismatic advocate for modern and contemporary composers” by Time Out New York, has commissioned and premiered over sixty compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated works to Cahill include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Julia Wolfe, Yoko Ono, Annea Lockwood, and Ingram Marshall. Keyboard Magazine writes, “Through her inspired interpretation of works across the 20th and 21st centuries, Cahill has been instrumental in bringing to life the music of many of our greatest living composers.” She was named a 2018 Champion of New Music, awarded by the American Composers Forum (ACF).

“a brilliant and charismatic advocate for modern and contemporary composers”

Cahill enjoys working closely with composers, musicologists, and scholars to prepare scores for each performance. She researched and recorded music by prominent early 20th-century American modernists Henry Cowell and Ruth Crawford, and commissioned a number of new pieces in tribute to their enduring influence. She has also premiered and recorded music by Leo Ornstein, Marc Blitzstein, and other 20th century mavericks.

Cahill’s latest project is The Future is Female, a ritual installation and communal feminist immersive listening experience featuring more than seventy compositions by women around the globe, ranging from the 18th century to the present day, including new commissioned works. Featured composers include Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Maria de Alvear, Galina Ustvolskaya, Franghiz Ali- Zadeh, Florence Price, Hannah Kendall, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Kui Dong, Meredith Monk, Vıt́ězslava Kaprálová , Tania León, Fannie Charles Dillon, and many others. Cahill is performing this project in museums, galleries, and concert halls in current and future seasons. Recent and upcoming performances of The Future is Female include concerts presented by The Barbican, Carolina Performing Arts, Carlsbad Music Festival, Detroit Institute of Arts, University of Iowa, Bowling Green New Music Festival, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, North Dakota Museum of Art, and Mayville State University.

Cahill has worked closely with composer Terry Riley since 1997, when she commissioned his four-hand piece Cinco de Mayo for a festival at Cal Performances celebrating Henry Cowell’s 100th birthday – the first of six works she has commissioned from him. For Riley’s 80th birthday, Cahill commissioned nine new works for solo piano in his honor and performed them with several of Riley’s own compositions at (Le) Poisson Rouge and Roulette in New York, MIT, the North Dakota Museum of Art, and other venues across the country. Sarah Cahill has recently commissioned Frederic Rzewski to compose a substantial solo piano work in honor of Terry Riley’s 85th birthday.

Sarah Cahill also worked closely with Lou Harrison, and has championed many of his works for piano. In 1997, Cahill was chosen to premiere his Festival Dance for two pianos with Aki Takahashi at the Cooper Union, and worked with Harrison in rehearsals. She was also chosen to perform his Dance for Lisa Karon, discovered only a few years ago and not heard since its premiere in 1938, and she performed his Varied Trio, both piano concertos, and a number of solo and chamber works on her 2017 Lou Harrison tour celebrating his centennial year, with concerts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Orlando, Miami, Hawaii, Tokyo and Fukuoka in Japan, and more. In fall 2019, Sarah performed Lou Harrison’s exuberant Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan in two Berkeley performances.

Cahill has performed classical and contemporary chamber music with artists and ensembles such as Jessica Lang Dance; pianists Joseph Kubera, Adam Tendler, and Regina Myers; violinist Stuart Canin; the Alexander String Quartet; New Century Chamber Orchestra; Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and many more. She also performs as a duo with violinist Kate Stenberg.

Sarah Cahill remains strongly committed to making music during these challenging times. Recent and upcoming livestream concerts include performances presented by the Bang on a Can Marathon, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox series, Old First Concerts, Harrison House, Musaics of the Bay, and the Ross McKee Foundation. Cahill also continues to perform outdoor concerts for socially distanced audiences in public parks throughout the Bay Area. In fall 2020, she participated in lectures and panel discussions about women composers and gender equity presented by the San Francisco Symphony and American Composers Forum + I CARE IF YOU LISTEN. Continuing her mission of commissioning new works, in 2020, Cahill has commissioned works by Roscoe Mitchell, Mary Watkins, Regina Harris Baiocchi, Pamela Z, Riley Nicholson, Maija Hynninen, and Robert Pollock.

Sarah Cahill’s discography includes more than twenty albums on the New Albion, CRI, New World, Tzadik, Albany, Innova, Cold Blue, Other Minds, Irritable Hedgehog, and Pinna labels. Her 2013 release A Sweeter Music (Other Minds) featured musical reflections on war by eighteen eloquent and provocative composer/activists. In 2015, Pinna Records released her two-CD set of Mamoru Fujieda’s Patterns of Plants, an extraordinary fusion of nature and technology created by identifying the musical patterns in the electrical impulses of plants. In September 2017, she released her latest album, Eighty Trips Around the Sun: Music by and for Terry Riley, a box set tribute to Terry Riley, on Irritable Hedgehog Records. The four-CD set includes solo works by Riley, four-hand works with pianist Regina Myers, and world premiere recordings of commissioned works composed in honor of Riley’s 80th birthday. The Wall Street Journal praised Cahill’s performance on the album, saying “Ms. Cahill offers fluid interpretations of works from Mr. Riley’s copious solo piano output, as well as four-hand piano pieces, which she and Regina Myers play with impressive unity and an ear for Mr. Riley’s chameleon-like style morphing.”

Sarah Cahill’s radio show, Revolutions Per Minute, can be heard every Sunday evening from 8 to 10 pm on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco. The program focuses on the relationships between classical music and new music, encompassing interviews with musicians and composers, historical performances, and recordings outside the mainstream. Cahill is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory.

“She is a virtuosic yet naturally fluid player who somehow manages to coax a liquid sound from the piano even when battering the keys and raising hell.”

– New Music Connoisseur

Sarah Cahill

Recordings

“fiercely gifted”

– The New York Times

Sarah Cahill

Calendar

New events coming soon

“a sterling Bay Area pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde”

– The New York Times

Sarah Cahill Hosts

Revolutions Per Minute

R.P.M. on KALW RADIO
San Francisco 91.7 FM

Sunday Nights from 8-10PM

streaming audio at KALW.org

Sarah Cahill is a pianist and music critic whose radio program was named
“One of the Hundred Best Things in the Bay Area” by Citysearch online magazine.
Sarah now joins KALW, and her new program, called “Revolutions Per Minute,” focuses on
the relationships between classical music and new music, encompassing
interviews with musicians and composers, historical performances, and
exciting recordings outside the mainstream.

From the Archive

cahill_bjork_monk

RADICAL CONNECTIONS: MEREDITH MONK AND BJÖRK

If you go to your local record store, you’ll find Meredith Monk and Björk in completely separate categories, but as you’re about to hear, they’ve got a lot in common. Born a generation apart, both women have gained a reputation for creating adventurous music for the human voice, work that has taken them beyond the concert stage and into the realms of theater, film, visual art, dance, and performance art. Over the course of this hour-long program, these two artists share personal stories and trade ideas about music alongside illustrative samples drawn from their extensive recorded catalogues.


RADICAL CONNECTIONS: MEREDITH MONK AND BJÖRK on newmusicbox.org

RADICAL CONNECTIONS: ELLIOTT CARTER AND PHIL LESH

Curious how Elliott Carter, one of our most venerable composers of music for the concert hall, and Phil Lesh, best known as the bass player for the Grateful Dead, ever crossed paths? Though you might not ordinarily connect these two composers, there are some surprising musical links between them, supported by a friendship of many years.

Hear them speak with Sarah Cahill about their shared influences and the personal connections they’ve made through music.


RADICAL CONNECTIONS: ELLIOTT CARTER AND PHIL LESH on newmusicbox.org

Richard Goode talks about Debussy Preludes Book II

Before he performed a concert at Davies Hall with Debussy’s second book of Preludes,Richard Goode and I met at a practise room backstage at Davies where he discussed these works and demonstrated various passages.

Kaija Saariaho Interview

Saariaho was in the Bay Area to deliver the Bloch lectures at UC Berkeley, and came to the KALW studios for a two-hour program about her work.

Pauline Oliveros

This is just the first hour of a two-hour program with Oliveros, in which she plays her accordion and leads the listening audience in a sonic meditation exercise.  I’m still searching for the second hour, and will post it as soon as it turns up.

John Adams talks about The Gospel According to the Other Mary

This was right after the premiere of Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, and we also talk about his City Noir and other works.

Garrick Ohlsson talks about Chopin

This was actually when I hosted a show at KPFA (I left there in 2001 and started at KALW in 2002).  Ohlsson came to the performance studio for a two-hour program about Chopin, and didn’t bring any scores with him- everything he plays here is from memory.  Again, frustratingly, this is just the first hour of a two-hour show, and eventually I will find the second hour and post it here.

Meredith Monk Interview

Meredith Monk was in town for a performance, and she graciously came to the studio for a two-hour interview. Once again, I could only find this first hour.

Joseph Kerman talks about William Byrd

This was the third or fourth time the great musicologist and author Joseph Kerman came to KALW to co-host a program with me.  In this case the topic was William Byrd, the composer with whose work Kerman began his career.

Revolutions Per Minute

SUNDAY NIGHTS ON KALW RADIO

Video

Gallery

“Apart from being an exceptional pianist and muse to scores of inventive composers, Sarah Cahill is a first-rate communicator who specializes in connecting the music she plays to broader streams of everyday life.”

– Time Out New York

Sarah Cahill

Photos

“as tenacious and committed an advocate as
any composer could dream of”

– San Francisco Chronicle

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