Adelaide Pereira da Silva
Valse Choro No. 2 (1965) **
Born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Pereira da Silva was one of the founders of the Brazilian Pro Music Society, and many of her works reflect her study of Brazilian folk music. Her Valse Choro No. 2 is a sensuously chromatic waltz, romantic yet harmonically adventurous.
Music for Piano (1989/1997)
For this piece, Azerbaijani composer Ali-Zadeh lays a beaded necklace on the strings of the piano to evoke a traditional instrument, the tar. Music for Piano encapsulates her style of combining Azerbaijani folk music traditions with Western compositional techniques of the 20th century.
Maria de Alvear
De Alvear is a Spanish-German composer whose works are often long form and allow great freedom to the performer. This is an excerpt of her hour-long Intenso.
Sonata No. 2 (1953)
Four Planes (2015)
Fireside (2001) **
The melody of this piece is based on a 16th-century chant, and also inspired by Psalm 77, verse 20: “Your way was through the sea,/your path, through the mighty waters;/yet your footprints were unseen.”
Un reve en mer (1868)
Carreño was a Venezuelan composer-pianist who played for Abraham Lincoln in the White House and was coached by Franz Liszt. She wrote this piece at the age of fifteen.
Theme and Variations (1895)
Chaminade’s piano and chamber music was popular during her lifetime, but her more “serious” works for orchestra and voices has been neglected. This is a short set of variations
Chen Yi grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution and studied regional folk music in the countryside. She believes that music is a universal language, improving understanding between peoples of different cultural backgrounds and helping to bring peace in the world.
Preludes 6 and 9 (1928)
Still in her twenties, Ruth Crawford wrote these compressed, mystical preludes while living in Chicago.
Fannie Charles Dillon
Birds at Dawn (1917)
Born in Denver, Dillon moved to California and wrote this piece inspired by birds in the Sierra Mountains, and notates their songs in the score.
Earth, Water, Wood, Metal, Fire (2001)**
Sinfonia e Fugato (1952)
Gabriela Lena Frank
Nocturno Nazqueno (2014)
Gabriela Frank writes: “Barcarola Latinoamericana (2007) for solo piano is a folkloric piece inspired by the vital folk-fusion musical culture in Latin America today. It is not uncommon nowadays to encounter Andean panpipe ensembles infused with the drumbeats of Colombian cumbia, Central American marimba music spiced with South American sesquiáltera (‘changing sixes’) rhythms, or Mexican mariachi bands that also play Venezuelan joropos, albeit with a rather brassy flare.”
Glimpses is a set of three pieces, each featuring a different aspect of prepared piano. The first uses fast interlocking rhythms coupled with different colors of prepared strings to bring out the percussive nature of the piano. The second relies on the colors of the upper ranges of the piano to depict light and sweeping motions. In the third piece, “Chant,” the pianist “bows” the strings with rosined butcher twine to simulate a long deep drone.
Prelude for a Pensive Pupil (1958)
Glanville-Hicks was born in Australia and composed prolifically, and also wrote music criticism for the New York Herald Tribune.
Tara’s Love Will Melt the Sword (2002)
Giteck says this piece “addresses two female manifestations of Buddha, in particular the Blue Tara-healing Buddha and White Tara-compassionate Buddha.”
The title of Irish composer Gribbin’s newest piano piece refers to about eight thousand homeless people in London and their apparent invisibility.
Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre
Keyboard Suite in D minor (1707)
Jacquet de la Guerre enjoyed great success as a composer and keyboardist, and composed operas, cantatas, and music for theater and ballet.
Bernice Johnson Reagon
Study War No More (2009) **
Bernice Johnson Reagon is a major cultural voice for freedom and justice, a member of the Freedom Singers and founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock. This piece, commissioned by Sarah Cahill, is based on Reagon’s choral arrangement of the spiritual “Study War No More.”
Tango Si (1984)
French-American composer Jolas studied with Milhaud and Messiaen. Her “tango” is dissonant, playful, and brief.
Peggy’s Rag (1996)
Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Kats-Chernin migrated to Australia and also studied in Europe. This rag is dedicated to Peggy Glanville-Hicks.
April Preludes (1937)
On the Chequer’d Field Array’d (2013)
Smokey One (2016)
Mary Jane Leach
By’m’Bye (2001) **
Ruth Crawford’s setting of the traditional lullaby “By ‘n’ bye” is the source for this short piece by Mary Jane Leach. The work begins with low clusters and gradually introduces the first intervals of the song, with the pianist singing the melodic line. The combination of voice and piano is indicative of Leach's signature process of layering parts and experimenting with the textures created by multiple voices.
Afro-Cuban Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Tania León dedicated this piece, her first for piano, to her friends from the Dance Theater of Harlem, Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook. Ritual is “about the fire in the spirit of people who encourage other people, because they see something that the person doesn’t see herself. It’s the fire that initiates something.”
Ear-Walking Woman (1996)
Ear-Walking Woman, for prepared piano and “exploring pianist,” writes Lockwood, “uses the classic piano preparations: coins, screws, wiring insulation sheathing, plus bubble wrap, a rubber ball and small wooden balls, two stones, a bowl gong, mallets, and a water glass… The work is set up as an open-ended exploration… I think of this experience as ‘ear-walking,’ like a hiker exploring a landscape.”
Russian composer Makarova, married to the more famous Aram Khachaturian, wrote a set of piano etudes which are rarely if ever performed.
2000 Notes (2001) **
Born in Berlin, Mamlok fled Nazi Germany and emigrated to Ecuador and then to New York. Cahill co-commissioned the work, which reflects Mamlok's twelve-tone method. While crediting serialism as her biggest influence, Mamlok also said, "My music is colorful, with the background of tonality – tonal centers … I can't shake it completely."
Marcus, a composer in New York, uses the lyrics and melody of the Beatles song "Julia," about John Lennon's mother, who encouraged his interest in music. The words spoken by the pianist at the beginning of the piece are from the text of Lennon’s song: "seashell eyes, sleeping sand, windy smile, silent cloud, morning moon, ocean child, touch me."
Heights and Depths of Love, movement (2009)
“Togetherness” is the title of this movement of a three-movement work by young Lithuanian composer Žibuoklé Martinaityté. The score is full of interpretive descriptions, for instance, at the opening: “Tenderly as though touching petals of a spring flower or touching a beloved one for the first time.”
St. Petersburg Waltz (1997)
Best known as a vocalist and performance artist, Monk says this piece was inspired by her Eastern-European roots.
Quintuplets Play Pen (2001)**
Oliveros writes: “Quintuplets Play Pen was written especially for Sarah Cahill after listening to her recording of pieces by Ruth Crawford. The piece was conceived mathematically using a 10 x 10 matrix of choices.” The playpen is the piano keyboard, and the quintuplets are the fingers.
Holding Pattern (2001) **
RRaised in Amarillo, Texas, Maggi Payne is a composer, flautist, interdisciplinary artist, recording engineer, and the creator of many works for electronic and visual media. Payne wrote this piece on commission from Sarah Cahill in tribute to composer Ruth Crawford.
Sonata in E minor (1932)
Price was the first African-American woman to have an orchestral work performed by a major American orchestra. Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price were among her champions.
In C Too (2015)
Born in Ann Arbor, Ruehr says of her music that “the idea is that the surface be simple, the structure complex.” This piece was part of Sarah Cahill’s project for Terry Riley’s 80th birthday. Ruehr says, "In C, Too is a playful romp that explores the pitch C in various tonal guises, and some ragtime..."
Variations op. 20 (1853)
From a young age, Clara Schumann was a virtuoso pianist and composer. After her husband Robert’s death, she toured Europe and beyond as a pianist to support her family. These are variations on a theme by Robert Schumann.
Aida Shirazi was born in Tehran and now lives in the Bay Area. Albumblatt is subtitled “A Winter Memory,” and includes various effects like strumming and finger-muting the strings and scratching the length of a string with a fingernail.
new commissioned work **
Linda Catlin Smith
A Nocturne (1995)
Toronto-based Catlin Smith describes her Nocturne: “As I was writing this piece, the material seemed more and more to be disappearing; day disappears into night…”
Glass Houses No. 7 (1981)
Born in Winnipeg, Southam wrote electronic music and music for strings as well as minimalist works for piano. She said that minimalist, iterative compositions reminded her of "women's work" - repetitive, monotonous tasks such as knitting and cleaning that nevertheless sustain life. Glass Houses is constructed from short tonal units that combine and re-combine, creating an overall sense of lyricism.
Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir is the recipient of the Nordic Council Music Prize and the second recipient of the New York Philharmonic's Kravis Emerging Composer prize. Trajectories is a collaborative work for piano and electronics with optional visuals.
Piano Sonata No. 4 (1957)
Lois V Vierk
To Stare Astonished at the Sea (1993)
Compassion (2001) **
new commissioned work **