Pacific Serenades is thrilled to have bassoonist Judith Farmer back for her 5th program with us since 2002. She has enjoyed a rich career as an orchestral musician, chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. Currently, Judy is principal bassoonist of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, heads the bassoon studio at the USC Thornton School of Music, and is a member of the LA Opera Orchestra. As an avid chamber musician, Judy has collaborated with many composers on new works and has had a number of works written and dedicated to her.
Composer Jeffrey Parola began his fascination with music while visiting neighbors and hearing, and then playing, their piano. “One day I came home after several hours with my neighbors and there was a piano in my living room, which my parents had bought,” Jeff shared with me. He began piano studies privately, eventually spending 10 years with Martha Holly. “She was a great mentor to me,” Jeff explained. “When I first started studying with her, she wrote down my pieces for me and then taught me how to notate. When my music began to grow increasingly sophisticated, an 80-year-old Martha Holly enrolled in theory classes at the local community college in order to help me. She was an incredible woman!”
Pacific Serenades welcomes two young violinists, Ji Young An and Ambroise Aubrun, to our ensemble for this concert. Both recently finished DMA degrees at UCLA, studying violin with Guillaume Sutre, and they also crossed paths in Paris, where Ji Young moved at age 13 from her native Korea and where Ambroise moved from his hometown of Nice. At the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, each won the Conservatory’s first prize in their own graduation years, and Ambroise went on to study at the Paris Conservatory with Suzane Gessner.
These have been 27 richly productive seasons for Pacific Serenades. During this time, we commissioned and premiered 110 works by …
Horn player Danielle Ordanza, interviewed in the print version of our newsletter, had to withdraw from our concerts after the recent (and happy!) birth of her child. And so we are very fortunate that the remarkable Richard Todd, Principal Horn of LACO, is able to join us in her stead.
Richard Todd has earned acclaim as one of the finest horn soloists performing today. He has performed under the batons of such luminaries as Bernstein, Giulini, Marriner, Abravanel, Ozawa, Previn, Rilling, and Schuller, and has been praised for performances that “are simply startling in their dexterity.”
Pacific Serenades will join other Letter of Distinction winners Anthony Braxton, John Kander, John Luther Adams, and William Kraft. Previous recipients include George Balanchine, Leonard Bernstein, Joan Tower, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Morton Feldman, Laurie Anderson, Dizzy Gillespie, Michael Tilson Thomas, Virgil Thomson, Joan La Barbara, Randy Weston, the Kronos Quartet, Bang on a Can, Dawn Upshaw, Jack Beeson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Copland House, William Bolcom, and La Monte Young.
Oboist Jennifer Johnson is on a roll, both in her home state of Colorado and in her adopted state, California. A member of the LA Opera Orchestra, she is also Principal Oboe of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and plays with the Santa Barbara Symphony. She has played with many other orchestras, including the Colorado, Pasadena, Long Beach, Berkeley, and AYS Symphonies, the Fresno Philharmonic, and the YMF Debut and Reno Chamber Orchestras. A major highlight for her was serving as Principal Oboe of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta on two trips to Hong Kong, in 2007 and 2008.
“The best thing I have ever written,” is how Mozart exuberantly characterized this Quintet to his father Leopold, a few days after its premiere on April 1, 1784, in Vienna’s Burgtheater. “How I wish you could have heard it, and how beautifully it was performed! The audience was enthusiastic.” Ludwig van Beethoven modeled his own Op. 16 Quintet on the work in 1797.
When Stephen Cohn left his native Los Angeles for Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, he was on course to become a lawyer. But soon he fell in love with folk music—“It really was like falling in love,” he told me—and no practical advice from anyone would sway him from changing his major to music.
A contribution of $6,000 or more will give you the privilege of being recognized for commissioning String Theory, by Gernot Wolfgang, on a first-come, first-served basis. Or perhaps you would like to join with a friend and each contribute $3,000 towards the commission. Aside from the sheer joy of helping to bring this new work to life, your name will be associated with this piece in our printed programs and on our website for as long as they exist, on the musical score, and on any commercial recording of the work.