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Jerome Lenk on organ OM22
Jerome Lenk performs the rarely played Pedal Sonata for Organ by Lou Harrison. Photo by Michael Melnyk.

The late Lou Silver Harrison (1917-2003) is one of America’s most original and revered composers, born May 14th, 1917, in Portland, Oregon. The world celebrated the 100th anniversary of his birth with concerts everywhere, featuring his music and that of composers he influenced. In the spring of 2017, Other Minds Festival 22 was devoted exclusively to some major highlights of Harrison’s glittering, infectious output. Also featured were works for the centennial of Isang Yun (1917-1995) now revered as one of North and South Korea national treasures, but initially a political prisoner and polarizing figure and in the Cold War conflicts.

JUST 100: HOMAGE TO LOU HARRISON, was an ambitious undertaking, with over 100 musicians performing concerts at the acoustically sensual and sublime Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco, with whom we partnered for this magnificent project.

In celebration of the centennial of one of the godfathers of Other Minds, we presented the rarely-played Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra (1951) as a centerpiece of Other Minds Festival 22 February program. We were thrilled to have conductor Dennis Russell Davies, from Linz, Austria, to lead the performance. As Music Director of the Cabrillo Festival for over two decades, Maestro Davies became the world’s foremost conductor of Harrison’s music while living each summer in Aptos and staying with the composer and his partner, Bill Colvig. Completing this program were performances of Canticle No. 3 for percussion ensemble, Piano Sonata No. 3, and the Grand Duo for Violin and Piano with violinist Yumi Hwang-Williams and Maestro Davies at the keyboard.

Korean composer Isang Yun (1917-1995), Harrison’s friend and colleague, whose career flourished in West Germany until his arrest, deportation, and internment by the South Korean government on charges of spying for the North, was remembered in three striking chamber pieces which marry a traditional Korean esthetic with contemporary European technique.

A second concert in May included La Koro Sutro (“The Heart Sutra,” in Esperanto), for 100 choristers, organ, harp and gamelan, as well as the Suite for Violin and American Gamelan, co-composed with Richard Dee, and simply put, a solid gold musical masterpiece, as well as the intimate Suite for Cello and Harp, Threnody for harp solo, and the unique hands-free Pedal Sonata for Organ. The brilliant Maestra and Harrison specialist Nicole Paiement conducted. Both she and Davies have made numerous definitive recordings of Harrison’s music over the years.

Festival Program

Program 1: Pacific Rim Centennials

Celebrating the 100th birthdays of Lou Harrison and Isang Yun
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco, CA

Lou Harrison, Sonata No. 3 (1938)
Dennis Russell Davies, piano

Isang Yun, Kontraste 1 (1987)
Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin

Isang Yun, Gasa (1963)
Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin and Dennis Russell Davies, piano

Lou Harrison, Grand Duo (1988)
Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin and Dennis Russell Davies, piano

Lou Harrison, Canticle No. 3 (1941)
William Winant Percussion Group
Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

Isang Yun, Interludium A (1982)
Maki Namekawa, piano

Lou Harrison, Suite for Violin, Piano, and Small Orchestra (1951)
Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin
Maki Namekawa, piano
The Other Minds Ensemble: Joanna Martin and Janet Woodhams, flutes; Kyle Bruckman, oboe; Meredith Clark, harp; Evelyn Davis, celesta; Andrew Jamieson, tack piano; Emil Miland and Crystal Pascucci, cellos; Scott Padden, bass; William Winant, percussion
Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

 

Film Presentation

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017
UC Berkeley University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA

In Between–The Composer Isang Yun in North and South Korea (2015)
Maria Stodtmaier, director

Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, consider, Create (1987)
Eric Marin, director

 

Program 2: Lou Harrison Gamelan Masterpieces

Celebrating the 100th birthdays of Lou Harrison and Isang Yun
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco, CA

Praises for Michael the Archangel for organ (1946-47)
Jerome Lenk, organ

Threnody for Oliver Daniel for harp (1990)
Meredith Clark, harp

Suite for Cello and Harp (1948)
Emil Miland, cello and Meredith Clark, harp

Pedal Sonata for Organ (1987/1989)
Jerome Lenk, organ

Suite for Violin and American Gamelan (1974), composed with Richard Dee
Shalini Vijayan, violin
William Winant Percussion Group
Nicole Paiement, conductor

La Koro Sutro (The Heart Sutra”) for large mixed chorus, organ, harp, and American Gamelan (1972)
Jerome Lenk, organ; Meredith Clark, harp
Resound Ensemble, Luçik Aprahämian, Director
Sacred and Profane, Rebecca Seeman, Director
Mission Dolores Choir, Jerome Lenk, Director
The William Winant Percussion Group
Nicole Paiement, conductor

OM 22 program cover

Click here to download a PDF copy of the Other Minds Festival 22 program.

Concert Media: Video

Lou Harrison
Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra

Recorded live at the Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco on February 18, 2017, during Other Minds Festival 22 – Just 100: Homage to Lou Harrison. Conductor is Dennis Russell Davies; Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin; Maki Namekawa, piano; The Other Minds Ensemble.

Lou Harrison
Suite for Violin and American Gamelan

Recorded live at the Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco on May 20, 2017, during Other Minds Festival 22 – Just 100: Homage to Lou Harrison. Conductor is Nicole Paiement; Shalini Vijayan, violin; The William Winant Percussion Group.

Concert Media: Audio

Canticle No. 3
Lou Harrison

Recorded live, February 18, 2017 at the Other Minds Festival 22, Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco. Dennis Russell Davies conducts the William Winant Percussion Group.

Suite for Cello and Harp
Lou Harrison

Recorded live, May 20, 2017 at the Other Minds Festival 22, Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco. Emil Miland, cello and Meredith Clark, harp.

Interludium A
Isang Yun

Recorded live, February 18, 2017 at the Other Minds Festival 22, Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco. Maki Namekawa, piano.

La Koro Sutro
Lou Harrison

Recorded live, May 20, 2017 at the Other Minds Festival 22, Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco. Nicole Paiement conducts the William Winant Percussion Group and members of Resound, Sacred and Profane, and the Mission Dolores Choir.

Photos – Concert 1

Photos by Michael Melnyk

Photos – Concert 2

Photos by Michael Melnyk

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