Engine 27 — Otto Luening and Dan Cooper

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Date/Time: 14/06/2003 12:00 am

Music of Otto Luening and Dan Cooper
with Lynn Bechtold (violin); Dan Cooper, Kaoru Hinata & Helen Richman (flutes)
R. Luke Dubois (Engine 27 programming)
Dan Cooper, composer and multi-instrumentalist, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of electro-acoustic music in the United States with a tribute to his mentor Otto Luening, a founder of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, known for his pioneering multi-track compositions for flute, echo/delay and magnetic tape.
date & time: Saturday, June 14, 8pm
suggested admission: $10
Luening was one of the first American composers to systematically explore the form for which Vladimir Ussachevsky coined the term “tape music.” Two years ago, the Cary Trust commissioned Cooper to transcribe Luening’s early pieces for flute on tape recorder so that they could be performed live by a flutist with computer processing, starting with the 1952 Nocturnes. At Engine 27, Cooper continues this project, spatializing Low Speed, Fantasy in Space, Invention in Twelve Notes (all from 1952), Gargoyles (1961) and his own Dance Sonata (2003). Cooper describes Leuning’s works as “carefully constructed musical pearls fashioned with subtle compositional craft and ageless curiosity.”
The Herald Tribune described the landmark 1952 concert of Leuning and Ussachevsky’s work as
“…the music of fevered dreams, of sensations called back from a dim past. It is the sound of echo…vaporous, tantalizing, cushioned. It is in the room and yet not part of it. It is something entirely new. And genesis cannot be defined.” (1952)
Otto Luening:
Excerpts from an Otto Luening lecture on early electro-acoustic music (~4min.)
Nocturnes, (~5min.), transcribed for live flute and echoes by Dan Cooper
Fantasy in Space, (~3min.), Invention, (~3min.), Low Speed, (~3min.), all three transcribed for three live flutes and echoes by Dan Cooper.
Gargoyles, (~9min.) for violin and electronics
Dan Cooper:
Dance Sonata, (~15min.) for violin and electronics.
Music of Otto Luening and Dan Cooper
Otto Luening (1990-1996) was a composer and a tireless new music educator and advocate. In the 1950s, he and composer Vladimir Ussachevsky helped establish the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center where they created a landmark series of collaborative compositions for magnetic tape and synthesizer, as well as works for acoustic instruments in combination with electronic sounds. This association resulted in twenty compositions, Luening’s sole-authored works including Fantasy in Space for tape (1952), Gargoyles for violin and tape (1960), and Synthesis for orchestra and tape (1962), commissioned for the 20th anniversary of BMI. Luening composed a vast body of music, much of it chamber music, known for its accessibility and stylistic variety. Highlights of his extensive output include a flute concertino, four symphonic fantasias, a short symphony for chamber orchestra, three string quartets, three sonatas for violin and piano, three solo violin sonatas, and a substantial body of chamber music with flute, an instrument he played professionally throughout his life. Luening also composed scores for Hollywood films and television. For more information: http://newmusicbox.org/first-person/nov99/ottoluening.html
Dan Cooper (http://www.dan-cooper.com) was born in 1970 in Manhattan; he went to the Horace Mann School, and has music degrees from Columbia, The New England Conservatory and Princeton, where he is currently a PhD candidate. His mentor was Otto Luening and principal teachers include John Heiss, Steve Mackey, and Paul Lansky. In 2000, Cooper received a composition fellowship from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music to Tanglewood, where he has composed and produced incidental music for several Shakespeare and Company productions directed by Tina Packer. Awards include an ASCAP Young Composer’s Prize for Cooper’s electronic setting of Jabberwocky, a Prix Blanche-de-Castille from Fontainebleau, and a Certificate of Achievement from the New York Youth Symphony for Cooper’s 1997 work The Millennium. Commissions include the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Circadia ensemble, the Bethlehem Central High School Orchestra, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra, whose 2003 CD recording The Best of the Dogs of Desire will include Cooper’s work Mass Inertia. In addition, Cooper has performed in over 60 cities internationally as a multi-instrumentalist with Decca recording artist Ute Lemper, including performances at New York’s Town Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Tokyo’s Orchard Hall, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, and the Sydney Opera House (2000 Olympics Arts Festival) among others, with various broadcasts on NBC, CNN, Radio France, RAI, and Bravo. He endorses Overwater bass guitars of Carlisle, UK. Cooper has taught at Princeton and is currently an adjunct professor at SUNY/FIT, where he teaches a course in American Music from 1750 to the present.
Violinist Lynn Bechtold has appeared in recital throughout the U.S., and in Canada, Holland, and Switzerland. In the past, she has collaborated with composers such as Gloria Coates, George Crumb, John Harbison, and Alvin Lucier. As a chamber musician, she has also performed in Italy, Japan, Tatarstan, and the Ukraine. She performs with numerous ensembles, including the Absolute Ensemble, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the SEM Ensemble. Festival appearances include the Kneisel Hall Festival, the Pacific Music Festival, the Scotia Festival, and the Spoleto Festivals in the U.S. and Italy, among others. She is a past recipient of arts scholarships from the Leopold Schepp Foundation and the Hilda Mesta Willis Fund. Bechtold received her Masters Degree from the Mannes College of Music, where she was a student of Felix Galimir. Prior to that, she received a double degree in violin and English from the New England Conservatory of Music and Tufts University in Boston. She is on the faculty of Greenwich House Music School in New York City.
Kaoru Hinata received her Masters of Music and Artists Diploma from Yale, studying under Random Wilson. Hinata has held positions with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Wallingford Symphony, has performed with the Orchestra of St Luke’s, the New Jersey Symphony, New Haven Symphony, the Da Capo Opera Orchestra, the Berkshire Opera, and Camerata New York. As a soloist, Hinata won the Lawrence Beauregard Competition in Canada in 1994, placed second in the Myrna Brown Competition in Texas in 1995, and has premiered flute works by Christopher Theofanidis and Dan Sonenberg. She is a founding member of the chamber ensemble Circadia, and is on the faculty of Bloomingdale School of Music.
Flutist Helen Richman enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. She has participated in the Aspen, Bowdoin, and Norfolk Summer Music Festivals, and has been a featured soloist at the Banff Center for the Arts and the Mannes Bach Institute. She is a member of the SEM Ensemble and can be heard in orchestral and chamber music settings with members of the New Haven Symphony, and with the award winning flute quartet, Flute Cocktail. A sought-after Suzuki instructor, Helen maintains an active private flute studio in Brooklyn, and serves on the faculty of Turtle Bay Music School in Manhattan.