Tomorrow (Feb. 23), pianist and CalArts faculty Vicki Ray presents a program at Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) exploring the four classical elements (earth, air, fire and water). The evening’s engagement is part of the ongoing “Piano Spheres” series, which enlarges the piano repertoire through new commissioned works by contemporary composers.
Building a program around Luciano Berio’s Encores (Luftklavier, Erdenklavier, Wasserklavier, Feuerklavier), the concert includes the world premieres of Pale Fire by Mu-Xuan Lin for piano and electronics; and Aufwind by Dominique Schafer. Ray’s Four Elemental Songs receives its world premiere, as well, with soprano Elissa Johnston joining Ray onstage. Concluding the program are John Luther Adams’ (Music BFA 73) Nunataks, which explores the earth element, and Toru Takimitsu channeling water with Between Tides for piano trio. Violinist Sarah Thornblade and cellist and CalArts faculty Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick join Ray in performing Takimitsu’s composition.
“I’ve wanted to build a program around the Berio Encores ever since first hearing them years ago,” Ray writes in the program notes. “I’m finally realizing that dream with this program.”
Ray is a Grammy-nominated pianist known for innovative programming which seeks to redefine the piano recital in the 21st century. Her playing has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for “displaying that kind of musical thoroughness and technical panache that puts a composer’s thoughts directly before the listener.”
Above: Ray performs John Adams’ ‘Road Movies’ with violinist Alyssa Park in 2013.
Vicki Ray: The Elements
Feb. 23, 8:30 pm
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles
Tickets: general $25; member/student $20; CalArts affiliate $12