Skip to page content
  • WDCH
  • Nov. 1, 2004
  • American Voices Program Features World Premiere of
    Mason Bates' Omnivorous Furniture


    This program is supported by a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music

    Alexander Mickelthwate (pictured) makes his debut as Assistant Conductor leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group in the first concert of the 2004/2005Green Umbrella Series on Monday, November 1, at 8 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The program features the world premiere of Mason Bates' Omnivorous Furniture for sinfonietta and electronica, Harold Meltzer's Virginal, Gabriela Frank's Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout, and Henry Brant's Tremors.

    Bates' focus in compositions is the fluidly between the worlds of classical music and underground electronica. In Omnivorous Furniture for sinfonietta and electronica (a New Music Group commission with additional support from the Sue Knussen Commission Fund) the listener hears the textures of a chamber orchestra combined with the energy of electronica. Uniting the classical concert hall and the underground lounges where Bates DJs, his music was recently hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "lovely to hear and ingeniously constructed."

    An Upbeat Live pre-concert event takes place one hour prior to the concert in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and is free to all ticket holders. Steven Stucky, the Philharmonic's Consulting Composer for New Music, moderates a panel with composers Mason Bates, Henry Brant, and Harold Meltzer.

    The Green Umbrella series showcases new music ranging from solo works to chamber opera, performed by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. Concerts take place in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group are made possible in part by the Attiyeh New Music Fund, the Brady New Music Fund, the Freeman Fund for Contemporary Music, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from Deborah Borda, Ernest Fleischmann, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

    ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Assistant Conductor at the start of the 2004/2005 season. Most recently, he served as Assistant Conductor at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where, n addition to his ASO duties he served as co-artistic director and conductor of the Atlanta-based contemporary music ensemble Bent Frequency, which he co-founded in May 2003. In the summer of 2002, he was Conductor in Residence and Director of Conducting Studies for the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and he is a member of the conducting faculty at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and artist in residence at Georgia State University. Though still in the early stages of his career, Mickelthwate has already conducted the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, New Jersey, and Oregon, as well as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Eos Orchestra, and Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and worked as cover conductor for the Boston Symphony.

    HENRY BRANT, America's pioneer explorer and practitioner of acoustic spatial music, was born in Montreal in 1913 of American parents and began to compose at the age of eight. In 1929 he moved to New York where for the next 20 years he composed and conducted for radio, films, ballet, and jazz groups, at the same time composing experimentally for the concert hall. From 1947 to 1955 he taught orchestration and conducted ensembles at The Juilliard School and Columbia. Since 1981 Brant has made his home in Santa Barbara, California. Brant's spatial music has been widely performed and recorded in the U.S. and Europe, and his long career has been recognized by numerous awards and honors, most recently the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Ice Field (2001). In 1998, The Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel acquired Brant's complete archive of original manuscripts including over 300 of his works. Brant received the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from Wesleyan University in September, 1998.

    Composer GABRIELA FRANK represents the next generation of American composers. Her compositions incorporating South American mythology, art, poetry, and folk music into western classical forms reflect her Peruvian-Jewish heritage. She is also a concert pianist who recently recorded a CD of music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Leslie Bassett, and is featured on a forthcoming CD of her chamber music. Born in Berkeley, CA in 1972, Frank earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at Rice University, and her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. The California Association of Professional Music Teachers named her the 2005 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Commissioned Composer.

    Born in Brooklyn in 1966, HAROLD MELTZER is a composer and the Artistic Director of the New York ensemble Sequitur. Recent commissions have come from the ASCAP Foundation for the Delaware, North Carolina, and Pacific Symphony Orchestras; Concert Artists Guild for bassoonist Peter Kolkay with the Westchester Philharmonic, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music, and Chamber Orchestra Kremlin; Meet The Composer for the Yellow Barn Festival and the Peabody Trio; the National Flute Association; the American Composers Forum for pianist Sarah Cahill; harpsichordist Jory Vinikour; and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. After graduating from Amherst college and King's College, Cambridge, he studied law at Columbia University and worked as a lawyer in New York City before returning for his doctorate at the Yale School of Music. His music is recorded on the Albany and CRI labels, and is published by Urban Scrawl Music Company (ASCAP) and G. Schirmer.

    Composer MASON BATES was raised in Virginia where he studied piano with Hope Armstrong Erb and composition with Dika Newlin; he enrolled in the Columbia-Juilliard program in New York City. Earning degrees in music composition and English literature, he worked with John Corigliano, David Del Tredici, and Samuel Adler. He is now working with Edmund Campion at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also worked with Jorge Liderman. Bates' music has been heard in orchestral concerts ranging from The Oakland Symphony to The Atlanta Symphony, and at chamber venues such as Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. He was recently awarded a commission from the Naumburg Foundation, and a commission for an electro-acoustic work celebrating The Juilliard School's 100th anniversary in 2005.


    Monday, November 1, 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles




    MASON BATES, electronica

    BRANT Tremors

    FRANK Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout

    MELTZER Virginal

    BATES Omnivorous Furniture for sinfonietta and electronica

    This program is supported by a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. Steven Stucky, the Philharmonic's Consulting Composer for New Music, moderates a panel with composers Mason Bates, Henry Brant, and Harold Meltzer.

    Tickets ($15 - $41) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations. Performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

    # # #

  • Contact:

    Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; Sylvi Brown, 909.336.7582; photos: 213.972.3034