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2001 State Conference, Concert 7

"Ear & Now" Concert of Student Composer String Quartets
Sunday, April 1, 2001
4:30 p.m., Eastman Recital Hall

Mark Schuppener, violin I; Christine Liu, violin II;
David Auerbach, viola; Patrick Nowlin, cello
Quark Quartet
     I Spin
     II Strange
     III Down
     IV Up
Julie Brandenburg
(1995 - 20') Quark Quartet was written to incorporate the "atmosphere of physics." Polyrhythmic textures dominate as the music moves back and forth from tonal to atonal expressions. In movment one, particles spin around with each other until dizzy. Movement two is a comic feud, with the carefree "strange" quark played by the first violin who irritates the other more orderly quarks with its squeaky properties. The third movement begins with quarks swirling across a photographic plate, each on their own lonely path of destiny. Later, they march in a cosmic funeral procession. The last movement brings the particles together into more harmonious matter. Only the second (3') and third (6') movements will be performed today.
Was War Elliott Goldkind
(rev. 1998 - 8') Was War for string quartet is a one-movement piece inspired by love, loss, and the emotional baggage that comes along with these things. The work contains a number of internal dialogs and conflicts representative of the protagonists of the love drama.
String Quartet No. 2 Ryan Conners
(1994/1998 - 1') The first version of this string quartet was completed in 1994 and never performed. I revised it in July of 1998, but my tenuous plans for its performance fell through, making today's concert its premiere. The piece consists of four melodies being played simultaneously, one melody per instrument. It was inspired in part by John Cage's The Beatles 1962-1970 for six pianos.
Reflections on John Dos Passos's "The Big Money" Paula Matthusen
(1998 - 6') Reflections on John Dos Passos's "The Big Money" was originally composed in 1998 while I studied "Tradition and Modernism" in contemporary music with Tobias P. M. Schneid. At times jarring and at times humorous, this piece became a way for me to explore the clash and collaboration between disparate narratives that share a similar vocabulary.
Temporal Games, String Quartet No. 1
     I Determination
     II Dreams and Meditation
     III Destination
Dan Maske
(1995 - 13') Temporal Games was premiered on March 15, 1996 by the Lakeside String Quartet for a Wisconsin Alliance for Composers Annual Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The title of the piece comes from the circumstances surrounding the period in which I wrote it. The spring of 1995 was my final semester as an undergraduate and the most chaotic time of my life. I was working on four different pieces at once--too much to do in too little time. The final movement, with its fast tempo throughout, symbolizes the urgent desire to reach my goal or destination during this busy time. Only the third movement (3'30") will be performed today.

Composer Biographies

Julie Brandenburg (Milwaukee) has been composing and performing music in the Milwaukee area for a number of years. She has written for such diverse groups as rock bands and string quartets. In 1997, members of the Milwaukee Symphony performed her Quark Quartet at the Broadway Center for the Arts. She has composed scores for several films and a play. A feature-length film she scored, The Monkey, was shown at an independent film festival in New York. In 1994 she won an "Emerging Artist" Grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board. The MacDowell Club in Milwaukee deemed her the winner in a 1996 composition contest. Ms. Brandenburg is a piano teacher with the Milwaukee Public Schools, and works for Present Music as a composer in their "Creation Program," designed for children. She is currently studying with Yehuda Yannay at the UW-Milwaukee.

Ryan Conners (La Crosse) graduated from the UW-Madison in Spring 1999 with Bachelor's Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Music Composition. While in school, Ryan served as President of the UW-Madison Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, an Electrical Engineering Honor Society (1993-1994), and Secretary/Treasurer of the Madison Chapter of The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers (1994-1997). Ryan currently works for The Trane Company in La Crosse as a Laboratory Engineer. Ryan's web page can be found at http://members.tripod.com/~rdconz/.

Elliott Goldkind (Los Angeles, CA) has composed music for diverse media, ranging from orchestral and chamber music to film, television, and commercials. His classical/concert music has been performed throughout the United States and Western Europe. He studied with Chester Biscardi, Meyer Kupferman, Stephen Dembksi, and Joel Naumann. While finishing his doctoral work at the UW-Madison, he helped revive the UW-Madison Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a group that is dedicated to performing the music of Wisconsin students/composers. Stylistically, Goldkind's music ranges from lyrical to obtuse. Ideally, he writes with pen and paper, leaving it up to "real musicians" to perform. However, for film and commercial applications, various electronic/digital approaches rear their ugly heads as well. He was a founding member of the not-too-legendary New York rock bands "Bones Jones and the Jones Tones," "Hodgepodge Lodge," and "Freak of Nature." Like too many others, Elliott is a native New Yorker living in Los Angeles, where he is trying to sell his soul to the highest bidder. And he's still ABD.

Dan Maske (Cottage Grove) was born in West Allis, WI in 1971. He began his musical training at age 9 by taking trumpet and piano lessons. His higher education in music began at the UW-Milwaukee where he received a BA in Music Theory and Composition in May of 1995, and an MM in Music Composition in May of 1997. He is currently in the DMA program in Music Composition at the UW-Madison, working on his dissertation. His principal composition instructors have been John Downey, Jon Welstead, Joel Naumann, and Stephen Dembski. Dan's works have been performed throughout the U.S., and in Europe, by various soloists and ensembles. He is now serving as the Vice-President of WAC and as a Co-Director of MadWAC. He is also a member of the American Composers Forum and the Society of Composers, Inc. Dan has received commissions and grants from the Skyline Brass, the Umpqua Chamber Orchestra, the St. Norbert College Wind Ensemble, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra-Junior Wind Ensemble, and the Madison Chapter of The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Inc. His music is recorded on Arizona University Recodings as well as on independent releases. His works are published by Sentinel Dome Publications and Alliance Publications, Inc. He has been a finalist in the Illinois State University Composition Contest in 1996, and for three years in the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Awards. In 1998 he was the winner of the UW-Madison Concerto Concert Composition Contest. In 1999 he was selected as one of the winners of the "First(,) Listen!" Composition Contest, and he received first place in the "Ear & Now" Composition Contest. Besides composing, Dan is active as a teacher, conductor, and performer. He gives private lessons in composition, piano, trumpet, computer music notation, and is a Teaching Assistant at the UW-Madison in Music Theory. Dan performs regularly on trumpet and piano in ensembles and as a sloloist and accompanist. As a conductor, he enjoys working with bands and orchestras as well as with chamber ensembles.

Paula Matthusen (Madison) is a senior composition student at the UW-Madison, having studied with Joel Naumann and Stephen Dembski, in addition to studies with Tobias P. M. Schneid, Tom Zelle, and Michael Czajkowski. She is a founding member of the local performance art group "52 Splinters" and enjoys working with collaborative artists.

The annual "Ear & Now" concert is a juried program of student composers' works from around the state. Three prizes, in the form of $75, $50, and $25 gift certificates to Canterbury, will be awarded at the end of the concert.

The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Inc. wishes to express its great appreciation to Trudy Barash and the staff of Canterbury Booksellers Coffehouse Inn for its annual sponsorship of the "Ear & Now" Student Composers Concert, and to the Madison Chapter of WAC (MadWAC), and particularly to MadWAC members Dan Maske, Jim Schwall, and Jeff Snyder for producing it.

2001 Conference
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Last updated 27 March 2001. Contact information.