Piano Waves Rensselaer + Saint Rose

Piano Waves Rensselaer + Saint Rose

EMPAC Concert Hall

November 9, 2011 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

This concert will feature students and faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the College of Saint Rose and is co-directed by Michael Century and Young Kim.



Claude Debussy, La mer 1905  orchestral work arranged for 2 pianos

Movement I: From dawn to noon on the sea

CeAnn Sarver, Piano 1

Lok Ng, Piano 2


Movement II: Play of the waves

Lina Bagepalli, Piano 1

Krista Parran, Piano 2


Movement III: Dialogue of the wind and the sea

Jungtzu Lin, Piano 1

Dequan Yin, Piano 2


Lars Erik Rosell, Homage to Terry Riley 3 pianos (1970)

Daniel Milici

Young Kim

Michael Century


Claude Vivier, Pulau Dewata for piano ensemble with cello solo

Sam Clapp, Cello, with Michael Century, Young Kim, Evan Mack, pianos


Morton Feldman, Piece for Four Pianos (1962)

Jansen Morehouse

Young Kim

Michael Century

Katie Farris


Johann Strauss, Jr, Kaiser-Walzer (Emperor Waltz) arr. Arnold Schoenberg

MeiXing Dong, Violin I

Maya Nath, Violin II

Nora Rogers, Viola

Fabian Hough, Cello

Mattie Rosi-Schumacher, Flute

Michael Fede, Clarinet

Michael Century, Piano

Robert Boardman, Conductor


Maurice Ravel, La Valse orchestral work arranged for 2 pianos (1920)

Michael Century, Piano 1

Young Kim, Piano 2


Performers:  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

MeiXing Dong, First Year Science

Maya Nath, Sophomore, Materials Engineering

Nora Rogers, First Year Engineering

Fabian Hough, Sophomore, Design, Innovation and Society

Mattie Rosi-Schumacher, Sophomore, Biology

Michael Fede, Senior, Aeronautical Engineering

Samuel Clapp, PhD Student, Architectural Acoustics

Katie Farris, Graduate Student, Environmental Engineering

Lina Bagepalli, Junior, Biology

Krista Parran, Senior Biomedical Engineering

Robert Boardman, D.M.A, Conductor Rensselaer Orchestra

Michael Century, Professor of Music and New Media


Performers:  The College of Saint Rose

CeAnn Sarver, Graduate Student, Music Education

Jungtzu Lin, Graduate Student, Music Education

Dequan Yin, Graduate Student, Music Education

Jansen Morehouse, Sophomore, Piano, Music Education

Daniel Milici, Junior, Piano, Music Education

Lok Ng, D.M.A., Adjunct Professor

Evan Mack, D.M.A., Adjunct Professor

Young Kim, D.M.A., Assistant Professor of Piano


Young Kim is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Piano program at the College of Saint Rose.  A Steinway Artist, Dr. Kim has performed internationally as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras, in addition to appearing numerous times as a chamber musician.  Critics praise her as "a pianist who is truly passionate, sensitive, and musical… an extremely polished, expressive, and vibrant pianist. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Minnesota, an Artist Diploma from Yale University, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School, and her Bachelor of Music from Seoul National University. For more information, see Young Kim's website at www.pianistyoungkim.com


Michael Century is Professor of New Media and Music in the Arts Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which he joined in 2002.  Musically at home in classical, contemporary, and improvisational settings, Century has enjoyed a varied career as university teacher, new media researcher, inter-arts producer, and arts policy maker. He studied piano with Reginald Godden in Toronto, where he received his artist diploma from the Royal Conservatory, and his academic degrees are in musicology, from the Universities of Toronto and California at Berkeley.   Most recently, his musical passion is playing the accordion.


Notes on the Program by Michael Century

Debussy's "three symphonic sketches for orchestra" depict oceanscapes seen from the French seacoast and the English Channel.  They are named "From dawn to noon on the sea", "Play of the waves", and "Dialogue of the wind and the sea".  In this arrangement for two pianos, Debussy's masterful orchestration is lost but the lush harmonies and startling rhythmic invention come through with great clarity.

Québecois composer Claude Vivier was born in 1948 and studied piano and composition in Montreal, where his principal teacher was Gilles Tremblay, and later in Germany with Karlheinz Stockhausen. In 1976 he traveled extensively in the Orient, and spent considerable time in Bali.  Pulau Dewata (blessed isle) shows some influence of Balinese gamelan, and also the bold originality and simplicity of Vivier's mature style.  He was just gaining an important international reputation when he was tragically murdered in Paris in 1983.

American composer Morton Feldman, 1926-1987, was especially noted for quiet works with open durations and sparse harmonies.  This piano quartet was the first of his compositions that leaves the duration of sounds open to the performer's choice.  Some notes are silently depressed, producing sympathetic resonances; all are indicated as "soft as possible", with a "minimum of attack".  The phase patterns of this piece anticipate in some ways subsequent canon-based pieces by minimalists such as Steve Reich.

Lars Erik Rosell was 27 when he composed his "Homage to Terry Riley" in 1970.  The Swedish composer was influenced by Riley's visit to Stockholm in 1967, where the American spent a month's residency at the The Royal College of Music.  The form of the piece reflects Riley's landmark early minimalist style, notably In C, giving each of the three pianos a set of motivic patterns to repeat ad lib.

 The Emperor Waltz is one of Johann Strauss's most popular compositions.  It was arranged for septet by Austrian modernist master Arnold Schoenberg in 1925.  During the 1920s, Schoenberg was the director of a Viennese concert series, the Society for Private Music Performances (Verein für Musikalische Privataufführungen), dedicated to carefully rehearsed presentation of modern music;  this unusual popular arrangement is one of several made by Schoenberg and his students, Berg and Webern. 

Ravel composed La Valse as a loving, yet in some ways twisted tribute to the passing of the era of 19th century bourgeois elegance and refinement.  As composer George Benjamin has written, "[w]hether or not it was intended as a metaphor for the predicament of European civilization in the aftermath of the Great War, its one-movement design plots the birth, decay and destruction of a musical genre: the waltz".


Image credit: The Great Wave at Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai

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