Wooden Fish Ensemble
Thomas Schultz, piano
Terrie Baune, violin
Ellen Ruth Rose, viola
Sarah Hong, cello
Hyo-shin Na Weaving Variations for violin and viola (2020)
Hyo-shin Na Quadrangle of Light for violin, viola, cello, and piano (2021) World Premiere
Morton Feldman Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello (1987)
The San Francisco based Wooden Fish Ensemble present concerts featuring music and musicians from a variety of cultural and national backgrounds working together in a collaborative way. The Ensemble has performed concerts of traditional music from Asia alongside new music by a diverse group of composers that includes John Cage, Christian Wolff, Frederic Rzewski, Morton Feldman, Hyo-shin Na, and Walter Zimmermann, with numerous world premieres. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Ensemble will perform the music of Korean-American and San Francisco resident Hyo-shin Na, and the last composition of the American master Morton Feldman—his 75-minute long work Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello. The program includes the World Premiere of Na’s Quadrangle of Light.
Thomas Schultz has established an international reputation both as an interpreter of music from the classical tradition – particularly Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt – and as one of the leading exponents of the music of our time. Among his recent engagements are solo recitals in New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Paris, Ghent, Seoul, Taipei and Kyoto, and at the Schoenberg Festival in Vienna, the Piano Spheres series in Los Angeles, Korea’s Tongyoung Festival, the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento and the April in Santa Cruz Festival. From 2004 to 2011 he gave a series of six recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, playing repertoire ranging from major works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Chopin to rarely heard music by Schoenberg, Rzewski, Cage and Na. He has also given recitals in New York at Bargemusic and the Goethe Institute. He has appeared as a soloist at the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, and in chamber music performances with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Da Camera Society of Houston, Robert Craft’s 20th Century Classics Ensemble and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. In 2005, 2010, 2014, and 2017 he gave masterclasses on the piano music of the Second Viennese School at the Schoenberg Center in Vienna and in 2016 gave performances of the complete solo works of Schoenberg in Vienna, San Francisco, Seoul and Taegu, Korea. Beginning in the summer of 2018, he is giving an annual series of masterclasses for young artists at Stanford University.
His recitals are notable for programming that celebrates the continuing vitality of the piano repertoire, juxtaposing the old and the new. He has worked closely with such eminent composers as Cage, Feldman, Wolff, Rzewski, Earle Brown, Jonathan Harvey, Hyo-shin Na and Elliott Carter (in performances of the Double Concerto at the Colorado Music Festival and at Alice Tully Hall in New York). Since 2002, Schultz has included in his recitals works written especially for him by Frederic Rzewski (The Babble, 2003), Christian Wolff (Touch, 2002; Long Piano, 2005), Hyo-shin Na (Rain Study, 1999; Walking, Walking, 2003; Sea Wind, 2010), Walter Zimmermann (AIMIDE, 2001/02), and Boudewijn Buckinx (The Floating World, 2004; Romancing the World, 2005). In 2012 – John Cage’s centennial year – Schultz was Artistic Director of the John Cage – 100 Years Festival at Stanford University and played recitals dedicated to Cage’s solo piano music at the festival, at Crown Point Press gallery in San Francisco, and at Bargemusic in NYC.
Schultz’s recording of solo works by Cage was released in 2018 on the Mode label and his recording of Christian Wolff’s Long Piano in 2009 by New World Records. Additional solo CDs, (a double cd of the Goldberg Variations of Bach and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated, a cd of works written for him by Buckinx and Wolff, a cd of the complete solo works of Schoenberg, and recordings of music by Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Satie and Busoni) are on the Wooden Fish label. His recordings of works by the Korean composer Hyo-shin Na on CDs from the New World, Seoul and TopArt labels have received special recognition. Schultz’s recording of Stravinsky’s Concerto for Two Solo Pianos is on the MusicMasters label and he can be heard in chamber works of Earle Brown on a Newport Classics recording.
Schultz’s musical studies were with John Perry, Leonard Stein and Philip Lillestol. He has been a member of the piano faculty at Stanford University since 1994.
Terrie Baune is concertmaster of the Eureka Symphony and the North State Symphony, and co-concertmaster of the Oakland Symphony. She is a member of the professional new-music ensembles Earplay and New Music Works, and she is the associate director of the Humboldt Chamber Music Workshop at Humboldt State University.
Terrie’s professional credits include four years as a member of the National Symphony of Washington DC and two years as a member of the Auckland Philharmonia of New Zealand, where she also performed with the Gabrielli Trio, a New Zealand National Ensemble. She has held concertmaster positions with the Fresno Philharmonic, the Santa Cruz County Symphony, and the Rohnert Park Symphony, and has performed as concertmaster with many other orchestras including the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, El Paso Opera, the Santa Rosa Symphony, and the Vallejo Symphony.
For over twenty years Terrie was concertmaster of The Women’s Philharmonic, during which time she participated in over a hundred premieres, made several recordings, including one as soloist in the Maddalena Lombardini Violin Concerto No. 5, and performed as soloist in the world premiere of Chen Yi’s Chinese Folk Dance Suite for Violin and Orchestra, a piece commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation and written for her and the WP. Well known for her work with living composers, Terrie has had solo pieces written for her by Pablo Ortiz, Richard Festinger, Ross Bauer, and many other composers.
Terrie graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree, having won the Oberlin Concerto Competition and Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. She attended summer programs in Taos, New Mexico and received a full fellowship to the Aspen Festival. She has taught violin, viola and chamber music as well as string pedagogy at Stanislaus State University and Sonoma State University, and does private teaching and chamber music coaching in Northern California.
Violist Ellen Ruth Rose enjoys a varied career as a soloist, ensemble musician, and teacher with a strong interest the music of our times. She is a member of Empyrean Ensemble, the flagship new music ensemble in residence at UC Davis, Eco, Ensemble, the professional new music ensemble at UC Berkeley, and Earplay, the San Francisco-based contemporary ensemble where she also serves as artistic coordinator, fostering new works and programs for one of the Bay Area’s leading sextets. She has performed as soloist with the West German Radio Chorus, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Santa Cruz New Music Works, the Diablo Symphony, the symphony orchestras of UC Davis and Berkeley, the UC Davis Chorus, at the San Francisco Other Minds and Ojai Music festivals, and at Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles. In the 1990s, she worked extensively throughout Europe with Frankfurt’s Ensemble Modern and the Cologne experimental ensembles Musik Fabrik and Thürmchen Ensemble, appearing at the Cologne Triennial, Berlin Biennial, Salzburg Zeitfluß, Brussels Ars Nova, Venice Biennial, Budapest Autumn and Kuhmo (Finland) festivals.
Over the past several years she has collaborated with, premiered and recorded works by numerous composers, many from Northern California, including Pablo Ortiz (Le vrai tango argentin, for solo viola, 2001; The viola in the motorcycle boy’s life, for viola and marimba, 2009), Kurt Rohde (Double Trouble, a double viola chamber concerto, 2002; Double-Franken-Trouble-Stein, for two amplified violas and orchestra, 2011; Oracle Reach/Orakelreichweite, for solo viola 2018), Laurie San Martin (Diva!, for viola quartet 2003), Linda Bouchard (4LN, for viola, percussion and electronics, 2008; Bref, for alto flute and viola, 2015), Edmund Campion (Melt me with thy delicious numbers, for viola and live electronics, 2003), Cindy Cox (Turner, for viola and piano, 2008), Ursula Kwong-Brown (Reflections on Rothko, for viola, live electronics and video, 2116), Mark Winges (Diverted Vignettes for solo viola, 2012; Night Voiced for viola and piano, 2011; Night Voiced for viola and organ, 2011), and Hi-Kyung Kim (Untamed Brush I, for solo viola, 2019).
Rose holds an M.Mus. in viola performance from the Juilliard School, an artist diploma from the Northwest German Music Academy in Detmold, Germany and a B.A. with honors in English and American history and literature from Harvard University. Her viola teachers have included Heidi Castleman, Nobuko Imai, Marcus Thompson, and Karen Tuttle. She currently teaches at UC Davis and UC Berkeley, has taught at the University of the Pacific, the Humboldt Chamber Music Workshop and the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop, and appears often as an adjudicator for competitions of the Northern California Viola Society and the California Youth Symphony.
Cellist Sarah Hong was born in Seoul Korea. She was selected as the most promising young cellist in the nation at the age of 16, her performance broadcast nationwide by KBS. She made her New York debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall as a winner of Artists International at the age of 21. As a soloist, she won numerous competitions and has been invited to perform as a guest artist at many festivals including Overseas Korean Festival where she was selected as the most outstanding overseas Korean musician, and at the Seoul International Festival where she premiered ‘Prokofiev Symphonies Concertante’ as this performance was broadcast worldwide by Arirang TV.
Sarah holds both BM and MM degrees from the Juilliard School and an Artist Certificate in Chamber music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers were Zara Nelsova, Joel Krosnick, Bonnie Hampton, and Mark Sokol.
Sarah lives in Los Altos where she balances a busy career as a chamber musician, collaborative artist, and teacher. Currently, she is a cellist of Le Due Muse (cello & piano duo) with Makiko Ooka, San Francisco Cello Quartet, and Ensemble Ari. As the founder & director of the ‘Phos (φῶς) project’, she organizes a Benefit Concert Series to help support underprivileged children. She teaches special needs cello at AMASE and coaches youth orchestras in the Bay Area.
In Korea Hyo-shin Na has twice been awarded the Korean National Composers Prize (for Western instrumental music & for Korean traditional instrumental music), and in the west she has been commissioned by the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the Argosy Foundation, the W & F Hewlett Foundation, the Elaine and Richard Fohr Foundation, InterMusic SF, the Other Minds Festival, and the Los Angeles International New Music Festival among many others. Her music has been played worldwide by ensembles as varied as the Barton Workshop, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Kronos Quartet, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the National Gugak Center Orchestra of Korea, the Del Sol String Quartet, the Ives Quartet, the Earplay Ensemble, New Music Works, the Pacific Chamber Orchestra and the Korean Traditional Orchestra of the National Theatre among many others. Numerous groups and individual musicians, such as New Music Works in the US, the Barton Workshop in Europe, and the Jeong Ga Ak Hoe Ensemble in Asia have presented portrait concerts devoted solely to her music.
Hyo-shin Na has written for western instruments, and for traditional Korean and Japanese instruments and has written music that combines western and Asian instruments and ways of playing. Her music for traditional Korean instruments is recognized by both composers and performers in Korea (particularly by the younger generation) as being uniquely innovative. Her writing for combinations of western and eastern instruments is unusual in its refusal to compromise the integrity of differing sounds and ideas; she prefers to let them interact, coexist and conflict in the music.
She is the author of the bilingual book Conversations with Kayageum Master Byung-ki Hwang (Pulbit Press, 2001). Her music has been recorded on the Fontec (Japan), Top Arts (Korea), Seoul (Korea) and New World Records (US) labels and has been published in Korea and Australia. Since 2006 her music has been published exclusively by Lantro Music (Belgium).
Na has been awarded ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) PLUS AWARD for 24 years in a row so far (in 2021).
Morton Feldman was born in New York in 1926 and died there in 1987. He identified himself by differentiating his views on composition from those of his colleagues in Europe who, he felt, lacked the freedom to work unfettered by tradition.
Feldman was endowed with a sensitivity for impressions from a wide variety of sources, literature and painting in particular. His affinity to Samuel Beckett enabled two ensemble works and a unique music theatre piece, Neither. His friendship with abstract expressionist painters gave birth to a range of masterpieces, Rothko Chapel, in particular. Even the knotting of oriental rugs gave Feldman musical ideas (The Turfan Fragments).
To the question as to why he preferred soft dynamic levels, he replied:
“- Because when it’s loud, you can’t hear the sound. You hear its attack. Then you don’t hear the sound, only in its decay. And I think that’s essentially what impressed Boulez. That he heard a sound, not an attack, emerging and disappearing without attack and decay, almost like an electronic medium.
Also, you have to remember that loud and soft is an aspect of differentiation. And my music is more like a kind of monologue that does not need exclamation point, colon, it does not need…” Feldman also had an intriguing reply when it came to answering the question of why he composed in the first place:
“You know that marvelous remark of Disraeli’s? Unfortunately, he was not a good writer, but if he was a great writer, it would have been a wonderful remark. They asked him why did he begin to write novels. He said because there was nothing to read. (laughs). I felt very much like that in terms of contemporary music. I was not really happy with it…”.