2016 Performances

Karen with director Aiste Ptakauske

NOTHING IS FOREVER: AMERICAN VIOLINIST AND LITHUANIAN DIRECTOR FOSTER DISCUSSION AROUND CLIMATE CHANGE

On December 10, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. American violinist and violist Karen Bentley Pollick and Lithuanian director Aiste Ptakauske will invite Lithuanian audiences to the Central Library of Vilnius City Municipality at Zirmunu 6, Vilnius, to take part in an artistic adventure dedicated to climate change and called Nothing is Forever.

Nothing is Forever is a part of the global Climate Change Theater Action – a series of worldwide readings and performances in support of the United Nations Paris Climate Conference taking place November 30 – December 11, 2015. The Climate Change Theater Action is intended to bring awareness to, and foster discussion around, climate change during the months of November and December 2015. A collection of short plays, poems and songs by 50 writers from all six livable continents has been made available to artists worldwide. Five works from this collection will be presented in Lithuanian in Vilnius, Lithuania, on December 10, 2015: Hanami by Naomi Iizuka (USA), Mother by Chantal Bilodeau (USA/Canada), Gust (The Hurricane Song) by Greencard Wedding (USA), Prayer by Angella J. Emruwon (Uganda), and Finale by Kendra Fanconi (Canada). These dramatic dialogues will be framed by live violin and viola solos from “Fratres” by Arvo Pärt (Estonia), “Mont Ararat” by Dominique de Williencourt (France), “Careless Whisper” by Andrew Ridgeley (USA), and “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” by Sholom Secunda (USA).

“I appreciate every chance to sustain and strengthen relationships with my inspiring colleagues whom I’ve been lucky to meet and work with in different parts of the world”, says director Aiste Ptakauske. “Nothing is Forever is a wonderful proof how an artist can be a part of the global community despite of all geopolitical distances. I’m very much looking forward to this opportunity to introduce to Lithuanian audiences new authors that are well known in their countries, but have not yet been produced in Lithuania”.

Aiste Ptakauske is an experience designer who successfully works across different media and continents. She published a collection of short stories, two novels, and a Lithuanian translation of Leonard Cohen’s novel Beautiful Losers, wrote scripts for theater, film, and television in Lithuania and abroad, directed site-specific concert opera Everardo II, King of Lithuania, and made Ethnic Kitchen, an internationally distinguished documentary about immigrant women in Lithuania.

Karen Bentley Pollick studied with Camilla Wicks in San Francisco, and with Yuval Yaron, Josef Gingold, and Rostislav Dubinsky at Indiana University, where she received both Bachelors and Masters of Music Degrees in Violin Performance. Her recordings of original music include Electric Diamond, Angel, Konzerto and Succubus,and Ariel View, for which she has received three music awards from Just Plain Folks, including Best Instrumental Album and Best Song. Karen has toured with the New York Philharmonic, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, the Bolshoi Ballet and Barbra Streisand, and has recorded with the Dave Matthews Band and Evanescence as well as numerous film scores at Skywalker Ranch. A current resident of Vilnius, Karen says she’s mesmerized by the music tradition in Lithuania and dreams of playing a program consisting solely of works by Lithuanian composers.

“In my native California we’ve been very concerned with ecological issues since I was born”, Karen Bentley Pollick explains. “Nothing is Forever will present a variety of ethnicities and cultural traditions that are all concerned with the same issues of climate change. My hope is that Lithuanians will walk away from this presentation realizing that it truly is a small world after all and that we’re all in this together”.

February 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Warren Miller Performing Arts Center

Big Sky, Montana

Opera:  The Dybbuk by Ofer Ben-Amots

Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet, Soprano

Kliment Krylovskiy, Clarinet

Karen Bentley Pollick, Violin

Sally Guenther, Cello

Debra Ayers, Piano

Ofer Ben-Amots, Percussion

Sunday, February 28, 2016

1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Valse Cafe Orchestra at Century Ballroom in Seattle, Washington

Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Chapel of Good Shepherd Center in Seattle, Washington

The Space Between Us, for 8 strings, and robotic percussion instruments by David A. Jaffe

Lafayette String Quartet

Karen Bentley Pollick & Heather Bentley, Violins

Steve Creswell, Viola

Brian Wharton, Cello

Andrew Schloss, Percussion

Trimpin, Sound Sculptor

 

 

June 24 & 25, 2016

Z Space in San Francisco, California

They Will Have Been So Beautiful - song cycle for Electro-Acoustic Band and vocalist, Amy X Neuburg with commissioned works by: Lisa Bielawa, Jay Cloidt, Conrad Cummings, Paul Dresher, Fred Frith, Guillermo Galindo, Carla Kihlstedt, Amy X Neuburg, Ken Ueno, and Pamela Z.

Review by Giacomo Fiore in San Francisco Classical Voice

 

Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Tytuvenai Festival, Lithuania

World Premiere of David A. Jaffe‘s Violin Concerto “How Did It Get So Late So Soon?” (2016)

Karen Bentley Pollick, Violin

Lithuanian National Opera & Ballet Theatre Orchestra

Robertas Šervenikas, Conductor

Live concert video of World Premiere

“How Did it Get So Late So Soon?”,  for violinist Karen Bentley Pollick and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maestro Robertas Šervenikas, is a musing on time folding back on itself, in homage of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, whose wildly creative illustrations and texts inspired the melodic shapes and satirical overtones of the work. This twenty-five minute concerto is scored for violin and chamber orchestra with strings and winds. It is the latest in a series of works exploring non-linear perception and connection.  Earlier such compositions include “The Space Between Us” for eight strings, Trimpin percussion and radiodrum (2011); “Quiet Places” for string quartet (1996); and “Dybbuk” for chamber ensemble (1980).  

 

It also continues my interest in exploring the dynamic created when diverse highly-contrasting elements are combined. The proposed work superimposes, melds and abstracts two distinct folk traditions: Yiddish and American folk musics.  It recalls the cognitive overlay of my immigrant grandparents, three of whom were born in Vilnius, Lithuania, which they referred to by its Yiddish name, “Vilna”. The concerto form lends itself to an exploration of this domain through the foreground/background shifting focus of soloist and orchestra, as well as through the rich orchestral palette of timbre. 

 

The title comes from the poem “How did it get so late so soon?” by political cartoonist and beloved children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss). It refers to the overlay of memory upon itself, time fading, and associations extending in all directions. Triggered by perhaps nothing more than a smell, thought or feeling, these connections reverberate across generations and continents.

 

Its three movements contain references to folk songs from the Great Depression of the 1930s, songs of struggle with uncanny relevance to the contemporary world. The piece is an homage to Geisel, whose satirical creations included the megalomaniacal tyrant Yertle the Turtle, the inflexible narcissistic Zax pair,  the status-craving xenophobic Sneetches and the corrupt opportunist who preys on their fears. 

 

The work is to be premiered by violinist Karen Bentley Pollick, conductor Robertas Šervenikas and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra.  Pollick studied at Indiana University with Josef Gingold, joined the Paul Dresher Electro-Acoustic Ensemble (1999) and regularly tours her solo contemporary music recitals.  Šervenikas studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, joined the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (1993) and served as its Second Conductor. He received the Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Prize (2005) and was appointed Music Director of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (2008).

David A. Jaffe’s over ninety works, which combine American folk music with other contrasting elements, have been presented by the San Francisco Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and in 26 countries, including at the Berlin Festival, the American Festival (London), the Venice Biennale, and the ISCM Warsaw Autumn Festival.  He has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, Chanticleer, Cello Octet Amsterdam, the Lafayette String Quartet, and many others. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stanford University and has taught composition at Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of California at San Diego and Melbourne University. His music has been released on 11 CDs, by Elektra/Asylum, Wergo, and other labels.  Also a computer music expert, the depth of his knowledge was tapped by Steve Jobs, who hired him to create the “Music Kit” for the NeXT Computer. Please visit jaffe.com.

 

Article about roots and inspirations in David Jaffe’s Violin Concerto by Aiste Ptakauske in The Baltic Times

 

 

Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Permainu Muzika/Music of Changes Festival

Klaipeda, Lithuania

Klaipėdos koncertų salėŠaulių g. 36

Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity 2016

Live concert demo video

Music by Ole Saxe, Žibuoklė MartinaitytėLoreta Narvilaitė, 

Gediminas Gelgotas, David A. Jaffe, Dominique de Williencourt

Randall Woolf, Ayal Adler, Neil Rolnick & Brian C. Moon

Videos by Ole Saxe, Philip Van Keuren, Donatas Bielkauskas, Evaldas Arlauskas,  

 Fred Kolouch, Mary Harron & John C. Walsh, Stuart Diamond, 

John J.A. Jannone with The Night Bears, and Aistė Ptakauskė

International new music violinist Karen Bentley Pollick debuts at the “Music of Changes” festival with a diverse program merging music and videos from Sweden, Lithuania, France, Lebanon, Israel and America. The imaginative interaction of imagery and music will be wide ranging.
The social consciousness of Ole Saxe’s ‘Užupis Constitution Song’ lies in contrast to Brian Moon’s lamentation ‘Duetto con Bobik’, featuring the vocals of Karen’s beloved, yet deceased beagle merged with camerawork by her current hound dog on the cobblestones of Vilnius. Ethereal Baltic harmonies haunt Žibuoklė Martinaitytė’s ‘Serenity Diptychs’, as well as Loreta Narvilaitė’s effervescent ‘The Wave Follows the Bird’s Flight’ and Gediminas Gelgotas’ wintry tribute to Anykščiai in ‘To the Skies’. In ’Cluck Old Hen Variations’, David A. Jaffe merges Paganini with bluegrass fiddling style. Neil Rolnick’s jazz infused ’Fiddle Faddle’ is supplemented with visuals filmed at LRT Studios with a neon bow. Dominique de Williencourt’s soulfully evocative ‘Mont Ararat’ simulates a duo of duduks on scordatura viola. Randall Woolf’s thought provoking music is featured in the film ‘Beirut is a House of Many Rooms’. Israeli spectral composer Ayal Adler contributes ’Contrasts in Time’, an intense interaction of colors – both in sight and sound.
For several years now Bentley Pollick has shared her time between Vilnius and Evergreen, Colorado (USA), pursuing an active career as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as producing various projects in the U.S. and elsewhere. Her unabating thirst for new music, “keen sense for gleaning quality in experimental music and giving these scores their rightful due” (Michael Huebner, Birmingham News) characterizes Bentley Pollick as a highly gifted and creative performer, equally adroit on the violin and viola. Being open to new experiences and social life, she may frequently be seen attending diverse cultural events and collaborating with various artists from across disciplines. In her work, like in Adler’s piece ‘Contrasts in Time’, she has unchangeably and remarkably displayed an intense interaction of colors ‒ both in sight and sound.

 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity 2016

SPECTRUMNYC

121 Ludlow, Second Floor, New York City

Essex stop on J, M and Z trains; Delancey stop on F Train

Similar program as September 22 in Klaipeda

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 11 & Saturday, November 12, 2016

Boulder & Broomfield, Colorado

Veterans are free both days!

Tickets available here: http://www.boulderchamberorchestra.com/new-page-3/.

$35 General Admission, $15 Student, and $5 Kids. 

US Premiere of David A. Jaffe‘s Violin Concerto “How Did It Get So Late So Soon?” (2016)

Karen Bentley Pollick, Violin

Boulder Chamber Orchestra

Bahman Saless, Conductor

Preview article in Boulder Daily Camera

Article about roots and inspirations in David Jaffe’s Violin Concerto by Aiste Ptakauske in The Baltic Times

 Video of World Premiere at Tytuvenai Festival in Lithuania, August 27, 2016

Review of US Premiere with Boulder Chamber Orchestra on Sharps & Flatirons

“How Did it Get So Late So Soon?”,  for violinist Karen Bentley Pollick and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maestro Robertas Šervenikas, is a musing on time folding back on itself, in homage of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, whose wildly creative illustrations and texts inspired the melodic shapes and satirical overtones of the work. This twenty-five minute concerto is scored for violin and chamber orchestra with strings and winds. It is the latest in a series of works exploring non-linear perception and connection.  Earlier such compositions include “The Space Between Us” for eight strings, Trimpin percussion and radiodrum (2011); “Quiet Places” for string quartet (1996); and “Dybbuk” for chamber ensemble (1980).  

 

It also continues my interest in exploring the dynamic created when diverse highly-contrasting elements are combined. The proposed work superimposes, melds and abstracts two distinct folk traditions: Yiddish and American folk musics.  It recalls the cognitive overlay of my immigrant grandparents, three of whom were born in Vilnius, Lithuania, which they referred to by its Yiddish name, “Vilna”. The concerto form lends itself to an exploration of this domain through the foreground/background shifting focus of soloist and orchestra, as well as through the rich orchestral palette of timbre. 

 

The title comes from the poem “How did it get so late so soon?” by political cartoonist and beloved children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss). It refers to the overlay of memory upon itself, time fading, and associations extending in all directions. Triggered by perhaps nothing more than a smell, thought or feeling, these connections reverberate across generations and continents.

 

Its three movements contain references to folk songs from the Great Depression of the 1930s, songs of struggle with uncanny relevance to the contemporary world. The piece is an homage to Geisel, whose satirical creations included the megalomaniacal tyrant Yertle the Turtle, the inflexible narcissistic Zax pair,  the status-craving xenophobic Sneetches and the corrupt opportunist who preys on their fears. 

 

The work was premiered by violinist Karen Bentley Pollick, conductor Robertas Šervenikas and the Lithuanian National Opera & Ballet Orchestra on the final concert of Tytuvenai Festival on August 27, 2016.  Pollick studied at Indiana University with Josef Gingold, joined the Paul Dresher Electro-Acoustic Ensemble (1999) and regularly tours her solo contemporary music recitals.  Šervenikas studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, joined the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (1993) and served as its Second Conductor. He received the Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Prize (2005) and was appointed Music Director of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (2008).

David A. Jaffe’s over ninety works, which combine American folk music with other contrasting elements, have been presented by the San Francisco Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and in 26 countries, including at the Berlin Festival, the American Festival (London), the Venice Biennale, and the ISCM Warsaw Autumn Festival.  He has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, Chanticleer, Cello Octet Amsterdam, the Lafayette String Quartet, and many others. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stanford University and has taught composition at Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of California at San Diego and Melbourne University. His music has been released on 11 CDs, by Elektra/Asylum, Wergo, and other labels.  Also a computer music expert, the depth of his knowledge was tapped by Steve Jobs, who hired him to create the “Music Kit” for the NeXT Computer. Please visit jaffe.com.

 

 

 

 

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at noon

The Behrend College Logan Wintergarden Series

Erie, Pennsylvania

Paul Dresher Double Duo

Preview article

 

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity 2016

Live concert demo video

Seattle, Washington

Chapel of Good Shepherd Center

4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, 4th Floor

corner of 50th Street in Wallingford

$ 5 – 15 sliding scale

International new music violinist Karen Bentley Pollick returns to Seattle after recent performances at the “Music of Changes” festival  in Klaipeda, Lithuania and SPECTRUMNYC with a diverse program fusing music and videos from Lithuania, France, Lebanon, Israel and America. To celebrate the interplay between light and dark during the longest night of the year, the visuals will evolve from black and white diptychs and grey scale pen and ink drawings, to a kaleidoscope of abstract colors, desert and Martian landscapes, and cityscapes in Beirut and Vilnius.

Ethereal Baltic harmonies haunt Žibuoklė Martinaitytė’s ‘Serenity Diptychs’.  Israeli spectral composer Ayal Adler contributes ’Contrasts in Time’, an intense interaction of colors – both in sight and sound.  In ’Cluck Old Hen Variations’, David A. Jaffe merges Paganini with bluegrass fiddling style.  Dominique de Williencourt’s soulfully evocative ‘Mont Ararat’ simulates a duo of duduks on scordatura viola. ‘Hooked to the Silver Screen’ by Daniel Felsenfeld is an homage to David Bowie’s video ‘Life on Mars’, with the plaintive viola solo mirroring the meanderings of Rover questing for a mate.  Randall Woolf’s thought provoking music is featured in the film ‘Beirut is a House of Many Rooms’.  Brian Moon’s lamentation ‘Duetto con Bobik’ features the vocals of Karen’s beloved, yet deceased beagle merged with camerawork by her current hound dog Fella on the cobblestones of Vilnius.

For several years now Bentley Pollick has shared her time between Vilnius and Evergreen, Colorado, pursuing an active career as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as producing various projects in the U.S. and elsewhere. Her unabating thirst for new music, “keen sense for gleaning quality in experimental music and giving these scores their rightful due” (Michael Huebner, Birmingham News) characterizes Bentley Pollick as a highly gifted and creative performer, equally adroit on the violin and viola. Being open to new experiences and social life, she may frequently be seen attending diverse cultural events and collaborating with various artists from across disciplines. In Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity she covers a wide range of imaginative interactions between imagery and music.

 

Facebook Event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1846549885602786/Program notes online:
http://www.kbentley.com/violin-viola-video-virtuosity-2016/