UCSC to present Pacific Rim Festival April 2-30 featuring works of over 40 distinguished composers

UC Santa Cruz will present the work of more than 40 distinguished composers April 2-30 at the 2003 Pacific Rim Music Festival, a month-long international celebration of the contemporary music of the Pacific Rim.

The festival will include 12 performances of seven different programs that will take place at the Music Center Recital Hall on the UC Santa Cruz campus, as well as at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center, the Julia Morgan Theatre in Berkeley, and the Mondavi Center at UC Davis.

It will additionally feature lectures and symposia spotlighting the rich traditions and new musical directions emanating from the countries that make up the Pacific Rim.

The festival kicks off on April 2 with a celebration of the 80th birthday of renowned Chinese composer Chou Wen-Chung, featuring a performance of his composition Windswept Peaks. The concert will also include works by his colleagues, friends, and students--including Edgard Varese, Isang Yun, Joji Yuasa, Chinary Ung, and Hi Kyung Kim--performed by the New Music Ensemble of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, conducted by Nicole Paiement.

On April 4, in a program titled "Chou Wen-Chung's Distinguished Disciples," the Empyrean Ensemble of UC Davis will also honor him with works performed by seven of his distinguished student composers, including James Tenney, Bright Sheng, and Chen Yi.

Pulitzer-prize winning composer Shulamit Ran will present a pre-lecture talk as a prelude to a dynamic program of works by female composers titled "World Women in Music Today" on April 23 at UC Santa Cruz (also on 4/24 at Yerba Buena and 4/25 at UC Davis). The Parallele Ensemble, conducted by Nicole Paiement, and guest artists Aeri Ji (Korean kayakeum) and Ju-Sun Cho (Korean Pansori singer) will perform works by two of Korea's major composers, Chan-Hae Lee and and Young-Ja Lee. This event, presented in collaboration with the International Women Composers' Festival of Seoul and the Korean Society of Women Composers, will be cohosted by UC Santa Cruz Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood and Korean Consul-General Jong-Hun Kim.

Fulbright Scholar and UC Santa Cruz music professor Hi Kyung Kim, the artistic director of the festival, said that master percussionist and dancer Eun-Ha Park has just been added to the April 23-25 program. Park is currently a member of the Percussion Ensemble at the National Center for Korean Performing Arts.

"All of the Korean performers are the best of their generation and are fantastic performers," Kim noted. "And Park is the only woman in Korea who is a master of both dance and drumming," she added.

Other highlights of the festival include the premiere of Terry Riley's new piece, Tres Cosas Que No Nos Animamos a Hablar on April 9, and an evening of solo piano by acclaimed Canadian recording artist Eve Egoyan as the final event on April 30, in a program titled "Northwest Passages," sponsored by Japan-Canada Fund Commissions.

Kim noted that the April 23 event will be presented in honor of the Korean Immigration Centennial Celebration, marking the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States.

"We would like to show peace through music," Kim said. "It's a very meaningful concert. The ultimate goal that we would like to achieve through this festival is to establish a Pacific Rim Foundation and Korean Music Center at UC Santa Cruz."

Kim added that the festival will also be dedicated to the memory of composer Lou Harrison, who passed away on February 2. Harrison's compositions will be presented on April 11 in the "New Music Works" program, and also on April 16 in the "Percussion Ensemble and Chamber Works" concert.

"When I was in Korea, people talked about Lou Harrison's death because he was the first Westerner to come to Korea and study traditional Korean music," Kim said." His contribution to Asian music in collaboration with Western and 20th-century music is really remarkable."

The 2003 Pacific Rim Music Festival is presented by the UC Santa Cruz Music Department in association with the BluePrint Festival, American Composers Forum (San Francisco Bay Area Chapter), and the UC Davis Music Department.

For more information or to order tickets, call the UC Santa Cruz Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159 or go to http://pacificrim.ucsc.edu.