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“PRAYERS AND PREMIERES”
The Santa Barbara Music Club continues its 2022-2023 season of beautiful classical music on Saturday, May 6, 3 PM, at First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu. Admission is free.
The Santa Barbara Music Club is widely acclaimed for offering programs of both new or seldom-heard works as well as more traditional music; this program is no exception, and features not one but two premiere performances.
The concert opens with the soprano Kyra Folk-Farber and pianist Bridget Hough presenting composer John Villar’s evocative song cycle, Prayer for Earth (2020), followed by composer Eric Valinsky’s dance-inspired Divertissements (2023), with the composer at the piano.
The program concludes with three attractively diverse works for oboe and piano, performed by Adelle Rodkey and Eric Valinsky: the poignant Soliloquy: Hommage à Edvard Grieg by Luke Mayernik (b. 1981), the light-hearted Idillio Concertino in F Major, Op.15 by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948), and the improvisational Fantasie-Pastorale by Eugene Bozza (1905-1991).
Kyra Folk-Farber, soprano, is originally from Vancouver, Canada. She has sung operatic roles and concert performances across North America and Europe, and especially enjoys her collaboration with composers. She has been soloist under the batons of Paul McReesh, Kent Nagano, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and has been featured soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Tel Aviv Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Specializing in new music, she has premiered works by Ori Barel, Hans Christian Détlefsen, José Evangelista, and John Villar, and has also performed Yiddish songs at music festivals such as Ashkenaz and Chutzpah! Dr. Folk-Farber holds a B.M. Degree from the New England Conservatory, a D.M.A. from Université de Montréal, and a Master’s of Information from the University of Toronto. Kyra is currently Associate Dean of Library & Learning Resources at CSU Channel Islands.
Bridget Hough, pianist, is a versatile pianist, equally at home in solo, chamber and duo repertoire, she is regularly engaged for recording projects, competitions, and performances. A piano student of Paul Berkowitz, Robert Koenig, and Betty Oberacker, she has been an invited pianist for summer festivals, including SongFest at the Colburn School (Los Angeles), Schubert-Institut (Austria), and the prestigious Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, where she was a fellow for two seasons. She earned her B.M. Degree summa cum laude and her D.M.A. Degree from UCSB. In demand as a sensitive collaborator, Bridget has played for master classes conducted by Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Leonidas Kavakos, Alan Smith, and the Emerson and St. Lawrence String Quartets. Dr. Hough is committed to new music, and has premiered works by many contemporary composers, including Tom Cipullo, Juliana Hall, Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, Thea Musgrave, John Musto and John Villar.
Adelle Rodkey, oboist, earned her Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Pedagogy, magna cum laude, from Wheaton Conservatory of Music (Illinois), where she studied with Carl Sonik. A native of Santa Barbara, she had studied oboe with Anne Anderson and piano with Lana Bodnar and Marilyn Clemons. Honors accorded her include the President’s Award from Wheaton College as well as awards from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Pillsbury Foundation. As a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Adelle teaches private lessons in both oboe and piano, and is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Music at Westmont College. In her words, “I love conveying my passion for music to my students, whether it’s a five-year-old’s first introduction to music or adding a new layer of understanding to a college student’s musical experience. Sometimes balancing my three musical loves – oboe, piano, and choir – can be a challenge, but one that I willingly undertake.”
Eric Valinsky, composer and pianist, is President of the Santa Barbara Music Club. A native Manhattanite who has maintained dual careers in music and computer systems architecture, he was educated at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois, earning his D.M.A. in Music Composition from Columbia University. He studied composition with Walter Aschaffenburg, Jack Beeson, Salvatore Martirano, and Darius Milhaud, piano with Emil Danenberg and Sara Crawford Drogheo, and conducting with Harold Farberman. He was Music Director and Composer-in-Residence for The Storie-Crawford Dance Theatre Ensemble, Danny Buraczeski’s Jazzdance, Uris Bahr and Dancers, and New American Ballet Ensemble as well as Composer-in-Residence for The Rachel Harms Dance Company, Opera Uptown, and the Dance Department at City College of New York, among others. Dr. Valinsky is Music Director for the American Dance & Music Performance Group, and moonlights as founder and partner of Inlineos LLC, a strategic Internet consulting company.
John Villar, composer, has had his instrumental and vocal works performed in venues across the United States, ranging from the Hammer Theatre Center in San Jose, California to the National Opera Center in New York City, the latter featuring the premiere of his Serenata bajo la luna performed by mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna, guitarist Francisco Roldán, and pianist Max Lifchitz. John Villar is a graduate of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, having studied there with Ellis Kohs and Robert Linn, and thereafter studying privately with William Kraft and Mario Pelusi.
His compositions range in scope from solo pieces to works for large orchestra, and in style from atonal to tonal. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Nimbus Ensemble, and is currently at work on a set of symphonic variations.
Santa Barbara Music Club concerts display a wonderful diversity of historical musical periods and compositional styles, including beloved masterworks and exciting new and seldom-heard repertoire.
Of the series, the Santa Barbara Independent exclaimed: “A beautiful day, a beautiful room, beautiful music … who could ask for more?” and Gerald Carpenter in Noozhawk.com declared, “Every Santa Barbara Music Club concert that I have ever attended has been a sensory joy as well as a consciousness expansion.”
A valued cultural resource in the community since 1969, the Music Club’s mission is threefold:
(1) Presentation of an annual series of concerts, free to the public.
(2) Aiding and encouraging musical education by the disbursement of scholarships to talented local music students.
(3) Presentation of community outreach activities, including bringing great music to residents of area retirement homes.
For information on this or other Santa Barbara Music Club programs and performing artists, visit SBMusicClub.org.
For the health and safety of our audience and performers:
Masks are required and must cover both nose and mouth. Social distancing is required.