2004-02-13: Icebreaker II


Description of Festival

To increase the artistic exchange between the North European and American new music communities, the Seattle Chamber Players presents a collaborative festival with noted musicians from countries that surround the Baltic Sea. As part of our concert season in a festival format (three concerts in three days), the ensemble will be giving programs of music by living composers from Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. Artistic Advisor to the Seattle Chamber Players and curator of Icebreaker II is musicologist and music producer Dr. Elena Dubinets, who has co-organized several highly-acclaimed contemporary music festivals and conferences in different countries, including the Seattle Chamber Players Icebreaker: New Voices from Russia festival of contemporary Russian music in 2002.

The project has two key components. First, the Seattle Chamber Players will perform music of contemporary composers from all nine countries of the Baltic Sea region; and second, the festival will involve an educational component: a musicological symposium on Baltic music of today. Each of the Baltic Sea countries will send its representatives to the festival. Leading musicologists from these countries will give one-hour presentations about the contemporary music scenes of their countries, and the composers will present their own music in additional one-hour seminars.

Along with the Seattle Chamber Players, whose members belong to the Seattle Symphony and the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts, several soloists will participate in the festival. SCP’s favorite Russian-German pianist Ivan Sokolov, with whom the SCP collaborated at the Icebreaker I and the Shostakovich Uncovered festivals, returns to Seattle for the third time in three years. New York pianist, Marian Lee participated in the ensemble’s extremely successful tour to Russia and Estonia in November 2003. And we will be joined by the unique violinist/violist Karen Bentley Pollick, international guitar soloist Michael Partington, and one of Seattle’s leading choirs, Seattle Pro Musica, under the direction of Karen P.Thomas. Other participating musicians include Valerie Muzzolini, Principal Harp of the Seattle Symphony, Seth Krimsky, Principal Bassoon of the Seattle Symphony, and Jeannie Wells Yablonsky, Seattle Symphony


Seattle Pro Musica, Karen P Thomas (conductor)


Seattle Pro Musica, winner of the Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, is a critically acclaimed choral ensemble, performing under the direction of conductor and artistic director Karen P. Thomas. Seattle Pro Musica is widely considered to be one of the finest ensembles in the Pacific Northwest – The Seattle Times hails it as “one of the Northwest's consistently excellent choral organizations.” Artistic Director and Conductor Karen P. Thomas has an international reputation as both a conductor and composer. Her repertoire includes a wide variety of choral and orchestral music, from Medieval music performed on period instruments to world premieres of new works. Guest conducting engagements have taken her to various locations near and far, including the prestigious Bergen International Music Festival in Norway.

Ivan Sokolov (piano)


Ivan Sokolov graduated from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory as pianist and composer and worked as assistant professor of composition there in 1984-94.

Mr. Sokolov has appeared in recitals and as a soloist with different orchestras in many European countries and in the USA. Being an extraordinary and inspired performer of baroque, classical and romantic music, Mr. Sokolov is one of the major Russian artists committed to the contemporary music world. His extensive contemporary music repertoire includes music by Prokofiev, Schönberg, Shostakovich, Hindemith, Bartók, Stravinsky, Stockhausen, Kagel, Crumb, Feldman, Cage, Boulez and other composers.

Mr. Sokolov is the most prominent and recognized performer of piano and chamber music by the Soviet and contemporary Russian composers. He premiered many works by S. Gubaidulina, V. Silvestrov, E. Denisov, N. Korndorf, A. Raskatov, V. Tarnopolski, F. Karayev, V. Ekimovsky, D. Smirnov, E. Firsova, A. Rabinovitch, and other composers.

In 1995 he made a CD-recording of all Galina Ustvolskaya’s piano works. His other projects include the recordings of compositions by the Russian-Canadian composer Nikolai Korndorf, a recording of the Russian-German Composers’ Quartet, of which he is a member, and many other recordings. He collaborated with such excellent musicians as the cellists Alexander Ivashkin and Natalia Gutman, pianists Marta Argerich and Alexei Lubimov, violinists Tatiana Grindenko and Kolya Blacher, conductors Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Andrey Boreiko as well as with many distinguished Russian and German orchestras.

Since 1979 Mr. Sokolov has performed as a soloist in all major cities of the former Soviet Union and Europe. Since 1986 he has regularly appeared in concerts and festivals for contemporary music, including the Alternativa Festival in Moscow (of which he is one of the founders), the Schleswig-Holstein festival, Almeida Festival London, the Luzerner Festwochen, the Copenhagen Culture festival, and others.

Sokolov made his debut in Seattle with the Seattle Chamber Players at the Icebreaker: Contemporary Russian Music Festival in February 2002, performing ten compositions in three days, and was re-engaged by the ensemble for another appearance in Seattle at the Shostakovich Uncovered festival with chamber music of Shostakovich and his followers, to many of whom Sokolov is a close friend and first and frequent performer of their compositions.

Mr. Sokolov’s own works include pieces for piano, violin, piano trio, orchestra, as well as a miniopera. They have been performed in Moscow and in many other Russian and European cities. In his music, Sokolov experiments with different types of musical expression, including cryptophonic encodings, graphic notational experiments, happenings as well as truly romantic stylistics.

Since 1995 Sokolov has divided his time between Cologne (Germany) and Moscow and has toured all over the world.

Marian Lee (piano)

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, American pianist Marian Lee made her concert debut performing with the Ann Arbor and Flint Symphony Orchestras in Michigan. Soon after, she entered the Juilliard School as a scholarship student receiving Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance under the guidance of Gyorgy Sandor and Seymour Lipkin. In 1991, she was awarded the coveted Fulbright Grant to the former Soviet Union for Professional Studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Naum Shtarkman and most recently, completed her doctoral degree at the Peabody Conservatory of the John Hopkins University with Boris Slutsky.

Marian Lee has performed extensively in Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, South America, and Asia, as well as in major cities throughout the United States. In 1995, Dr. Lee made her New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as winner of the Artists International Award. She has appeared as soloist with the orchestras of the Moscow Sinfonietta, Pacific Ocean Orchestra, Azerbaijan State Philharmonic, Brjansk City Chamber Orchestra, the Reconsil Ensemble, and the Orquestra Filarmonica do Espirito Santo (Brazil). In liaison with the United States Information Agency (USIA), Dr. Lee has performed in Far East Russia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. As a music ambassador for American contemporary music, Dr. Lee performed at the Hermitage Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia and completed a tour of Poland under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and participated in the contemporary music festival of Alternativa 2000 in Moscow. In the New York area, she has also performed with the contemporary music ensembles of Continuum and Music Mobile.

Recently, Dr. Lee won the illustrious Presser Award in Music given by the Presser Foundation and was granted the prestigious IREX (International Research and Exchange) award to conduct research in St. Petersburg, Russia on composer Galina Ustvolskaya for her doctoral dissertation. Currently, Dr. Lee teaches piano at the Town School in New York City.


Michael Partington (guitar)


Michael Partington is one of the most engaging of the new generation of concert players. Praised by Classical Guitar Magazine for his "lyricism, intensity and clear technical command," this award-winning British guitarist has performed internationally as a soloist and with ensemble to unanimous critical praise. Audiences are put at ease by his charming stage manner and captivated by his musical interpretations. His innate rhythmic understanding and sense for tonal colour combine to form some of the most memorable phrasing to be heard on the guitar.

Since moving to the USA he has received awards in several guitar, instrumental and concerto competitions. He has appeared throughout the USA, UK and Scandanavia in solo recital, with orchestra and in chamber ensembles. He has performed along the West Coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver, and in Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Virginia, including the first solo guitar recital in Seattle's Benaroya Hall. Other US performances include the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, the Cascadia Festival, the Chelan Bach Fest, the Northwest Guitar Festival and the Portland Guitar Festival, Town Hall and Meany Theater in Seattle, Portland's Lincoln Hall, Murphy Hall in Los Angeles, Katzin Hall in Phoenix. Concerts in England and Wales have included Blackheath Halls, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St. James', Piccadilly in London. He has released four solo CDs for Rosewood Recordings.

Karen Bentley Pollick (violin/viola)


Karen Bentley Pollick pursues a unique career as a violinist, violist, conductor and pianist. She attended Indiana University where her principal violin teachers were Josef Gingold and Yuval Yaron. Ms. Pollick graduated with a Masters of Music degree in Violin Performance in 1987. Other teachers include Camilla Wicks, Nathan Milstein, Glenn Dicterow and Jean Jacques Kantorow.

She has concertized as soloist throughout the capitals of Europe, Asia, the United States, Canada, and Russia where she performed Vivaldi's Four Seasons and the Beethoven Violin Concerto. She has several recordings of original music including Electric Diamond, Angel, Konzerto and Succubus, Ariel View, and Dancing Suite to Suite. She concertizes with pianist Dmitriy Cogan, with whom she has collaborated for 17 years. She also collaborates with percussionist Ian Dogole of Global Fusion Music in a variety of musical styles merging violin, viola and Norwegian hardingfele with percussion instruments from around the globe. A champion of contemporary music, she has premiered compositions by David Felder, John Halle, Cindy Cox, Stuart Diamond and Bruce Hanifan among others for violin and piano, solo violin, and violin with electronics. Ms. Pollick has toured with the New York Philharmonic and the Bolshoi Ballet and performed in the New Mexico and Seattle Symphonies.

She has been concertmaster of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie Kammerorchester as well as the New York String Orchestra under Alexander Schneider. During the summers she has participated in the June in Buffalo Composers Seminar, the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Olympic Music Festival, the Tanglewood Festival, and the Next Generation Festival in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In the San Francisco Bay Area she was Associate Concertmaster of the Monterey County Symphony and conducted the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra Preparatory Orchestra. She was music director of the PACO Bach Celebration series and has conducted the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra on numerous occasions. Ms. Pollick received a grant from the Community Foundation of Silicon Valley for the world premiere of Swedish composer Ole Saxe’s Dance Suite for Solo Violin in December, 2002 and premiered Mr. Saxe’s Dance Suite for Solo Violin and Orchestra with the Redwood Symphony on April 21, 2002. She will perform John Corigliano's Chaconne from The Red Violin with the Redwood Symphony on June 13, 2004 at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center. She is currently the violinist in Paul Dresher's Electro-Acoustic Band. Her new chamber group The Four Horizons will debut at the University of Pennsylvania and Lebanon Valley College in March, 2004, featuring a world premiere by Penn composer Jay Reise for violin, cello, clarinet and piano.

Matthew Kocmieroski (percussion)

Matthew Kocmieroski is principal percussionist with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. He regularly performs with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, and Northwest Chamber Orchestras and is on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts. In the field of chamber music he served for ten years as artistic director and percussionist of the New Performance Group, was a founding member of Taneko and, currently, Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet. In the Northwest he appears regularly with the Seattle Chamber Players, and has performed at the Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer and Winter Festivals, the Seattle International Chamber Music Festival, the Seattle Spring Festival of Contemporary music, and the Icebreaker Festival of Contemporary Russian Music as well as many other venues locally, around the United States, and abroad. One of the greatest satisfactions Matthew has had is his work with numerous composers on their music and the emergence of a number of new works from these collaborations. This past summer he appeared at the Icicle Creek, the Orcas Island, and the Seattle Chamber Music Society chamber music festivals, and the Bellingham Festival of Music. He may be heard on many recordings of chamber music, orchestral music and on a wide variety of both Major and Independent motion picture soundtracks.

Other musicians performing in the festival:

Valerie Muzzolini - Principal Harp (Seattle Symphony Orchestra)
Seth Krimsky - Principal Bassoon (Seattle Symphony Orchestra)
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky - Violin (Seattle Symphony Orchestra)

Guest Composers

Peter Bruun (Denmark)

Uljas Pulkkis (Finland)

Georgs Pelecis (Latvia)

Onutė Narbutaitė (Lithuania)

Remigijus Merkelys (Lithuania)

Wiesław Rentowski (Poland)

Alexandr Popov (Russia)

Ivan Sokolov (Russia/Germany)

Guest Musicologists

Jean Christensen (Denmark)

Merike Vaitmaa (Estonia)

Boris Avramecs (Latvia)

Gražina Daunoravičienė (Lithuania)

Marta Szoka (Poland)

Elena Dubinets (Russia)

Per F. Broman (Sweden)

Concert 1

Friday, February 13, 2004 8:00 PM

* Uljas Pulkkis (1975) Finland

Djinni (2002) for clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and piano

Dieter Schnebel (1930) Germany

Auguri (Pieces #3, 4 and Epilogue) (1992) for piano

* Onutė Narbutaitė (1956) Lithuania

Winter Serenade (1997) for flute, violin, and viola

Helena Tulve (1972) Estonia

Island (1993) for violin and clarinet

Kaija Saariaho (1952) Finland

Terrestre (2002) for flute, percussion, harp, violin, and cello

* Georgs Pelecis (1947) Latvia

Music on the Grass (1995) for flute, violin, viola, cello, and bassoon

Erkki-Sven Tüür (1959) Estonia

Fata Morgana (2002) for violin, cello, and piano


Concert 2

Saturday, February 14, 2004 2:00 PM

* Remigijus Merkelys (1964) Lithuania

MiKonst (2000) for string quartet and piano

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928) Finland

Cello and piano work to be determined

Krzysztof Knittel (1947) Poland

Trio for optional melodic instruments (2001) (for clarinet, flute, percussion)

* Wiesław Rentowski (1953) Poland

Lake Charles Variations (1990) for prepared piano

Anders Nilsson (1954) Sweden

Divertimento (1991) for flute, clarinet, string quartet, and piano

* Alexandr Popov (1957) Russia

Hortus Conclusus (2002) for violin, viola, and cello

Choral Music with participation of Seattle Pro Musica

Pēteris Vasks (1946) Latvia

Plainscapes (2001) for choir, violin, and cello

Arvo Pärt (1935) Estonia-Germany

Magnificat (1989)

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933) Poland

Totus Tous (1987)

Vaclovas Augustinas (1959) Lithuania

Trepute Martela (1994) for choir and four melodic instruments

Concert 3

Sunday, February 15, 2004 7:00 PM

Karin Rehnqvist (1957) Sweden

Wings (1998) for solo flute

Ester Mägi (1922) Estonia

A tre (1991) for violin, cello, and guitar

Bronius Katavičius (1932) Lithuania

Cranes’ Dances (1989) for clarinet and two pianos

Per Nørgård (1932) Denmark

Serenita (1996) for guitar

* Peter Bruun (1968) Denmark

Heaven and Earth (1996) for flute, clarinet, percussion, guitar, violin, cello, and celesta

Poul Ruders (1949) Denmark

Vox in Rama (1983) for clarinet, amplified violin, and piano

Raimo Kangro (1949-2001) Estonia

Idioms (1992) for flute, violin, and guitar

* Ivan Sokolov Russia - Germany

Farewell Music (2004) (WORLD PREMIERE) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano



Symposium Schedule

All symposium events occur at the Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center

Friday, February 13, 2004

Opening Ceremony
11:00AM - 12:00PM

Boriss Avramecs† (Latvia)
12:00PM - 1:00PM

New Music in Latvia

Georgs Pelecis‡ (Latvia)
1:00PM - 2:00PM

Composer Spotlight

Merike Vaitmaa† (Estonia)
2:00PM - 3:00PM

New Music in Estonia

3:00PM - 3:30PM

Gražina Daunoravičienė† (Lithuania)
3:30PM - 4:30PM

Self-identification of Lithuanian contemporary music:between "national" and "world" music patterns

Onutė Narbutaitė‡ (Lithuania)
4:30PM - 5:30PM

Composer Spotlight

Remigijus Merkelys‡ (Lithuania)
5:30PM - 6:30PM

Composer Spotlight

6:30PM - 8:00PM

Concert I



Saturday, February 14, 2004

Elena Dubinets† (Russia)
11:00AM - 12:00PM

Contemporary Russian Composers from Russophiles to Experimentalists (in memoriam composer Albina Stefanou)

Alexander Popov‡ (Russia)
12:00PM - 1:00PM

Composer Spotlight

Concert II

Marta Szoka† (Poland)
5:00PM - 6:00PM

The Master Has Passed Ten Year Ago - the New Generations of Polish Composers

Wiesław Rentowski‡ (Poland)
6:00PM - 7:00PM

Composer Spotlight


Sunday, February 15, 2004

Uljas Pulkkis†‡ (Finland)
10:00AM - 12:00PM

New Finnish music in great variety of styles and Composer Spotlight

12:00PM - 1:30PM

Jean Christensen† (Denmark)
1:30PM - 2:30PM

Danish Modernism and Beyond

Peter Bruun‡ (Denmark)
2:30PM - 3:30PM

Composer Spotlight

Per F. Broman† (Sweden)
3:30PM - 4:30PM

Pluralism and Coexistence: Recent Trends within the Swedish Musical Scene

Round Table Discussion
4:30PM - 5:30PM

5:30PM - 7:00PM

Concert III

† musicologist
‡ composer