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Yale Percussion Group performs Reich’s Sextet and more Feb. 23

“Something truly extraordinary.”
— Composer Steve Reich
February 14, 2014

ypg-spragueThe Yale School of Music presents the Yale Percussion Group in a concert on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8 pm.

The ensemble, hailed by composer Steve Reich as “something truly extraordinary,” will perform Reich’s Sextet as well as pieces by Steven Mackey and Toru Takemitsu. The YPG is directed by Robert van Sice.

The program will open with Mackey’s It Is Time, performed by Jonny Allen, drumset; Garrett Arney, marimba; Doug Perry, pans; and Terrence Sweeney, toys.

Next is Takemitsu’s Rain Tree, performed by Mari Yoshinaga, Garrett Arney, and Georgi Videnov. Takemitsu once said in an interview, “My music is like a garden, and I am the gardener. Listening to my music can be compared to walking through a garden and experiencing the changes in light, pattern, and texture.”

The concert will conclude with Reich’s Sextet, performed by Jonny Allen, Garrett Arney, Douglas Perry, Terrence Sweeney, Georgi Videnov, and Mari Yoshinaga. The whirlwind five movements are performed without pause. In this composition, Reich sought to transcend the limitation that percussion instruments tend to produce sounds of relatively short durations. Thus, the bowed vibraphone, for example, is used not merely as an effect, but as fundamental instrumental voice in the piece.

The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street), New Haven. Admission is free, and no tickets are required. The concert will also stream live. LIVE STREAM 

For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu.

About the Performers

Founded in 1997 by Robert van Sice, the Yale Percussion Group is composed of talented and dedicated young artists who have come from around the world for graduate study at the Yale School of Music. Members of the YPG have gone on to form the acclaimed percussion quartet Sō, and to perform with the Auckland Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Currently, alumni of YPG teach at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Dartmouth University.

In recent seasons, the Yale Percussion Group has performed in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Galapagos Art Space, and the Kennedy Center. The ensemble won the Percussive Arts Society competition in 2009. In 2012, they honored the birthday of composer John Cage with a special performance called “75/100.” Yale percussion students and graduates have recently garnered accolades at the Linz (Austria) International Marimba Competition and the Concert Artist Guild Competition.

Robert Van Sice, percussion, has premiered more than one hundred works, including concertos, chamber music, and solos. He has made solo appearances with symphony orchestras and given recitals in Europe, North America, Africa, and the Far East. In 1989 he gave the first full-length marimba recitals at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and has since played in most of Europe’s major concert halls, many of which have been broadcast by the BBC, Swedish Radio, Norwegian Radio, WDR, and Radio France. He is frequently invited as a soloist with Europe’s leading contemporary music ensembles and festivals, including the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Contrechamps, and L’Itinéraire and the Archipel, Darmstadt, and North American new music festivals. From 1988 to 1997 he headed Europe’s first diploma program for solo marimbists at the Rotterdam Conservatorium. Mr. Van Sice has given master classes in more than twenty countries and frequently visits the major conservatories in Europe as a guest lecturer. He joined the Yale faculty in the fall of 1997.

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