A. Vrebalov – J. King

Aleksandra Vrebalov was born in Novi Sad, where she completed her basic university education. In 1995, Vrebalov pursued a master’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory, and earned a doctorate in composition at the University of Michigan. Besides her native country, she lived in Prague (1998), Milan (2002), and United States.
Vrebalov’s more than 70 works – ranging from concert music and opera to music for modern dance and film – have been performed by the Kronos Quartet, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Serbian National Theater, Rambert Dance, Jorge Caballero, the Sausalito Quartet, ETHEL, Dusan Tynek Dance Company, Ijsbreker, Moravian Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, and Providence Festival Ballet, among others. Her works have been recorded for Nonesuch, Innova, Centaur Records, Vienna Modern Masters, and Ikarus Films.
Vrebalov’s collaborative work with director Bill Morrison, Beyond Zero: 1914 – 1918, was commissioned and premiered by Kronos at Berkeley’s Cal Performances in April 2014, and received its European premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival. Her most recent commissioned work for Kronos includes The Sea Ranch Songs for string quartet with film by Andrew Lyndon, which premiered in May 2015, and Cosmic Love I, premiered in June 2015 to celebrate Terry Riley’s 80th birthday. My Desert, My Rose, written for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire and designed to guide young string quartets in developing the skills required for the performance of 21st-century repertoire, was premiered by Kronos in Carnegie Hall in April 2016.
Vrebalov’s cross-disciplinary interests led to participation at seminars, residencies and fellowships that include the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, The Hermitage, New York’s New Dramatists, Rockefeller Bellagio Center, American Opera Projects, Other Minds Festival, Tanglewood, Moral and Mythology in Contemporary Art (Novi Sad), and MultiMedeja (Novi Sad). Between 2007 and 2011, Vrebalov created and led Summer in Sombor, a composition workshop in partnership with the South Oxford Six composers’ collective that she co-founded in 2002 in NYC. The workshop resulted in multiple performances and eventually facilitated the creation of over fifty new works.
Vrebalov received The Harvard Fromm Commission, the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Barlow Endowment Commission, as well as awards from ASCAP, American Music Center, Meet the Composer, MAP Fund, Vienna Modern Masters, and Friends and Enemies of New Music. As the Douglas Moore Fellow, supported by the Columbia University’s Alice Ditson Fund, she spent a season in the Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Memphis and Florida Grand Opera, being immersed in all aspects of opera production. In 2015 Vrebalov received the Golden Emblem from the Serbian KPZ and Ministry of Foreign Affairs for contribution to Serbian culture.
For more details and excerpts from Vrebalov’s work, please see:
Јohn King, composer, guitarist and violist, has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet; Red {an orchestra}, Ethel; the Albany Symphony/“Dogs of Desire”, Bang On A Can All-Stars; Mannheim Ballet; New York City Ballet/Diamond Project, Stuttgart Ballet, Ballets de Monte Carlo; as well as the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. His string quartets have also been performed by the Eclipse Quartet (LA) and the Mondriaan Quartet (Amsterdam), in addition to the Secret Quartet which has premiered many of his compositions at The Stone (June 2007, May 2015), The Kitchen (April 2009), Lincoln Center Festival (July 2011); and Roulette (Oct. 2014).
He has written 7 operas: ping and WHAT IS THE WORD, with texts by Samuel Beckett, premiered at the Experiments in Opera Festival, spring 2014 and the Avant Music Festival, February 2016; impropera, which used randomly selected text msg’s from the singers’ cell phones; SapphOpera, a chamber opera with text-fragments by Sappho translated by Anne Carson; herzstück/heartpiece, based on the text of Heiner Müller, premiered at the 1999 Warsaw Autumn Festival and presented at the Kitchen NYC in 2000 (a double-opera, co-written with Krzysztof Knittel); la belle captive based on texts by Alain Robbe-Grillet, premiered at Teatro Colon/CETC in Buenos Aires in 2003, and toured to London’s ICA (Fronteras Festival) in 2004 and The Kitchen in 2005; and also his most recent opera, Dice Thrown, based on the Stéphane Mallarmé poem, an excerpt of which was performed by New York City Opera as part of its VOX series in May 2008. The complete staged version was presented at CalArts April 23-24, 2010.
He has written songs and incidental music for five plays (The Tempest, Faust, The Trial, Steppenwolf and Wings of Desire) at the Ludwigburg TheaterSommer directed by Peter Kratz. He has been commissioned numerous times by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and collaborated with them on their “Black Mountain Songs” project, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Nov. 20, 2014 and went on to tour in Europe.
He has 3 recent CD releases of music for string quartet; 10 Mysteries and AllSteel (Tzadik); and Ethel (Cantaloupe). He was Music Curator at The Kitchen from 1999-2003 and from 2002-2011 was a co-director of the Music Committee at MCDC. He received the 2014 Award for Sound/Music from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and is also the recipient of the 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music. He has been a Rockefeller Foundation/Bellagio Center Fellow in March 2016, as well as in residence at the Emily Harvery Foundation in Venice, Italy in July 2015.
For more details and excerpts from King’s work, please see: John King Music.