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East meets West in our season opener featuring Japanese composers and music influenced by Japanese culture. The Three Film Scores for string orchestra by Toru Takemitsu encompass a magical sound world that was featured in the WWII film Black Rain. Alan Hovhaness’ Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints stems from his studies of Eastern cultures and captures the Japanese spirit. Kosaku Yamada helped western music take root in Japan at the turn of the 20th century. Full of delightful classicism and hints of Eastern melodies, his Symphony in F major “Triumph and Peace” was the first symphony ever written by a Japanese composer.
Bonnie Whiting is Chair of Percussion Studies at the University of Washington. She performs and commissions new experimental music for percussion, seeking out projects that involve non-traditional notation, interdisciplinary performance, and the speaking percussionist. Recent work includes a series of performances at the John Cage Centennial Festival in Washington DC, solo appearances with the National Orchestra of Turkmenistan, and as a soloist in Tan Dun’s “Water Passion” under the baton of the composer himself. In 2011, she joined red fish blue fish percussion group in premiering the staged version of George Crumb’s “Winds of Destiny” directed by Peter Sellars and featuring Dawn Upshaw for Ojai Festival.
Her debut album, featuring an original solo-simultaneous realization of John Cage’s “45′ for a speaker” and “27’10.554″ for a percussionist”, was released on the Mode Records label in April. Whiting has collaborated with many of today’s leading new music groups, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers at Miller Theatre), Ensemble Dal Niente (the Fromm Concerts at Harvard), Bang on a Can (Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series), and eighth blackbird (the “Tune-in” festival at the Park Avenue Armory).
She received her DMA in Contemporary Music Performance from the University of California San Diego, and also holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Interlochen Arts Academy.
Bonnie Whiting performs pieces by John Cage.
Yamada’s Symphony in F, “Triumph and Peace” – played by the Ulster Orchestra.
Hovaness’s “Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints”- played by the Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota.
Takemitsu’s Three Film Scores for String Orchestra