Echo Mountain Chamber Music

James Sullivan, clarinet
Sarah Thornblade, violin
Aron Kallay, piano

Sunday, September 24, 2017, 7 p.m.
Drinkward Recital Hall

An image made of three headshots combined shows, from left to right, James Sullivan, Sarah Thornblade, and Aron Kallay. Sarah Thornblade holds a violin on her collarbone.
From left to right, James Sullivan, Sarah Thornblade, and Aron Kallay. Photo courtesy of the artists.


   I. Andante con dolore, con molt’ expressione
   II. Allegro
   III. Moderato
Aram Khachaturian

Prelude from Suite No. 2 in D minor
   BWV 1008
Johann Sebastian Bach

Six Studies in English Folksong
   I. Adagio
   IV. Lento
   V. Andante tranquillo
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Sonata III in F major
   I. Adagio
   II. Allegro
   III. Largo
   IV. Allegro
George Frideric Handel

   I. Verbunkos (Recruiting Dance)
   II. Pihenő (Relaxation)
   III. Sebes (Fast Dance)
Béla Bartók

James Sullivan explores the versatility of the clarinet and bass clarinet family in an expansive scope of styles and repertoire.  Collaborations range from free improvisation with Vinnie Golia, Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat  with Martin Chalifour, and several years playing with the Brad Dutz Quartet.  He honed his microtonal skills studying maqam while playing for a decade with classical Arabic ensemble Kan Zaman.  His just intonation background includes premiering and recording Ben Johnston's Parable and participating in the creation and recording of composer Andrew McIntosh's Symmetry Etudes.   Additionally, he has performed with Partch ensemble in Harry Partch's Oedipus, where he became friends with the Chromelodeon.  Classical orchestral performance includes work with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pasadena Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony and Seattle Symphony.  He has appeared as soloist on the series Jacaranda, Green Umbrella, Boston Court, and MicroFest.

Sarah Thornblade is a member of the Eclipse Quartet, an ensemble dedicated to performing 20th century and contemporary music. Eclipse is a visiting artist at Mills College. Recent premiers by the quartet include works by Peter Garland, Chico Mello, Stephen Cohn and Zeena Parkins. The quartet is the recent recipient of an Aaron Copland Fund recording grant and has recorded for Tzadik, New World and Bridge records. Sarah is also a former member of the Denali Quartet and a former founding member of the Arianna String Quartet, which has been a grand prize winner at the Fischoff National, Coleman and Carmel chamber music competitions. She has performed with Camerata Pacifica, Jacaranda Music and Auros Group for New Music (Boston) and at festivals including the Tanglewood and Spoleto music festivals; the Look & Listen and Oregon Bach festivals; and the Norfolk, Steamboat Springs, Banff and Portland chamber music festivals. Other collaborations have been made with artists such as Gilbert Kalish, Jeffery Kahane, Andres Cardenes, Randall Hodgkinson and Warren Jones. She is on the faculty of Pomona College and is also an active recording musician for film and television.

Described as a “modern renaissance man” (Over the Mountain Journal), Grammy nominated pianist Aron Kallay‘s playing has been called “exquisite…every sound sounded considered, alive, worthy of our wonder” (LA Times).  “Perhaps Los Angeles’ most versatile keyboardist” (LaOpus), Aron has been praised as possessing “that special blend of intellect, emotion, and overt physicality that makes even the thorniest scores simply leap from the page into the listeners laps.” (KPFK) Aron’s performances often integrate technology, video, and alternate tunings; Fanfare magazine described him as “a multiple threat: a great pianist, brainy tech wizard, and visionary promoter of a new musical practice.” Aron has performed throughout the United States and abroad and  is  a  fixture  on  the  Los  Angeles  new music scene.  He is the co-founder and board president of People Inside Electronics (PIE), a concert series dedicated to classical electroacoustic music, the managing director of MicroFest, Los Angeles’ annual festival of microtonal music, and the co-directer of the underground new-music concert series Tuesdays@MONK Space. He is also the co-director of MicroFest Records, whose first release, John Cage: The Ten Thousand Things, was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance. Aron has recorded on MicroFest, Cold Blue, Delos, and Populist records. In addition to his solo work, Aron is currently a member of the Pierrot + percussion ensemble Brightwork newmusic, the Varied Trio, and the Ray-Kallay Duo. He is on the faculty of Pomona College and Chapman University.

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