Berio in NYC
Adam Tendler and Sarah Cahill, piano
From The New Yorker: "Luciano Berio, one of the giants of postwar modernism, lived and worked in the New York area in the late nineteen-sixties, teaching at Juilliard. Sarah Cahill and Adam Tendler, two outstanding American pianists devoted to contemporary repertory, will perform all of the piano works that Berio wrote while here—including “Wasserklavier” and “Sequenza IV”—along with several later pieces; the selections will be interspersed with readings from a lecture that Berio delivered at Hunter College in 1965. (Italian Academy Teatro, Columbia University, Amsterdam Ave.)"
"Wasserklavier,” “Rounds,” “Sequenza IV,” “5 Variazioni,” “Erdenklavier,” and “Memory” performed by Sarah Cahill and Adam Tendler in the second of two concerts featuring works composed by Luciano Berio when he lived in New York City (1965-1972).
“An exuberantly expressive pianist” who “vividly displayed his enthusiasm for every phrase” (Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times), Adam Tendler is a “maverick pianist” (The New Yorker), a “modern-music evangelist” (Time Out New York) who “has managed to get behind and underneath the notes... living inside the music and making poetic sense of it all. If they gave medals for musical bravery, dexterity and perseverance, Adam Tendler would earn them all.” (Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun) Nominated for the 2012 American Pianists Association Classical Fellowship Award, and a finalist for the 2013 American Prize, Tendler first made national headlines with America 88x50, a completely independent recital tour organized from the front seat of his Hyundai that brought free concerts of modern American music to underserved communities in all fifty states. He has gone on to perform in some of the country’s most distinguished halls, universities and concert series, directing modern music initiatives across the country and serving as an announcer and new music liaison for NPR and Pacifica stations nationwide. Since 2007, Tendler has toured with a memorized performance of John Cage’s complete Sonatas and Interludes, including a sold-out recital at the Rubin Museum and a Symphony Space festival performance on Cage’s 100th birthday listed by New York Magazine as one of the Top 10 Classical Music Events of 2012. He has spoken and performed at NYU, Kenyon College, Boston Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Portland State University, University of Nebraska, University of Alaska and Rice University, among others. An outspoken GLBTQ advocate, he was an election-season keynote speaker for the Human Rights Campaign, and has regularly performed for clients at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center in New York. He maintains the blog The Dissonant States and recently published the memoir, 88x50, a 2014 Kirkus Indie Book of the Month and Lambda Literary Award nominee. Recognized as an authority in modern American music, Tendler is developing an album of music by Robert Palmer for Albany records, and just recorded the premiere release of Edward T. Cone’s 21 Little Preludes for piano. He lives in New York City and serves on the faculty of the Third Street Music School Settlement.
Sarah Cahill, recently called “fiercely gifted” by the New York Times and “as tenacious and committed an advocate as any composer could dream of” by the San Francisco Chronicle, has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated works to her include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Annea Lockwood, and Evan Ziporyn, and she has also premiered pieces by Lou Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Ingram Marshall, Toshi Ichiyanagi, George Lewis, Leo Ornstein, and many others.
Cahill has researched and recorded the music by the important early 20th-century American modernists Henry Cowell and Ruth Crawford, and has commissioned a number of new pieces in tribute to their enduring influence. She enjoys working closely with composers, musicologists, and scholars to prepare scores for performance. Recent appearances include a concert at San Quentin of the music Henry Cowell wrote while incarcerated there, Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto with Steven Schick and the La Jolla Symphony, and Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet at the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival. She has performed chamber music with the Alexander String Quartet, New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and many other chamber groups. Upcoming concerts include a residency at Dickinson College with Sarah’s husband, video artist John Sanborn, a recital at MIT, and an all-Berio performance with pianist Adam Tendler at the Italian Academy at Columbia University.
Sarah’s most recent project, A Sweeter Music, premiered in the Cal Performances series in Berkeley in January 2009 and continued to New Sounds Live at Merkin Hall, Rothko Chapel, the North Dakota Museum of Art, Le Poisson Rouge, and venues around the country, with newly commissioned works on the theme of peace by Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, Yoko Ono, Frederic Rzewski, Phil Kline, and many others. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that “the music, helped along by the impassioned force of Cahill’s playing, amounted to a persuasive and varied investigation of the subject,” and London’s Financial Times called it “a unique commissioning programme that unites artistic aspirations with moral philosophy.” She is working on two new commissioning projects: one explores our relationship to nature, and the other celebrates the eightieth birthday of Terry Riley in 2015. Most of Sarah’s albums are on the New Albion label. She has also recorded for the CRI, New World, Other Minds, Tzadik, Albany, Cold Blue, and Artifact labels. Her album A Sweeter Music is on the Other Minds label, and Pinna Records will release her two-CD set of Mamoru Fujieda’s Patterns of Plants. Her radio show, Revolutions Per Minute, can be heard every Sunday evening from 8 to 10 pm on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory, hosts a new music series at the Exploratorium, and curates a monthly series of new music concerts at the Berkeley Art Museum.
Sarah Cahill photo by Marianne La Rochelle