On their home page Earplay describes itself as a “nexus of Bay Area composers and players.” They were founded in 1985 with a focus on the performance of new chamber music. Since then they have commissioned more than 60 new works and given over 100 world premieres. They call their performing ensemble the Earplayers, and it is conducted by Mary Chun. Core members are Tod Brody (flute and piccolo), Peter Josheff (clarinet and bass clarinet), Terrie Baune (violin), Ellen Ruth Rose (viola), and Thalia Moore (cello).
Next month they will begin their 28th season of three concerts at the ODC Theater. On the Web page for this season, each of those concerts is introduced with an epigram by a famous composer. The composer for the first concert is John Cage, represented by the following sentence:
Art is sort of an experimental station in which one tries out living.
Appropriately enough, the concert will begin with a performance of Cage’s “Living Room Music,” composed in 1940 for “four instruments which can be found in a living room in a typical house.”
The newly commissioned work on the program will be “12.12.12,” a duo for flute and viola, which Ken Ueno completed last year (most likely on December 12). The program will also offer the West Coast premiere of an intermezzo for prepared piano composed by José-Luis Hurtado in 2009. Other offerings will include Shulamit Ran’s solo flute composition “East Wind,” which she composed in 1987, and Michael Zbyszyński’s “Daguerreotype,” composed in 2002 for cello and electronics, as well as a classic of modernism, Arnold Schoenberg’s Opus 9 chamber symphony, composed in 1906 for fifteen solo instruments. The Earplayers will perform Anton Webern’s 1922 arrangement of Schoenberg’s score for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. The guest pianist for this performance will be Daniela Mineva.
This concert will take place at the ODC Theater (3153 17th Street in the Mission) at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 4. It will be preceded by a pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m. Single tickets are $20 with a $10 rate for students. Tickets may be purchased online through Ticket Turtle with access from an event page on the ODC Web site. Because this is the first concert of the season, season passes are also available for $50. These cannot be purchased online, however, and require calling the ODC Box Office 415-863-9834. Box Office hours are noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday.
In addition, the night before this concert, Sunday, February 3, the Earplayers will offer an open rehearsal, which will be free to the general public. Composers Hurtado, Ueno, and Zbyszyński will all be in attendance. The rehearsal will begin at 6 p.m. and is expected to last until 9:30 p.m. It will take place in the Capp Street Concert Hall of the Community Music Center (CMC) at 544 Capp Street (also in the Mission). Further information may be found on the CMC event page or by calling CMC at 415-647-6015.