Shuying Li: Bloodlines (2020, Copland House CULTIVATE commission)
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 5pm EDT
Performed by Music from Copland House
(Moran Katz, clarinet; Pala Garcia, violin; Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello; Margaret Kampmeier, piano)
Notes from the composer
My original opera Bloodlines was created under the auspices of the American Lyric Theater Composer Librettist Development Program with librettist Lila Palmer in 2018. It depicts a shocking story of a loving couple who were both adopted from conflict zones years ago, and discovered that they are blood-related siblings. In this paraphrase version, I have taken the second scene in the opera and freely transcribed it into an instrumental chamber piece. It depicts the disagreements between the wife, Esme, and her boss, Sara, and how Esme eventually learned about the devastating secret and ran out of Sara’s office in a panic.
About Shuying Li
Believing that music has the innate power to promote cultural diversity by connecting people through universally human passions and values, SHUYING LI’s compositions have been performed by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Seattle and New Jersey Symphonies, American Lyric Theater, Hartford Opera Theater, Orkest de ereprijs (Netherlands), Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra (Finland), ICon Arts Ensemble (Romania), Cecilia Quartet (Canada), 15.19. Ensemble (Italy), Atlas Ensemble (Netherlands), and the Argus and Donald Sinta Quartets. She also has upcoming are performances by the Shanghai Philharmonic, Moscow Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, as well as commissions for an opera for the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and for a consortium of 20 bands.
About Music from Copland House
Hailed by The New Yorker as “bold,” “adventurous,” and “superb,” MUSIC FROM COPLAND HOUSE offers ear-opening, mind-expanding experiences gathered from its journeys across 150 years of America’s vast musical landscape. Whether celebrating classic or forgotten voices from the nation’s past, or reveling in established or rising artists from the present, this wide-ranging American repertory ensemble creates memorable and richly diverse narratives in sound, linking music to the wider worlds from which these works emerged. “Illuminating essential truths about the music” (The New York Times), MCH has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, Euro-Radio, and other major media; and engaged by Tanglewood, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, University of Chicago, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and the Caramoor, Bard, Ecstatic, Bowdoin, and SONiC Festivals. It also records for the Arabesque, Koch International, and COPLAND HOUSE BLEND labels. Called “one of the leading champions of contemporary music” (Louisville Weekly), the ensemble presents two mainstage concert series in Westchester County, NY (now in its 12th season), and at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (in its 2nd season). Inspired by Copland’s peerless, lifelong advocacy of American composers, MCH presents a wide variety of educational and community outreach activities. Launched in 1999 by flutist Paul Lustig Dunkel, clarinetist Derek Bermel, violinist Nicholas Kitchen, cellist Wilhelmina Smith, and pianist Michael Boriskin, MCH boasts a stellar roster of Founding, Principal, and Guest Artists, of whom, The Chicago Tribune raved, “Copland would have been proud of all of them.”
CULTIVATE, now in its 10th season, is Copland House’s flagship annual emerging composers institute, directed by Grammy-nominated composer-clarinetist Derek Bermel. Embracing exploration, process, and community, this weeklong, all-scholarship creative workshop and mentoring program is an important destination on the early-career paths of gifted young composers of all artistic and personal backgrounds and identities. Linking creation, performance, and education, Copland House commissions six CULTIVATE Fellows to compose a short new chamber piece that is the heart of their work during an intensive week of rehearsals, workshops, discussions, and other individual and collective sessions with Bermel, the Music from Copland House ensemble, and prominent, visionary arts leaders. The institute concludes with public concerts where all the new works are premiered and filmed for delayed telecast. CULTIVATE is also a portal for additional performance, recording, commissioning, and other career-development opportunities.
Support for CULTIVATE 2020 and Cultivated Spaces comes the ASCAP and BMI Foundations, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Friends of Copland House, Jandon Foundation, and NewMusicUSA. Additional program support comes from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Amphion Foundation, ArtsWestchester, the National Endowment for the Arts, and New York State Council on the Arts. Donate to CULTIVATE.