Chamber Music News

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Chamber Music News

CALIFORNIAINSTITUTE OFTECHNOLOGYINSIDETHISISSUE:Chamber Music NewsV O L U M E 1 1N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 9Chamber Music Alumni are on Facebook!ChamberMusicAlumni areonFacebook!FirstAnnualChamberMusicMarathonConcert aBig Success12The DabneyLoungeSteinway:Loss andRecoveryA TragicLoss forCaltechChamberMusicBuilding anOnlineArchives233Where arethey now?Thank You 4Thanks to alumnus Garret Choi (violin, ‘89) and our fabulous department assistant Cindy De Mesa,Caltech Chamber Music Alumni are now on Facebook! We hope you enjoy this opportunity to connectwith each other, with Delores, and with Caltech. Let us know how you are doing. And don’t be afraidto join in, even if your violin has been in the case for 15 years, or you haven’t had a good clarinet reedin 20 years.


VOLUME 11PAGE 2First Annual Chamber Music Marathon Concert a Big SuccessAs you might remember May is packed with performances by all of Caltech’smusic and theater groups. Finding enough weekend dates for all of ourchamber music concerts has always been a big challenge. This year was mademore complicated because we had to use a piano lent to us by Steinway forjust one weekend (see article about the Dabney piano). The solution? TheFirst Annual Chamber Music Marathon Concert! It was a huge success and justmay become a new tradition.On Sunday, May 17, 2009 fifteen chamber groups and six solo pianistsperformed in a concert that began at 2:00 and ended at 6:15. The concertprogram with approximate performance times was posted online so thataudience members could attend the segment of the concert that interestedthem the most. Two intermissions with refreshments recharged the audience,including several members who stayed for the entire program!Two portions of the program were comprised of traditional chamber works.Between these two sections, our piano four-hands students presented a special tribute to the 200 th anniversary of thedeath of Joseph Haydn. Each of six students played the solo part for one movement of a concerto, accompanied bya small orchestra.Our next Chamber Music Marathon is scheduled for May 16, 2010. If you are in town for Alumni Seminar Day onthe 15th, we hope to see you at the concert. You’re welcome even if you can’t stay for four hours!The Dabney Lounge Steinway: Loss and RecoveryOn Christmas Eve, 2008, an arsonfire in Dabney Lounge destroyedour 1923 Steinway D grand piano.Damage to the lounge was minimal,and the person who set the fire hasnot been apprehended. For all of uswith memories of concerts played onthis beautiful piano, this was aheartbreaking event.Fortunately, the story has a happyending. A donor came forward andenabled us to purchase a brand newSteinway D this summer. Our pianofour-hands instructor, Robert Ward,traveled to the Steinway factory in Queens and selected a gorgeous new instrument for Caltech. Itarrived mid-summer, and is now protected by enhanced security in Dabney Lounge. We will hold asmany rehearsals as possible in Dabney this fall, as students break in the new piano. We are beginningto make plans for an inaugural concert in January, complete with Prof. Ward’s narrative of thefascinating selection process.


VOLUME 11A Tragic Loss for Caltech Chamber MusicPAGE 3This spring Caltech lost a gifted pianist, superb chamber musician, and dear person. Jackson Wang passed away on June 10,two days before he was to earn his BS in Mechanical Engineering with honors. Those of us who knew Jackson will rememberhis formidable piano technique, his deep understanding of even the most complex contemporary music, his great smile, andhis gentle spirit. His performance (from memory) of Ravel’s Piano Trio at the May 17 Chamber Music Marathon will go downas one of the finest performances ever presented by a student on this campus.Jackson’s family designated the Caltech instrumental music program as the recipient of memorial gifts in Jackson’s honor. Agroup of Jackson’s music friends are advising on the fund’s use. We will keep our alumni posted on the activities and projectsdeveloped in Jackson’s memory.Building an Online ArchivesThank youYour donations can help keep the chamber music afloat duringthese tough economic times. Thank you very much!Friends of Caltech Instrumental MusicMC 2-70California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, CA 91125Thanks to Amy Lam (’10, Chemistry), pianist, flutist,and chamber music player, we’ve begun to build anonline archives of Caltech Chamber Music.Currently, you can find recordings of all concerts from2006-2009 at: http://chambermusic.caltech.edu/musicdb/. Gradually, the archives will grow, goingbackward in time – at least as far back as we haverecordings on CD.Recordings of concerts prior to 1998 exist, but informats that won’t be as easy to post. For you alumsthat pre-date CD’s, you may have to wait a while tohear your concerts.Many thanks to Amy for undertaking this project! Itbegan when she decided to create a CD for her sisterChristina,also a Caltech Chamber Music alum. The CD was a birthday gift for Christina, andincluded recordings of all her concerts. Amy decided to expand on the birthdayproject and make past concert recordings available to all chamber music alumni.Concert programs are going online, as well. Right now you may view programs from1999-2009, but someday you will be able to find your programs all the way back tothe very first Caltech Chamber Music concert inNovember of 1979.The very first Caltech ChamberMusic performance! Students LesDeutsch, Tom Howell, NatalieGluck, and Fan-Chia Tao,with an earlier version of Billand Delores Bing.Caltech Associates Black Tie DinnerAutumn, 1979

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