College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Student Performances, Volume 2 Page: 14
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PROGRAM NOTES (cont'd)
Harvey Sollberger (b. 1938) is a prominent American composer, conductor, flutist,
teacher, and organizer of concerts. His work in composition has been recognized by an
award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters; two Guggenheim Fellowships;
and by commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation, Fromm Foundation/
Tanglewood, San Francisco Symphony, National Endowment for the Arts, Walter W.
Naumberg Foundation, Music from Japan, and New York State Council on the Arts.
As a flutist and conductor, he has toured and recorded extensively and has premiered
works by Babbitt, Carter, Davidovsky, Felder, Martino, Reynolds, and Wuorinen. A
founder of the Group for Contemporary Music, he has been (with Charles Wuorinen)
Artistic Director of that ensemble since 1962. Sollberger is currently Distinguished
Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego.
December was written in December of 2011. As stated in the score's performance
notes, it is a circular, 'decentered' composition and is composed in four main
sections that can be performed either continuously or discontinuously. If performed
continuously the performer can choose from four different orderings of the sections
(ABCD, BCDA, CDAB, or DABC), which are then to be performed without
pause. If performed discontinuously the sections are to be performed as separate
movements and may be played in any order. Thus, a performance may range from
playing one section to playing any two, three or four of them in whatever order the
player chooses. Possibilities abound: for instance, there are 24 possible orderings of
A, B, C and D when December is presented as a four-movement discontinous work.
Today December is being performed continuously in the following order: B. Pas
de deux, C. Night Forest, D. Fragile Shapes/Liminal Song, A. Mondo liso. Pas de
deux is about the (sharp!) contrast between karate and ballet. Night Forest is a kind
of nocturne or nocturnal evocation. Fragile Shapes/Liminal Song is about fragile
gestures cohering gradually into what might be called "song." Mondo liso is a play
on "Mona Lisa" and means "threadbare world" in Italian - reflective of how Iowa,
where Sollberger now lives, looks in December without snow.
Here’s what’s next.
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University of North Texas. College of Music. College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Student Performances, Volume 2, book, 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc114727/m1/14/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Music Library.