Symphony Orchestra will close its 2008-2009 season with
the Maryland premiere
of Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez's ...Ex Machina for Piano,
Marimba and Symphony Orchestra, and Brahms'
Symphony No. 4. Music director Jed Gaylin will conduct
...Ex Machina's original soloists, pianist
Cristina Valdes and marimbist Makoto Nakura.
The concert will be presented at 3 p.m. on Sunday,
April 26, in Shriver Hall Auditorium on the
...Ex Machina is a musical representation of Paul
Klee's painting Twittering Machine and kinetic
sculptures by such artists as Arthur Ganson and Rodney
Brooks. The sculptures are reminiscent of
Rube Goldberg's complicated inventions that do very little.
Ganson, a self-described cross between a
mechanical engineer and a choreographer, has inspired
Sanchez-Gutierrez with such creations as
Machine with Chinese Fan and Machine with Artichoke Petal.
The composer says that his music, like
the sculptures, is precisely engineered but precarious,
simple yet intricate, and a little funny. He will
show videos of the machines during a preconcert talk at 2
The Symphony No. 4 in E minor was Brahms' last work
for orchestra. This masterpiece ranges
from passionate to soulful, boisterous to tragic. The
unusual last movement is 32 variations on the
theme of a Bach chaconne.
Composer Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez grew up in Mexico
and graduated from the University of
Guadalajara. He earned master's degrees in composition from
the Peabody Conservatory and Yale and a
doctorate from Princeton. Among his many awards are the
Barlow, Guggenheim, Fulbright,
Koussevitzky, Fromm and American Academy of Arts and
Letters. He now teaches composition at the
Eastman School of Music. The Hopkins Symphony premiered his
Girandula and Five Pieces for
Pianist Cristina Valdes grew up in New Jersey and
earned a doctor of musical arts degree at
SUNY Stony Brook. A specialist in contemporary music, she
has performed around the world as a
member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Mabou Mines Theatre
Co., Parsons Dance Co. and Antares.
Internationally renowned marimbist Makoto Nakura
splits his time between New York City, his
native Japan and his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Music
in London, where he now teaches. A
champion of contemporary music, he commissioned ...Ex
Admission to the April 26 concert is free for Johns
Hopkins students. Tickets are $8 for other
students, seniors (age 60+) and Johns Hopkins faculty,
staff and alumni. General admission is $10.
Tickets will be available at the door.