"Common Practice 21C: Classical, Contemporary and Cross-Cultural Music,” a three-day music festival in Houston featuring a Taiwanese orchestra, had a successful showing from March 13 to 15.
The festival began with a welcome reception and a visit to James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany skyspace, a pyramid structure that offers a daily sunset sequence, at the Shepherd School of Music in Rice University on March 13. Director-General Louis M. Huang (黃敏境) of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston expressed his gratitude to the Shepherd School of Music and the Asia Society Texas Center for collaborating in the international Chinese music event. He particularly noted the efforts by Dean Robert Yekovich and Dr. Shih-Hui Chen of the Shepherd School of Music, and Performing Arts & Culture Director Evan Wildstein of the Asia Society Texas Center.
Directed by Dr. Chen, a professor at the Shepherd School of Music, the "Common Practice 21C” project included 3 concerts and 8 lectures. Taiwan's Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (小巨人絲竹樂團) and students and faculty members from the Shepherd School of Music — including Norman Fischer, Paul Kantor, and Michael Webster — performed and premiered a mixture of traditional and newly composed works for Chinese and Western instruments.
The performed works included those by international composers such as Ting-Yi Ma (馬定一, Taiwan), Yip-Fat Tsang (曾葉發, Hong Kong), Guoping Jia (賈國平, China), Yu-Chung Tseng (曾毓忠, Taiwan), Jacob Sudol (USA), Ching-Wen Chao (趙菁文, Taiwan), Michael Timpson (USA/South Korea), and Lei Liang (梁雷, China/USA).
The 3 concerts received enthusiastic responses from the audience, especially because each presented a different world premiere of new compositions. Ma's "Meditation after a Summer Storm” was performed at the first concert; Sudol's "…a thinner partition…” at the second; and Timpson's "Septitude” and Lei's "Lakescape IV” at the final concert.
After performing in Houston, the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra traveled to Los Angeles and held two more concerts on March 18 — a morning show at the Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles and an evening show at the California State University, San Bernardino.
More information can be found on the event website (http://music.rice.edu/21C/) or by contacting the Taiwan Academy in Houston (713 840 3864).