Ted Babcock is a Philadelphia/ New York City based composer and percussionist. As a composer, his works ride the boundaries between conceptual electronics, percussive counterpoint, and an instinctual lyricism. Recent premieres include Polyphonic Field, a new work for piano and electronics commissioned by pianist Amy Yang, and ‘Hero’ Quartet, a new interdisciplinary work for string quartet and electronics for the Viano String Quartet documenting the lives of frontline workers. Other recent projects include the premiere of his first solo album Trilogies for percussionist and electronics, which was praised by I Care if You Listen as “…worthy of redefining repertoire on the vibraphone”. Babcock has been commissioned by leading performers and presenters such as arx percussion duo, Fringe Arts Philadelphia, the H2 saxophone quartet, percussionist/ videographer Evan Chapman, the Curtis Institute of Music Centenary Project, flutist Antonina Styczen, and members of The Philadelphia Orchestra. His works have received praise for their innovation and craft from an eclectic following, from film festivals and concert stages to the band Wilco. He holds degrees from Boston Conservatory at Berklee and the Curtis Institute of Music.
Alistair Coleman is a composer from Washington, DC. Recent commissioned projects include concertos for violinist Soovin Kim and cellist Zuill Bailey, and a sonata for Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombonist of the New York Philharmonic. His string quartet, Moonshot was premiered by the Abeo Quartet in collaboration with the Glenstone Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. Last season included collaborations with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and a solo piece written for the 2022 Curtis violin auditions. As a winner of the 2020 Juilliard Gena Raps Prize, Coleman’s piano trio was premiered at Alice Tully Hall in May 2022. In spring 2023, Coleman’s solo work for pianist Janice Carissa was premiered in collaboration with Steinway & Sons Spirio; and this summer was a Protégé composer-in-residence at the Chamber Music Northwest. This season also includes commissioned works for pianist Amy J. Yang and Zhu Wang, performances by the Viano String Quartet, and a song cycle written for the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival. Coleman is winner of two ASCAP Morton Gould Composer Awards, the Brian Israel Prize from the Society for New Music, and awards from American Composers Forum, NPR’s From the Top, and the National YoungArts Foundation. He holds a B.M. from the Curtis Institute and an Undergraduate Diploma from The Juilliard School. His mentors include David Serkin Ludwig, Richard Danielpour, Nick DiBerardino, Jonathan Holland, Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beth Kirsten, and Steven Mackey. He recently joined the roster of Young Concert Artists as their 2023-25 Composer-in-Residence.
ITW Program notes
Xizi (戏子) for orchestra (2013; rev. 2023)
Yanchen Ye (b.1992)
l. Behind the curtain
ll. The show
Movements are performed attacca without pause in between.
Program Notes :
“Xizi” is an old term in China referring to traditional opera performers. They often rush between stages to entertain the audience for a living. Behind the spotlight, many of them pursue the ultimate refinement in their art, yet rarely receive the respect they deserve and are forced to work throughout the world to gain recognition. I find resonance in their lives, and in Xizi, a two-movement work, I strive to reveal their stories on stage and behind.
– Yanchen Ye
Pulse, Echo (2023)
Ted Babcock (b.1992)
Pulse, Echo is a piece born out of my love of rhythm. As a percussionist, I’ve always sought to infuse my music for orchestra with a type of pulsation and groove. With this piece I treated sections of the orchestra as percussion players, creating mosaics of sound from a single motive. It was commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival on their “Celebration of Rhythm and Sound” season and is dedicated with gratitude to the Cabrillo Festival and Composer-Mentor Jennifer Higdon.
– Ted Babcock
Alistair Coleman (b. 1998)
West Coast Premiere
Opalescence was written fro the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and premiered asynchronously in the spring of 2021. It was originally paired with choreography reacting to the play of color or iridescence of an opal stone. In a short, one movement burst, the piece channel surfs between the three different types of opals: common, precious, and fire; and their individual reactions to light.
– Alistair Coleman