David Krakauer & Evan ZiporynOn Our Show: April 21, 2012
Birth Year: 1956 & 1959
Origin: New York, NY & Chicago, IL
Website: www.davidkrakauer.com & www.ziporyn.com
About David Krakauer & Evan Ziporyn:
Renowned clarinetists David Krakauer and Evan Ziporyn join Linked Music host Peter Cummings on this month’s program.
Known for his mastery of myriad styles, David Krakauer occupies the unique position of being one of the world’s leading exponents of Eastern European Jewish klezmer music, and at the same time is a major voice in classical music. As one of the foremost musicians of the vital new wave of klezmer, David tours the globe with his celebrated Klezmer Madness! ensemble. While firmly rooted in traditional klezmer folk tunes, the band “hurls the tradition of klezmer music into the rock era” (Jon Pareles, The New York Times).
David and his band have also performed at venues including the Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, San Francisco Performances, the Krannert Center, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the Venice Biennale, Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, BBC Proms, Saalfelden Jazz Festival, Transmusicales de Rennes, La Cigale, and New Morning in Paris. Recently, he has also done extensive international touring with the multi-genre super group Abraham Inc that he co-leads with funk legend Fred Wesley and hip-hop renegade Socalled.
David is also in demand worldwide as a guest soloist with the finest ensembles including the Emerson, Orion and Kronos String Quartets, as well as orchestras including the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Detroit Symphony, the Weimar Staatskapelle, the Phoenix Symphony, the Dresdener Philharmonie, and the Seattle Symphony.
In addition to David’s many significant klezmer recordings and tours, he has collaborated with the Klezmatics, Itzak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet/Osvaldo Golijov, and Socalled. Composers who have written major pieces for him include David del Tredici, Paul Moravec, Ofer Ben-Amots, Jean Philippe Calvin, George Tsontakis, Anthony Coleman and Wlad Marhulets. His unique sound can also be heard as soloist in Danny Elfman’s score for the film Taking Woodstock and throughout The Tango Lesson.
A passionate educator, David is on the clarinet and chamber music faculties of the Mannes College of Music of the New School University, NYU, the Manhattan School of Music and the Bard Conservatory of Music.
Evan Ziporyn makes music at the crossroads between genres and cultures, east and west. Raised in a musically ecumenical household in Evanston, Illinois, he grew up listening to his father’s violin, his grandmother’s Yiddish Socialist chorus, his mother’s extensive folk & jazz collection, and the sounds of top 40 & Motown on AM radio.
He studied at Eastman, Yale & UC Berkeley with Joseph Schwantner, Martin Bresnick, & Gerard Grisey. A chance hearing of gamelan led him to Bali in 1981, and he returned there for further study, performances, collaborations, and on a Fulbright. In 1987, Evan performed a clarinet solo at the First Bang on a Can Marathon in New York. In 1992 he became a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-stars (Musical America’s 2005 Ensemble of the Year), and took part in dozens of seminal performances of works by Louis Andriessen, Morton Feldman, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Steve Reich and Julia Wolfe.
As a clarinetist, Evan recorded the definitive version of Steve Reich’s multi-clarinet NY Counterpoint in 1996, and shared in the Reich Ensemble’s Best Chamber Music Performance Grammy in 1998. In 2001 his solo clarinet CD, This is Not A Clarinet, made top ten lists across the country. His playing provided the soundtrack for the PBS film Tailenders and was featured in Tan Dun’s soundtrack Fallen and David Lang’s (Untitled). He has also recorded with Paul Simon, Matthew Shipp, Bob Moses and Ethel.
As a composer, he has been commissioned by Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road & Carnegie Hall, Kronos Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, former Linked Music guest Maya Beiser, So Percussion, Wu Man, Orkest de Volharding, Gamelan Semara Ratih, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He received the 2007 USA Artists Walker Award and the 2004 American Academy of Arts and Letters Lieberson Fellowship.
Now the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor, Evan joined the MIT faculty in 1990. There he founded Gamelan Galak Tika, beginning a series of groundbreaking compositions for gamelan & western instruments.
The two have been members and performers in the renowned new music ensemble Bang on a Can. It first brought together composers and musicians in 1987 for a marathon concert of new sounds and collaborations. Three young composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe founded Bang on a Can to bridge the divides they encountered in the music world:
As the group states on its website, “Bang on a Can has always believed in some very simple truths. The walls between different kinds of music keep people apart and they must be taken down. Great musicians and great audiences should spend more time together. If you help fresh musical voices to be heard then the world will be a better place.” Since its inaugural concert, Bang on a Can has hosted live events worldwide, commissioned new works, showcased unique musical partnerships, staged multimedia productions, and released several albums. A few of the many artists who have performed with Bang on a Can include Steve Reich, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Milton Babbitt, John Zorn, Terry Riley, Thurston Moore, Maya Beiser, and Arvo Part.
The San Francisco Chronicle has called the ensemble, “the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music.” Bang on a Can celebrates its anniversary on April 28th at a special concert at Lincoln Center.
(All information adapted from artists’ websites. Krakauer photo by Selmer Paris. Ziporyn photo by Andy Ryan.)