Sunday, December 19, 2010

'Songs Of My Father' by clarinetist and composer Deborah Pittman Jan. 18 Berkeley City Club

[Deborah Pittman]

San Francisco Classical Voice
Berkeley Chamber Performances (BCP) continues its 18th season on Tuesday, January 18, with the beautifully designed program SONGS OF MY FATHER. Conceived by the virtuoso clarinetist and composer Deborah Pittman, the program begins at 8 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club. Along with Pittman, the program features the Sun String Quartet, dancer, Sheila Coleman, and pianist Joanne De Phillips, the founding director of Berkeley Chamber Performances. Audience members are invited to attend a complementary wine and cheese reception following the concert with an opportunity to meet and talk with the musicians.

Songs of My Father offers classic, recent, and original works commemorating the African Diaspora, Barack Obama, and fathers, known and lesser known. The program includes Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, featuring Deborah Pittman and the Sun String Quartet, and Simple Gifts, by John Williams. Composed for clarinet, cello, violin and piano, Williams’ piece honors President Barack Obama.

The program also includes a premier, a recent work by Deborah Pittman titled The World According to Earl: A Father-daughter Biography. A combination of music, words and images, Pittman’s composition was written in honor of her father, Earl Pittman. The program concludes with The Dancer Within Me, collaboration between Pittman and Dancer/Choreographer Sheila Coleman, for solo clarinet and dancer. The music for this piece, The Peacocks, is jazz standard by James Rowles. Pittman and Coleman describe their work as a creative gift to their fathers.

Deborah Pittman, who holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in music performance from the Brooklyn College Conservatory, is Professor of Clarinet at California State University, Sacramento. Pittman has held orchestral positions with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the State Symphony of Mexico, and the Dance Theater of Harlem, among others. A music director and composer who specializes in creating theatrical works for young audiences, she is currently working on a piece commissioned by the Crocker Art Museum in collaboration with the upcoming Norman Rockwell exhibition.

The Berkeley City Club is located at 2315 Durant Avenue between Dana and Ellsworth Streets. For directions or for information about dining at the Club before the performance, call (510) 848-7800. General admission for the concert is $25; high school students, free; post-secondary students, $12.50. For additional information about the January 18 program, and about other programs in the upcoming Season, either call (510) 525-5211 or check the website at Price Range: $12.50 to $25 (high school students free) Tickets: (510) 525-5211 [The Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is featured at]

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