Sat, Apr 25 | Noe Valley Ministry

Friction Quartet Premieres Young Composer Commissions

Friction Quartet ends the 2019-2020 concert season with five commissions! This concert will feature new works by young composers from their second Commissioning Initiative: Kari Watson, Theo Haber, Carolina Bragg, and Sofia Belimova. Plus a new commission by composer Geoffrey Gordon
Registration is Closed

Time & Location

Apr 25, 2020, 7:30 PM
Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA

About the Event

~~ Currently still scheduled. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and update our event listings if we must reschedule~~

San Francisco | Berkeley - On Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.and Sunday, April 26 at 4 p.m. local new music advocates, Friction Quartet, end a premiere packed concert season with the world premiere of works commissioned from brilliant high school and undergraduate composers from across the United States. The music from Sofia Belimova, Carolina Bragg, Theodore Haber, and Kari Watson, explores a range of topics and techniques that challenge the quartet to experiment, creating a concert experience full of innovation and expression.

Watson’s "Kinetics:  twenty one microludes", modeled after Kurtag's 12 microludes, explore motion and it's wide-ranging expression in the form of miniatures that range from "delicate and breathing" to "exuberant and blazing". Belimova, who is both a composer and a poet, has used this opportunity to combine her two art forms, creating music that depicts both the physical reality and emotional reaction to the seaside through her use of extended techniques and spoken word. Haber's new work, "2,000 Miles of Space," takes influences from minimalism and microtonality to create figures that weave around each other and morph to create a brisk, cold soundscape. High school student Carolina Bragg's new two-movement quartet is inspired by the bird of paradise. It first depicts the birds otherworldly beauty, with iridescent feathers and a smiling face, and then the comedic dance it does to attract its mate. These composers have each produced new string quartets that challenge convention and highlight their breadth of imagination, proving that talent, creativity, and mastery are ageless.


In addition to these four works, Friction has added the world premiere of an additional commissioned string quartet from Geoffrey Gordon. Gordon is writing a series of works for various instrumentation based on the surrealist poem "La terre est bleue comme une orange" by Paul Éluard.

------- About the Composers-

Caroline Bragg (Carolina) has studied composition with Alla Cohen since 2010. As the Patrina Foundation fellow in the 2017-2018 Luna Composition Lab, she wrote her string quartet “Paradise Lost: This Pendant World” under the mentorship of Reena Esmail; in Luna Lab’s concert week, her piece was premiered at Roulette and National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York. In the 2018-19 Young Composers Competition of Webster University, she was awarded Second Place in Level I. Carolina was a first place winner in the 2017 high school division of the Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers, and the Foundation for Modern Music performed her winning work Melting Glaciers at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is a three-time Finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition, and Tribeca New Music has named her an Emerging Composer three times. Carolina studies cello with Eugene Kim through New England Conservatory and plays in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, through which she and her clarinet quintet perform at various fundraising and community outreach events.​


Kari Watson has a passion for narrative, and works to create music that is energetic, tactile and emotionally driven. Her work has been premiered in the United States, Europe, and Japan by ensembles such as the Rosetta Contemporary ensemble, Ensemble MISE-EN, and Soli Chamber Ensemble. She is currently serving as composer-in-residence with the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra for their 2018-2019 concert season with an upcoming premiere of her piece “Morning Music for Fish”. Most recently, Kari received the Flint Initiative Grant from Oberlin Conservatory and the Ruth Crawford Seeger award for composition. Kari is a third-year composition student at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studies under a dean’s scholarship.


Theodore Haber, is a San Francisco Bay Area based composer and violinist. He is a student at the USC Thornton School of Music studying composition with Ted Hearne and Sean Friar. Previous teachers include John Adams, Matthew Cmiel, Samuel Carl Adams, and Robert Yamasato. Haber has participated in the John Adams Young Composers Program summer workshop, The Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, and the soundSCAPE Composition and Performance Exchange. He enjoys collaboration and aims to learn about other art forms through collaborative projects. He has worked with filmmakers, actors, and dancers. He has performed with the Kronos Quartet, in the Other Minds Music Festival, and in the Switchboard Music Festival, and was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. His compositions have been premiered by the Baumer String Quartet, The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, SF Sound, the Friction Quartet, the Now Ensemble, and the USC Thornton Symphony.


18-year-old Sofia Belimova was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is a first-year student at Amherst College. At seven years old, she started studying piano and violin, and a year later she began composition lessons at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Sofya Levkovskaya. Sofia's family immigrated to the United States in 2009, and in 2010 she was accepted to the Special Music School at Kaufman Music Center where she studied piano with Natela Mchedlishvili and composition with Robinson McClellan. In high school, she went on to attend the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Program where she studied with Wang Jie and Kevin James of the American Composers Orchestra Compose Yourself! Program. She has participated in the Face the Music ensemble and the Luna Composition Lab where she worked with Missy Mazzoli. Her pieces have been performed at The Roulette, Le Poisson Rouge, Mannes School of Music, Doge Hall at Columbia University, Firehouse Space, The Jazz Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art balcony, Merkin Concert Hall, and others.

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