Hotel Elefant: “speakOUT” Hotel Elefant: “speakOUT”

with composer Sahba Aminikia & music of Hannis Brown, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Matt Marks, and Leaha Maria Villarreal

Sun September 14th, 2014


Main Space

Minimum Age: All Ages

Doors Open: 6:30PM

Show Time: 7:30PM

Event Ticket: $15

Day of Show: $20

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free for members
event description event description

The “bold and exuberant” (The Box if Empty) contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant enters its third season, “speakOUT,” focusing on music of personal or political nature. Anchoring the opening concert is the music of Iranian-born composer Sahba Aminikia, providing a snapshot of tensions in Iran. Described as “fabulous, colorful, and persuasive” by composer John Adams, Aminikia has cultivated “his own unique voice through which his personal experiences and memories have been refracted” (San Francisco Examiner). The evening will include a world premiere and Hotel Elefant commission by noise enthusiast Hannis Brown. FensePost raves: “Hannis Brown is to music what mad scientists are to invention.” Selections from the folk-influenced Mary Kouyoumdjian (executive director), an arrangement created especially for Hotel Elefant by pop-culture savant Matt Marks, and a piano trio elegy by Artistic Director Leaha Maria Villarreal round out the program.

This concert will be recorded by Q2 Music

Table seating for all seated shows is reserved exclusively for ticket holders who purchase “Table Seating” tickets. By purchasing a “Table Seating” ticket you agree to also purchase a minimum of two food and/or beverage items per person. Table seating is first come, first seated. Please arrive early for the best choice of available seats. Seating begins when doors open. Tables are communal so you may be seated with other patrons. We do not take table reservations.

A standing room area is available by the bar for all guests who purchase “Standing Room” tickets. Food and beverage can be purchased at the bar but there is no minimum purchase required in this area.

All tickets sales are final. No refund or credits.

the artists the artists

Hotel Elefant: “speakOUT”

Hotel Elefant is a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to the works of innovative, living composers. Founded by composers Leaha Maria Villarreal and Mary Kouyoumdjian, Hotel Elefant brings an awareness of today’s music to the general public through commissions, performances, and moderated discussions between composers, performers, and audiences. Committed to modern sounds and sonic explorations, this “audacious and unafraid” (New Music Box) ensemble highlights living composers who are blurring lines, pushing boundaries, and fostering creativity. With a flexible roster of over twenty musicians, Time Out New York hails Hotel Elefant as “one of New York’s fastest rising new-music outfits.”

composer Sahba Aminikia

As strongly influenced by his native country’s idiom yet also undeniably informed by classical training and the world of academic new music—a healthy balance.“—SF Classical Voice
Born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran, Sahba Aminikia studied music composition in Russia at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory under Boris Ivanovich Tishchenko, a post-graduate student of Dimitri Shostakovich. In his homeland, Aminikia studied under renowned Iranian pianists Nikan Milani, Safa Shahidi and Gagik Babayan. He was influenced by work with his first teacher and renown composer Dr. Mehran Rouhani, a post-graduate of Royal Academy of Music & former student of Sir Michael Tippett.
He received his B.M. and M.M. with honors from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Dan Becker, David Garner, & David Conte where he was the proud recipient of Phyllis Wattis Foundation scholarship. He has also received lessons from Conrad Susa, Richard Danielpour, John Corigliano, Oswaldo Golijov, and John Adams.
He is the recipient of commissions from theatre troops, contemporary classical ensembles, film scores, Persian traditional music groups to jazz bands including Kronos Quartet, Symphony Parnassus, San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble, Mobius Trio, Delphi Trio and Living Earth Show and has collaborated with artists such as Rashin Fahandej & Taraneh Hemami.
His third string quartet, A Threnody for Those Who Remain, commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts & Kronos Performing Arts Association was described by Financial Times as “an experience not to be easily forgotten.”
Recent projects include a second commission for Kronos Quartet: Tar o Pood (Warp and Weft), based on actual recordings of Persian carpet-weavers work songs. Aminikia is the 2014 Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival’s Fellow Artist Composer, through which his most recent piece Shabo Meh (Night and Fog), was commissioned & premiered by the San Francisco-based Delphi Trio.

music of Hannis Brown, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Matt Marks, and Leaha Maria Villarreal

Mary Kouyoumdjian is a composer with projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores. As a first generation Armenian-American and coming from a family directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic pallet that draws on her heritage, interest in folk music, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new. She has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, Carnegie Hall, American Composers Forum/JFund, REDSHIFT, Nouveau Classical Project, Friction Quartet, Experiments in Opera, and Ensemble Oktoplus. She recently orchestrated on The Place Beyond the Pines.
Matt Marks’ work has been called “staggeringly creative” by The New York Times and “bright, catchy and continually turn[ing] Broadway clichés on their heads in surprising ways.” by the Los Angeles Times. His The Little Death: Vol. 1 was one of Time Out New York’s Top Ten Classical albums of 2010 and had one of Huffington Post’s Top Ten Alternative Art Songs of the Decade. Recent projects include his Strip Mall for the L.A. Philharmonic, Bluetooth Islands for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, a remix for Meredith Monk’s latest album, and a live realization of The Dirty Projectors’ album The Getty Address.
Composer Leaha Maria Villarreal brings a contemporary focus to classical music. With works described as “visceral” (Lucid Culture) and “austere” (New Music Box), her output includes music for dance, film, opera, and the concert hall. She has worked with organizations and ensembles such as Wild Rumpus, W4, Ear Heart Music, Boston New Music Initiative, BODYART, The Box is Empty, and PUBLIQuartet. Past composition teachers include Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Reynolds, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Chinary Ung. Villarreal holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and studied at New York University with Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon.

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