The Black Cedar Trio is committed to commissioning new works for flute, cello, and guitar by innovative composers throughout the world. Interested composers are encouraged to contact the trio, send scores for review, or share working drafts.
Tres Colores (2018) by Javier Contreras
Chilean composer Javier Contreras is the winner of the Black Cedar Trio’s 2018 Commission Competition. Contreras was born in the Patagonian region, where he received his initial musical training from his father, Manuela Contreras. Javier crafted his skills as a performer with the legendary Chilean guitarist, Jose Antonio Escobar, but as a composer, he has remained largely self-taught. His compositions span multiple forms, with works for solo instruments, chamber music ensembles, large orchestras, and choral pieces. In addition to his award from the Black Cedar Trio, his compositions have earned first prize in the Boston Guitar Fest Composition Competition, first prize in Chicago’s Lisker Music Foundation Composition Competition, first prize in the Liliana Perez Coroy National Classical Guitar Competition in Chile, plus top awards in Barcelona’s Miguel Llovet Classical Guitar Competition and Austria’s International Guitar Festival Rust.
As a guitarist and masterclass instructor, Javier has toured throughout Japan, the U.S., Spain, England, India, and South America, with appearances in Buenos Aires at the Festival Guitarras del Mundo and the inauguration of the Kirchner Cultural Centre. His music has been recorded by the award-winning guitarist José Antonio Escobar on the NAXOS label, Brazil’s Duo Ribeira-Leite, Esteban Espinoza and Romilio Orellana in Chile, cellist Alexander Ramm in Russia, the Catholic University of Chile Chamber Orchestra, the Mikkeli City Orchestra of Finland, and the grammy-award winning Duo Halasz from Germany.
Out of Nothing (2018) by Victoria Malawey
Victoria Malawey was awarded Honorable Mention in the Black Cedar Trio’s 2018 Commission Competition. Her song cycle for soprano, clarinet, and piano, Chansons Innocentes, was awarded the 2017 New Music Competition Patsy Lu Prize by the International Alliance of Women in Music, and her Miniatures for solo piano won second prize in the 2016 New Ariel Piano Composition Competition. Malawey was a 2018 recipient of the Lee and Margaret Echols Fellowship for Musicians in the Hambidge Center Creative Residency Program. Recent commissions include pieces for the William Ferris Chorale, Open House Chicago, the ARK Trio, soprano Emma Rose Lynn, and soprano Bethany Battafarano. Jeanné Inc has published several of her compositions for woodwinds. As a songwriter, Victoria writes original songs for piano, guitar, and voice and performs in and around the Twin Cities. Her album, There’s Still Time, was released in June 2018.
Victoria is Associate Professor of Music at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches courses in music theory, gender and music, and popular music. She completed a Ph.D. in music theory at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a dissertation on Björk’s Medúlla, which won the Dean’s Dissertation Prize in 2009. Her article, “‘Find Out What It Means to Me’: Aretha Franklin’s Gendered Re-Authoring of Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’” (Popular Music, May 2014) won the International Alliance of Women in Music Pauline Alderman Award for the best article in feminist music scholarship in 2015.
In the Spring (2018) by Andre Gueziec
Andre Gueziec was awarded Honorable Mention in the Black Cedar Trio’s 2018 Commission Competition. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in composition with Magna Cum Laude honors from San Jose State University in 2018, and his saxophone quartet, An Evening Out (2018) has been performed by the award-winning Zelos Saxaphone Quartet. Andre can be found performing on a five-string banjo at farmers markets and outdoor fairs throughout the Bay Area in his bluegrass band, Haute Grass.
Andre was born in Selestat, a small town nestled in the narrow valley of Alsace at the North Eastern edge of France. His passion for music comes as a second awakening after a highly successful career in the software industry, where he founded Beat the Traffic and sold it to the The Weather Network (Pelmorex Corporation). After publishing about forty peer-reviewed papers, journal articles and book chapters devoted to software development, and after inventing about 35 U.S Patents, Andre now dedicates much of his time to the creation of new music.
In Transit (2017) by Ursula Kwong-Brown
Ursula Kwong-Brown (b. 1987) is a composer, political activist and teacher from New York City. In Transit was commissioned by the Black Cedar Trio with support from InterMusic SF, and it was inspired by BART: both the sounds of the train itself and the journeys of the over 60,000 people who use it daily.
Ursula’s work has been performed in diverse venues including Carnegie Hall, le Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre and the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center in NYC, and the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Ursula received her B.A. from Columbia University in 2010, graduating with honors in music and biology. After doing neuroscience research for two years, she changed direction and began a PhD in music composition at U. C. Berkeley with generous support from a Mellon-Berkeley fellowship. Ursula graduated in May 2018 with a Ph.D. in Music Composition & New Media.
The Devil Inside (2016) by Mark Fish
Compositions by San Francisco composer Mark Fish include Ferdinand the Bull, which has been narrated in concert by David Ogden Stiers, Emmy Award-winner Roscoe Lee Browne, and Lauren Lane. It is a musical setting of the children’s classic The Story of Ferdinand, and it was commercially released by North Pacific Music with David Ogden Stiers’ narration. His Pictures of Miró, have been performed in the United States, New Zealand, and South Africa. The work is a set of musical depictions of eleven works by the Catalan painter Joan Miró, and it has been recorded by Tessa Brinckman and the East West Continuo for the album Glass Sky.
Miscellaneous Music (2015) by Durwynne Hsieh
Durwynne Hsieh received an eclectic mix of music education while coursing his way through science degrees and careers at MIT, UC Berkeley, and Los Medanos College. He studied composition with Elinor Armer and cello with Luis Garcia-Renart and Colin Hampton. He holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology and has worked as a college biology teacher and a technical writer. His musical compositions have been heard throughout Northern California, across the U.S., and in Europe, and they cover the range from solo works to chamber music to orchestra and vocal music. He has been commissioned by the Toledo Symphony, Tassajara Symphony, San José Chamber Orchestra, Marin Symphony, Sonnet Ensemble, and the Mendocino, West Marin, and Music in the Mountains music festivals. His chamber music piece Broken Dances was one of three western region semi-finalists in the nationwide 2012 Rápido Composition Contest and was later premiered by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Other works include two ballets, Prisms and Legacy, both commissioned by Benicia Ballet Theatre.
Black Cedar commissioned Durwynne to write Miscellaneous Music in 2015, and it is a collection of three contrasting pieces. Möbius Movement, is named after the famous Möbius strip, which is a geometric construct that has only one continuous surface. Introverted Interlude is a slow, musical portrait of an introvert. Five Fun Facts is a collage that incorporates disparate elements for the sole purpose of having a good time.
Of Emblems (2014) by Garrett Shatzer
Garrett Shatzer’s music has been performed by the Mobius Trio, the Erato Piano Trio, the Finisterra Piano Trio, the EOS Duo, the Lyris Quartet, Meridian Arts, the Empyrean Ensemble, Luna Nova, and the Citywater Ensemble. Notable commissions include a song cycle for soprano Mireille Asselin and the Reverb Brass Quintet, a song cycle for soprano Ann Moss and the Hausmann String Quartet, and a song cycle for tenor Charles Blandy and Grammy-nominated soprano Tony Arnold. Garrett holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Miami, and UC Davis.