March 11, 2014

Trio Ariadne Commissions Work By Icelandic Composer

Composer Daniel Bjarnason

The world premiere of a work for clarinet, cello and piano by Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason is slated for Trio Ariadne’s “Spring Fling” at 7:30 p.m. on April 4 in the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall.

The concert, which also includes music by Beethoven and Zemlinsky, will be the trio’s second recital as 2013-14 Weill Hall Artists-in-Residence.

The new work, which is yet-to-be titled, is a commission that grew from Bjarnason’s  association with Ariadne cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir. “I played one of Daníel’s pieces for chamber orchestra in Iceland and I liked it, thought it was really good,” said Thorsteinsdóttir, who is also Icelandic. “I asked him to write a piece for me (Bow to String, released on his first album, Processions), which I now have played with the LA Phil and Toronto symphony,” she said.

Bjarnason received the Iceland Music  “Composer of the Year” Award in 2013 and has been called “one of the most exciting, thoughtful and inspired composers working today.” He has collaborated numerous times with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among other orchestras.

 Admission and parking are free, however tickets are required. Advance tickets are highly recommended. Print your tickets from here or reserve them through the university box office at (707) 664-4246.

Weill Hall at the Green Music Center is located at the north campus entrance at Rohnert Park Expressway near Petaluma Hill Road. Parking is available in Lots O and L.  


Beethoven – Trio in E-flat, Op. 38 for clarinet, cello and piano

Bjarnason – Commissioned work, World Premiere

Zemlinsky – Trio in D Minor, Op. 3 for clarinet, cello and piano


Daníel Bjarnason studied piano, composition and conducting in Reykjavík, Iceland before leaving to study orchestral conducting at the Freiburg University of Music, Germany.

As a composer, Daníel has worked with many different orchestras and ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ulster Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam and Sinfonietta Cracovia. Besides regularly conducting his own music he has worked with conductors such as James Conlon, John Adams, Ilan Volkov, André de Ridder and Alexander Mickelthwate. 

Daníel is currently writing several new works including a large orchestral work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel for the 13/14 season. Other commissions include a new percussion work for So Percussion commissioned by the MusicNOW festival in Cincinnati and a new reed ensemble/choral work for Calefax and Nederlands Kammerkoor which premieres in 2014. He is also putting the finishing touches on a new album of orchestral music which he plans to release in Autumn 2013 on the Bedroom Community label.

2012 saw Daníel premiere two new works. The Isle Is Full Of Noises, written for orchestra and children's chorus, was commissioned by the Los Angeles Childrens Chorus and American Youth Symphony. The premiere took place in early March and was conducted by James Conlon. Over Light Earth, a chamber orchestra work commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Barbican, premiered in early October and was conducted by renowned composer John Adams. Both world premieres took place in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Daníel’s versatility as an arranger and conductor has led to collaborations with a broad array of musicians outside the classical field. In November 2011 Daníel collaborated with composer Ben Frost to create Music for Solaris, a new work for string orchestra, percussion, prepared piano and electronics. This work was written, arranged and performed by Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason, and received its World Premiere in Krakow, Poland in October 2010. The live performance features visual manipulations by Brian Eno and Nick Robertson. The North American premiere took place at the Lincoln Center, New York in April 2011, and in November 2011 the studio recordings were released through the Bedroom Community label. This work has since been performed live throughout Europe and the US, and received its Australian premiere at the Adelaide Festival in March 2013. 

Daníel has won numerous awards and grants and in 2008 and 2011 was awarded a special recommendation for his work at the International Rostrum for Composers. In 2010 he was nominated for the prestigious Nordic Council's Music Prize, and won the Kraumur Music Award. His 2012 compositions, The Isle Is Full Of Noises and Over Light Earth won him the prize for Best Composer at the 2013 Icelandic Music Awards.

Daníel's debut album, Processions, was released in February 2010 and was met with international acclaim with Time Out NY declaring that Bjarnason 'create(s) a sound that comes eerily close to defining classical musics undefinable brave new world'. Later that year Processions won the Best Composer/Best Composition category at the Icelandic Music Awards.

Daníel’s string arrangements can be heard on the new Sigur Rós album, Kveikur, which was released in June 2013. In 2012 he contributed the score to the feature film The Deep. His composition was awarded Best Film Score at the Icelandic Film And Television Awards in 2013 and nominated for Best Original Score at the Harpa Nordic Film Composers Awards 2013.

Visit Daniel's website.



Instructing, performing for, and living amongst Sonoma State University students over the course of a full year, Trio Ariadne—comprised of Elizabeth Joy Roe, Carol McGonnell, and Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir—provide a link between three campus units: the Department of Music, the Office of Residential Life, and
the Green Music Center. This innovative collaboration—created through a new partnership with New York’s Carnegie Hall—fuses instruction, outreach, residency, and performance, bringing college students together with some of the nation's finest post-graduate musicians.

Carol McGonnell, clarinet
Dublin-born Carol McGonnell was recently hailed as "an extraordinary clarinetist" by the New York Times. She is known for the expressive power of her playing of standard repertoire, and also enjoys exploring cutting-edge developments in new music. She recently performed as soloist in both John Adams’ “In Your Ear” Festival at Carnegie and in LA's Monday Evening Concerts, curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has also participated at the Marlboro Music Festival, Vermont, and performed at the inaugural concert of Zankel Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. Carol has performed as soloist with the Ulster Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Knights Chamber Orchestra and with ensembles including the Zankel Band, Ensemble Modern, Camerata Pacifica and the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert. She has been broadcast on Irish national television and radio, Lyric FM, BBC 3 and American national public radio.

Carol is a founding member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble, a dynamic New York group that has recently released a CD of the music of Tristan Murail on the Aeon label. The recording was listed among the top ten classical recordings of 2007 by Time Out New York. Last October, for the Irish Consulate in New York, she devised a program called New Music, New Ireland, New York, which was presented at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. That concert included the premiere of Cassini Void, a new clarinet concerto written for her by Irish composer Ian Wilson; in November she played in Miller Theatre's Portrait Concert of Irish composer Gerald Barry. She has guest-curated the music program for the Kilkenny Arts Festival and is on the advisory board of the Argento New Music Project. Carol is artistic director of Music for Museums, in association with the National Gallery of Ireland and including museums such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the LA Getty. She studied in Ireland with Brian O'Rourke and in New York with Charles Neidich. She is one of the sixteen handpicked fellows of the inaugural phase of The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute.

Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello
“Charismatic” (NYTimes) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir recently made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for which the LA Times praised her “emotional intensity.”  Following the release of her recording of Britten´s Suites for Solo Cello, last season she performed in some of the world´s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall.  This season will mark her debut with the Toronto Symphony and starting in the fall of 2013, Sæunn is Artist-in-Residence at Sonoma State University´s Green Music Center in California.

2013-2014 will also be Sæunn´s inaugural season as cellist of the Manhattan Piano Trio, beginning with her debut concert at the Chautauqua Music Festival.  An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets. She has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured. Sæunn is a founding member of Decoda; a group that seeks to revitalize the world of chamber music through refreshing concert experiences, creative education, and community engagement.

Along with the masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Sæunn is constantly inspired by works composed in our time and enjoys working with living composers.  In addition to working closely with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition Bow to String, she has premiered dozens of works, including new pieces by Peter Schickele, Paul Schoenfield, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir and Kendall Briggs. Sæunn has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the 2008 Naumburg Competition in New York and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Tanya L. Carey and Joel Krosnick.

Sæunn is a graduate of The Academy, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, performing chamber music at Carnegie Hall and bringing classical music to students in the New York City Public Schools.   She is currently a doctoral candidate at the State University of New York, Stony Brook as a student of Colin Carr.

Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano 
Hailed “brilliant” by The New York Times, pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe was named one of the classical music world's “Six on the Rise: Young Artists to Watch” by Symphony Magazine. The recipient of the prestigious William Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award, she has appeared as recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician at major venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Ravinia Festival, the Seoul Arts Center, Beijing Concert Hall, Salle Cortot (Paris), Teatro Argentino (Buenos Aires), the Adrienne Arsht Center (Miami), the Banff Centre (Canada), and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany).

A Chicago native, Ms. Roe was only 13 years old when she won the grand prize at the IBLA International Piano Competition in Italy. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School as a full scholarship student of Yoheved Kaplinsky, graduating with Scholastic Distinction. Her multifaceted career includes performance broadcasts on NPR, PBS and KBS; editorial work for Alfred Music Publishing; world premieres of new music; and a diverse range of collaborations and projects. A Universal Classics / Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, her debut solo album Images Poetiques was released in 2010, and her latest recording (of the Britten and Barber Piano Concerti) will be released later this year. She has also established a groundbreaking piano duo partnership with Greg Anderson: the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo has attracted global attention for their dynamic performances, chart-topping albums, and self-produced music videos (viewed by millions on YouTube). Additional career highlights include the Carnegie Hall premiere of Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for the composer's centennial celebration; presentations at leadership symposia like the EG (Entertainment Gathering), Imagine Solutions Conference, and Chicago Ideas Week; an artistic residency sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Argentina; and a two-year Visiting Artist residency at Smith College.

Committed to arts advocacy, Ms. Roe was one of the inaugural fellows of The Academy, Carnegie Hall’s fellowship program, in which she performed with Ensemble ACJW, taught at PS 131Q in Queens, and co-directed the Children's Music Campaign NYC. She has also partnered with the Van Cliburn Foundation for an educational residency, curated an interactive performance project featuring Juilliard pianists, served as an adviser to the PianoArts North American Competition, and given numerous community engagement concerts and master classes nationwide. In recognition of her educational and leadership endeavors, she was awarded the McGraw-Hill Companies’ Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach. Ms. Roe is a Steinway Artist and Soros Fellow.



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