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CSMA premieres piece by Los Altos composer

The Ives Quartet is scheduled to perform a new commissioned work by Los Altos resident Sondra Clark 7 p.m. Saturday at the Community School of Music & Arts (CSMA) at Finn Center in Mountain View. Clark is a noted Bay Area composer and graduate of The Juilliard School.

Robert and Sue Larson of Los Altos Hills commissioned "Celebrating the Muse: Seven Homages to American Composers" to celebrate CSMA's new Tateuchi Hall.

"Following a tour of the hall while it was still being fine-tuned, I immediately decided to write a multisectioned work that would celebrate the characteristic sounds of seven great American composers and give the new hall a chance to demonstrate its magically true acoustics," Clark said.

The seven movements provide a variety of musical sounds, according to Clark: the atmospheric imagery of Edward MacDowell, the haunting wistfulness of Aaron Copland, the intensely wild side of Ned Rorem and the lush lyricism of Samuel Barber. The suite ends with homages to Clark's favorite composers: an impressionististic fantasy of changing scenes in the manner of Charles Griffes and a jazzy, polyrhythmic salute to George Gershwin in anticipation of the 70th anniversary of his death. The finale, "Homage to George Gershwin," was performed in an orchestral version by the San Francisco Composers' Chamber Orchestra in 2005.

Clark described her compositional styles as "audience-friendly, because I like writing intriguing rhythms and shifting tonalities that disguise the underlying dissonances and modern elements."

The program also features Mozart's "Adagio & Fugue, K. 546" and Beethoven's "Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3."

The Ives Quartet combines the talent and experience of the international, solo, orchestral, chamber and recording careers of its artist members: Susan Freier (violin), Bettina Musumelli (violin), Scott Woolweaver (viola) and Stephen Harrison (cello).

Finn Center is located at 230 San Antonio Circle in Mountain View.

For tickets ($20) and more information, call 917-6800, ext. 335, or visit www.arts4all.org.

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