Arizona Contemporary Ensemble - Allen Rippe & Edward Goodman, Saxophone

Feb 19 7:30 PM


Crowder Hall
1017 N Olive Rd
Tucson, AZ 85721-0004



Contact Information

(520) 621-1655

Download Event Program

The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music presents the Arizona Contemporary Ensemble in concert. The performance will feature guest artists Allen Rippe, saxophone; Rahşan Apay-Durdağ, cello, and faculty artists Edward Goodman, saxophone; Michael Dauphinais, piano. World premiere performances include “The Refuge” by Armağan Durdağ and “The Jane Set Duo” (saxophone version) by Daniel Asia. The free-admission concert will take place on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in Crowder Hall.

The music of Darius Milhaud, Terry Riley, Armagan Durdag and Daniel Asia will be performed in this concert.

The Arizona Contemporary Ensemble, under the direction of Daniel Asia, is dedicated to the performance of music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The concert is sponsored by the University of Arizona Fox School of Music, the Apgar Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, The Mary Goodman Fund for Music Composition, and private contributors.

About the Music:

“La Création du monde” is a 17-minute-long ballet composed by Darius Milhaud in 1922–23 to a libretto by Blaise Cendrars, which outlines the Creation of the World based on African folk mythology. The somewhat scandalous premiere took place on 25 October 1923 at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. In six connected movements, the work is scored for a small orchestra of seventeen instruments: 7 woodwinds (2 flutes, oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, alto saxophone), 4 brass (horn, 2 trumpets, trombone), piano, percussion, and strings (2 violins, violoncello, double bass). The alto saxophone part appears in the score where a viola part would generally be. Adapted from Wikipedia

“In C”: Only one page of score. No specified instrumentation and no parts. Fifty-three motives, mostly minuscule. No counterpoint. No evident form. Spare instructions, with many aspects left deliberately vague. An open duration and no tempo mark. With a title that’s laconic in the extreme, In C is the founding work of the musical movement called Minimalism.    

Adapted from Robert Carl’s book In C

“The Refuge,” written for alto and soprano saxophone, cello and piano, is a 19-minute piece in three movements. It was commissioned by the saxophone artist, Allen Rippe, a professor at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis. The work is dedicated to the people of Syria, and also to all of those in history who were forced to leave their beloved country because of a devastating war. The piece does not focus on refugees as much as on the deeper meaning of the concept of ‘refuge,’ a strong and safe place where we feel secure and tranquil, arriving there through our souls.  

Armağan Durdağ

“The Jane Set,” originally for solo clarinet, is one of a series for individual instruments. Like its progenitor, “The Alex Set” (for solo oboe or saxophone), this work is evocative, idiomatic, virtuosic, and widely expressive.  The four contrasting movements are marked Misterioso; Murmuring and ghostly; Vivace; and Misterioso. Playful, with the speed moving from slow, to moderate, to fast, and finally back to slow again- the work presents a complete journey. After writing the solo I immediately thought that it would be intriguing to write a duo with bass clarinet. This duo saxophone version is a transcription of that work.

Why the name?  With the first set, in my youthful ebullience, I figured, hmm, a name? - if not sonata or study, perhaps a real name.  I chose Alex, which was propitious, as the work, in its final form, was commissioned by the great oboist Alex Klein.  I decided to continue this playful approach with this set, as well as the recent “Jack Set” for solo bassoon.        

Daniel Asia

About the Composers:

Daniel Asia has been an eclectic and unique composer from the start. He recently received a Music Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts Letters, and has received grants from Meet the Composer, a UK Fulbright award, a Guggeneheim Fellowship, MacDowell and Tanglewood fellowships, a DAAD Fellowship, Copland Fund grants, the NEA (four times) and Koussevitsky Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, and numerous others. From 1991 to 1994 he was the Meet The Composer composer-in-residence of the Phoenix Symphony, and from 1977 to 1995 music director of the New York-based contemporary ensemble Musical Elements. As Elliott Hurwitt writes in his "Schwann Opus" review of the composer’s compact disc, "Ivory," “Daniel Asia is a genuine creative spirit, an excellent composer, ... He is a welcome addition to the roster of our strongest group of living composers.”

As a conductor, Asia has worked with numerous orchestras and leading contemporary ensembles, including the Phoenix Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, the Aspen Festival Chamber Orchestra, Lontano, Endymion Ensemble, Indiana University/Bloomington New Music Ensemble, Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble, among others. Mr. Asia is the founder and co-music director of the New York-based contemporary ensemble Musical Elements.  The ensemble performed in all the major halls of New York and was in residence at the 92nd Street Y from 1986 to 1989.

Asia’s five symphonies have received wide acclaim from live performance and their international recordings. His Nonet was written under a commission from the Barlow Endowment for Music and the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music for The Czech Nonet, the longest continuously performing chamber ensemble on the planet. He recently finished his opera, "The Tin Angel," after the eponymous book by longtime collaborator Paul Pines.

Mr. Asia resided in London from 1986 to 1988, working under the auspices of the UK Fulbright Arts Award and Guggenheim Fellowship. Thereafter he was appointed professor of composition at the University of Arizona, where he is presently head of the composition area. The recorded works of Daniel Asia may be heard on the labels of Summit, New World and Albany. For further information, visit


Armağan Durdağ was born in Istanbul, Turkey. After studying piano privately with Mert Bilginer and the fundamentals of music theory with Nail Yavuzoğlu, he pursued his bachelor’s degree in sound engineering at the Turkish Music State Conservatory in Istanbul Technical University. In 2008, he moved to Washington, DC, where he studied piano and composition with Jeffery Watson, and orchestral conducting with A. Scott Wood at the Washington Conservatory of Music. In April of 2009, he wrote the string orchestrations for “Faces & Places,” a jazz album by Turkish composer and pianist Fahir Atakoğlu, which was nominated for a Grammy candidacy. Between 2009-2011, pursuing his master’s degree in music composition at the University of Memphis, he studied composition with Kamran Ince, and orchestral conducting with Kraig Alan Williams. He attended masterclasses with prominent American composers Joseph Schwantner, Fred Lerdahl, Marc Mellits, Sophia Serghi, Christopher Trapani and Chris Brubeck. Durdağ is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in music composition at the University of Arizona, studying with composer Daniel Asia and conducting with Thomas Cockrell.

Darius Milhaud was born to a Jewish family in southern France during the last decade of the nineteenth century. Studies at the Paris Conservatoire, from age 17, gave the young composer opportunity to work with some of the most prominent French composers and theorists of the day, and allowed him to focus on developing his skills as a pianist.

In 1919 Milhaud was adopted into the circle of "Les Six," a group of progressive French composers brought together under the guidance of Jean Cocteau. However, like any such artificial collection, Les Six was quick to dissolve, and during the 1920s Milhaud adopted an assortment of new musical influences (notably jazz, which the composer first discovered during a trip to the U.S. in 1922, and which features prominently in much of his subsequent music).

Milhaud composed, performed, and taught during the 1920s and 1930s, only abandoning his homeland in late 1939 after all hope of resisting the German advance vanished. Settling in the United States, Milhaud accepted a teaching position with Mills College in Oakland, California, and continued to compose prolifically. From 1947 he combined his American teaching duties with a similar position at the Paris Conservatoire, remaining at both institutions until 1971, when his poor health forced him into retirement. He died in Switzerland three years later.

Milhaud's musical output is impressive, both in terms of quantity and quality. The numbers alone are staggering for a twentieth century composer: nine operas, 12 ballets, 12 symphonies (in addition to six chamber symphonies), six piano concertos (one of them a double concerto), 18 string quartets, and about 400 other compositions in almost every conceivable form and instrumentation.   Adapted from Allmusic by Blair Johnston

Minimalist pioneer Terry Riley was among the most revolutionary composers of the postwar era; famed for his introduction of repetition into Western music motifs, he also masterminded early experiments in tape loops and delay systems which left an indelible mark on the experimental music produced in his wake. Riley was born June 24, 1935 in Colfax, California, and began performing professionally as a solo pianist during the '50s; by the middle of the decade, he was studying composition in San Francisco and Berkeley, where among his classmates was fellow minimalist innovator La Monte Young. Influenced by John Coltrane and John Cage, Riley began exploring open improvisation and avant-garde music, and in 1960 composed Mescalin Mix, a musique concrète piece consisting of tape loops of assorted found sounds, for the Anna Halprin Dance Company.

By the early '60s, Riley was regularly holding solo harmonium performances beginning at 10 p.m. and continuing until sunrise, an obvious precursor of the all-night underground raves to follow decades later. The loop effect sparked Riley's interest in repetition as a means of musical expression, and in 1964, he completed his most famous work, the minimalist breakthrough In C; a piece constructed from 53 separate patterns, it was a landmark composition that provided the conception for a new musical form assembled from interlocking repetitive figures.

In time, Riley also learned to play saxophone, introducing the instrument into his so-called all-night flights.In 1970 he made the first of many trips to India to study under vocal master Pandit Pran Nath, with whom he frequently performed in the years to come.     

In the ‘70s while on staff at Mills, he befriended David Harrington of Kronos Quartet; the two collaborated on a number of concertos for string quartet and orchestra -- one even commissioned by the Salzburg Festival in 1991. Through the rest of the decade, and into the 21st century, Riley saw his own works either re-released or had previously unissued early tapes released by various labels, including the Cortical Foundation, Wergo, and Elision Fields.

adapted from AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick

About the Artists:

Rahşan Apay-Durdağ, is one of Turkey’s top cellists. Apay-Durdağ has enjoyed a successful worldwide, thirty-year career as a recital and orchestral soloist and chamber musician. Apay-Durdağ is currently a member and soloist for the Civic Orchestra of Tucson under the direction of Dr. Herschel Kreloff, and the principal cellist for the Tucson Repertory Orchestra under the direction of Toru Tagawa.

Michael Dauphinais has been hailed as "a marvelous collaborative pianist" and has garnered praise for his "superbly realized continuo" as well as his live renditions of orchestral reductions: "pianist Michael Dauphinais enables one to forget the lack of an orchestra almost immediately" (Newark Star-Ledger). His versatility has led to collaborations with several opera companies in the U.S. including Tulsa Opera, Sarasota Opera, Kentucky Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Southwest, Opera in the Ozarks and New Jersey Opera Theatre, and he has served as the music director for the young artists' Ensemble at San Diego Opera. Dauphinais has also served as a staff pianist for the American Institute for Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.

An advocate of contemporary music and multi-disciplinary collaboration, Mr. Dauphinais has played music by John Cage with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and has also collaborated with choreographer Yanira Castro, Art.If.Act Dance Project and ACE (Arizona Contemporary Ensemble). Mr. Dauphinais's most recent collaborative project, the site-specific dance and sound installation Wilderness with sound artist/composer Stephan Moore and choreographer Yanira Castro and company, premiered at the 2010 Filament Festival at EMPAC (Troy, NY); further performances have taken place at Vanderbilt University, Franklin and Marshall College (PA), The Invisible Dog Art Center (Brooklyn, NY) and at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Edward Goodman is a versatile performer, improviser, educator, and scholar comfortable in a wide array of musical idioms. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan where he served as teaching assistant to Dr. Timothy McAllister. His performance career has led to appearances around the globe as a soloist, chamber musician, and in various other concert settings. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Regional and National Biennial North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, and in eight performances in and around the SaxOpen Festival in Strasbourg, France, featuring his modern vaudeville saxophone sextet, 

As a soloist, Goodman was awarded first prize in the North American Saxophone Alliance National Classical Solo Competition. As an orchestral performer, Edward has performed as principal saxophonist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, the Music Academy of the West Orchestra under Larry Rachleff, the New World Symphony under Jeffrey Milarsky, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra under Arie Lipsky. He has also performed with chamber ensembles such as the PRISM Saxophone Quartet and the Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet. Being an avid promoter of new music, Edward has commissioned several pieces for the saxophone in a variety of mediums.
He serves on the summer faculty of both Interlochen Center of the Arts and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan.

Allen Rippe, Associate Professor of saxophone, began his musical training at the Interlochen Arts Academy, continuing at Hartt College of Music at the University of Hartford. He received the Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan. His primary teachers were Jack Kripl and Donald Sinta. Mr. Rippe joined the University of Memphis faculty in 1978, after completing two years in the visiting artist program in North Carolina. He spent 1982-83 in Israel, performing with the Israel Philharmonic and the Jerusalem Symphony, and teaching for the Municipal Youth Band of Acre. In 1987, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Mr. Rippe funding in 1987 to commission William Russo to write Memphis: “A Ballet for Alto Saxophone and Ten Instruments,” which was premiered at the University of Memphis New Music Festival. In 2010 Rippe was a featured soloist at the XV World Saxophone Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, performing his commission of “Shades of Mediterranean” by Tolga Ozdemir.