ALASKA MEETS BEETHOVEN - ALASKA COMPOSERS
Victoria Fraser "Alaska"
A Service High School graduate, class of 2006, Victoria Fraser enjoyed a very musical upbringing in Anchorage. Beginning at age 5, she received fine early training from Janet Stotts in the Alaska Children’s Choir and later studied voice with Michael More and Kate Egan and piano with Vince Spezialy and Cynthia Epperson. Her adored ASD music teachers included Kimberly Bailey at O’Malley Elementary, David Donaldson at Goldenview and Darrel Kincade at Service. After returning from studying abroad in France for her junior year as a Rotary exchange student, Victoria participated in the APU Early Honor’s Program where she received the annual Renaissance Award.
Victoria graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College, majoring in both Music and Italian studies, garnering multiple Graduate Awards and High Departmental Honors. She is pursuing her Master’s in Vocal Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she will graduate, with honors, this May. While at Smith, she served as a soprano section leader in both the Smith College Glee Club and the Chamber Singers, as principal timpanist in the Orchestra, and as a member and music arranger in The Vibes a capella group. As winner of the Concerto Competition in her Sophomore year, she sang as a soloist on tour with the orchestra in Sicily. During her junior-year-abroad in Italy, Victoria served as a soloist with the Cathedral Choir of Florence.
A certified PADI Dive Master, Victoria is also passionate about finding adventure in one of her many hobbies: SCUBA diving, downhill skiing, hiking, sailing, creative writing and traveling. In January, Victoria will depart for Germany where she will spend 12 months as an Au Pair and begin chasing her dream of being a sacred-music singer in the world's beautiful cathedrals.
Composed as a senior thesis in composition at Smith College, I came up with the idea for “Alaska” while I was living abroad and feeling nostalgic about my home state. Composing has always been my way of recounting and processing my experiences; in this case, my experience of the place in which I had an adventure-filled upbringing. In my travels, I have yet to encounter another people as loving and as proud of their surroundings as we Alaskans and it took an extended absence for me to truly appreciate and remember why that is. I have attempted to capture not only the imposing grandeur of Alaska’s mountains, the grace of its whales, the enthralling splendor of the Northern Lights and the serene comfort of a gentle snowfall, but also to pay homage to this most striking place in the world. Many have captured the uniqueness of Alaska’s beauty in music, poetry and painting and this is my humble addition to that oeuvre. It is a dream come true and a great honor for me that this piece is being performed in its place of inspiration.
John Luther Adams "Sky with Four Suns" and "Sky with Four Moons"
Called "one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century" (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), John Luther Adams is a composer whose life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world.
Adams composes for orchestra, chamber ensembles, percussion and electronic media, and his music is recorded on Cold Blue, New World, Mode, Cantaloupe, and New Albion.
A recipient of the Heinz Award for his contributions to raising environmental awareness, Adams has also been honored with the Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University "for melding the physical and musical worlds into a unique artistic vision that transcends stylistic boundaries."
JLA's music is heard regularly all over the world. The Chicago Symphony, the Radio Netherlands Philharmonic, and the Melbourne Symphony have performed his Dark Waves for large orchestra and electronic sounds. Inuksuit for up to ninety-nine percussionists has been performed in New York City's Morningside Park and at the Park Avenue Armory, as well as many other outdoor venues throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Adams is the author of Winter Music (2004), a collection of essays, journal entries and reflections on his life and work in Alaska. The subject of his second book is The Place Where You Go to Listen (2009) his installation at the Museum of the North that translates geophysical data streams into an ever-changing environment of sound and light. The Farthest Place (2012), a book-length critical study of JLA's music, includes essays by Kyle Gann, Steven Schick, Glenn Kotche and many other prominent musicians and scholars.
Adams has taught at Harvard University, the Oberlin Conservatory, Bennington College, and the University of Alaska. He has been composer in residence with the Anchorage Symphony, Anchorage Opera, Fairbanks Symphony, Arctic Chamber Orchestra, and the Alaska Public Radio Network, and he has served as president of the American Music Center.
Born in 1953, Adams grew up in the South and in the suburbs of New York City. He studied composition with James Tenney and Leonard Stein at the California Institute of the Arts, where he was in the first graduating class (in 1973). In the mid-1970s he became active in the campaign for the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and subsequently served as executive director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.
John Luther Adams