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Faculty Recital: Cristina Valdés, piano: Preludes and Etudes

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 7:30pm
$20 ($15 UW Affiliate, $10 students and seniors).
Cristina Valdés (Photo: Monica Frisell).
Cristina Valdés (Photo: Monica Frisell).

Faculty pianist Cristina Valdés performs music by Henri Dutilleux, Alexander Scriabin, Huck Hodge, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, and Gabriela Ortiz in this program of preludes and etudes. She is joined by Cuong Vu, trumpet, for the premiere of her work Sketches of an Anniversary Prelude, for trumpet and piano.


Trois Préludes pour piano - Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) 
I. D'ombre et de silence
II. Sur un même accord
III. Le jeu des contraires

Four Preludes, Op. 33 - Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915)
Prelude No. 1 in E Major
Prelude No. 2 in F-Sharp Major: Vagamente
Prelude No. 3 in C Major
Prelude No. 4 in A-Flat Major: Ardito, bellicose

Transfigured Etudes - Huck Hodge (b. 1977)
I. Distant, like a gathering storm
II. Interlude I (echoes…)
III. après l'Ange du foyer
IV. Interlude II (…phantoms)
V. Omen, unscroll a canon war!


Piano Preludes - Ruth Crawford-Seeger (1901-1953)
No. 1 - Andante Tranquillo
No. 5 - Lento
No. 6 - Andante Mystico

Estudios entre Preludios - Gabriela Ortiz (b. 1964)
Preludio No. 1
Preludio No. 2
Preludio No. 3, Homenaje a Jesusa Palancares
Estudio No. 4

Sketches of an Anniversary Prelude - Cristina Valdes (b. 1972)
Cuong Vu, trumpet

Cristina Valdés, piano

Pianist Cristina Valdés presents innovative concerts of standard and experimental repertoire, and is known to “play a mean piano.” A fierce advocate for new music, she has premiered countless works, including many written for her. She has performed across four continents and in venues such as Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre, Jordan Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Ms. Valdés has appeared both as a soloist and chamber musician at festivals worldwide including New Music in Miami, the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva in Mexico City, Brisbane Arts Festival, the Festival of Contemporary Music in El Salvador, Havana Contemporary Music Festival, and the Singapore Arts Festival. 

An avid chamber musician and collaborator, Ms. Valdés has toured extensively with the Bang On a Can “All Stars”, and has performed with the Seattle Chamber Players, the Mabou Mines Theater Company, the Parsons Dance Company, and Antares. Her performances on both the Seattle Symphony’s Chamber Series and [UNTITLED] concerts have garnered critical acclaim, including her “knockout” (Seattle Times) performance of Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, and her “arrestingly eloquent performance” of Dutilleux’s Trois Preludes (Bernard Jacobson/MusicWeb International).

Ms. Valdés has appeared as concerto soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Philharmonic, the Lake Union Civic Orchestra, Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic, NOCCO, Philharmonia Northwest, the Eastman BroadBand, and the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. In 2015 she performed the piano solo part of the Ives 4th Symphony with the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Ludovic Morlot, which was later released on CD to critical acclaim and made Gramophone’s list of Top 10 Ives Recordings. Other recent recordings include Orlando Garcia’s “From Darkness to Luminosity” with the Málaga Philharmonic on the Toccata Classics label, and the world premiere recording of Kotoka Suzuki’s “Shimmer, Tree | In Memoriam Jonathan Harvey”. She can also be heard on the Albany, Newport Classics, Urtext, and Ideologic Organ labels.

In recent seasons she gave performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3, the world-premiere performance of Carlos Sanchez-Guttierez’s “Short Stories” for piano and string orchestra with the Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the U.S. Premiere of “Under Construction” for solo piano and tape playback by Heiner Goebbels at Benaroya Hall. Last season she was the featured soloist with the Seattle Symphony on two of their “[untitled]” new music series concerts.

Ms. Valdés received a Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. She currently lives in Seattle where she founded the SLAM Festival, a new music festival dedicated to the music of Latin-American composers, and performs regularly as a member of the Seattle Modern Orchestra. She is an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington, and is the Director of the UW Modern Music Ensemble. 

Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a generation of innovative musicians. A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing to a wide range of artists such as Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, and David Bowie.

As a youngster, Cuong's intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies with a distinction in performance. Transitioning from his studies in Boston, he moved to New York in 1994 and began his career actively leading various groups while touring extensively throughout the world. As a leader, Cuong has released eight recordings, each making critics’ lists of the 10 best recordings of their respective years and has received rave reviews from notable publications such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s, the Guardian, BBC Music Magazine, JazzTimes and Downbeat. Each record displays how he has carved out a distinctive sonic territory as a trumpet player, blurring all stylistic borders while developing his own compositional aesthetic and sound world.

Awards and honors that Cuong has garnered include grants from the Royalty Research Foundation, the Donald E. Petersen Professorship, ArtistTrust, 4Culture, CityArts and the Colbert Award for Excellence.  Cuong is currently associate professor and chair of Jazz Studies at the University of Washington and was awarded the University of Washington's prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award in his third year on faculty. In 2002 and 2006, Cuong was a recipient of the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group. He’s been recognized as one of the top 50 Jazz Artists in an article called “The New Masters” from the British magazine, “Classic CD” and in 2006 was named the Best International Jazz Artist by the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. Amazon listed Vu’s “Come Play With Me” on their “The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time.”

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