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Listen On Demand | SoCal Sunday Night: In the Halls of Thornton

SoCal Sunday Night brings you an all-new program, starting October 29th: host Suraj Partha takes you to the USC Thornton School of Music for a new concert series called In the Halls of Thornton! Over seven weeks, feel the excitement and hear the music crowding the halls of this dynamic music school – from compositions by star faculty to performances by rising stars. See what’s available on demand below:

November 19

Lutosławki: Cello Concerto
Thornton Symphony – Carl St. Clair, conductor

Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Thornton Symphony – Carl St. Clair, conductor

Listen On Demand | SoCal Sunday Night: In the Halls of Thornton

November 12

To begin our show, we have percussionists Soojin Kang and David Riccobono performing J.S. Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto No. 1, which they arranged for themselves to play together on two marimbas. Kang is now a freelance percussionist in LA, and has played with the LA Philharmonic and Atlanta Symphony… Riccobono is currently the Assistant Principal Timpani and Section Percussion in the LA Phil. 

Kang and Riccobono told me about what it means to play together as soloists… You have to know each other’s strengths and tendencies and help support your soloist partner. You have to maintain eye contact and communicate non-verbally throughout the performance. You have to match each other’s mallet heights and speeds so that you blend properly with the other soloist and the orchestra… But most fundamentally, in order to succeed you have to breathe together.

Halfway through the show is a performance of Quatre Instants—Four Instants—by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. The ensemble Thornton Edge performed that work for soprano and orchestra in February of this past year, just a few months before Saariaho’s death. You’ll also an introduction for the piece by Hannah Rice, the soprano soloist who’s currently a master’s student at USC.

And to close, a tribute of USC Thornton Faculty Member Alan L. Smith. We listen to selections from his song cycle Vignettes: Ellis Island. Each short song takes its text from interviews of immigrants who came to our shores in the 20th century through Ellis Island, NY. The work is performed by mezzo soprano Christine Li and pianist Seoyon Macdonald, who are both DMA candidates at Thornton. – Suraj


J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 (arranged for 2 Marimbas)
Thornton Chamber Orchestra; David Riccobono, Soojin Kang, marimbas

Dvorak: Serenade for Strings
Thornton Chamber Orchestra; Glenn Dicterow, violin; Karen Dreyfus, viola; Ben Hung, cello; David Moore, bass

Kaija Saariaho: Quatre Instants
Thornton Edge – Donald Crockett, conductor; Hannah Rice, soprano

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat Major, K. 449
Thornton Chamber Orchestra; Katelyn Vahala, piano

Listen On Demand | SoCal Sunday Night: In the Halls of Thornton

November 5

For this show, we explore the world of concertos… music with an orchestra that features a soloist. And the pressure is on those soloists: they have to stand out sometimes, blend in other times, take the spotlight for some critical moments but also play in time and in harmony with the orchestra. Tonight, we’re going to hear impressive performances covering the full gamut of soundscapes and time periods.

Every year, USC Thornton has a concerto competition that seeks out the best students to perform with the orchestra. Only a handful get that opportunity. For many of these soloists, it’s the first time they played a concerto with an orchestra of such quality and attention to detail. After all, it’s not like you can call up 30-50 musicians and hire them out of the blue to back you up… The USC Concerto Competition is a rite of passage for these soloists and a chance to display their musical brilliance.

Three performances are from winners of the USC Concerto Competition, and one is from Jeffrey Kahane, USC Thornton Faculty member and former music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. – Suraj


Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major
Thornton Symphony – Carl St. Clair, conductor; Yue Qian, violin

Neilsen: Clarinet Concerto
Thornton Symphony – Carl St. Clair, conductor; Ray Wyant, clarinet

Ravel: Piano Concerto in G
Thornton Symphony; Jeffrey Kahane, piano and conductor

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor
Thornton Symphony – Carl St. Clair, conductor; Rixiang Huang, piano

Listen On Demand | SoCal Sunday Night: In the Halls of Thornton

October 29

Our first episode of “In the Halls of Thornton” is a celebration of Frank Ticheli’s music. He is professor emeritus of composition at the USC Thornton School of Music. He joined the faculty in 1991 and just retired from teaching in the spring of 2023.

We’re going to hear performances of his music by multiple USC Thornton ensembles, including the Thornton Wind Ensemble and Symphony. You’ll also hear directly from Frank Ticheli, who came into the KUSC studios to share insights on his music and compositional process.

In addition, the program features music by Nina Shekhar (Thornton alum), Hunter Long (Thornton alum), and Veronica Krausas (Thornton faculty).


Frank Ticheli: Shooting Stars
Thornton Winds – Carl St. Clair, conductor

Frank Ticheli: Songs of Love and Life
ii. First Lesson
iii. Prayer for a Marriage
Allan McMurray, conductor; Michaela Kelly, soprano

Frank Ticheli: Symphony No. 2, mvt. 3: “Apollo Unleashed”
Thornton Winds – Sharon Lavery, conductor

Frank Ticheli: “There Will Be Rest”
Thornton Chamber Singers – Carl St. Clair, conductor

Nina Shekar: Lumina
Donald Crockett, conductor

Hunter Long: Limits
Donald Crockett, conductor

Veronika Krausas: Caryatids

Frank Ticheli: Clarinet Concerto
Thornton Winds – Sharon Lavery, conductor; Alex Chang, clarinet

Frank Ticheli: Angels in the Architecture
Thornton Winds – Frank Ticheli, conductor

Frank Ticheli: Blue Shades
Thornton Winds – Frank Ticheli, conductor

Listen On Demand | SoCal Sunday Night: In the Halls of Thornton




Written by:
The Classical Team
The Classical Team
Published on 11.17.2023