Upcoming Performances and events

april 17 weds@ 7 U.C. San Diego “Grander Far the unseen soul”
7 p.m. Conrad Prebys concert hall

Recital with pianist Donald Berman. Music by Nadia Boulanger, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Viktor Ullmann, Ingrid Stölzel, Christopher Cerrone, Nina C. Young, Aaron Helgeson and Charles Ives.

Are songs a distillation of life's experience, for those who compose them and those who perform them? In their latest recital program, longtime collaborative partners soprano Susan Narucki and pianist Donald Berman explore works of a distinct group of composers drawn from different generations and diverse personal histories, in songs with a wide range of musical expression from the folk-like and minimal to lush echoes of late Romanticism and multilayered textures of the modern.

Nadia Boulanger  (1887-1979) was best known as one of the 20th century's most important and influential pedagogues, and taught a number of celebrated composers and musicians.  She was also an active composer, though her works are infrequently performed; the songs and piano solo on the program date primarily from 1918-1922 and are notable for their concise, clear form and direct - in some cases - brutal, emotional expression.

Three of American composer Ruth Crawford Seeger's evocative settings of poems of Carl Sandburg, dating from 1929, are included as well.  Crawford Seeger's compositional language is rooted firmly in the modern, yet she creates a delicate, variegated sound world that lifts and envelops Sandburg's candid imagery.

The Three Hölderlin Songs (1943) of Viktor Ullmann were written during the composer's internment at Terezin. The poems speak to the possibility of transcendence through our relationship to the natural world; these little known masterworks of the song genre are luminous and achingly beautiful. 

The second half opens with music from a younger generation of composers: Ingrid Stölzel, Christopher Cerrone and Nina C. Young.  Stölzel's Grand is the Seen captures Whitman's resplendent text, with a deft use of instrumental color and sweeping vocal lines. Cerrone's The Night with the Green Sky builds an atmosphere of almost suffocating fragility through the simplest of means.  And in Swan Song, Nina C. Young  creates a fusion of word and sound in which time seems suspended.  Aaron Helgeson's piano solo, Through glimpses of unknowing explores the knife edge between sound and silence, with writing of delicacy and restraint.

The program concludes with songs by Charles Ives. Narucki and Berman have collaborated on music of Ives for decades, as their critically acclaimed recording The Light that is Felt: Songs of Charles Ives (New World) attests.  The songs presented on this program include vignettes of an America that is long past, with a notable exception: West London.  "ill, moody and tongue tied"  is the description that Matthew Arnold applies to the homeless woman with her child, who seek help from the few to whom they are visible. Ives' song, nearly one hundred years old, illuminates what still surrounds us. 

Are songs a distillation of life's experience, for those who compose them and those who perform them?  ..."grander far the unseen soul" is full of music of great audacity, if we consider the audacity it takes to be immersed in the intimate. 

May 2, 2019 San Diego New Music - in the land of forgotten dreams

Vocal chamber music. At the La Jolla Athenaeum. With guitarist Pablo Gomez Cano, flutist Michael Matsuno and soprano Kirsten Ashley Wiest. Program to include:

Alba Potes - Dulzuras
Toshio Hosokawa - Renka 1
Anna Thorvaldsdottir - Rain
Kaija Saariaho - From the grammar of dreams (for two sopranos)


JANUARY 16, 2018

SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY "It's about time" | FESTIVAL OF music for Percussion  

Vocalists and ensemble. With conductor Steven Schick on the "It's About Time" Festival at San Diego Symphony/ Copley Symphony Hall, vocalists of kallisti (Kirsten Wiest, Susan Narucki and Hillary Jean Young ) join members of UC San Diego’s percussion ensemble redfishbluefish and members of the San Diego Symphony for a rare performance of Reich's iconic work.

FEBRUARY 21, 2018

vocal chamber music of gYöRGY KURTáG   |   WEDS @ 7   |  UC San DIEGO  


The Edge of Silence

Vocal Chamber Music of Győrgy Kurtág

Vocal chamber music. A concert devoted to the vocal chamber music of the Hungarian master composer, György Kurtág, including  Hét Dal (Seven songs for voice and cimbalom) S.K. Remembrance Noise (voice and violin),  Erinnerung an einen Winterabend ( voice, violin, cimbalom), Attila Jozsef Fragments (solo voice)  and Scenes from a Novel (voice, violin, cimbalom and double bass

The soprano is joined by guest artists Curtis Macomber (violin), Nicholas Tolle (cimbalom) and Kathryn Schulmeister (double bass).   The concert earned an enthusiastic review from the San Diego Union Tribune.\

MARCH 9, 2018


Producer, artistic director, performer. The critically acclaimed chamber opera travels to the ENT Center at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for the fourteenth performance of the opera.  Since its San Diego premiere in 2013, Cuatro Corridos has been performed in Mexico City, at the 2015 FIL International Book Fair in Guadalajara, at the Casa de la Cultura in Tijuana, at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, at University of New Mexico and at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  The cd recording of Cuatro Corridos, released on Bridge in 2016, was a Critic's Choice of Opera News and was nominated for a 2017 Latin Grammy.  

APRIL 17, 2018     UABC  ENSENADA,  SALA Ernesto ROSAS | Kallisti  

april  21, 2018     UC San Diego | Kallisti

kallisti vocal ensemble. An evening of vocal music for women's voices, featuring work by Luciano Berio (Italy) Karin Rehnqvist (Sweden),  Katharina Rosenberger (Switzerland/U.S) and Ana Sokolovic (Canada ). kallisti:  Lauren Jones, Susan Narucki, Hillary Jean Young, Kirsten Wiest  with special guests: Sean Dowgray, percussion, Sharon Chohi Kim, mezzo soprano and Katie Walders, soprano.

july 1 - 6 2018 Residency | Aichi University for the arts Nagoya, Japan


Residency. Lecture, master classes and recital. With pianist Aleck Karis, presenting a seminar in composer-performer collaboration and writing for the voice and for the piano. In addition, Narucki will be presenting a talk on the changing role of chamber opera in the 21st century.

With Aleck Karis, a recital on July 6, 2018, with songs of Charles Ives, works of Alexander Zemlinsky, Kurtag's Attila Jozsef Fragments, and Francis Poulenc's masterwork, Tel Jour, Telle Nuit.

october 11-12, 2018 Festival Vértice | mexico city

Workshop and performance. John Cage “Songbooks” With site specific performance Sala Rosario Castellanos, Casa del Lago.

October 24 -27, 2018 Inheritance - world premiere - uC San Diego

Photo: Farshid Bazmandegan

Photo: Farshid Bazmandegan

Producer, commissioner, performer. Created role of “Sarah” in world premiere of Inheritance, a chamber opera with music by Lei Liang and libretto by Matt Donovan. Inheritance addresses gun violence in America through juxtaposing episodes from the life of Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, with scenes drawn from contemporary American life.

According to popular belief, Winchester imprisoned herself in her labyrinth-like home to seek refuge from the spirits of those killed by the same weapons whose manufacture and sale gave her a life of indescribable wealth.  Events in Winchester's life - whether the stuff of legend or plain-spoken truth - are one aspect of Inheritance.  These episodes are juxtaposed with contemporary events, moments ripped from headlines that play out on grand platforms of news and social media, which seem to be interpreted differently in the eye of each beholder.  In this way, Inheritance seeks to explore America’s violent legacy and deeply complex relationship with guns.

Inheritance was co-presented by ARTPower and the UC San Diego Department of Music. It received support from Creative Capital, NewMusic USA and the National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to underwriting from Julia Falk, Catherine and Robert Palmer and Phyllis and Dan Epstein, and support from the UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities. For more on the project.

november 14, 2018 Weds@7 UC San Diego | Berio “Circles”

Vocal chamber music. With Steven Schick, Sean Dowgray and Tasha Smith Godinez, a performance of Circles (1960) by Luciano Berio. With additional performance on November 29, 2018.

past performances and events