2022 GYA Janice Carissa will Premiere Carl Vine Commission Here on September 10

August 21, 2023

The Gilmore’s first Rising Stars Series concert for the 2023-24 season is set for Sunday, September 10 at 4 pm in the Epic Center’s Wellspring Theater. 

We will welcome back audience favorite Janice Carissa, one of our 2022 Gilmore Young Artists, who will play selections by Bach-Busoni, Granados, Liszt, and Scriabin. As well, Ms. Carissa will perform the world premiere of a composition by Carl Vine, Gothic Fantasy, which she commissioned with funds from her Gilmore Young Artist Award.  

The young pianist’s history with Carl Vine is a charming one. Her pregnant mother, on a visit to Australia in 1998, attended the world premiere of Vine’s Second Piano Sonata at the Sydney Festival, performed by the original commissioner, Michael Kieran Harvey. 

Carissa tells The Gilmore it’s a thrill to be premiering her own Vine composition. 

When I was first told of my opportunity to commission, my mind gravitated promptly to Carl Vine. His Second Piano Sonata live recording by Michael Kieran Harvey was something I heard throughout my childhood. As soon as my fingers could stretch across an octave, I implored my mom to let me learn that very sonata.” 

“His music has served as a catalyst to everything I have achieved today, starting with my audition into Curtis Institute of Music in 2013. Seconds after I was given the opportunity to start with a piece of my own choosing, a sonorous B-flat octave filled the room.”

As for Vine, he says he was delighted to be approached again by The GIlmore, as his Third Piano Sonata was also a Gilmore-aided commission for 2004 Gilmore Young Artist Elizabeth Schumann, with support from the Colburn School in Los Angeles,. 

“I subsequently arranged for Elizabeth to have a two-week residency in Australia to give the Australian premiere of that work at the Huntington Music Festival, where I was Artistic Director, in 2007. I knew nothing about Janice at the outset but will now be following her career closely,” says Vine. 

Carissa shared how she crafted her musical request to Vine.

“My dream was to conjure a musical landscape that evokes the kaleidoscopic nature of fantasies. Within the realm of fantasy lies a dichotomy that transcends mere brightness and airiness. Concealed within the depths of its shadows resides an element of darkness, and it is precisely this duality inherent in the essence of fantasy that I aspire to illuminate and evoke.”

“Janice’s request for a fantasy was quite liberating,” says Vine. “I simply added the ‘Gothic’ modifier to let me visit some darker aspects of the fantastical, so it didn’t have to rest wholly within the airy-fairy region. It also gave me the idea of eventually building up to a set of five fantasies, so it could sit as another neat compendium alongside my Five Bagatelles, Five Intermezzi, and the 12 Anne Landa Preludes. 

Carissa said she let the composer have free reign in his work. 

“I believe creativity blossoms in the absence of control, so I gave Mr. Vine the space to create at his own leisure. The final product arrived in my mailbox this summer, and it proved that I was right all along. The music is beyond everything I hoped for and more.”

Amazingly, the two have yet to meet in person.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to meet Mr. Vine, in person, but I sincerely await the day our paths cross again,” says Carissa, who adds “I’m so looking forward to returning to The Gilmore in September.” 

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