Apollo Chamber Players




Apollo Chamber Players’ present their latest Navona release BLURRED BOUNDARIES, featuring commissions from veteran composers Libby Larsen and Marty Regan, as well as from the winner of Apollo’s inaugural International Commissioning Contest, Erberk Eryılmaz. These three commissions mark the beginning of 20x2020, Apollo’s initiative to commission 20 new folk music-inspired works by the end of the decade. Each of these composers explores culturally-specific musical traditions and presents folk material in ways that are engaging, unique, and revelatory.


Larsen's Sorrow Song and Jubilee revisits Antonin Dvořák's love of African-American sorrow songs (or spirituals), composed as an homage to the creative partnership of African-American composer Henry T. Burleigh and Dvořák. Regan’s sweeping Splash of Indigo examines the intersections of Japanese folksong and French Impressionist music. Eryılmaz’s whirlwind Thracian Airs of Besime Sultan, dedicated to his late grandmother, finds its inspiration in the music of the Roma people and the Thracian region of the Balkans. Accompanying these three modern explorations of folksong are premiere recordings of Florence Beatrice Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, Hajime Komatsu’s Four Japanese Folksongs, and arrangements of Henry T. Burleigh’s Plantation Melodies, Old and New. These are ideal companion pieces, highlighting not only the commissioned composers' skills in forging different pathways between cultures, but also Apollo's aim to provide fresh context and a contemporary perspective on more traditional repertoire. Of special note, Price's Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, a forgotten work by a seminal African-American composer, existed only in manuscript form prior to this recording's release.     




Apollo Chamber Players is a nonprofit chamber music organization that explores the cultural and folkloric influences in classical music through innovative, thematically-programmed concerts and educational activities, and the commissioning of new music. Founded in 2008 and based in Houston (TX), Apollo presents season concerts at Rice University and Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH) and is presented by organizations both regionally and nationally. Recent touring engagements include concerts for Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, Seattle University (WA), Grand Junction Symphony (CO), and in Lake Charles (LA) and Fredericksburg (TX). Apollo is a featured member of Young Audiences of Houston, a non-profit arts-in-education provided reaching 330,000 students annually.


Apollo is committed to fostering an interest in folk-inspired composition. Its inaugural International Commissioning Contest, created for the 20x2020 initiative, yielded 254 entries from 30 countries and 36 US states. In addition to the 20x2020 project and other commissioning activities, Apollo regularly transcribes and arranges culturally significant works for chamber music instrumentation and performance, showcasing them in dynamic new contexts. Apollo’s transcriptions and arrangements can be heard on its album EUROPEAN FOLKSCAPES (NV5941), available on Navona Records.


Libby Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers, having created a catalogue of over 500 works spanning virtually every genre of music. A Grammy award-winner, she is a former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, as well as a co-founder of the Minnesota Composer’s Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum. Her recent album CIRCLE OF FRIENDS (NV6014) is available on Navona Records.


Marty Regan has composed over 70 works for traditional Japanese instruments and since 2002 has been affiliated with AURA-J, one of Japan's premiere performance ensembles of contemporary-traditional Japanese music. His translation of Minoru Miki’s authoritative Composing for Japanese Instruments, published by the University of Rochester Press, is the only resource of its kind available in English. His three-album series “Selected Works for Japanese Instruments” is available on Navona Records.


Turkish composer, pianist, and conductor Erberk Eryılmaz has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, such as 1st prize for his Sonata for Piano in the SCI/ASCAP(North East) Composition Competition and top prize for his Dances of the Yoğurt Maker in the 2014 Carnegie Mellon String Quartet Competition. He is the founder and former artistic director/conductor of the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, and current directer of the Hoppa Project, a Pittsburgh-based organization promoting music from Eastern Europe and the Middle East.





Apollo Chamber Players


Release Date: April 8, 2016

Catalog #: NV6038





1 Sorrow Song and Jubilee  Libby Larsen

20x2020 No. 1 (2014)


Plantation Melodies, Old and New (1901)

Henry Thacker Burleigh  Arr. Apollo Chamber Players


2 Negro Lullaby

3 An Ante-Bellum Sermon


Five Folksongs in Counterpoint (1951)

Florence Beatrice Price


4 I. Calvary (Adagio Vigoroso)

5 II. Clementine (Tempo Moderato)

6 III. Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes (Andante Cantabile)

7 IV. Shortnin’ Bread (Allegro)

8 V. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Andantino)


9 *Thracian Airs of Besime Sultan  Erberk Eryılmaz

20x2020 No. 3 (2015)


Four Japanese Folk Songs (Suite No. 2) (1996)

Hajime Komatsu


10 I. Yagibushi

11 II. Nanbu Ushioi Uta

12 III. Otemoyan

13 IV. Aizu Bandaisan


14 Splash of Indigo Marty Regan

20x2020 No. 2 (2014)


Apollo Chamber Players

Matthew J. Detrick & Anabel Ramirez, violin I/II (alternating);

Whitney Bullock, viola; Matthew Dudzik, cello


*With Ismail Lumanovski, clarinet; Timothy Pitts, bass;

Matthew McClung, percussion




All tracks recorded November/December 2015 in Clarion Theater at

Brazosport College, Lake Jackson TX

Producers Lorento Golofeev and Ryan Edwards

Recording Engineers Ryan Edwards and Shannon Smith, Coincident Sound


Special thanks to Kenneth Goldsmith and Arthur Gottschalk (Rice University), and Rae Linda Brown (Loyola Marymount University)


Blurred Boundaries underwritten by the C. Howard Pieper Foundation


Acknowledgments 20x2020 No. 1 made possible in part by HoustonPress 2014 MasterMind award; 20x2020 Nos. 2 & 3 underwritten by the C. Howard Pieper Foundation and Ms. Charlotte Jones, respectively.





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