The Hoefer Prize, named after Jacqueline Stanhope Hoefer, is granted annually to a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) to cover all fees involved in producing a new composition. The first composition to result from this award was given its world premiere in March of 2011 at the final season concert of the BluePrint New Music Series; and since then that end-of-season concert has provided the showcase for Hoefer winners. The most recent winner was alumnus Ryan Brown (’05); and his new work, “The Exact Location of the Soul,” will be performed this month.
The title refers to speculative essays by surgeon Richard Selzer documenting his personal thoughts about the relationship between physical and spiritual being. Selzer’s words will be sung by three vocalists with expertise in early music, one countertenor, one tenor, and one bass. Instrumental resources consist only of two keyboard players and four percussionists. Brown’s explicit requirement for early music skills was chosen to establish the connotation of (in his words) “hospital as cathedral.”
Brown’s new work will begin the program, followed by pieces by Terry Riley (“Y Bolanzero”), John Adams (“Son of Chamber Symphony”), and Lou Harrison (“The Perilous Chapel”).
This BluePrint concert will take place in the SFCM Concert Hall on March 16 at 8 p.m., preceded by a “tête à tête” with Brown beginning at 7:20 p.m. Tickets for this performance are $20 for general admission and $15 for students, seniors, and Friends of the Conservatory. Tickets may be purchased online through a Click4Tix Web page or by calling the SFCM Box Office at 415-503-6275. Brown will also participate in a free “Composers Talk Shop” seminar, which will be held in Room 207 on Friday, March 14, at 3 p.m., which members of the general public may also attend.