Composer Andrew Imbrie collaborated with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the San Francisco Girls Chorus to create Songs of Then and Now, a new work based on poems by William Shakespeare, e.e. cummings, and Robert Louis Stevenson. The finished piece consists of eight songs with a total duration of about 25 minutes. Imbrie developed the piece collaboratively with the musicians and chorus through open rehearsals in community settings.
Songs of Then and Now premiered in 1998–performed by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players under the direction of Nicole Paiement, and by members of the San Francisco Girls Chorus’s Chorissima ensemble, under the direction of Sharon Paul. It was revived in 2001 at a concert celebrating Imbrie’s 80th birthday. The piece also is featured on a 2002 CD release, “Andrew Imbrie: Spring Fever, Chicago Bells, Songs for Then and Now,” from Albany Records.
Andrew Imbrie taught at the University of California, Berkeley, until his retirement in 1991. He has composed in various media, including string quartets and other chamber music, symphonies, choral works, several concertos, and the opera Angle of Repose, which was performed by the San Francisco Opera in 1976.
The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is a national leader among ensembles devoted to contemporary chamber music. It has received the prestigious national ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music many times and performed more that 1,000 new works. The San Francisco Girls Chorus’s Chorissima is known for its innovative and unusual repertoire, including works from the 16th Century to commissions of contemporary American music.