The selections on this disc are musical embodiments of one of mankind s most compelling life searches: the quest for a society structured so that all may have the opportunity to thrive without unfair hardship. Rarely is this achieved in the ideal. Artists are most threatening to those who would usurp absolute power, since they encourage people s hope and their use of the imagination, which can t be controlled, unless the artists themselves become tools of the power holders. Of the composers represented in this recording, Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 1975) is the most celebrated and, since his death and increased access to post-Soviet-era material, in many ways the most controversial. Denounced twice by one of the 20th century s most brutal dictators, though by a chance stroke of luck physically unharmed, he found many musical ways, overt and concealed, to express his revulsion at the cruelty of the Stalin regime even while functioning within it. He became a musical representative of the Russian people suffering stoically under the yoke of Stalin and Bolshevism. Gabriela Lena Frank (b.1972) is a young American composer who has already earned many awards and prestigious publication. Her music celebrates, but also mourns, the uneasy coexistence between indigenous Peruvian culture and the invading, and ultimately ruling, European Spanish culture. Artist Statement: This CD represents not only music that vividly captures a portion of the universal human experience of life, but it also represents in a small way a community of musicians who desire to study, perform and record with artists of like mind and spirit. We have given special attention to the presentation of the sound as well, enabling you to experience the music, rather than listen to the music. Internationally acclaimed violinist Shem Guibbory, an award winning soloist and chamber musician, has created an indelible mark on the face of today s new music industry as an extremely talented performer, a creative producer, and a successful entrepreneur. Hailed for his interpretations of 20th Century music, his recording of Violin Phase on the ECM label has become an American classic of avant-garde music. Having founded Innovative Music Programs in 2002, Mr. Guibbory has developed a series of original musical programs with a growing number of affiliate artists, offering the opportunity to serve global communities and organizations through specifically designed projects, recordings, and performances. Throughout his career, he has looked for and found ways to use new music to bring mutual understanding to the global community. With co-creator and director Margaret Booker and writer Robert Schenkkan, he created the musical fable, A Night at the Alhambra Café, which will have its World Premiere Season opening at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in 2011. For the past 15 years, Mr. Guibbory has been a member of the First Violin section of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with various other prestigious orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic. He is proud to have been the original violinist in the Steve Reich Ensemble, of recording five CDs with Anthony Davis (Gramavision) including Davis violin concerto Maps, co-commissioned by the Kansas City Symphony, as well as performing recitals and chamber music throughout the world. Shem Guibbory made his recital debut at New York City s Alice Tully Hall in 1988. His recordings can be found on the ECM, Gramavision, Opus 1, Deutsche Grammophon, Albany, Bridge and CRI labels. He has studied with Broadus Erle, Romuald Tecco, Evelyn Read and Sophie Feuermann.