Tag: String Quartet

Chaos Theory

About the Show

 Podcast and live radio collide in an evening of music inspired by fractals, dynamic systems, feedback loops and nature.  Open G Records and Access Contemporary Music present Caroline Mallonee’s Butterfly Effect, a string quartet inspired by the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings in Australia could cause a tornado in Texas, Chin Ting Chan’s gorgeously abrasive Fractals, Lyudmila German’s nod to organic systems Six Fragments, David Glaser’s haunting Moonset No. 1 and two world premieres written for acclaimed soprano Sharon Harms and clarinetist Mark Dover of Imani Winds.

Late Night at National Sawdust is a quarterly live taping of Relevant Tones, a contemporary music podcast hosted by Seth Boustead that will also be broadcast in real time on the nationally syndicated WFMT Radio Network.  Live radio has never been so intimate.

The broadcast will be preceded by the Discovery Series, a process-oriented exploration of musical creativity led by composer/pianist Jeremy Gill.  The three composers to be performed, chosen from a pool of more than five hundred, are Henrique Coe, Adina Dumitrescu and Ryan Homsey.

Spektral Quartet: Playing Out

About the Show

 Playing Out is a showcase of liberated creativity, defying definition and building new musical lexicons through the intersection of experimental jazz, improvisation, and electroacoustic music. The program features the New York premiere of an ecstatic new quartet by George Lewis (Fromm Foundation commission), as well as mesmeric numbers by Katherine Young and Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead Composer-in-Residence Samuel Adams. For its National Sawdust debut, Spektral Quartet is joined by flute maven Claire Chase for Anthony Cheung’s jazz-infiltrated “Real Book of Fake Tunes” (also commissioned by Fromm). Playing Out offers the prodigious possibilities that form when artistic streams of free improvisation and classical composition merge.

The Music of Composer Lisa Bielawa

About the Show

A concert of the music of composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa, performed by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) with Bielawa as vocal soloist. The program, part of National Sawdust’s series curated by composer Theo Bleckmann, will feature Bielawa’s A Collective Cleansing (2000) for solo voice and digital audio, Graffiti Dell’amante (2010) for string quartet and soprano, Genesis Again (1998) for soprano and violin, and two arias from her episodic opera Vireo: “The Bat” and “The Dragon and the Girl.” Bielawa lovingly dedicates this concert to the memory of longtime MATA Board President, Ellen Brody Hughes and says, “While this evening centers around works I’ve created expressly for myself as vocalist, this concert nevertheless turns outwards rather than in, a celebration of more than two decades of collaborations.” ACME members performing include Ben Russell (violin), Laura Lutzke (violin), Caleb Burhans (viola), and Paul Wiancko (cello).

Bielawa premiered A Collective Cleansing in September 2000 at NYC’s The Kitchen. It is her only work for her own voice multi-tracked, and includes selected choral excerpts in both Greek and English from the Aeschylus tragedy The Suppliant Maidens. Bielawa says, “You will hear me sing with 10 other Lisas, 17 years younger than this one!”

Graffiti Dell’amante is an open-ended musical-dramatic exploration of the multi-faceted predicament of the Lover from Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse. Bielawa describes Graffiti dell’amante as “a veritable explosion of collaborative energies, drawing on an invitation from Brooklyn Rider to make a piece for us to perform together during my Rome Prize year, although it was ACME who gave these songs their first NYC performance in 2010. Three of the five short pieces in this set celebrate the work of my Rome Prize colleagues – poets Peter Campion and Eliza Griswold, and Leonard Barkan’s joyful translation of one of Michelangelo’s love sonnets. This piece was commissioned by Ellen Brody Hughes.”

Genesis Again was written in collaboration with violinist Carla Kihlstedt and Vireolibrettist Erik Ehn and was premiered at the Bang on a Can Festival in New York in 1999. Scored sections trade off with improvised sections, sometimes together, sometimes with violin alone. This project was a study for the last scene of a chamber opera entitled Spooky Action at a Distance, written in free response to Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. The opera centers on the shape and limits of compassion, through the story of a doctor’s reaction to losing patients by means beyond her control.

“The Bat” and “The Dragon and the Girl” are arias from Bielwa’s current project Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, a new opera composed on a libretto by Erik Ehn and directed by Charles Otte, which is unprecedented in that it is being created expressly for episodic release via broadcast and online media. ACME brought Vireo’s aria “The Bat” to life in the opera’s ninth episode, which was filmed at Alcatraz prison in June 2016. Bielawa says, “Not long after arriving in NYC in 1992 (and meeting Theo Bleckmann, my very first month here!),  I began working with playwright Erik Ehn, whose libretto for my current made-for-TV opera Vireo saw its first draft in 1994. The two arias I will sing from Vireo were both sketched out in 1994 but not worked through or completed until 2016.” Vireo, winner of the 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award, is a partnership with KCETLink and an artist residency project of Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) in Santa Ana, an outgrowth of Cal State Fullerton, Director/Chief Curator John Spiak. In May 2017, KCET will release the entire season of Vireo at once for free, on-demand streaming, which is a first for the network.

John Adams: Attacca String Quartet

“Recently Added” is a 3 concert arc. It is an exploration of the complete works of living composers who have made significant additions to the string quartet repertoire. This is a follow-up to our project called “the 68” where we played the complete string quartets of Haydn. This installment will feature the works of John Adams.

“Over the past eight years our relationship with John Adams has defined who we are as a modern string quartet. It is a unique experience to work so intimately with a composer who will define an era of composition. Since our Alice Tully premiere of his first quartet, we have released an album of his complete string quartets and premiered his works in many countries around the world. We can’t wait to present his complete string quartets to you in marathon concert at one of our favorite places.”

– The Attacca Quartet

About the Artists

 First Prize winners of the 7th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2011, top prizewinners and Listeners’ Choice Award recipients in the 2011 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and winners of the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 60th annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 2006, the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet has become one of America’s premier young performing ensembles.  Praised by Strad for possessing “maturity beyond its members’ years,” they were formed at the Juilliard School in 2003, and made their professional debut in 2007 as part of the Artists International Winners Series in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.  From 2011-2013 they served as the Juilliard Graduate Resident String Quartet, and for the 2014 – 2015 season the Attacca Quartet was named the Quartet in Residence for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The Attacca Quartet recently completed a recording project of Haydn’s masterwork “the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross” arranged by Andrew Yee and the Attacca Quartet. In his review for  Gramophone, Donald Rosenberg wrote “The Attacca Quartet explore the works range of expressive moods with utmost sensitivity to nuance and interplay.  .  .  They triumph in every respect, and are captured in such vivid sound that no telling Haydn detail is allowed to go unheard.”Thewholenote.com wrote “...It’s easily the most satisfying string version of the work that I’ve heard.”