CSO & MusicNOW Festival to Present World Premieres by Nico Muhly and David Lang, 3/21-22
CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announces the subject matter of the upcoming works to receive their world premieres by the Orchestra as part of the groundbreaking artistic collaboration with the MusicNOW Festival and Artistic Director Bryce Dessner. On Friday, March 21, the Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Louis Langrée, will premiere Nico Muhly's Pleasure Ground, a portrait work depicting the life of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. On Saturday, March 22, Mr. Langrée and the CSO will premiere mountain, a new work by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang depicting the life of American composer Aaron Copland.
"Nico and David are of course deserving of the hype that surrounds them," said Mr. Langrée. "They are both incredibly talented and have ideas no one else could even dream of, so it is an honor to conduct the world premieres of their works."
The CSO's pioneering MusicNOW collaboration represents a spirit of experimentation permeating Mr. Langrée's inaugural season as Music Director. The Orchestra will perform two unique concert programs during the festival weekend. In addition to Pleasure Ground, which also features baritone Nathan Wyatt, the Friday, March 21 performance also includes Mr. Dessner's St. Carolyn by the Sea, featuring Bryce and his brother, Aaron Dessner, playing electric guitar solos with the full Orchestra. Bryce and Aaron Dessner are widely known as guitarists in the popular indie rock band The National. The CSO's Grammy-winning ensemble-in-residence eighth blackbird will also perform Bryce Dessner's Murder Ballades, while the Orchestra will bring the performance to a close with Scriabin's The Poem of Ecstasy.-
On Saturday, March 22, in addition to David Lang's new work, the Orchestra will perform Krzysztof Penderecki's Polymorphia and Jonny Greenwood's (of the rock band Radiohead) 48 Responses to Polymorphia. Prokofiev's Scythian Suite wraps up the festival weekend.
Both performances will take place at Cincinnati's historic Music Hall. Tickets for each concert are still available and start at $12. More information and tickets are available by calling the CSO Box Office at (513) 381-3300 or visiting www.cincinnatisymphony.org.
The eighth blackbird residency is made possible by Dan and Jan Lewis and Ginger and David Warner. The Muhly and Lang commissions are supported through the generosity of Ann and Harry Santen. Additional support provided by Ann Hubbard and Louis D. Bilionis in honor of Bryce Dessner, Louis Langre?e and the partnership between MusicNOW and the CSO. These concerts are part of the CSO's Boundless subscription series, sponsored by Macy's. The CSO is grateful to Illori for its generous sponsorship of these concerts. The ArtsWave partner company for these performances is the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Foundation, Fifth Third Bank Trustee.
About MusicNOW: Cincinnati's MusicNOW, under the leadership of founder and artistic director Bryce Dessner, is known around the country for its eclectic and thoughtful combinations of contemporary chamber music, world premiere commissions, indie rock performances and visual art installations. The festival's mission is to present the best in contemporary music, offer artists an opportunity to take risks and commission new work. The celebrated artists and composers who have gathered at past festivals include Sufjan Stevens, Kronos Quartet, Grizzly Bear, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, The National, Glen Hansard, eighth blackbird and Steve Reich.
Louis Langre?e, Music Director: Named Music Director of the world-renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra starting in the 2013-14 season, Louis Langre?e is an internationally acclaimed conductor with a dynamic presence on the podium. The French conductor is Music Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York, a position he has held since 2002, and Chief Conductor of the Camerata Salzburg.
Highlights of the 2012/13 season included Louis Langre?e's debuts with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Leipzig Gewandhaus and NHK Symphony in Tokyo, as well as re-invitations to the Orchestre de Paris, Budapest Festival and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestras. He also continued his long term relationships with the Metropolitan Opera in New York (Dialogues des Carme?lites) and with the Wiener Staatsoper (Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro).
Louis Langre?e has conducted the Wiener Philharmoniker in concert in both Vienna and Salzburg. He has also worked with many other orchestras in North America, Europe and further afield, including London Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilhamonie, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Sao Paulo and Tokyo Philharmonic.
He regularly conducts period instrument orchestras such as the Freiburger Barockorchester, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Le Concert d'Astre?e. Festival appearances have included Wiener Festwochen, Salzburg Mozartwoche, BBC Proms, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. He has held positions as Music Director of the Orchestre de Picardie (1993-98) and Orchestre Philharmonique de Lie?ge (2001-06).
Louis Langre?e was Music Director of Ope?ra National de Lyon (1998-2000) and Glyndebourne Touring Opera (1998-2003). He has also conducted at La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Ope?ra-Bastille and The?a?tre des Champs-Elyse?es in Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dresden Staatsoper, Grand The?a?tre in Geneva and the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam.
Louis Langre?e's discography includes recordings for Virgin Classics, Universal and Nai?ve. Many of these have won awards including Diapason d'Or, Gramophone and Midem Classical. His most recent release is a DVD of La Traviata recorded at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with the London Symphony Orchestra for Virgin Classics, which has been awarded a Diapason D'Or. In 2006 he was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.
Nico Muhly, composer: Nico Muhly has composed a wide scope of work for ensembles, soloists and organizations including the American Ballet Theater, American Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony, percussionist Colin Currie, countertenor Iestyn Davies, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, violinist Hilary Hahn, Gotham Chamber Opera, designer/illustrator Maira Kalman, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, Music-Theatre Group, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Paris Ope?ra Ballet, soprano Jessica Rivera, The Royal Ballet, Saint Thomas Church in New York City, Seattle Symphony, and artist Conrad Shawcross. Muhly has also lent his skills as performer, arranger and conductor to Antony and the Johnsons, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Doveman, Grizzly Bear, Jo?nsi of the band Sigur Ro?s, and Usher.
In 2011, Muhly's first full-scale opera, Two Boys, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center Theater and the English National Opera. Two Boys, which-with a libretto by Craig Lucas and direction by Bartlett Sher-chronicles the real-life police investigation of an online relationship and ensuing tragedy, premiered in London in spring 2012.
A chamber opera, commissioned by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Music Theatre Group, and the Gotham Chamber Opera premiered in New York in fall 2012.
Recently, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Decca released an entire disc of Muhly's choral music, A Good Understanding. The Aurora Orchestra recorded his Seeing is Believing, and with choreographer Stephen Petronio, Muhly created the evening-length I Drink the Air Before Me , both of which were also released on Decca. Among Muhly's most frequent collaborators are his colleagues at Bedroom Community, an artist-run label headed by Icelandic musician Valgeir Sigurðsson. Bedroom Community was inaugurated in 2007 with the release of Muhly's first album, Speaks Volumes.
Since then, Muhly has released a second album, Mothertongue, and worked closely with labelmates Sigurðsson, Ben Frost, and Sam Amidon on their respective solo releases. In 2012, Bedroom Community released Muhly's three-part Drones & Music, in collaboration with pianist Bruce Brubaker, violinist Pekka Kuusisto, and violist Nadia Sirota. Muhly's film credits include scores for Joshua (2007), Margaret (2009) and Best Picture nominee The Reader (2008); all have been recorded and released commercially.
Born in Vermont in 1981 and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Muhly graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English Literature. In 2004, he received a Masters in Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied under Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano. From his sophomore year of college, worked for Philip Glass as a MIDI programmer and editor for six years. His writings and full schedule can be found at www.nicomuhly.com.
David Lang, composer: Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms.
In the words of The New Yorker, "With his winning of the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion (one of the most original and moving scores of recent years), Lang, once a postminimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master."
Musical America's 2013 Composer of the Year and recipient of Carnegie Hall's Debs Composer's Chair for 2013-2014, Lang is one of America's most performed composers. Many of his works resemble each other only in the fierce intelligence and clarity of vision that inform their structures. His catalogue is extensive, and his opera, orchestra, chamber and solo works are by turns ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, unsettling and very emotionally direct. Much of his work seeks to expand the definition of virtuosity in music - even the deceptively simple pieces can be fiendishly difficult to play and require incredible concentration by musicians and audiences alike.
the little match girl passion, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Paul Hillier's vocal ensemble Theater of Voices, was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for music. Of the piece, Pulitzer-juror and Washington Post columnist Tim Page said, "I don't think I've ever been so moved by a new, and largely unheralded, composition as I was by David Lang's the little match girl passion, which is unlike any music I know."