Fennesz and Zawinul Legacy Band Set for Vienna: City of Dreams Festival at Carnegie Hall, 2/21-3/16
As part of its three-week citywide Vienna: City of Dreams festival, which invites audiences to explore the artistic legacy of Vienna through a diverse offering of over 90 events from February 21 through March 16, Carnegie Hall presents two performances in Zankel Hall that provide a sampling of the new sounds in contemporary music coming out of Austria, while paying tribute to groundbreaking Austrian musicians-classical composer Gustav Mahler and jazz fusion keyboardist Joe Zawinul.
On Friday, March 7 at 10:00 p.m., Austrian guitarist and electronic musician Fennesz (pictured at right) salutes the universality of fellow Austrian Gustav Mahler with a remixed, electronic interpolation of the composer's work. The performance, which features visuals by media artist and digital abstractionist Lillevan, will showcase Mahler's enduring influence in modern life, both in the creative incubator of Vienna and around the world. Known for using the guitar and computer to create shimmering, swirling electronic sound of enormous range and complex musicality, Fennesz's works have an inherent naturalism permeating each piece.
The following evening, on Saturday, March 8 at 9:30 p.m., the Zawinul Legacy Band honors the legacy of the pioneering Viennese jazz composer, musician, and bandleader Josef Erich "Joe" Zawinul. Zawinul was best known for having combined traditional jazz with elements of rock and world music in the Grammy Award-winning ensembles Weather Report-which he cofounded-and The Zawinul Syndicate. This performance features former members of several of Zawinul's musical projects, including keyboard player Scott Kinsey, hand drummer Robert Thomas Jr., bassist Hadrien Feraud, drummer Michael Baker, and saxophonist and flutist Katisse Buckingham.
Vienna: City of Dreams features symphonic and operatic masterpieces, chamber music, and lieder, as well as new sounds emerging from this historic cultural capital. In addition to music, the festival shines a spotlight on Vienna's visual art, film, architecture, politics, science, and history, creating an extensive look at a city that for centuries has drawn artists, dreamers, and innovators from all corners of the world to its dazzling intellectual and artistic life. The Vienna: City of Dreams celebration extends throughout New York City with festival events at leading cultural institutions, crossing arts disciplines to include music, film, visual arts, panel discussions, and even a Viennese Opera Ball, which launches the festival on February 21.
Contemporary music highlights at partner venues include The Improvised Traumdeutung on Sunday, March 9 at 4:00 p.m. at (Le) Poisson Rouge, in which a number of Austria's foremost creative improvisers conceptualize and perform a program based on the music of Anton Webern-without a note of Webern presented; Viennese Salon on Thursday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Austrian Cultural Forum New York, featuring vocalist Valerie Sajdik's updated take on wienerlieder, the witty, boisterous and oftentimes melancholic Viennese chansons; and Trains of Thoughts on Sunday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Austrian Cultural Forum New York, in which the groundbreaking film shot in subway undergrounds including New York and Vienna is presented with live musical accompaniment by members of Austrian electronic trailblazers the Sofa Surfers. For a complete list of partners and events, please click here for the festival press kit.
Carnegie Hall has launched a special website carnegiehall.org/vienna, which features information on festival events, interviews with artists, videos introducing the music being performed, and other content designed to illuminate Vienna: City of Dreams offerings. Once the festival begins, Carnegie Hall will also capture video of select Vienna: City of Dreams performances to be shared alongside this content on the website.