Great Music at St. Bart's to Present The Flux Quartet, Celebrating Franz Alt, 4/27
Based in New York City, The Flux Quartet is a cutting edge ensemble specializing in the performance of contemporary music. They have championed works by Ligeti, Scelsi, Zorn and Xenakis and are considered the masters of Morton Feldman's 6-hour String Quartet (1983). The New York Times called them "...an intrepid ensemble devoted to illuminating the pricklier corners of contemporary repertory".
New York City based composer, Paul Brantley has had his works performed at Bargemusic, The Monadnock Music Festival, The Kennedy Center and The Kimmel Center by such ensembles as the Left Bank Ensemble, Ethel and the Goliard Ensemble. As part of their "Dream Project," the Memphis Symphony has recently commissioned Mr. Brantley to compose a work for orchestra and gospel choir- a musical project designed to address and heal the cultural scars from Martin Luther King's assassination.
Brantley's Esterházy Book I is dedicated to Franz Leopold Alt (1910-2011), the Austrian born mathematician who made major contributions to computer science in its early days. Alt was an avid violinist and violist who performed chamber music until his death at age 100. Annice Alt, Franz's widow explains the genesis of Esterházy Book I:
"My late husband Franz played violin and viola, and carried on the tradition of musicians -- including Paul Brantley on cello -- playing in one another's homes. Paul and Franz shared a love of the string quartet literature, from Haydn on. The Flux Quartet expressed an interest in Paul writing a piece for them, and Paul asked me whether he could dedicate it to Franz's memory. The New Esterházy Quartet asked if they could premiere the work on the West Coast, but because they play on period instruments, Paul wrote an additional quartet for them. Hence 'Esterházy' has Books I and II."