Miller Theatre to Open Composer Portraits with Austria's Georg Friedrich Haas, 10/10

Miller Theatre to Open Composer Portraits with Austria's Georg Friedrich Haas, 10/10

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts opens its 2013-14 season of Composer Portraits with the work of Austrian composer and newly appointed Columbia University faculty member GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS, featuring: RACHEL CALLOWAY, soprano, OLIVIA DE PRATO, violin, ENSEMBLE SIGNAL, and BRAD LUBMAN, conductor.

The concert will play on Thursday, October 10, 2013, 8:00 p.m. at the Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street). Tickets: $25-$35 • Students with valid ID: $15-$21.

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey:
"I am so excited to open our 2013-14 season of Composer Portraits with the music of Georg Friedrich Haas. Haas's compositions are emotional and moving, and could be in no better care than in the hands of the talented musicians of Ensemble Signal. I am doubly thrilled to present this program to kick off Composer Portraits in our 25thAnniversary Season and to celebrate Haas's new appointment to the music faculty here at Columbia University. This concert exemplifies our mission to both expand public knowledge of contemporary music and share the incredible artistic riches of Columbia University with the wider world."

Miller Theatre's "ever-intriguing" (The New Yorker) signature series continues to celebrate the best contemporary composers from around the globe-emerging and established-with evening-length musical profiles. This season, all seven composers will participate in onstage discussions during their Portraits.

The music of Georg Friedrich Haas possesses "an otherworldly beauty," writes The New Yorker. His compositional toolbox includes exotic scales and alternative tunings. He often draws on centuries past for inspiration, as in this program, which includes homages to the music of Desprez and the poetry of Sappho. Newly appointed to the Columbia University faculty, Haas will participate in an onstage discussion about his music during the performance. After his first Composer Portrait in 2009, The New York Times wrote: "One of the pleasures of frequent concertgoing is discovering an exciting new or little-known work. The American premiere of 'In Vain,' a kaleidoscopic masterpiece by Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas, proved an exhilarating experience."

Atthis, for soprano and 8 instruments (2009)
tria ex uno, for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, and cello (2001)
de terrae fine, for solo violin (2001)

Ensemble Signal
Rachel Calloway, soprano
Olivia De Prato, violin
Brad Lubman, conductor

Georg Friedrich Haas: Georg Friedrich Haas (b. 1953), who was born in Graz and has risen to become one of the most important Austrian composers internationally, felt limited by the established system of equal temperament. Notes shaded by microtonal deviations have therefore been determining factors in his compositions since the beginning of his career. Intensive experimentation with overtones has lent a new quality of radicalism to Haas's sound and, as a result, his works make particularly high demands on their performers. Haas studied at the Musikhochschule in Graz and with Friedrich Cerha at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, and has both attended and lectured at the Darmstadt Summer Courses. In the 1980s and 1990s, he participated in IRCAM and was awarded a fellowship for the Salzuburg Festival, as well as the Sandoz Prize and the Young Composers Grants of the Federal Ministry for Science, Research, and Culture. More recent awards include an International Rostrum of Composers prize for his Violin Concerto, a City of Vienna Prize for Music, the Andrzej Dobrowolski Composition Award, and the Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis award of Austria. He has also lectured at the Music Academy of the City of Basel, Switzerland and was a featured composer at both the Klangspuren Festival in Austria and the Borealis Festival in Norway.

Ensemble Signal: Ensemble Signal is a large New York-based ensemble dedicated to offering the broadest possible audience access to a diverse range of visionary works through performance, commissioning, recording, and educational outreach. Its artist roster includes some of the most gifted and innovative young musicians working in New York. Signal performs with conductor Brad Lubman, who founded the group along with cellist and co-artistic director Lauren Radnofsky. To form what The New York Times has described as "one of the most vital groups of its kind," Lubman and Radnofsky assembled a "new music dream team" (Time Out New York) of independent artists who have worked closely with one another and Lubman over the last decade. Members of JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, and other leading New York ensembles perform regularly with the ensemble. Signal is flexible in size and instrumentation, enabling it to meet the demands of its diverse repertoire that ranges from Philip Glass to Helmut Lachenmann. At home in concert halls, clubs, and international festivals alike, Signal has performed at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall to (le) Poisson Rouge. Signal made its debut in Spring 2008 at the Bang on a Can Marathon in New York and the Ojai Music Festival in California, earning praise for "deeply committed performances" (Musical America) of "gripping vehemence" (Los Angeles Times). Soon after, Signal gave two sold-out performances of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians andYou Are (Variations) at (le) Poisson Rouge, earning praise from The New York Times for "vibrant, euphoric performances that seemed to electrify the remarkably youthful audience." Recent highlights include performances at Tanglewood, playing the music of Brian Ferneyhough; (le) Poisson Rouge, collaborating with Philip Glass Ensemble Music Director Michael Riesman; The Guggenheim Museum, for the New York premiere of a new cantata by Charles Wuorinen; and Miller Theatre's Composer Portrait series, premiering a new work by Hilda Paredes written for Signal and Irvine Arditti. Future projects include the commission of a 30-minute work for 20 players by Steve Reich. Signal's recordings include Philip Glass' "Glassworks" and Music in Similar Motion (Glass' Orange Mountain label) and Sarah Kirkland Snider's Penelope (New Amsterdam Records). Upcoming releases include a CD/surround-sound DVD of music by Lachenmann, with the composer as soloist in Zwei Gefühle (Mode); Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe's Shelter (Cantaloupe); and Reich's Music for 18 Musicians and Pulitzer-prize winning Double Sextet (Cantaloupe).

Rachel Calloway: Mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway has been praised by The New York Times for her "considerable depth of expression" and by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for her "emotional characterizations and sumptuous voice...and remarkable sensitivity." She makes her Latin American debut this season at the Festival Internacional Cervantino and sings the world premiere of Gabriela Frank's Holy Sisters with the San Francisco Girls' Choir and Joana Carneiro. This January she created the title role in Mohammed Fairouz's Sumeida's Song. With the contemporary vocal ensemble Ekmeles, Ms. Calloway will perform at Princeton University, Roulette, and in a large scale collaboration with Talea Ensemble in Beat Furrer's FAMA at the Bohemian National Hall. Last season, she made her European debut as Mrs. Grose in Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw. Ms. Calloway has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in workshops of Nico Muhly's Two Boys and Michael Torke's Senna, and in concert at Zankel Hall, Cornell University, (le) Poisson Rouge, Yale University, Depauw University, and Glimmerglass Opera. Ms. Calloway has appeared in recital at the Kennedy Center, Steinway Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Philadelphia's Academy of Music. A proponent of contemporary and lesser-known music, Ms. Calloway gave the world premiere of New Andean Songs by Gabriela Lena Frank on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Last spring she sang Harrison Birtwhistle's Corridor in Merkin Hall and the world premiere of Nico Muhly's Stabat Mater, both with Ensemble Signal. She has performed Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire at Alice Tully Hall, Columbia University, and the Juilliard School and has appeared in the FOCUS! Festival of New Music. Ms. Calloway is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of Jewish art music suppressed by the Nazis and Soviets. She has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council and first prize in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. A native of Philadelphia, Ms. Calloway holds degrees from the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.