Thomas Hampson Presents World, Boston and NY Debuts of Mark Adamo's ARISTOTLE, Now thru 4/28
Baritone Thomas Hampson looks forward to giving the world premiere performance of a new song commission from one of America's principal younger composers, Mark Adamo. Scored for baritone and string quartet, Adamo's Aristotle (2013) was written for Hampson to sing with the Jupiter String Quartet. After giving its world premiere performance together at UC Davis tonight, April 24, they will tour the new work to Boston's Celebrity Series (Fri, April 26) and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where they will present its New York premiere on Sunday, April 28.
Italian-American composer Mark Adamo (b. 1962) is best known for his operas Little Women and Lysistrata. Yet Adamo's exceptional ear for vocal writing also lends itself to other lyric forms, as already evidenced by his settings of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, his song cycle The Racer's Widow, and his cantata, Late Victorians. For Hampson, "[Adamo's] ability to write lyric music" makes for "some of the most extraordinary music being written today."
Adamo's new chamber work, Aristotle, is the setting of a poem of the same name by former national Poet Laureate Billy Collins, which explores the nature of beginnings (where "almost anything can happen"), middles ("the sticky part where the plot congeals"), and the ends that are, "according to Aristotle, what we have all been waiting for." Shedding light on the poem's appeal to him as a composer, Adamo explains:
"If you're awarded the privilege of making music for a singing actor the caliber of Thomas Hampson, and for young musicians of the caliber of the Jupiters, one wants to compose a piece that is both a substantial monologue and a structurally rewarding string quartet at the same time. Billy Collins's pellucid Aristotle made that possible. The range of Collins's images nudged the string writing into new (for me) colors and registers while demanding each movement retain its own character."
The new commission marks the baritone's second world premiere of 2012-13, which is the fourth consecutive season in which he will have presented world or North American premieres. As Hampson confides, he considers himself "so blessed to have the kind of career where I can do so much of the great standard repertoire with the world's best conductors but also get to work with so many important composers of our own time."
A list of Hampson's upcoming engagements follows, and additional information is available at www.thomashampson.com.
Thomas Hampson: upcoming engagements:
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