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Bernard Rands with Anthony Roth Costanzo, ICE and NY Premiere of FOLK SONGS Set for the Miller Theatre Tonight

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues the 2014-15 Composer Portraits series with Bernard Rands. The 80th Birthday tribute features Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor, the International Contemporary Ensemble - Christian Knapp, conductor, and the New York premiere of Rands' FOLK SONGS (2014) tonight, November 13, 2014 at 8 pm at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University (2960 Broadway at 116th Street). Tickets: $25-$35; Students with valid ID: $12-$18.

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "So many amazing artists have joined together to bring this dynamic program - which includes Bernard Rands' newest work - to New York City. I am especially excited to welcome Anthony Roth Costanzo to our stage. His operatic performances have blown me away, and it is going to be astonishing to hear him in the intimate space of Miller Theatre."

One of New York City's "strongest new-music series" (The New Yorker), Composer Portraits at Miller Theatre allow audiences to become immersed in one composer's singular style, as well as hear from them in-person during an onstage discussion. The 2014-15 season includes a wealth of world premieres and performances from cutting-edge artists such as the JACK Quartet, ICE, Third Coast Percussion, the Brentano String Quartet, and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.

Poetic lyricism and passionate, colorful orchestration come together to dazzling effect in the music of Bernard Rands. Born in England, the composer emigrated to the United States in 1975 following studies with Berio and Dallapiccola. Miller celebrates Rands' 80th birthday with the local premiere of his newest vocal work Folk Songs, sensitively performed by the young Met Opera star Anthony Roth Costanzo. Folk Songs is a collection of nine folk songs, each in its original language. Rands describes the work as 'semi-autobiographical' in that each song originates from a country he has lived or spent sufficient time in for the area to influence his imagination. The songs are from Bavaria, England, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, U.S.A. and Wales.

Folk Songs (2014) - New York premiere
Memo 6 (1998)
Concertino (1996)
déjà (1972)

International Contemporary Ensemble
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor
Christian Knapp, conductor

Bernard Rands ( - Through more than a hundred published works and many recordings, Bernard Rands is established as a major figure in contemporary music. His work Canti del Sole, premiered by Paul Sperry, Zubin Mehta, and the New York Philharmonic, won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His large orchestral suites Le Tambourin won the 1986 Kennedy Center Friedheim Award.

The originality and distinctive character of his music have been variously described as "plangent lyricism" with a "dramatic intensity" and a "musicality and clarity of idea allied to a sophisticated and elegant technical mastery" - qualities developed from his studies with Dallapiccola and Berio.

Rands served as Composer in Residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra for seven years. The first three years were funded by the Meet The Composer Residency Program, with four years continued funding by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Through this residency Rands made a wonderful and dedicated contribution to the music of our time.

Born in England, Rands emigrated to the United States in 1975, becoming an American citizen in 1983. He has been honored by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; Broadcast Music, Inc.; the Guggenheim Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; Meet The Composer; the Barlow, Fromm, and Koussevitzky Foundations, among many others. In 2004, Rands was inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Recent commissions have come from the Suntory Concert Hall in Tokyo, the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Internationale Bach Akademie.

Anthony Roth Costanzo ( - Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo continues to build his reputation as one of the rising stars of the next generation of singers. Mr. Constanzo's recent opera engagements have included the title role in Tolomeo, the Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Nireno in Giulio Cesare at the Glimmerglass Festival; the title role in Orfeo ed Euridice at the Palm Beach Opera; Armindo in Partenope at the New York City Opera; Ottone in Agrippina at the Boston Lyric Opera; the US premiere of Henze's Phaedre at the Opera Company of Philadelphia; a guest appearance as Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program; and the title role in Manhattan School of Music's main stage production of Lucas Foss' Griffelkin. In 1994, he performed in Amahl and the Night Visitors at Lincoln Center and with the Opera Company of North Carolina, made a critically acclaimed debut with the New Jersey Opera Festival as Miles in Britten's The Turn of the Screw, and appeared with Luciano Pavarotti in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music's Opera Extravaganza.

On the concert and recital platforms, Mr. Costanzo most recently made his debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival with the International Contemporary Ensemble, appeared as Prince Go-Go in Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic, and sang Handel's Messiah with the Cleveland Orchestra and in Carnegie Hall. He has been a featured soloist with the orchestras of Indianapolis, Alabama, Detroit, Denver, Seattle, and was the soloist in the premiere of John Corigliano's A Dylan Thomas Trilogy with the National Symphony Orchestra at both the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Internationally, Mr. Costanzo has performed the title role in Balletto Teatro di Torino's ballet Caravaggio with original music by Giovanni Solima and toured Italy as the Master of Ceremonies in Karole Armitage's Casanova.

International Contemporary Ensemble ( - The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), described by The New York Times as "one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music," is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 33 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and new strategies for audience engagement.

Since its founding in 2001, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions, the majority of these new works by emerging composers, in venues ranging from alternate spaces to concert halls around the world. The ensemble received the American Music Center's Trailblazer Award in 2010 for its contributions to the field, and received the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming in 2005 and in 2010.

ICE has released acclaimed albums on the Nonesuch, Kairos, Bridge, Naxos, Tzadik, New Focus, and New Amsterdam labels, with several forthcoming releases on Mode Records. Recent and upcoming highlights include headline performances at the Lincoln Center Festival, Musica Nova Helsinki, and Wien Modern. ICE has worked closely with conductors Ludovic Morlot, Matthias Pintscher, John Adams, and Susanna Mälkki. With leading support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ICE launched ICElab in early 2011. This new program places teams of ICE musicians in close collaboration with six emerging composers each year to develop works that push the boundaries of musical exploration.

Christian Knapp - One of today's foremost young conductors, Christian Knapp is known for his dynamic stage presence and energy on the podium. He has led prestigious orchestras around the world including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Civic Orchestra, among many others.

Since his 2011 debut at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Mr. Knapp has prepared and premiered new productions of Ariadne auf Naxos and Pelléas et Mélisande, conducted Così fan tutte, and made his White Night's Festival debut in Spring 2011 with Der Fliegende Holländer. Future highlights at the Mariinsky include repeat performances of Ariadne auf Naxos and Der Fliegende Holländer as well as productions of Carmen, Aida, Don Carlo, Turandot, Pique Dame and Rigoletto.

A passionate proponent of new music, Knapp has led such groups as the Perspectives New Music Ensemble in London, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and the Seattle Chamber Players. He has conducted works by John Adams, Julian Anderson, Kaija Saariaho, Pascal Dusapin, Gerard Grisey, George Crumb and Thomas Adès, among others. In 2005, Knapp conducted the world premiere of Paul Dresher's opera The Tyrant with the Seattle Chamber Players. He has appeared with ICE in New York, conducting the U.S. premiere of Zona by Magnus Lindberg as part of Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in 2006 and a program of the music of Philippe Hurel at Columbia University's Miller Theatre. Knapp returned to the Miller Theatre in the 2012-2013 Season to lead performances of the music of Sofia Gubaidulina with ICE.

Directions and information is available online at or via the Miller Theatre Box Office, at 212.854.7799.

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