Five Boroughs Music Festival to Present Longleash in BEETHOVEN REFLECTIONS

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Five Boroughs Music Festival to Present Longleash in BEETHOVEN REFLECTIONS

Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF) presents new music piano trio Longleash in their 5BMF debut, performing Beethoven Reflections on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 7:30pm at Flushing Town Hall in Queens and Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 3:00pm at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. The program includes two of Beethoven's celebrated trios - the Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1 No. 3 and Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 "Ghost" - paired with two contemporary responses: John Zorn's Ghosts, and the world premiere of Reiko Füting's free - whereof -- wherefore, co-commissioned by 5BMF and Longleash.

Of the program, Longleash explains, "This concert marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, offering an opportunity to take stock of our current artistic, cultural, and political moment through a consideration of Beethoven as an evolving cultural symbol. In 1970, celebrations of Beethoven's bicentennial were heavily shaped by the political turmoil, cultural upheaval, and tragic injustices of the time. Commissioned responses from that year by composers such as Mauricio Kagel and Karlheinz Stockhausen illustrated the weight of Beethoven's cultural associations. In this new program, we seek to further explore the question of what it means to celebrate Beethoven in an equally tempestuous moment in time."

Manhattan School of Music Theory Chair and composition faculty member Reiko Füting describes his free - whereof - wherefore for piano trio, co-commissioned by Longleash and Five Boroughs Music Festival, as "based on (refers to, responds to, fragments, orchestrates, elaborates, expands, and eventually loses) the second movement of the Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 3 in c minor by Ludwig van Beethoven, which famously caused a disagreement between the composer and his teacher Joseph Haydn. Besides the musical reference, there are also two literal references which are integrated in the piece in both the original German and English translation: 'Tranquility and freedom are the greatest treasures' (Ludwig van Beethoven) and The switch of the question "free of what" to "free for what"... has accompanied me in my migrations like a basso continuo ever since.' (Vilém Flusser)."

Additional 5BMF performances in the 2019-20 season include a program presenting Cuban early music ensemble Ars Longa de la Habana on March 18 in collaboration with GEMAS (Gotham Early Music Scene/Americas Society) and the Baryshnikov Arts Center; and Astride Peace and War: John Jenkins, Master of the Musick Art, a multi-concert "mini-festival" exploring the works of English composer John Jenkins, performed by viol consorts Parthenia and LeStrange Viols on May 29, 31, and June 1.

Program Information

Beethoven Reflections
Friday, January 10, 2020 at 7:30pm
Flushing Town Hall | 137-35 Northern Blvd. | Queens, NY
Tickets: $25 General Admission; $15 Flushing Town Hall Members; $15 Seniors; $10 Students w/ID

Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 3:00pm
Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church | 921 Madison Ave. | New York, NY
Co-presented by Music On Madison
Tickets: $25 General Admission; $20 Seniors and Students w/ID


Pala Garcia, violin
John Popham, cello
Renate Rohlfing, piano
Ches Smith, percussion (Jan. 12 Performance Only)


Beethoven - Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1 No. 3
Reiko Füting - free - whereof - wherefore (World Premiere, Co-commissioned by 5BMF and Longleash)


Beethoven - Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 "Ghost"
John Zorn - Ghosts
Ches Smith, percussion (Jan. 12 Performance Only)

Longleash (Pala Garcia, violin; John Popham, cello; Renate Rohlfing, piano) is an ensemble with a traditional instrumentation and a progressive identity. The "expert young trio" (Strad Magazine) takes its name from Operation Long Leash, a Cold War era CIA operation that promoted American avant-garde artists in Europe. "Fearlessly accomplished" (The Arts Desk), Longleash has quickly earned a reputation in the US and abroad for innovative programming, artistic excellence and new music advocacy.

Recent and upcoming engagements include Five Boroughs Music Festival (NYC), Electric Earth Concerts (New Hampshire), Princeton Sound Kitchen (New Jersey), (le) Poisson Rouge (NYC), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (Chicago), Bowerbird (Philadelphia), Ecstatic Music Festival (NYC), National Sawdust (Brooklyn), and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (Troy, NY). Appearances abroad include Jeunesse (Vienna), Átlátszó Hang (Budapest), FUAIM Music (Cork, Ireland), Trondheim International Chamber Music Festival (Norway), Echoraum (Vienna), and Open Music (Graz, Austria).

In the 2019-20 season, Longleash collaborates with Greek collective meta.ξ, filmmakers Pascal Perich and Caroline Mariko Stucky, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, and composers Wang Lu, Anthony Vine, Johan Svensson, Reiko Fueting, and Sarah Hennies. The recipient of grants from New Music USA, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Music Academy of the West, and Chamber Music America, Longleash has premiered over 30 works, and received critical acclaim for their "tight playing," "lucid interpretations," and "inspired" premiere recordings (Tempo).

Longleash has given workshops at University College Cork, Royal Irish Academy of Music, The Juilliard School's Music Advancement Program, Manhattan School of Music, Hunter College, New York University, The Graduate Center (CUNY), and Ohio University. In 2015, Longleash founded The Loretto Project (Kentucky), an annual new music series and tuition-free composition workshop that supports promising collegiate composers while presenting socially-minded programs and celebrating diverse cultural perspectives.

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