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Miller Theatre Continues 2014-15 Composer Portraits Series with Keeril Makan Tonight

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues the 2014-15 Composer Portraits series with two premieres from KEERIL MAKAN featuring Either/Or and Richard Carrick, conductor, tonight, December 5, 2014, 8:00 p.m at Miller Theatre at Columbia University (2960 Broadway at 116th Street). Tickets: $20-$30 • Students with valid ID: $12-$18.

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.

"An arrestingly gifted young American composer" (The New Yorker), Keeril Makan is an artist who delves deep, engaging with and reflecting human struggles and emotions in his work. His early compositions explored the violence of the war in Afghanistan as well as his own personal struggle with depression. In more recent works, Makan has embraced stillness, celebrating sound in and of itself, and demonstrating an elegant control of timbre and color.

If We Knew The Sky (2014) - New York premiere
Letting Time Circle Through Us (2013) - New York premiere

Either/Or, ensemble
Richard Carrick, conductor

Either/Or performs The Noise Between Thoughts (2003) by Keeril Makan

Keeril Makan ( - Described by The New York Times as "consistently stimulating," The Boston Globe portrays Keeril Makan (b. 1972) as a composer "whose music deserves to be more widely heard." Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Luciano Berio Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, he has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, the Aaron Copland House, the Utah Arts Festival, the Fulbright Program, and ASCAP.

His work has been commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, American Composers Orchestra, Harvard Musical Association, and Carnegie Hall, among others. His CDs, In Sound (Tzadik), Target (Starkland), and Afterglow(Mode) include performances by the Kronos Quartet, Either/Or, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Persona, his opera, written for Alarm Will Sound and produced by Beth Morrison, is an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's classic film, with a libretto by Jay Scheib. Schott publishes his compositions.

Makan was raised in New Jersey by parents of South African Indian and Russian Jewish descent. After training as a violinist, he received degrees in composition and religion from Oberlin and completed his PhD in composition at the University of California-Berkeley, with additional studies in Helsinki and Paris. Makan makes his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is Associate Professor of Music at MIT.

Either/Or ( - Praised by The New York Times as "an ensemble that plays by its own rules" (2009) and "a trustworthy purveyor of new sounds" (2013), Either/Or has been at the forefront of New York's contemporary music scene since 2004, presenting new and recent works for unconventional ensembles rarely heard elsewhere. Co-directors Richard Carrick and David Shively curate its programming, drawing on the Either/Or roster of 17 regular musicians alongside special guests. Performances throughout the Northeast, including Philadelphia Museum of Art, ICA Boston, Miller Theatre, The Kitchen, as well as a recent Swedish tour and frequent appearances at experimental music venues such as The Stone, Roulette, and Issue Project Room.

Aesthetically, the Either/Or programming explores equally the products of an American Experimental tradition (as traceable via artists such as Cage, Feldman, Lucier, Ashley) and of a European avant-garde, with a special emphasis on composers working outside the institutional mainstream. Either/Or has presented the first U.S. portrait concerts for composers such as Chaya Czernowin, Horatiu Radulescu, Karin Rehnqvist, Rebecca Saunders, Hans Thomalla, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, bringing most of these composers to New York City for public lectures and teaching engagements in parallel with the performances.

Either/Or has premiered more than 50 new works in past seasons, not including dozens of student compositions which received readings or first performances. Artists commissioned by Either/Or include Anthony Coleman, George Lewis, Keeril Makan, Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins, and Elliott Sharp. Either/Or has released CD recordings of composers Keeril Makan (Starkland, 2011), Richard Carrick (New World, 2011), Karin Rehnqvist (Sterling, 2013), and Anthony Coleman (New World, 2014) as well as having further titles in preparation from Carrick, Makan, Elliott Sharp, and Morton Feldman for release in 2015.

Richard Carrick ( - Richard Carrick, born in Paris of French-Algerian and British descent, is a New York based composer, conductor, and pianist. His music, described as "charming, with exoticism and sheer infectiousness" by Allan Kozinn of The New York Times, has been performed internationally by ISCM World Music Days-Switzerland, Vienna's Konzerthaus, the New York Philharmonic (Ensemble Series), Mid-American New Music Festival, Darmstadt Summer Festival, Tokyo's International House, JACK Quartet, soloists Magnus Andersson, Steven Schick, Rohan de Saram, and others.

Recent highlights include Carrick conducting the premiere of his newest workNamdaemun with the New York Philharmonic on their Biennial Festival 2014, a Fromm Foundation Commission for the MiVOS String Quartet, his solo electric guitar CD Stone Guitars release, Dark Flow-Double Quartet for Either/Or and the Ensemble Son on tour in the U.S. and Sweden, the hour-long Flow Cycle for Strings, Harmonixity for saxophone quartet and Adagios for Strings.

Carrick also composes large-scale multi-media works combining video, electronics, and live musicians such as the "apocalyptic" Prisoner's Cinema for large ensemble and video. His most well know multi-media work is Cosmicomics, based on stories by Italo Calvino, described as "operatically ambitious" by The Village Voice.

Carrick is co-founder/co-artistic director of the New York based experimental music ensemble Either/Or. As a critically acclaimed pianist and conductor, he regularly premieres diverse works by and works closely with leading composers including Helmut Lachenmann, Jonny Greenwood, Chaya Czernowin, George Lewis, Rebecca Saunders and others.

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