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Miller Theatre to Present Composer Portrait of Hans Abrahamsen This Spring

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues its Composer Portraits series with Hans Abrahamsen featuring Ensemble Signal (Brad Lubman, conductor) on Thursday, March 24, 2016, 8:00 p.m. at Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street).

Tickets: $25-$35; Students with valid ID: $7-$21. Visit www.millertheatre.com/events/hans-abrahamsen for more information.

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "Hans Abrahamsen is an absolute force in the new music world, and his recent accolades are incredibly well deserved. Though his busy schedule prevents him from joining us for this Portrait, his mesmerizingly complex magnum opus, Schnee, speaks volumes to Abrahamsen's inimitable style and precision."

A cornerstone of Miller's programming, these "endlessly important" (The New York Times) and "indispensable" (The New Yorker) evening-length musical profiles explore the work of a single composer in depth, offering contemporary artists a space to explore, experiment, and make significant contributions to the field. Many composers will participate in onstage discussions as part of their Portrait concert, offering the audience unique insight into their inspiration behind the notes.

Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen's magnum opus Schnee ("Snow") is a wealth of delicate sounds, pristine yet colorful. "Snow can transform a familiar landscape in a couple of minutes and it dampens all the usual noises," says Abrahamsen. "It allows us to imagine something different." Schnee brings out the many shades and moods that Abrahamsen sees behind winter's whiteness, while its ever-shifting rhythms, tempos, and tunings demands nothing less than brilliance from the members of Ensemble Signal. Abrahamsen was recently announced as winner of the 2016 Grawemeyer Award for let me tell you, his song cycle for soprano and orchestra with text by Paul Griffiths.

PROGRAM:
Schnee (2008)

ARTISTS:
Hans Abrahamsen, composer
Ensemble Signal
Kelli Kathman, flute
Jackie LeClair, oboe and English horn
Adrián Sandí, clarinet
Bill Solomon, percussion
Oliver Hagen, piano
David Friend, piano
Courtney Orlando, violin
Victor Lowrie, viola
Lauren Radnofsky, cello
Kelli Kathman, flute
Jackie LeClair, oboe and English horn
Adrián Sandí, clarinet
Bill Solomon, percussion
Oliver Hagen, piano
David Friend, piano
Courtney Orlando, violin
Victor Lowrie, viola
Lauren Radnofsky, cello
Brad Lubman, conductor

About Hans Abrahamsen - In a creative life of almost half a century, Hans Abrahamsen has more than once had the courage to stop, and the equal courage to start again - freshly, out of a clear reconsideration of where he was before. His allegiances are shown by the roll of composers whose works he has, as a master orchestrator, reconceived: Bach and Ligeti, Nielsen and Schumann, Schoenberg and Debussy. But he has long discovered his own terrain - quite often a snowscape, as in his early masterpiece Winternacht or the work in which he found his fully mature style, Schnee (2006-8), generally acknowledged one of the rare classics of the twenty-first century.

Besides these two pieces for instrumental ensemble, his output includes four string quartets, a collection of ten piano studies (some of which he has recomposed in other forms), concertos for piano, for piano and violin, and for piano left hand, and a monodrama for soprano and orchestra, let me tell you, which was recently announced as winner of the 2016 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Abrahamsen is currently at work on his first opera, after Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen.

About Ensemble Signal - Ensemble Signal, described by the New York Times as "one of the most vital groups of its kind," is a NY-based ensemble dedicated to offering broad audiences access to a diverse range of contemporary works. Since its debut in 2008, the Ensemble has performed over 100 concerts, has given the NY, world, or US premieres of over 20 works, and co-produced eight recordings.

Signal has performed at Lincoln Center Festival, BIG EARS Festival, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, Tanglewood Music Festival of Contemporary Music, Ojai Music Festival, Miller Theatre, (le) Poisson Rouge, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Wordless Music Series, and the Bang on a Can Marathon. Signal has worked with artists and composers including Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, Irvine Arditti, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Oliver Knussen, Hilda Paredes, and Charles Wuorinen.

Recent highlights have included the performance of Steve Reich's video opera Three Tales, as well as David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe's video opera Shelter, and a headliner performance of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians and Radio Rewrite at the 2014 BIG EARS Festival in Knoxville, TN. Upcoming highlights include the co-commission of a new work for large ensemble by Steve Reich, to be premiered in 2016-17.

About Brad Lubman - Brad Lubman, conductor/composer, is founding co-Artistic director and Music Director of Ensemble Signal. Conducting a broad range of repertoire from classical to contemporary works, Lubman has led major orchestras including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Bayerische Rundfunk, Dresden Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, RSO Stuttgart, WDR Symphony Cologne, National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Finnish Radio Symphony, and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic.

In addition, he has worked with some of the most important European and American ensembles for contemporary music, including Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Klangforum Wien, Musik Fabrik, ASKO Ensemble, Ensemble Resonanz, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Chicago Symphony MusicNOW, and Steve Reich and Musicians.

Lubman has conducted at new-music festivals across Europe, including those in Lucerne, Salzburg, Berlin, Huddersfield, Paris, Cologne, Frankfurt, and Oslo. He has recorded for BMG/RCA, Nonesuch, Koch, Mode, Cantaloupe, and New World, among other labels. His own music has been performed in the USA and Europe, and can be heard on his CD, insomniac, on Tzadik. ?



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