Music From Copland House Comes To The Graduate Center, CUNY February 3
As 2020 begins, "there is good news: Copland House concerts now come to Manhattan" (New York Classical Review). Featuring the internationally-acclaimed Music from Copland House ensemble and presented in collaboration with The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, this ambitious new series is one of the very few nationally that exclusively showcases over a century of American musical creativity.
This past November's inaugural concert brought "warm performances, full of humanity and empathy, confident and transparent ... music that is completely exciting, grabbing the body and fascinating the mind" (New York Classical Review). The next program in this six-concert series is Voyage Out, coursing through real, imagined, and spiritual journeys, and featuring New York Premieres by Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts, Grawemeyer Award-winner Sebastian Currier, and Copland House 2019 CULTIVATE Fellow Flannery Cunningham.
The concert in the acoustically-superb Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall in midtown Manhattan on Monday evening, Febraury 3rd at 7.30pm and includes a post-concert TalkBack with the three featured composers, moderated by Copland House's Artistic and Executive Director Michael Boriskin. (It will be subsequently telecast on CUNY TV to an estimated viewership of over seven-million households in metro New York.) The concert borrows its title from Currier's new work for piano and string quartet, a Copland House co-commission the composer calls "a mind journey" across a wide emotional and sonic landscape. "You get on in one place and get off in another," he explained; "you could go anywhere."
Music from Copland House's long association with the composer has included commissioning his Grawemeyer Award-winning work Static, and recording a widely-praised all-Currier chamber music album.
Kevin Puts' Living Frescoes was inspired by Bill Viola's Going Forth by Day, a series of five video loops exploring themes of human existence - individuality, society, death, rebirth. Viola's large art installation, partly influenced by Italian Renaissance frescoes that occupy a space through which viewers physically pass, visualized the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a guide for the soul once it is freed from the darkness of the body. Puts' epic work mirrors but does not replicate Viola's expressive intent of tracing a surreal voyage into the after-life, but tells its own story in sound of the passage through earthly life.
Cunningham wrote Boreal as part of her CULTIVATE fellowship. Harkening back to the centuries-old bagpiping and singing traditions of the Scottish Highlands, Boreal is built around an old piping tune "sung" by the four instruments (clarinet, violin, cello, and piano) for which it was composed, and is electronically colored by environmental sounds that evoke a mysterious, affecting excursion to some undefined place. Featured Music from Copland House artists are violinists Curtis Macomber and Suliman Tekalli, violist Danielle Farina, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach, and pianist Michael Boriskin, joined by guest clarinetist Igor Begelman from The Graduate Center's Doctoral program.
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