Sirius Quartet Celebrates 'New World' On Governors Island
Praised for its "versatility and flair" by the New York Times, and called an ensemble that "works comfortably at the intersection of post-minimalist classical composition and post-bop jazz" by the Detroit Free Press, the quartet is known for visceral compositions and arrangements that provide ample space for improvisation. The politically-charged and topical album explores themes of immigration, discrimination, and being an agent of change.
The title track "New World, Nov. 9, 2016" was the Grand Prize winner for the New York Philharmonic's "New World Initiative" composition competition in 2017. Composer/violinist Gregor Huebner balances idyllic and hopeful themes of Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 ("New World" Symphony) with the fiercer passages found in the Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8 that allude to tensions between the composer and the Soviet Union. "With two immigrant violinists, we in the quartet feel that it's important to create music that speaks to the moment in which we live and gives hope," says composer Huebner.
Composer/violinist Fung Chern Hwei describes the opening work, "Beside the Point" as his "declaration of struggle against discrimination." Cellist/composer Jeremy Harman's "Currents" maintains an often vague sense of menace throughout, prodding the listener out of any complacency. The Beatles' iconic "Eleanor Rigby" and Radiohead's "Knives Out," both arranged by Huebner, showcase the group's fierce improvisational acumen.
The group's official album release show is on Governors Island on September 7 as part of the Rite of Summer Music Festival.
Rite of Summer Music Festival
Governors Island, Nolan Park 1PM & 3PM
September 7, 2019
FREE / info