Talea Ensemble to Close Out 15th Anniversary Season With Two Concerts At West End Theatre

The concerts will take place on May 30 & June 1.

By: Apr. 24, 2024
Talea Ensemble to Close Out 15th Anniversary Season With Two Concerts At West End Theatre
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Talea Ensemble will conclude its 15th anniversary season with Encores & 15th Anniversary Celebration, a program featuring solo performers and composers with whom Talea has existing collaborations on Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. at the West End Theatre. Talea returns to the West End Theatre to present Aux Étoiles, a concert featuring France-based composers and kicking off the ensemble's new initiative, Talea Ambassadors, on Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

Since 2022, Encores has become a recurring initiative of Talea's New York programming and represents the ensemble's commitment to building strong long-term partnerships with composers. This year's program highlights individual Talea musicians in works for solo trombone (Mike Lormand), viola (Hannah Levinson), piano (Steven Beck), cello (Christopher Gross) by Andile Khumalo, Bahar Royaee, Georges Aperghis, and Geli Li – all composers whom Talea has featured earlier in the season. The celebration continues after the concert with a reception and pop-up musical events, including appearances by Suzanne Farrin on ondes Martenot and Eva Zöllner on accordion.  

Aux Étoiles represents the first concert of the ensemble's newest initiative, Talea Ambassadors, a season-long hybrid residency spotlighting composers and artists from a different country or region. Each season, Talea seeks to explore a new country or region through performance, podcast interviews, discussion, and other content highlighting the work and creative processes of partner composers, with this season's focus on France. 

Talea has commissioned a new work by French composer Sanae Ishida, to be given its world premiere performance on the June 1 program. Titled In Pursuit of True Happiness, the work is inspired by the intimate, dreamlike, and spiritual world of the short story “Night of the Milky Way Railway,” written by Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933). The work is performed alongside the US premiere of Georges Aperghis's Carsten Trio, commissioned by Talea Ensemble friend and board member Katharina Pistor. The program also includes Gérard Grisey's Talea, and Samir Amarouch's Electronica-1, which utilizes acoustic instruments to mimic the sounds and synchronicities of electronic music and explores what happens when those synchronicities unravel. Talea pays tribute to the late Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, who lived and worked in France, with a performance of her textural and dreamlike Cloud Trio. 

Talea is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Talea Ensemble's 2023-24 season projects are supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and in part by the Alice M. Ditson Fund, Amphion Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund, Howard Gilman Foundation, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, and generous donors like you. Talea's season is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Concert Information:

Encores & 15th Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
West End Theatre | 263 W 86th St | New York, NY 10024
Tickets: $20, $10 for students / seniors
Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/encores-15th-anniversary-celebration-tickets-705761610977?aff=oddtdtcreator 

Program (subject to change):
Andile Khumalo: Who are you not to be? (2012/2017) - solo trombone *US Premiere
Georges Aperghis: Dans Le Mur (2007) - solo piano and electronics 
Bahar Royaee: Tombstone (2017) - solo viola 
Geli Li: The Embrace of the Wind and the Memories (2022) - cello and electronics

Aux Étoiles
Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
The West End Theatre | 263 West 86th Street |  New York, NY 10024
Tickets: $20, $10 for students / seniors
Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aux-etoiles-tickets-706479819157?aff=oddtdtcreator 

Samir Amarouch: Electronica-1 (2019)
Georges Aperghis: Carsten Trio (2023) *US Premiere
Sanae Ishida: In Pursuit of True Happiness (2024) *World Premiere
Kaija Saariaho: Cloud Trio (2009)
Gérard Grisey: Talea (1986)

About the Talea Ensemble
Heralded as “a crucial part of the New York cultural ecosphere” by The New York Times, the Talea Ensemble's mission is to champion musical creativity, cultivate curious listeners, and bring visionary new works to life with vibrant performances that remain in the audience's imagination long after a concert. Recipients of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the ensemble has brought to life over 50 commissions of major new works since it was founded in 2008, including bold and inventive productions that span multiple genres, bringing together music and other contemporary art forms such as theater and visual art. Talea has helped introduce NYC audiences to important works of seasoned composers such as Pierre Boulez, Georg Friedrich Haas, Beat Furrer, Olga Neuwirth, Unsuk Chin, and Hans Abrahamsen, and has regularly commissioned composers of the following generations. 

The Talea Ensemble's work has spanned imaginative performances, collaboration with composers, artist development projects, discussion, and reflection around music. Highlights from Talea's most recent performance seasons have included: world premieres by Wang Lu, Tyshawn Sorey, Sarah Hennies, Natacha Diels, Anthony Cheung, Agata Zubel, Mark Applebaum, and more; a production of Georg Friedrich Haas's concert-length Solstices in complete darkness; the US premiere of the immersive theater work Love & Diversity by Manos Tsangaris; and a performance of Julius Eastman's Femenine in the NY Philharmonic Artist Spotlight Series. 

Festival engagements have included performances at Lincoln Center Festival, Donaueschingen Musiktage, Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, TIME:SPANS, Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Wien Modern, Vancouver New Music, Festival Musica, and many more. The ensemble has also partnered with institutions from across disciplines, such as the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the City of Ideas Festival in Mexico, and the Storm King Art Center. 

Talea undertakes residencies in music departments around the country to support early-career composers. Residencies in the current season include the Peabody Institute, Rice University, Hunter College, Brown University, Ithaca College, and Queens College. Since 2020, Talea has targeted support to early career composers through the Talea Access Project, which includes a commissioning program and a composer recording workshop. Talea is committed to continuing to build these artist development programs in the upcoming seasons.  

Photo credit: Drew Bordeaux Photography

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