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VIDEO: Works & Process Artists Virtual Commissions Presents A DUST IN TIME For Solo Violin By Huang Ruo.

Featuring violinist Jennifer Koh.

VIDEO: Works & Process Artists Virtual Commissions Presents A DUST IN TIME For Solo Violin By Huang Ruo.

This past week, Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, presented the premiere of a new virtual commission by Huang Ruo, featuring Jennifer Koh.

Ruo says of the piece, "No matter who you are and where you are, we are all affected by this apparently endless pandemic. Most of us have experienced moments during this global crisis where time and space seem to be slowed or frozen. For some of us, memories, feelings, and lives are forever trapped in that slowly frozen time and space. This ongoing crisis has affected our current life and maybe even our life in the future. "A Dust in Time" is written for the people affected by the pandemic, giving them a piece of music to reflect, to express, to mourn, to bury, to heal, to find internal peace, strength, and hope. This solo-violin version of "A Dust in Time" is created as part of the WPA Virtual Commissions. The piece is about 30-minutes in duration, unfolding a process and journey from darkness to light, from frozenness and motionlessness to full of life and energy."

Composer Huang Ruo has been lauded by The New York Times for having "a distinctive style." His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz to create a seamless, organic integration using a compositional technique he calls "Dimensionalism." Huang Ruo's diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, architectural installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film. His music has been premiered and performed by the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, National Polish Radio Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Asko/Schoenberg, Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, and conductors such as Wolfgang Sawallisch, Marin Alsop, Andrew Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, and James Conlon. His opera An American Soldier (with libretto by David Henry Hwang) has recently received its world premiere at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in June 2018, and was named one of the best classical music events in 2018 by The New York Times. His installation opera Paradise Interrupted was premiered at the Spoleto Festival USA in 2015 and was performed at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2016, with future touring planning for Europe and Asia. Another opera, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, was premiered at the Santa Fe Opera in 2014. His upcoming new opera M. Butterfly will receive its world premiere with the Santa Fe Opera in a future season. His other upcoming new operas will be premiered and presented by the Washington National Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Prototype Festival, and the Hong Kong New Vision Festival. He served as the first composer-in-residence for Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and was the visiting composer for the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil. Huang Ruo was born in Hainan Island, China in 1976 - the year the Chinese Cultural Revolution ended. His father, who is also a composer, began teaching him composition and piano when he was six years old. Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, when China was opening its gate to the Western world, he received both traditional and Western education at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. As a result of the dramatic cultural and economic changes in China following the Cultural Revolution, his education expanded from Bach, Mozart, Stravinsky, and Lutoslawski, to include the Beatles, rock and roll, heavy metal, and jazz. Huang Ruo was able to absorb all of these newly allowed Western influences equally. After winning the Henry Mancini Award at the 1995 International Film and Music Festival in Switzerland, he moved to the United States to further his education. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School. Huang Ruo is a composition faculty at the Mannes School of Music in NY, and is the artistic director and conductor of Ensemble FIRE. He was selected as a Young Leader Fellow by the National Committee on United States-China Relations in 2006. Huang Ruo's music is published by Ricordi. For more information about the composer and his music, please visit: (www.huangruo.com)

Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. A forward-thinking artist, she is dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting equity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects, and has premiered more than 100 works written especially for her. Her quest for the new and unusual, sense of endless curiosity, and ability to lead and inspire a host of multidisciplinary collaborators, truly set her apart. Ms. Koh's series include Alone Together, an online commissioning project and performances series in support of composers during the coronavirus crisis; The New American Concerto, which invites a diverse collective of composers to examine socio-cultural topics relevant to American life today through the form of the violin concerto; Limitless which explores the relationship between composer and performer through duo works played by Ms. Koh and the composers themselves; Bach and Beyond, which traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach's sonatas and partitas to pieces by 20th- and 21st-century composers; and Shared Madness, comprising short solo works that explore virtuosity in the 21st century, commissioned from over 30 composers. Ms. Koh has appeared with orchestras worldwide, among them the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki Philharmonics; Cleveland, Mariinsky, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Philharmonia (London) Orchestras; and Atlanta, Baltimore, BBC, Chicago, Cincinnati, National, New World, NHK, RAI (Torino), and Singapore Symphonies. Named Musical America's 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, she has won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Concert Artists Guild Competition, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a BA in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. She is an active lecturer, teacher, and recording artist for Cedille Records; and is the Artistic Director and Founder of the non-profit arco collaborative.



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