Bowerbird to Present Luciano Berio's Complete SEQUENZAS, 9/18-20

Bowerbird to Present Luciano Berio's Complete SEQUENZAS, 9/18-20

Bowerbird is excited to present 14 SEQUENZAS, the Philadelphia premiere of the complete Sequenzas, one of the seminal compositions of the influential Italian modern composer Luciano Berio (1925 - 2003) at the First Unitarian Church, September 18 to 20, 2014 as part of the 2014 FringeFestival.

Rarely performed, Berio's Sequenzas (14 in total, each one for a different solo instrument) are widely acclaimed as essential repertoire of the 20th century. While some of the music from that century (the dreaded 'new music') has been cast off as "academic" or "unapproachable", these works have thrived because they appeal as much to a listener's ear as to a musician's sense of adventure.

Rather than presenting the works in a typical, static concert environment, this production (conceived and organized by Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis) offers the Sequenzas performed live in an immersive, site-specific, interactive environment set throughout the entire First Unitarian Church.

During these performances, audiences may choose to watch all fourteen works as they move from room to room, or to move freely at their own pace for up to three hours, choosing where to go and what to see, so that each individual's journey is unique. Beyond the live performances, each room will feature listening stations where the audience may listen to pieces that influenced a particular sequenza, read written letters about the pieces, watch documentary materials on the life of Berio, or hear more about a particular piece if they wish to fully immerse themselves in just one work for a period of time. They may also exit the premises at any point.

Performance Times: Thursday, Sept.18, 2014 - 7pm to 10pm; Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 - 7pm 7pm to 10pm; and Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 - 12pm to 3pm. Approximate run time 3 hours; audiences may come and go as they please. Tickets are $20, $15 for students and under 25 and will be available online in advance or at the door. The First Unitarian Church is located at 2125 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA 19103. There will be a brief chat and Q and A beginning 30 minutes before each performance.


Sequenza I -flute- Katie Ambacher

Sequenza II -harp- Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis

Sequenza III -voice- Alize Rozsnyai

Sequenza IV -piano- Christopher Oldfather

Sequenza V -trombone- Justin Moore

Sequenza VI -viola- Kristina Giles

Sequenza VII -oboe- Jocelyn Plant

Sequenza VIII -violin- Rebecca Schlappich

Sequenza IXb -alto sax- Aaron Stewart

Sequenza X -trumpet- Kenneth Bean

Sequenza XI -guitar- Jordan Dodson

Sequenza XII -bassoon- (Recorded and projected into a soundspace) Martin Kuuskmann

Sequenza XIII -accordion- Bill Schimmel

Sequenza XIV -cello- Mirjam Ingolfsson

ABOUT BOWERBIRD - Situated at the forefront of artistic experimentation, Bowerbird is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that presents music and interdisciplinary events by local and internationally recognized artists at a variety of venues across the region. The mission of Bowerbird is to raise the public's awareness and understanding of provocative and divergent music traditions by providing numerous and diverse opportunities to directly experience the work of today's leading artists. For more information, visit

ABOUT ELIZABETH MORGAN-ELLIS - Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis / Change of Harp's mission is to promote local, living composers and performers through education, performances of their work, and fair pay for their time. We also strive to update the concert experience by introducing new audience members to inventive performance formats and striking collaborations. Of our 2013 Fringe series, featuring Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis on solo harp and the work of various visual artists, CityPaper's Mary Armstrong stated, "Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis is a superb harpist who graciously shares the spotlight. According to the chatter in the room during intermission, her collaborations introduced new art forms to many." We believe this kind of performance style helps people to understand and appreciate musical forms they might otherwise not be able to enjoy. David Patrick Stearns of The Philadelphia Inquirer, while writing about a projection used in a previous concert, "Andrea Clearfield's French-impressionist-flavored Rhapsodie (2009) melded effortlessly with (projectionist) Huston's visual fantasia on Claude Monet lily-pad paintings, morphing into sunbursts and far less-imaginable things, that I heard the music in ways I hadn't before."