Musiqa to Present DEEP SKY OBJECTS at Space Center Houston, 2/13

Musiqa to Present DEEP SKY OBJECTS at Space Center Houston, 2/13

Contemporary classical group Musiqa, winner of the 2013 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, will partner with Space Center Houston to present two performances of Deep Sky Objects at the Space Center Theater at Space Center Houston on Wednesday, February 13 at 11:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. The live performances of the contemporary chamber work will be accompanied by a spectacular series of NASA space images by photographer Colin Legg projected onto the huge theater screen. The performances are open to the public with standard admission to Space Center's theater.

The song cycle Deep Sky Objects, with music composed by Sebastian Currier set to poetry by poet Sarah Manguso, weaves a futuristic tale of a long-distance romance between two lovers separated by a galaxy. With lyrics that reflect intense longing and desire, the piece features soprano soloist Karol Bennett, a piano quintet and electronic music that eerily captures the sounds of deep space. Musiqa presented the world premiere of Deep Sky Objects, which the group commissioned, at its season opening concert at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts' Zilkha Hall in September 2012.

Rare time-lapse photographs of star fields by noted nature photographer Colin Legg enlarged for the IMAX screen will enhance the concert experience.

This commission has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.

Musiqa's Deep Sky Objects
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Two performances: 11:30 a.m. & 5:45 p.m.
Space Center Houston Theater
1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058 (Clear Lake area)
Tickets: General admission to Space Center Houston
Purchase tickets at: www.spacecenter.org
More information at: www.musiqahouston.org and Space Center Houston

An American composer whose works have been performed at major venues worldwide by acclaimed artists and orchestras, Sebastian Currier is the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. Heralded as "music with a distinctive voice" by The New York Times and as "lyrical, colorful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new" by the Washington Post,
his music has been enthusiastically embraced by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, for whom he wrote Aftersong, which she performed extensively in the US and Europe. His violin concerto, dedicated to Ms. Mutter, was premiered by the New York Philharmonic in the 2010-2011 season. He has also written works that involve electronic media and video.

Currier has received many prestigious awards, including the Berlin Prize, Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has held residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies. He received a D.M.A. from the Juilliard School; and from 1999-2007 he taught at Columbia University.

An author and poet, Sarah Manguso is the author, most recently, of The Guardians (2012). Her previous book, the memoir The Two Kinds of Decay (2008), was named an Editors' Choice by the New York Times Sunday Book Review and a Best Book of the Year by the Independent (UK), the San Francisco Chronicle, the Telegraph (UK), and Time Out Chicago. Her other books include the story collection Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape (2007), published as one of three volumes in McSweeney's One Hundred and Forty-Five Stories in a Small Box, and the poetry collections Siste Viator (2006) and The Captain Lands in Paradise (2002).

Honors for her writing include a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Manguso currently teaches writing at NYU and has taught previously at Columbia, Fairfield, the New School, and the Pratt Institute. Born and raised near Boston, she was educated at Harvard and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Winner of the 2013 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, Musiqa is a non-profit organization dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music. Founded in 2002 and led by five composers, Musiqa aims to enrich and inspire the community through programs that integrate contemporary music with other modern art forms. Musiqa celebrates modern creative arts through interdisciplinary concerts that highlight modern music and its connections to literature, film, dance, art, and more. With its innovative collaborations and educational programming, Musiqa strives to make modern repertoire accessible and vital to audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds. Musiqa is funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and has received its fifth consecutive NEA grant for innovative educational programming.

Pictured: Musiqa's Deep Sky Objects, Karol Bennett, soloist