Zurich Meets New York: A Festival of Swiss Ingenuity Presents Live Music & Silent Films Tonight
Zürich Meets New York: A Festival of Swiss Ingenuity presents Collegium Novum Zurich: Live Music & Silent Films tonight, May 16, 7 p.m. at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. Featuring music by Carola Baukholt, Hanns Eisler, Erik Satie, and Iris ter Schiphorst.
A fixture of the Swiss music scene since 1993, the 20-piece new music ensemble Collegium Novum Zurich makes its U.S. debut at the David Rubinstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, performing over short silent film masterpieces. The evening will feature original and new soundtracks to Dada classics, some of Hanns Eisler's best documentary scores, and the U.S. premiere of Iris ter Schiphorst's composition for the American avant-garde film of Edgar Allan Poe's story, The Fall of the House of Usher.
Jörg Schneider, trumpet
Jonathan Stockhammer, conductor
Carola Bauckholt: Ghosts Before Breakfast (2008)
Film by Hans Richter (1928)
In 1927, Hans Richter was asked by the Gessellschaft Fur Neu Musik in Berlin to create a film with composer Paul Hindemith for their annual festival of music in Baden-Baden. Featuring a number of seemingly arbitrary images, the German Dadaist animated short utilizes stop motion for some of its effects and live action for others. The Nazis destroyed Hindemith's original soundtrack as " degenerate art", but new audio tracks have been created since, including the featured one by acclaimed German composer Carola Bauckholt.
Iris ter Schiphorst: The Fall of the House of Usher (2014) U.S. Premiere
Film by James Sibley Watson, Jr. and Melville Webber (1928)
The Fall of the House of Usher is the most renowned and technically accomplished work of the American avant-garde cinema which rose in the 1920s.The world premiere of German composer Iris ter Schiphorst's new score took place at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich in March 2014.
Erik Satie: Entr'acte cinématographique (1924), arr. by Andrew Digby (2007)
Film by René Clair (1924)
Entr'acte was made as an intermission piece for the Ballets Suédois production of the 1924 Dada theater work, Relâche. The ballet's director, Francis Picabia, gave René Clair a short scenario around which to build the film, and Erik Satie composed an original score to accompany it, but the finished work is "pure" cinema-the individual shots and the connections between them resulting in what Clair described as "visual babblings." The film includes cameo appearances by Francis Picabia, Erik Satie, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp.
Hanns Eisler: Fourteen Ways of Describing the Rain, Op. 70 (1941)
For the film Rain by legendary Dutch director Joris Ivens (1929)
Fourteen Ways of Describing the Rain was commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation's Film Music Project and was premiered for Arnold Schoenberg's 70th birthday in Los Angeles in 1944. With it, Hanns Eisler returned to the twelve-tone method he had abandoned in Berlin. The chamber suite based on the film score was one of Eisler's favorite works and is considered a masterpiece of the genre.
Hanns Eisler: Chamber Symphony, Op. 69 (1940)
For the film White Flood (1940, Frontier Films)
Scored for 15 instruments, Chamber Symphony was composed to function both as a score and a concert piece. Produced by the filmmakers' cooperative Frontier Films, White Flood is an educational film dealing with the formation of glaciers and the influence of the ice age. The first performance of the 12-tone work took place in 1950 at the festival of the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) in Brussels.
Collegium Novum Zurich: Live Music & Silent Films is presented by Zürich Meets New York: A Festival of Swiss Ingenuity, highlighting the contemporary relevance of visionary movements and ideas born in Zurich and their impact on American culture. Building on the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Dada movement and Zurich's role as a 21st-century hub for artistic and scientific innovation, the festival features 25 events at venues across the city, and is presented by the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, the City of Zurich, ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich (UZH). For more information, visit: www.zurichmeetsnewyork.org
Collegium Novum Zurich was founded in 1993 with the goal of promoting and performing contemporary music with interpretations of the highest standard. Collaborations are an important component of the ensemble's mission, which often works with the Zurich University of the Arts, the Experimental Studio of the SWR, and the Southwest German Broadcasting Group. Thanks to its flexible structure, the 26-soloist collective is able to provide any combination of instrumentation, from solo to grand ensemble, and this allows concerts to be programmed considering only the desired musical content. The Collegium Novum has given countless premieres, including works by Frangis Ali-Sade, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Edu Haubensak, Hans Werner Henze, Klaus Huber, Michael Jarrell, Mischa Käser, Rudolf Kelterborn, Helmut Oehring, Klaus Ospald, Hilda Paredes, Enno Poppe, Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini, Annette Schmucki, Nadir Vassena, Stefan Wirth und Gérard Zinsstag, among others. Over the years, it has been led by renowned conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Friedrich Cerha, Mark Foster, Beat Furrer, Howard Griffiths, Pablo Heras-Casado, Peter Hirsch, Heinz Holliger, Mauricio Kagel, Johannes Kalitzke, Roland Kluttig, Susanna Mälkki, Enno Poppe, Peter Rundel, Michael Wendeberg, Jörg Widmann und Jürg Wyttenbach.
Born in Hamburg, Iris ter Schiphorst studied piano and gave numerous concert performances, before traveling the world for two years. Back in Germany, she took up theatre studies, cultural studies and philosophy in Berlin, attended seminars with Dieter Schnebel, Luigi Nono and Helga de la Motte, and began to explore electronic music and sampling techniques. In 1992 she was awarded first prize in the third Composition Competition for Synthesized and Computerized Music. Iris ter Schiphorst has received numerous accolades and scholarships, including a 2004 artist in residence at 'Die Höge', a center for women artists. Her orchestral piece Hundert Komma Null (Hundred Point Zero) was short-listed for the 2001 Prix Italia. The ensemble piece Zerstören (Destruction) was nominated for the World Music Days 2007 in Hong Kong. Her extensive years of experience as a musician (first as a classical pianist, later as a bass player, drummer, keyboard player and sound engineer in various rock and pop bands) has had a formative influence on her attitude towards composing, and her wide-ranging output includes all genres. Her works have been premiered at festivals in Donaueschingen, Witten, Helsinki, Paris, Munich, Basel, Glasgow, Berlin, Stockholm, Cologne, Amsterdam, Porto, Vienna and London as well as at the EXPO and documenta exhibitions.