MUSIQA Announces 2017-18 Season

MUSIQA Announces 2017-18 Season

Musiqa, two-time winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, is proud to announce its 2017-18 season. Our sixteenth season features the same bold programming that allowed previous seasons to stand out, complete with world premieres, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community and educational programming.

Musiqa's major concert series begins at the Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall with "Bodies in Motion," a September 23 program in which we collaborate with two talented organizations: Open Dance Project and KINETIC, the conductorless string orchestra. For this concert, four works will be performed alongside brand-new choreography created by Open Dance Project Artistic Director Annie Arnoult and the founder and artistic director of Hope Stone Dance, Jane Weiner. Highlighting the program are world premiere dances created to Pierre Jalbert's String Theory and Marcus Maroney's Three Pieces for String Orchestra. Other works presented with dance include Andrew Bird's Stalemate, and Lera Auerbach's Lonely Suite (Ballet for a Lonely Violinist). Rounding out the program is a Augusta Read Thomas's Silent Moon for violin and cello.

The second major concert of the year, scheduled for January 13, finds Musiqa returning to the Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), and once again collaborating with an exciting young ensemble: this time, Loop38, a chamber orchestra conducted by Jerry Hou. The program consists of three major works by composers on the Musiqa artistic board. The pieces each deal with a theme of travel to a distant time or place, to worlds distant from our own; thus the concert's title, "Looking Back in Time." First is Karim Al-Zand's Visions from Another World, for chamber orchestra. This is followed by Pierre Jalbert's Transcendental Windows, a beautiful work inspired by Tiffany staiNed Glass. The program concludes with Anthony Brandt's Maternity, an oratorio for soprano and chamber orchestra, that traces a maternal line back through history all the way to the birth of gender; soprano and Musiqa's Resident Artist Karol Bennett is the soloist. The program features a reading by neuroscientist David Eagleman, bestselling author of Sum and Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, and librettist for Brandt's Maternity.

March 3 finds Musiqa once again in a perennially popular collaboration with the Houston Cinema Arts Society, in a program entitled "The Moving Image." This concert presents an evening of short films with live musical performance. The cornerstone of the evening is Boston composer Michael Gandolfi's The History of the World in Seven Acts, presented alongside a narrated feature by Jonathan Bachrach. The program also includes Michael van der Aa's Transit for piano and film, Anna Clyne's Steelworks for ensemble, tape and film, and Reena Esmail's Perhaps for cello and film.

The final concert in Musiqa's major series "Playing Havoc" once again takes place at MATCH April 13 and 14, this time with a focus on poetry, specifically as it is presented and transformed musically. We're thrilled to invite the rising composer/soprano and Pulitzer finalist Kate Soper, whose recent work Ipsa DixitAlex Ross of The New Yorker called a "masterpiece." For this program, Soper will present Voices from the Killing Jar, a moving, dramatic work, part monodrama, part song cycle, part opera. The work crosses a volatile musical landscape populated by a series of female protagonists, among them housewives, teenagers, and mothers and daughters; innocents and tragic heroines; and femmes fatales. From Madame Bovary's passionate whirlwind of delusion, to Lady Macduff's terrified lullaby, to Clytemnestra's hypnotic and deadly rage, each one is brought to vivid and unforgettable life as Soper's mercurial voice traces a path through their stories.

In addition to these major concerts, Musiqa will once again present its series of free, informal loft concerts in collaboration with the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. These concerts, which take place November 9, February 8, and May 17, will feature works carefully chosen to complement the respective exhibitions at CAMH. Finally, Musiqa once again teams up with River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Inprint, Houston Hispanic Forum and the Lawndale Art Center in the November 2"Musical Ofrenda," a celebration of Dia de los Muertos.


Musiqa is dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music. Founded in 2002 and led by four 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.

Major support for Musiqa is provided by Houston Endowment, Inc., the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Powell Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Texas Commission on the Arts, R. Stan and Reinnette Marek, the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, the Brown Foundation, the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation, Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Kinder Morgan Foundation.

Photo credit: Lynn Lane

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