MUSIQA Announces 2019-20 Season

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MUSIQA Announces 2019-20 Season

Musiqa, two-time winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, is announcing its 2019-20 season. Its Eighteenth season features bold programming including the world premieres of two commissioned operas, new works for dance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community and educational programming.

Musiqa's major concert series begins at the First Congregational Church of Houston with "Preludes@Play," a September 28 program of short, spirited works introducing the rhythms, colors, and sounds of the season. East meets west in Evan Chambers' Love Dogs for string trio, a mash-up of Sufi Qawwali music from South Asia and Louisiana bluegrass. Acclaimed composer and violinist with the Silk Road Ensemble, Jessie Montgomery creates feelings of nostalgia and celebration in Strum, for string quartet, a folk- and dance-inspired piece that weaves rhythmic and harmonic textures. Other works on the program include: Nesyan for clarinet quintet Iranian composer Aftab Darvishi's; Taiwanese-American composer Ying Chen Kao's 530.623 for clarinet and string duo; Blossom for two cellos by Karalyn Schubring, and Tsoof Baras' The Angels are Coming for harmonic whirlies.

Musiqa's second concert of the season, "Francosonic," takes place at the Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (The MATCH), on October 18, with contemporary works by French composers. The evening features the world premiere performance of Raphaèle Biston's Repercussions for chamber ensemble, commissioned by Musiqa with support from the French American Cultural Exchange Foundation. Noted photographer and multimedia artist, Olivier Modr will create light installations to Marc Andre Dalbavie's Palimpseste. Just as in writing when new text is written over previously erased work, Dalbavie creates an aural palimpseste, inscribing new music on remnants of old, with rich chromatic harmonies. The evening also includes: Toccata-Nocturne by Guillaume Connesson; Trio sopra 'et sola facta'by Betsy Jolas; and Alto Voltango by Luis Naón.

Musiqa joins forces with NobleMotion Dance and KINETIC String Ensemble for the third major concert of the season, January 11 and 12, at The MATCH. This evening of expressive, contemporary music and movement features new works for dance created for: Impressions by Clarice Assad, Autumn Rhapsody and Elegy for string orchestra by Musiqa Artistic Board member Pierre Jalbert, who has developed a musical language that is engaging, expressive, and deeply personal; Starburst by Jessie Montgomery; and more.

Musiqa and Opera in the heights! collaborate to present "Kassandra | The Leader," February 23 and 29. A classical myth and a timeless political satire receive modern updates in this world-premiere, double-bill presentation of new chamber operas by members of Musiqa's Artistic Board, Anthony Brandt and Karim Al-Zand. With a libretto by noted playwright Neena Beber, and original music by Anthony Brandt, Kassandra retells the Greek myth, in which Kassandra, a computer scientist, foretells the future impact of climate change, but is not believed because she has spurned the sexual advances of Apollo the venture capitalist. The Leader, based on Eugene Ionesco's one-act play of the same name, in which an "announcer," two admirers, and two lovers eagerly await the arrival of an increasingly erratic and bizarre "great man." One a tragedy and the other a farce are timely reflections of current rapid upheavals in social and political movements.

The final concert of Musiqa's major concert series, "Musiqa FWD," returns to First Congregational Church of Houston May 1. The concert features new works for chamber ensemble by emerging composers, including former Musiqa Emerging Composer Fellows Theo Chandler and Joel Love, and new works by the young composers in Musiqa's newly-launched Young Composer Lab, a music education and mentoring program for students from the Houston Independent School District.

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 14, January 30, and May 7, will feature works carefully chosen to complement the respective exhibitions at CAMH. Musiqa is proud to participate in the Houston Airport System's Harmony in the Air program with weekly performances at Hobby Airport in February through July.

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.

Photo Credit: Lynn Lane

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