The Crossing to Premiere Michael Gordon's TRAVEL GUIDE TO NICARAGUA
Grammya"?-winning new-music choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, gives the world premiere performances of Michael Gordon's Travel Guide to Nicaragua with cellist Maya Beiser in presentations by co-commissioners, the Annenberg Center on Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 7:00pm in Philadelphia and Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 7:30pm in New York City. Before the Carnegie Hall performance on March 25, Donald Nally and Michael Gordon will have a 6:30pm pre-concert conversation with John Schaefer, host of WNYC's New Sounds and Soundcheck.
Travel Guide to Nicaragua is inspired by Gordon's hazy memory of his first eight years of life living on the outskirts of Managua, Nicaragua. Gordon's third substantial work written for The Crossing, it reaches beyond his childhood, pondering the world of the Maya and Aztecs and drawing on the words of poet Rubén Darío.
Gordon is also at work on Montaña, a multi-year collaboration with The Crossing and filmmaker Bill Morrison taking place at Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana. The Crossing, Gordon, and Morrison are developing a large scale, spatial work for a cappella choir and film inspired by the open expanses of Montana and the frontier era and history there.
On Friday, March 20, 2020, The Crossing releases their newest recording - Michael Gordon's Anonymous Man - on Cantaloupe Music. Listen to the pre-release single. Scored for 24 unaccompanied voices, Anonymous Man is an hour-long autobiographical reflection on history, home, and homelessness that expands on Michael Gordon's inventive approach to composition, layering minimalistic swirls of vocal sound on top of one another to create a hypnotic incantation. The nine-movement work was commissioned by The Crossing and premiered by the group on July 1, 2017 at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, as a part of The Month of Moderns, The Crossing's annual summer festival of new music.
Michael Gordon's Travel Guide to Nicaragua
Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 7:00pm
Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center | 3680 Walnut St. | Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 7:30pm
(6:30pm Pre-Concert Talk with Donald Nally, Michael Gordon, and John Schaefer)
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall | Seventh Avenue between 56th and 57th | New York, NY
Donald Nally, Conductor
Maya Beiser, Cello
About Michael Gordon
Over the past 30 years, Michael Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles and major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio and kaleidoscopic works for groups of identical instruments. Transcending categorization, his music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
This season, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players with Roomful of Teeth and Splinter Reeds premiere the concert-length In a Strange Land, the Strings of Autumn festival in Prague feature Gordon as composer-in-residence and perform Timber plus all of Gordon's string quartets, and the percussion/piano/bass trio Bearthoven premieres a new work.
Gordon's recent works include a new chamber version of his opera Acquanetta, commissioned/premiered by Beth Morrison's Prototype Festival in NYC; "8" commissioned by the Amsterdam Cello Octet, the latest addition to Gordon's concert-length music for multiples; Big Space, commissioned and presented by the BBC Proms; and three new works for orchestra - Natural History, written for the 100th Anniversary of the United States' National Parks and premiered at Crater Lake in Oregon; Observations on Air, a concerto for bassoon for soloist Peter Whelan, commissioned by The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; and The Unchanging Sea, a piano concerto for Tomoko Mukaiyama with a new film by Bill Morrison commissioned/premiered by the Seattle Symphony and the Rotterdam Symphony. Gordon and Morrison's other collaborations include the Decasia, Dystopia, Gotham and El Sol Caliente.
Gordon's discography includes The Unchanging Sea, Clouded Yellow, Sonatra, Natural History, Timber Remixed, Dystopia, Rushes, Timber, Weather, Light is Calling, Decasia, (purgatorio) POPOPERA, Van Gogh, Trance, and Big Noise from Nicaragua. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can. His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and Ricordi/Universal Music Classical.
About The Crossing
The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its nearly 90 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 19 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations in three years.
The Crossing collaborates with some of the world's most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, the Annenberg Center, Beth Morrison Projects, Dolce Suono, Allora & Calzadilla, Pig Iron Theatre Company, The Rolling Stones, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom they have appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University in the American premiere of James Dillon's Nine Rivers, Peak Performances at Montclair State University, The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the National Gallery in Washington D.C., and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. The Crossing joined Bang on a Can for its first Philadelphia Marathon. Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of the world's most prestigious venues and presenters, such as the Park Avenue Armory, the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, National Sawdust, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Haarlem Choral Bienalle in The Netherlands, The Kennedy Center in Washington, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Delaware Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, the WNYC Winter Garden, and Duke, Northwestern, Rowan, Salisbury, Colgate, and Notre Dame Universities. In 2014, they premiered John Luther Adams' Sila: the breath of the world at Lincoln Center with Jack Quartet and eighth blackbird. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on WRTI 90.1FM, Philadelphia's Classical and Jazz Public Radio. In the 2019-2020 season The Crossing will return to Carnegie Hall and make debuts at The Met Cloisters in New York, and the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki.
The Crossing has presented nearly 90 commissioned world premieres. Major new works have include Michael Gordon's Anonymous Man (2017), Michael Gilbertson's Born (2017), Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Ad genua (2016), Lansing McLoskey's Zealot Canticles (2017), Caroline Shaw's To the Hands (2016), John Luther Adams' Canticles of the Holy Wind (2013, co-commissioned with Kamer), Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century (2014, written for The Crossing and PRISM), Stratis Minakakis' Crossings Cycle (2015/2017), Gregory Spears' The Tower and the Garden (2019), Gregory Brown's un/bodying/s (2017), David Lang's statement to the court (2010), Lewis Spratlan's Hesperus is Phosphorus (2012, co-commissioned with Network for New Music), from Ted Hearne's Sound From the Bench (2014, co-commissioned with Volti) and Animals (2018, co-commissioned with the Park Avenue Armory), and, from Kile Smith, The Arc in the Sky (2018), The Consolation of Apollo (2014), The Waking Sun (2011), Vespers (2008, a commission of Piffaro), and The Arc in the Sky (2018). In 2019, the women of The Crossing collaborated with The New York Philharmonic on the world premiere of Julia Wolfe's Fire in My Mouth. In 2016, The Crossing presented Seven Responses with new works including those of David T. Little, Hans Thomalla, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and Santa Ratniece. That same year, The Crossing commissioned and presented Jeff Quartets, a rare compilation of quartets from fifteen of the world's leading composers, presented as a concert-length set and collected in an omnibus edition. In June 2019, The Crossing presented its largest project to date, Aniara: fragments of time and space, a collaboration with Klockriketeatern in Helsinki, and composer Robert Maggio. Future projects include composers Edie Hill, Tawnie Olson, Daniel Felsenfeld, Tawnie Olson, Harold Meltzer, Stacy Garrop, Jacob Cooper, David Shapiro, Aaron Helgeson, Martin Bresnick, Caroline Shaw, Gabriel Kahane, and Marcos Balter.
The Crossing's recordings of Robert Convery and Benjamin Boyle's Voyages (August 2019, Innova) and Kile Smith's The Arc in the Sky (July 2019, Navona) were both nominated for 2020 Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance. Lansing McLoskey's Zealot Canticles won the 2019 Grammy and Thomas Lloyd's Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy, both as Best Choral Performance. The Crossing's collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), was the winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance and named one of The Chicago Tribune's Top 10 Classical CDs of the 2016.
The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums' 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing's 2014 commission Sound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. They were the recipient of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, as well as the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award (with composer Joel Puckett) from Chorus America. Learn more at www.crossingchoir.org
About Maya Beiser
Describing renowned cellist, producer, and multifaceted artist Maya Beiser, The New York Times writes, "The adventurous Ms. Beiser has been called the 'cello goddess,' which is not hyperbole: She summons from her instrument an emotional power so stirring that even the most stoic audience members risk turning into sobbing sacks of flesh." Passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, Maya Beiser has been captivating audiences worldwide, bringing a bold and unorthodox presence to contemporary classical music, experimenting with various musical styles, and defying conventional norms with her boundary-crossing performances.
Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, by her Argentinean father and French mother, Maya spent her early life surrounded by the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire. At the age of 12, she was discovered by the late violinist Isaac Stern who became her mentor throughout her early career. Reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream arena, Maya is a featured performer on the world's most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, London's Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, the Sydney Opera House, the Beijing Festival, Barcelona's L'Auditori, Paris' Cité de la Musique, and Stockholm's Concert Hall. Among the wide range of artists with whom she has collaborated are Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass, Tan Dun, Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Mark Anthony-Turnage, Shirin Neshat, Erin Cressida-Wilson, Bill Morrison, Robert Woodruff, Missy Mazolli, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn, Pontus Lidberg, Wendy Whelan, Lucinda Childs, and Joe Hisaishi. Maya's vast discography includes eleven solo albums.
Maya Beiser is a 2015 United States Artists (USA) Distinguished Fellow in Music; a 2017 Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology; and was recently a Presenting Artist at the inaugural CultureSummit, held in 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach, CA, Maya's 2011 TED Talk has been watched by over one million people and translated to 32 languages. She has been featured on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts and All Things Considered, PBS News Hour, and the BBC World News. Maya is a graduate of Yale University and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.