AMERICANCOMPOSERS ORCHESTRA KICKS OFF 2010-2011 SEASON UNDERNEW MUSIC DIRECTOR GEORGE MANAHAN WITH A PROGRAM ENTITLEDMYSTICS & MAGIC ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15 IN ZANKEL HALLWorks by John Luther Adams and Wang Jie Receive World Premieres,Along with New York Premieres by Claude Vivier andAlvin Singleton and Music by Jacob DruckmanAdditional Concerts This Season Take Place on December 3 and March 4
On Friday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m., AmericanComposers Orchestra (ACO), led by its new Music Director George Manahan,perform a program featuring new music inspired by the divine, spiritual, andunseen. The program, titled Orchestra Underground: Mystics & Magic,includes two world premieres: the newly orchestrated version of John LutherAdams’s The Light Within and Wang Jie’s From the Other Sky. Alsoon the program are the New York premieres of Alvin Singleton’s BluesKonzertfeaturing piano soloist Ursula Oppens, and Claude Vivier’s LonelyChild with soprano Susan Narucki. Jacob Druckman’s Nor Spell NorCharm completes the program. Please see below for complete programinformation.About the MusicJohn Luther Adams has orchestrated The Light Within for ACO. Thework was originally written for chamber ensemble in 2007. He says The LightWithin was inspired by his own “epiphany of light,” which he experiencedsitting inside James Turrell’s P.S.1 installation Meeting, which focuseson light and perception by way of a rectangular opening cut directly into theceiling. “I was transfixed by the magical interplay of light and color…lightbecoming color, becoming substance,” Adams said. The piece will also featurenew immersive lighting design by Ji-Youn Chang.Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jacob Druckman wrote Nor Spell NorCharm in 1990 in memory of mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani. The piece is anelaboration on a song Mr. Druckman composed for her in 1989, the titlereferencing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The work reflectsthe composer’s signature colorful and dramatic orchestration.Wang Jie is the winner of ACO’s 2009 Underwood New Music ReadingsCommission for emerging composers. Her work, From the Other Sky, is amulti-media concert opera for three singers and orchestra based on her ownshort story, which tells the tale of how the Chinese Zodiac animals lost their13th member—a musical lark. Composer John Corigliano has said of Wang Jie’smusic, “She knows how to take a few notes and spin them into a large form—arare trait in today’s composers.”Alvin Singleton’s work BluesKonzert, for piano soloist andorchestra, was written for Ursula Oppens (a founding member of ACO) anddedicated to the memory of his colleague, the jazz composer and saxophonistJulius Hemphill, who died in 1995. Like much of Singleton’s music, BluesKonzertunites the worlds of jazz and European modernism.Canadian composer Claude Vivier credited a life-changing trip to Bali in1976 with crystallizing his musical style and attitude about the artist’s rolein society. Lonely Child, for voice and ensemble, was written in 1980after this trip.Additional ACO concerts during the 2010–2011 season include:
Artist Information Soprano Susan Narucki is a frequent soloist with major orchestras andcontemporary music ensembles around the globe. She earned Grammy and Cannesawards for her recordings of works by George Crumb on Bridge Records. Herextensive discography includes operas of Louis Andriessen on Nonesuch and theNetherlands Opera production of Claude Vivier’s Rêves D’un Marco Polo onOpus Arte DVD. Her most recent release of songs by Charles Ives with pianistDonald Berman on New World was an Editor’s Choice in BBC Music Magazine.Pianist Ursula Oppens, a founding member of ACO in 1977, is one of thefirst artists to grasp the importance of programming traditional andcontemporary works in equal measure. Her sterling musicianship, uncannyunderstanding of the composer’s artistic intent, and lifelong study of thekeyboard’s resources, have placed her among the top tier of performingmusicians. In 2008, Ms. Oppens celebrated the 100th birthday of Elliott Carterwith critically acclaimed performances of his complete works for solo piano.George Manahan has had an unusually wide-ranging career, embracingeverything from opera to the concert stage, the traditional to thecontemporary. His most recent appearance with ACO was in May 2010 during the19th Annual Underwood New Music Readings at Columbia University’s MillerTheatre. In February 2009 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, Mr. Manahan led aconcert of world premieres, which included the much-praised multimedia works BREAKDOWN!by Margaret Brouwer and Kasumi, Cryosphere by Rand Steiger, and Resurrectionby Fang Man. In 2006, he workshopped and led performances of music by emergingcomposers Anna Clyne, Fang Man, Robert Gates, and Paul Richards during ACO’sUnderwood New Music Readings. In addition to his work with ACO, in fall 2010,he furthers his commitment to working with young musicians by joining theManhattan School of Music faculty as Director of Orchestral Studies. GeorgeManahan has been Music Director at New York City Opera for twelve seasons.There he helped envision the organization’s groundbreaking VOX program, aseries of workshops and readings that have provided unique opportunities fornumerous composers to hear their new concepts realized, and introducedaudiences to exciting new compositional voices. In addition to establishedcomposers such as Mark Adamo, David Del Tredici, Lewis Spratlan, Robert X.Rodriguez, Lou Harrison, Bernard Rands, and Richard Danielpour, through VOX,Mr. Manahan has introduced works by composers on the rise including AdamSilverman, Elodie Lauten, Mason Bates, and David T. Little. George Manahan’sextensive recording activities include the premiere recording of Steve Reich’s Tehillimfor ECM; recordings of Edward Thomas’s Desire Under the Elms, which wasnominated for a Grammy; Joe Jackson’s Will Power; and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline.His enthusiasm for contemporary music continues today; he has conductednumerous world premieres, including Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea ofStories, David Lang’s Modern Painters, and the New York premiere ofRichard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner. As music director of the RichmondSymphony (VA) for twelve years, he was honored four times by the AmericanSociety of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) for his commitment to 20th centurymusic.Now entering its 34th year, American Composers Orchestra is the onlyorchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation,and promulgation of music by American composers. To date, ACO has performedmusic by more than 600 American composers, including 200 world premieres andnewly commissioned works. Extending its mission beyond New York City, ACOlaunched EarShot in 2008. EarShot is a multi-institutional network that assistsorchestras around the country in new music readings and composer developmentopportunities. Among the honors ACO has received are special awards from theAmerican Academy of Arts and Letters and from BMI recognizing the orchestra’soutstanding contribution to American music. ASCAP has awarded its annual prizefor adventurous programming to ACO 32 times, singling out ACO as “the orchestrathat has done the most for new American music in the United States,” includingthe 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming. ACO received theinaugural METLife Award for Excellence in Audience Engagement, and aproclamation from the New York City Council. ACO recordings are available onARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New WorldRecords, and InstantEncore.com.Orchestra Underground is ACO’s subversive and entrepreneurial exploration ofthe orchestra as an elastic ensemble that can respond to composers’ unhinderedcreativity in experimental and innovative ways. The ensemble has embraced newtechnology, eclectic instruments and influences, spatial orientation, newexperiments in concert format, and multimedia and multi-disciplinarycollaborations. Since the opening of Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall’s subterraneanstate-of-the-art auditorium, Orchestra Underground has played to sold-outaudiences, with 50 world premieres and newly commissioned works.More information about American Composers Orchestra is available online at americancomposers.org.Program InformationFriday, October 15, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.Zankel HallAMERICAN COMPOSERS ORCHESTRAGeorge Manahan, Music Director and ConductorSusan Narucki, SopranoUrsula Oppens, PianoORCHESTRA UNDERGROUND: MYSTICS & MAGICCLAUDE VIVIER Lonely Child (NY Premiere)ALVIN SINGLETON BluesKonzert (NY Premiere)JACOB DRUCKMAN Nor Spell Nor CharmJOHN LUTHER ADAMS The Light Within (World Premiere, Orchestral Version)WANG JIE From the Other Sky (World Premiere)_________________________________Friday, December 3, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.Zankel HallAMERICAN COMPOSERS ORCHESTRAGeorge Manahan, Music Director and ConductorMaya Beiser, CelloORCHESTRA UNDERGROUND: A TIME & PLACECHARLES IVES Central Park in the DarkDOUGLAS CUOMO Black Diamond Express to Hell (World Premiere)CHRISTOPHER TRAPANI Westering (World Premiere)JEROME KITZKE The Fire at 4 a.m. (World Premiere)RYAN FRANCIS Highline (World Premiere)_____________________________________Friday, March 4, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.Zankel HallAMERICAN COMPOSERS ORCHESTRAGeorge Manahan, Music Director and ConductorORCHESTRA UNDERGROUND: PLAYING IT UNSAFEACO's next musical laboratory. Composers pursuing no-holds-barred explorationsthat challenge their creative capacities and stretch the limits of what ispossible with an orchestra. New pieces selected through a nationwide search,and born from a unique incubation process of workshops, public readings, andcollaborative feedback.Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
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