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Carnegie Hall's 125 Commissions Project Continues in Fourth Year with Premieres of New Works by Louis Andriessen, Valerie Coleman, Chris Thile and More

(New York, NY, September 21, 2018)—Carnegie Hall’s commitment to the music of tomorrow continues with the fourth year of its five-year project during which at least 125 new works will be commissioned from today’s leading composers. Through the 125 Commissions Project, Carnegie Hall expands upon its history as the preeminent venue where music history is made. Launched during the Hall’s 125th anniversary season in 2015, the project features new solo, chamber, and orchestral music from both established and emerging composers, including John Adams, Thomas Adès, Timo Andres, Donnacha Dennehy, Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, Sofia Gubaidulina, Brad Mehldau, Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, Caroline Shaw, Tyshawn Sorey, Chris Thile, and Jörg Widmann. As part of the project, Carnegie Hall has sought to partner with co-commissioners as much as possible in order to maximize the number of performances for each new work.

New works presented in October and November include:

  • The Sphinx Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra comprised of alumni of the renowned Sphinx Competition, performs the New York premiere of Dance for a New Day by Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard on Thursday, October 11 at 6 p.m.The program, entitled Music Without Borders, also includes a dramatic string orchestra arrangement of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8, as well as music from Spain, Syria, South Africa, and the United States. 
  • The Belcea Quartet plays the world premiere of Joseph Phibbs’s String Quartet No. 3 on Thursday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Also on the program is Mozart’s String Quartet in B-flat Major, K. 589, "Prussian" and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80.
  • Ensemble Connect gives the New York premiere of a new work by Gabriella Smith on Monday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Weill Recital Hall along with works by Brahms, Ligeti, and Kaija Saariaho.
  • Pianist Ralph van Raat plays the world premiere of Searching for Unison (Etude for Solo Piano) by Louis Andriessen (holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair for the 2009–2010 season) in his Weill Recital Hall debut on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. Also on the program is the US premiere of Boulez’s Prelude, Toccata, and Scherzo; Alkan’s Symphony for Solo Piano from 12 Etudes in All the Minor Keys; and Debussy’s "Etude retrouvée" (1915; realized Howat).
  • On Thursday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich play the US premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Keyboard Engine, Construction for Two Pianos on a program that also includes duo keyboard works by Bartók, Ravel, and Messiaen.
  • Tenor Paul Appleby sings the world premiere of Hannah Lash’s Songs of Imagined Love with pianist Natalia Katyukova on Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. The program also includes works by Britten, George Crumb, Handel, and selections from Schubert’s Schwanengesang, D. 957.
  • Music Director George Manahan leads the American Composers Orchestra in the world premiere of Valerie Coleman’s Phenomenal Women Concerto for Wind Quintet featuring Imani Winds on Friday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Also on the program is Joan Tower’s Chamber Dance and the world premiere of Alex Temple’s Three Principles of Noir. In addition, on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m. chamber music ensemble Decoda plays the world premiere of a new work by Valerie Coleman, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, in Weill Recital Hall.
  • On Wednesday, November 28, at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., renowned mandolin player and vocalist Chris Thile, holder of the 2018–2019 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall, gives two intimate Weill Recital Hall performances featuring the world premiere of an original piece commissioned for the occasion by Carnegie Hall, as well as works by Bach and other selections to be announced.

Additional 125 Commissions Project premieres this season include the New York premiere of a new work by Andrew Norman for yMusic; the New York premiere of a new work by Julia Wolfe featuring the New World Symphony conducted by Artistic Director and Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist Michael Tilson Thomas; and the US premiere of Jörg Widmann’s Clarinet Quintet, featuring the composer on clarinet with the Hagen Quartet.

Also part of the 125 Commissions Project, Kronos Quartet and Kronos Performing Arts Organization continue Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. Collaborating with many diverse partners over five seasons, Kronos is co-commissioning 50 new works by 25 men and 25 women devoted to contemporary approaches to the string quartet, designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. Composers commissioned to write works for previous seasons have included Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Rhiannon Giddens, Garth Knox, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Wu Man, and Karin Rehnqvist. Commissions for the 2018–2019 season include works written by Bryce Dessner, Susie Ibarra, Jlin, Vladimir Martynov, Missy Mazzoli, Misato Mochizuki, Terry Riley, Henry Threadgill, Mario Galeano Toro, and Lu Yun.


Program Information

Friday, October 11 at 6:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/ Perelman Stage

·· Alex Laing, Clarinet
·· Annelle Gregory, Violin
·· Sterling Elliott, Cello
·· Thomas Mesa, Cello
·· Damien Sneed, Piano
·· Eugene Rogers, Conductor


KAREEM ROUSTOM Dabke for String Orchestra
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a
GASPAR CASSADÓ Intermezzo e danza finale from Suite for Cello Solo
TERENCE BLANCHARD Dance for a New Day (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
DERRICK SPIVA JR. a vision unfolding: "Anthems of a Crowd" Part I (NY Premiere)
TRADITIONAL “Ndikhokhele Bawo” (arr. Lhente-Mari-Pitout)
JOHN LEGEND / COMMON / RHYMEFEST "Glory" from Selma (arr. Eugene Rogers)

Tickets: $25, $80.

Thursday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall

·· Corina Belcea, Violin
·· Axel Schacher, Violin
·· Krzysztof Chorzelski, Viola
·· Antoine Lederlin, Cello

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART String Quartet in B-flat Major, K. 589, "Prussian"
JOSEPH PHIBBS String Quartet No. 3 (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
FELIX MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the A.E. Charitable Foundation.

Tickets: $52, $62.

Monday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
Ensemble Connect

·· Leo Sussman, Flute
·· Tamara Winston, Oboe
·· Noemi Sallai, Clarinet
·· YenChen Wu, Bassoon
·· Wilden Dannenberg, French Horn
·· Sae Hashimoto, Percussion
·· Tomer Gewirtzman, Piano
·· Jennifer Liu, Violin
·· Ari Evan, Cello

GYÖRGY LIGETI Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet
GABRIELLA SMITH New Work (NY Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
KAIJA SAARIAHO Light and Matter
JOHANNES BRAHMS Clarinet Trio in A Minor, Op. 114

Ensemble Connect is a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

Lead funding has been provided by the Max H. Gluck Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Irving Harris Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, The Kovner Foundation, Phyllis and Charles Rosenthal, and The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.

Additional support has been provided by the Arnow Family Fund, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the E.H.A Foundation, Barbara G. Fleischman, Leslie and Tom Maheras, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Education and the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Ensemble Connect is also supported, in part, by an endowment grant from The Kovner Foundation.

Tickets: $32, $38.

Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
, Piano

CHARLES VALENTIN ALKAN Symphony for Solo Piano from 12 Etudes in All the Minor Keys, Op. 39
LOUIS ANDRIESSEN Searching for Unison (Etude for Solo Piano) (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
CLAUDE DEBUSSY "Etude retrouvée" (1915; realized Howat)
PIERRE BOULEZ Prelude, Toccata, and Scherzo (US Premiere)

Distinctive Debuts is supported by endowment gifts from The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Tickets: $38, $45.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
, Piano

BÉLA BARTÓK Selections from Mikrokosmos
MAURICE RAVEL Sites auriculaires
HARRISON BIRTWISTLE Keyboard Engine, Construction for Two Pianos (US Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
OLIVIER MESSIAEN Visions de l'Amen

Pre-concert talk at 6:30 PM: Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Senior Director and Artistic Adviser, Carnegie Hall.

Tickets: $54, $65.

Friday, October 26, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
, Tenor

BENJAMIN BRITTEN Winter Words, Op. 52
HANNAH LASH Songs of Imagined Love (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL "Thus, when the sun from's wat'ry bed" from Samson
FRANZ SCHUBERT Selections from Schwanengesang, D. 957
·· Liebesbotschaft
·· Ständchen
·· Aufenthalt
·· Abschied
·· Kriegers Ahnung
·· Frühlingssehnsucht
·· In der Ferne
·· Die Taubenpost

This concert and the Pure Voice series are sponsored by the Jean & Jula Goldwurm Memorial Foundation in memory of Jula Goldwurm.

Tickets: $42, $50.

Friday, November 2, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall

George Manahan, Music Director and Conductor
Imani Winds
·· Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Oboe
·· Mark Dover, Clarinet
·· Jeff Scott, French Horn
·· Monica Ellis, Bassoon
·· Flutist to be announced
Meaghan Burke, Vocalist


JOAN TOWER Chamber Dance
VALERIE COLEMAN Phenomenal Women Concerto for Wind Quintet (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
ALEX TEMPLE Three Principles of Noir (World Premiere)

Tickets: $43, $51.

Wednesday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall 

Chris Thile, Mandolin and Vocals

Program to include:
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Selected transcriptions
CHRIS THILE New Work (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

Chris Thile is the holder of the 2018–2019 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall.

Tickets for 6:30 p.m. performance: $65.
Tickets for 9:30 p.m. performance: $50.

Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.


Ticket Information

Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

For more information on discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.


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