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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Nico Muhly and Friends Investigate the Glass Archive

Lesser Known
Thursday, February 8, 2018 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
URL Copied
Nico Muhly by Ana Cuba
Over his long career, Philip Glass has written countless pieces of music for his ensemble: a band of his friends and close collaborators. In world-premiere arrangements commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Nico Muhly reimagines some of Glass's lesser-known music, performing them with his own community of musicians.

Part of: Philip Glass and Zankel Sampler II


Nico Muhly, Piano
Estelí Gomez, Soprano
Caroline Shaw, Vocals and Violin
Laurie Anderson, Vocals
Nadia Sirota, Viola
Alex Sopp, Flute
Lisa Kaplan, Piano
Chris Thompson, Percussion


World premieres of songs by Philip Glass, as arranged by Nico Muhly

Pre-Concert Talk

Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with composer Nico Muhly in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Senior Director and Artistic Adviser, Carnegie Hall.
Philip Glass: The 2017–2018 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

Philip Glass is the holder of the 2017—2018 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall.

Public support for the Philip Glass residency is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In the Artist's Own Words

When I was an intern for Philip Glass’s publishing company and recording studio in 1999, one of my first jobs was helping his archivist (artist Jeri Coppola) sort through reams of Philip’s loose-leaf manuscript paper. I was, I’m sure, the worst archivist in the history of the discipline. Any semblance of efficiency went out the door when I realized how layered and shuffled the pages were, and how many gems were hidden there. Was this a scrap of Dance No. 3 (1979) in the middle of the Étoile Polaire (1977) pile? Where does this tiny sketch belong? Whose phone number is this? Philip’s output is staggeringly large, and I’ve always found myself drawn to the pieces farther outside of the canon comprising his more famous works. One extraordinary through-line in Philip’s career has been the consistency of collaborators. In some of the earlier works, the names of the players appear in the score rather than the instruments they play. Michael Riesman, music director of the Philip Glass Ensemble, was an early mentor of mine, and the Philip Glass Ensemble represents not just Michael’s curatorial and musical acumen, but also Philip’s commitment to writing music for the community of musicians that surrounds him. In that spirit, I’ve re-arranged the music for tonight’s concert for a community of some of my closest collaborators.

—Nico Muhly


Nico Muhly

Nico Muhly is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and others, he has written more than 80 works for the concert stage, including the operas Two Boys (2010), Dark Sisters (2011), and Marnie (2017); the song cycles Sentences (2015) for countertenor Iestyn Davies and Impossible Things (2009) for tenor Mark Padmore; a viola concerto for Nadia Sirota; and the choral works My Days (2011) for the Hilliard Ensemble, Recordare, Domine (2013) for The Tallis Scholars, and Looking Up (2017) for the Cathedral Choral Society.

Muhly is a frequent collaborator with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and, as an arranger, has paired with Joanna Newsom and Antony and the Johnsons, among others. Planetarium, a large work co-written with Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner, was released on 4AD records. Muhly has composed for stage and screen, with credits that include music for the 2013 Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie and scores for the films Kill Your Darlings, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and the Academy Award–winning The Reader.

Born in Vermont, Muhly studied composition with John Corigliano and Christopher Rouse at The Juilliard School before working as an editor and conductor for Philip Glass. He is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes (2006) and Mothertongue (2008). He currently lives in New York City.

Estelí Gomez

Praised for her “clear, bright voice” (The New York Times), Grammy Award–winning soprano Estelí Gomez is a stylish interpreter of early and contemporary repertoires. She is an original member of vocal octet Roomful of Teeth, and has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, on the Kennedy Center’s KC Jukebox series and New York Philharmonic’s CONTACT! series, and in concert with Bach Collegium San Diego, Kingsbury Ensemble, and Mountainside Baroque.

Gomez has performed as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah in Poland, Japan, Canada, and the US; the 2017–2018 season marks her first performances at the Barbican, Great American Music Hall, David Geffen Hall, and Zankel Hall. In recital, she pairs with classical guitarist Colin Davin to tour hour-long programs of their devising, and is in her seventh year performing premieres of student works in residence at the University of Oregon. As an educator, she has also taught solo residencies at the Peabody Institute and University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Gomez can be heard on the Seattle Symphony’s 2017 recording of Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, Roomful of Teeth’s Grammy Award–winning debut album and Grammy-nominated Render, Silk Road Ensemble’s 2016 Grammy Award–winning Sing Me Home, Ensemble Caprice’s JUNO-nominated Salsa Baroque, Conspirare’s Songs of the Soul, and filmmaker Gregory Colbert’s upcoming release Island of Songs.

Originally from Watsonville, California, Gomez received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and Master of Music degree from McGill University, studying with Sanford Sylvan. She currently travels and performs full time.

Caroline Shaw

Caroline Adelaide Shaw is a New York–based musician—vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer—who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She is the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in recognition of her Partita for 8 Voices, written for the Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth, of which she is a member. Recent commissions include new works for the Dover Quartet, Calidore String Quartet, Aizuri Quartet, FLUX Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Anne Sofie von Otter, The Crossing, Roomful of Teeth, yMusic, American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), A Far Cry, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Ensemble Connect.

In the 2017–2018 season, Shaw’s new works will be premiered by Renée Fleming with Inon Barnatan, Dawn Upshaw with Sō Percussion and Gilbert Kalish, Orchestra of St. Luke’s with John Lithgow, Britten Sinfonietta, TENET with the Metropolis Ensemble, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Netherlands Chamber Choir, and Luciana Souza with A Far Cry. Future seasons will include a new piano concerto for Jonathan Biss with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and a new work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Shaw’s scoring of visual work includes the soundtrack for the feature film To Keep the Light, as well as collaborations with Kanye West. She studied at Yale, Rice, and Princeton, and she has held residencies at Dumbarton Oaks, the Banff Centre, Music on Main, and the Vail Dance Festival. Shaw loves the color yellow, otters, Beethoven’s Op. 74, Mozart opera, Kinhaven, the smell of rosemary, and the sound of a janky mandolin.

Laurie Anderson
Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned—and daring—creative pioneers. She is best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology. As a writer, director, visual artist, and vocalist, she has created groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater, and experimental music.

Anderson’s recording career, launched by “O Superman” in 1981, includes the soundtrack to her feature film Home of the Brave and Life on a String. Her live shows range from simple spoken word to elaborate multimedia performances. She has published seven books, and her visual work has been presented in major museums around the world.

In 2002, Anderson was appointed NASA’s first artist-in-residence. In 2007, she received the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her outstanding contribution to the arts. Her exhibition of all new work titled Forty-Nine Days in the Bardo opened at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia in 2011. That same year, she was awarded with the Pratt Institute’s Honorary Legends Award. Her film Heart of a Dog was chosen as an official selection of the 2015 Venice and Toronto film festivals. That same year, her exhibition Habeas Corpus opened at the Park Avenue Armory to wide critical acclaim; she became a recipient of Yoko Ono’s Courage Award for the Arts in recognition of that project.

In 2017, Mass MoCA’s Building 6 opened, beginning a 15-year rotating exhibition of work from Anderson’s archive, as well as a platform to present new works. She continues to tour her evolving performance Language of the Future, and has collaborated with Christian McBride and Philip Glass on several projects throughout the past year.
Nadia Sirota

Violist Nadia Sirota’s varied career spans solo performances, chamber music, and broadcasting. In all branches of her artistic life she aims to open classical music up to a broader audience. Sirota’s singular sound and expressive execution have served as muse to dozens of composers, including Nico Muhly, David Lang, Bryce Dessner, Missy Mazzoli, and Marcos Balter. Sirota won a 2015 Peabody Award, broadcasting’s highest honor, for her podcast Meet the Composer, “the world’s best contemporary classical music podcast” (Pitchfork), which deftly profiles some of the most interesting musical thinkers living today.

As a soloist, Sirota has appeared with acclaimed orchestras around the world, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, and Orchestre national d’île-de-France. To date, she has released four albums of commissioned music, most recently Tessellatum, Donnacha Dennehy’s groundbreaking work for viola and microtonal viola da gamba consort, featuring Liam Byrne.

Sirota is a member of the chamber sextet yMusic, and has lent her sound to recording and concert projects by such artists and songwriters as Anohni, The National, Arcade Fire, and Paul Simon. In 2013, she won Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Prize, awarded to pioneering artists and scholars with an emerging international profile. She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, studying with Heidi Castleman, Misha Amory, and Hsin-Yun Huang.

Alex Sopp

As the flutist of yMusic, The Knights, and NOW Ensemble, Alex Sopp’s playing has been praised by The New York Times as “exquisite” and “beautifully nuanced.” Comfortable in many genres, she has commissioned, premiered, and recorded with some of the most exciting composers and songwriters of our time, including Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, Ben Folds, Jónsi of Sigur Rós, Philip Glass, Paul Simon, Andrew Norman, Bruce Hornsby, Son Lux, Gabriel Kahane, St. Vincent, Anohni, Judd Greenstein, José González, My Brightest Diamond, Dirty Projectors, and The National.

A sought-after soloist, Sopp made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony and has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of David Robertson. In addition to her three main musical families, she plays frequently as a guest with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and has made regular appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Mariinsky Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition to playing the flute, Sopp sings and makes visual art. Most recently, she has appeared as a multidisciplinary performer and singer in productions by Gabriel Kahane and John Heginbotham presented at BAM. Her paintings grace the covers of many records, and her animations serve as music videos for several of the artists with whom she has collaborated. Sopp grew up in St. Croix and trained at The Juilliard School.

Lisa Kaplan

Born in Motown, Lisa Kaplan is a pianist who specializes in the performance of new works by living composers. She is also the founding pianist of the four-time Grammy Award–winning sextet Eighth Blackbird, for which she has also composed and arranged.

Kaplan has won numerous awards, performed across the country, and premiered new pieces by hundreds of composers, including Andy Akiho, Derek Bermel, Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Lang, Nico Muhly, George Perle, and Steve Reich. She has had the great pleasure to collaborate and make music with an eclectic array of incredibly talented people, among them Jeremy Denk, Bryce Dessner, Bon Iver, Glenn Kotche, Will Oldham, Gustavo Santaolalla, Robert Spano, Dawn Upshaw, and Michael Ward-Bergeman. She recently became a mother, and has been having an incredible time raising and learning from her happy-go-lucky and feisty daughter, Frida Pearl.

In addition to music, Kaplan is a true foodie, gourmet cook, avid reader, and crossword and Scrabble addict. She enjoys baking ridiculously complicated pastries and loves outdoor adventures. She has summited Mount Kilimanjaro, braved the Australian Outback, stared an enormous elephant in the face in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, and survived close encounters with grizzly bears in the Brooks Range of Alaska.

Chris Thompson

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, percussionist Chris Thompson has enjoyed collaborations with dozens of performing artists, composers, bands, and ensembles that span a range of musical genres, resulting in more than 100 world premieres and 25 studio albums. Since 2008, he has been a member of Alarm Will Sound, known for its versatility in presenting music from arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Since 2004, he has also been a member of New York–based American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Line C3 Percussion Group (of which he is a founding member), and Chamber Orchestra of New York.

Thompson has performed or recorded with an eclectic mix of ensembles and musicians, including Antony and the Johnsons, Björk, Tyondai Braxton, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Dirty Projectors, Doveman, Efterklang, GLANK, The Knights, Lang Lang, Mark Morris Dance Group, the Metropolitan Opera, Oklahoma Mozart and Vermont Mozart festival orchestras, Nico Muhly, Stamford Symphony, They Might Be Giants, and Wordless Music Orchestra.

When at home in New York City, Thompson is active in musical theater, performing in several Broadway productions, including Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, and Anything Goes, as well as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Thompson’s early musical training came from drum and bugle corps; at the age of 15 he became one of the youngest ever members of the Santa Clara Vanguard tenor line. He later went on to study classical and contemporary percussion at UCLA with Mitchell Peters and The Juilliard School with Daniel Druckman.

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