• Friday, Feb 25, 2011

    Jessica Rivera, Molly Morkoski, & Ensemble Meme Perform World Premiere of Ātash Sorushān, 3/29


    Ensemble Meme and Conductor Donato Cabrera Join Artists for
    World Premiere of Mark Grey’s Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels);
    Also on the Program are Works by Debussy and Schumann

    On Tuesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall presents a recital by soprano Jessica Rivera and pianist Molly Morkoski, who will perform Debussy’s Ariettes oubliées and Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben, Op. 42, as well as the world premiere of Mark Grey’s Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) for soprano, piano, and chamber orchestra. Ensemble Meme and conductor Donato Cabrera will join Ms. Rivera and Ms. Morkoski for the premiere.

    Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, with an original libretto by Niloufar Talebi, Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) is a song cycle written for Ms. Rivera that incorporates elements of Persian culture. The work by Mr. Grey—a frequent collaborator as sound designer with Kronos Quartet, John Adams, Steve Reich, and others—reflects on a transformed 21st-century world a decade after September 11, conveying universal themes of hope and peace. To view behind-the-scenes videos of Ms. Rivera, Mr. Grey, and Ms. Talebi as they prepare this new work, select these links: video one, video two.

    About the Artists
    Soprano Jessica Rivera has performed throughout the world on the leading concert and opera stages, collaborating with many of today’s most celebrated composers including John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, and Nico Muhly. She was heralded in the world premiere of John Adams’s opera, A Flowering Tree, singing the role of Kumudha, in a production directed by Peter Sellars as part of the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna. Since then, she has performed A Flowering Tree for her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with Sir Simon Rattle and, under the composer’s baton, with the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre. Ms. Rivera made her European operatic debut as Kitty Oppenheimer in Peter Sellars’s production of Adams’s Doctor Atomic with the Netherlands Opera, a role which was her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and she joined the Metropolitan Opera in its new production of Doctor Atomic under the direction of Alan Gilbert. Highlights of Ms. Rivera’s 2010–2011 season include Adams’s El Niño under the composer’s baton at the San Francisco Symphony, an appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival with James Conlon, and a performance with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Also this season, she makes her Cleveland Orchestra debut with Franz Welser-Möst and will join Angélique Kidjo for the world premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Hope: An Oratorio at the Kimmel Center with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

    Pianist Molly Morkoski has performed as soloist and collaborative artist throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. In 2007, she made her solo debut on Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman stage performing Beethoven’s Bagatelles in a prelude concert for the Emerson String Quartet’s Perspectives series. In 2003, she performed on the inaugural concert of Zankel Hall under the direction of John Adams and has since performed in Carnegie Hall’s Making Music series. Ms. Morkoski has also performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, The Miller Theater at Columbia University, (Le) Poisson Rouge, The Gardner Museum, and the Smithsonian, among other venues. As an avid chamber musician, she has performed at the Aspen, Tanglewood, Bang-on-a-Can, Norfolk, and Pacific Rim festivals. Ms. Morkoski has performed as part of The Zankel Band and is a member of Open End and Ensemble Meme. Her collaborations include work with the New York Philharmonic Chamber Players, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Chamber Players, New World Symphony, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with some of today’s leading musicians including Dawn Upshaw, John Adams, and David Robertson. Ms. Morkoski’s first solo recording will be released in 2011. She is also working on two other releases by composer colleagues Gabriela Lena Frank and Martin Kennedy, both for Albany Records. Ms. Morkoski was a Fulbright scholar in Paris where she was apprentice with the Ensemble Intercontemporain.

    A champion of new music, conductor Donato Cabrera was a co-founder and music director of American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and has led that ensemble in works of John Adams, Jacob Druckman, Donald Martino, Frederic Rzewski, and Elliott Carter. This spring, he leads the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in performances of works by Du Yun, Ronald Bruce Smith, and Brian Current. In April 2010, on short notice, Mr. Cabrera made his debut with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, stepping in for composer Thomas Adès. He joined the San Francisco Symphony conducting staff in 2009 as the Bruno Walter Resident Conductor; in this role he works closely with SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and leads the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. During the 2010-2011 season Mr. Cabrera will also conduct the San Francisco Symphony in the Dia de los Muertos Family Concert as well as selected Concerts for Kids, Adventures in Music, and Music for Families concerts. From 2005 to 2008, he was Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Opera and in 2002, he was a Herbert von Karajan conducting fellow at the Salzburg Festival. Mr. Cabrera has also served as an assistant conductor at the Ravinia, Spoleto (Italy), and Aspen Music Festivals, and at the Music Academy of the West.

    Founded in 2009, Ensemble Meme is composed of accomplished chamber musicians who are drawn together to perform innovative, wide-ranging programs. They seek to identify and bring to the stage current ideas in contemporary music, paired with and informed by music of the past. The ensemble’s name is derived from the definition of meme, which is an idea virus, like a gene, it is an idea that enters the cultural landscape and transforms it through its presence. The ensemble’s members are Barry Crawford, flute; Carol McGonnell, clarinet; Harumi Rhodes and Austin Hartman, violin; Liuh-wen Ting, viola; Caroline Stinson, cello; Molly Morkoski, piano; and Alex Lipowski, percussion. Separately, Ensemble Meme artists have collaborated at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Cooper Union, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, and The Juilliard School in New York City, as well as Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, Harvard University, Boston University, and the New England Conservatory in Boston, in addition to other universities. Festival performances include Lucerne, Aspen, FOCUS!, and the Vermont Mozart Festival. As noted interpreters of contemporary music, Ensemble Meme artists have worked with many of today’s leading composers including John Adams, Gerald Barry, George Benjamin, Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, Oliver Knussen, George Perle, Steven Stucky, Andrew Waggoner, and Anna Weesner. The March 29 performance with Jessica Rivera marks Ensemble Meme’s debut at Carnegie Hall.

    Program Information
    Tuesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall
    , Soprano
    Ensemble Meme
    Donato Cabrera, Conductor

    ROBERT SCHUMANN Frauenliebe und -leben, Op. 42
       Seit ich ihn gesehen
       Er, der Herrlichste von allen
       Ich kann’s nicht fassen, nicht glauben
       Du Ring an meinem Finger
       Helft mir, ihr Schwestern
       Süsser Freund, du blickest
       An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust
       Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz getan
    CLAUDE DEBUSSY Ariettes oubliées
       C’est l’extase
       Il pleure dans mon coeur
       L’ombre des arbres
       Chevaux de bois
    MARK GREY Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) for Soprano, Piano and Chamber Orchestra (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall) Original libretto by Niloufar Talebi

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

    Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Cal Performances, and through Meet The Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Ford Foundation, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund.

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

     Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced at $42 and $50, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members,and Bank of America customers, click here.

    # # #