• Monday, Mar 7, 2011

    Calder Quartet Performs the NY Premiere of Rouse’s String Quartet on Making Music Program April 15


      Carnegie Hall’s Making Music series concludes for the season on Friday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m., with a conversation with and music by composer Christopher Rouse. The program, which spans Mr. Rouse’s career, includes the New York premiere of the composer’s String Quartet No. 3 (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall) performed by the Calder Quartet. Also on the program is Rouse’s Ku-Ka-Ilimoku performed by percussionists James Michael Deitz, John Ostrowski, David Skidmore, and Jared Soldiviero (all alumni of Ensemble ACJW), and led by conductor Jeffrey Milarsky. Flutist Tara Helen O'Connor, clarinetist Todd Palmer, and pianist Molly Morkoski join Mr. Skidmore and Mr. Soldiviero and members of the Calder Quartet for Rotae Passionis, also conducted by Mr. Milarsky. The final work on the evening’s program is Rouse’s Compline as performed by Ms. O’Connor, Mr. Palmer, the Calder Quartet, and harpist Bridget Kibbey. Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen serves as the series moderator.

    The Calder Quartet is the first quartet in two decades to have a work written for them by Rouse. The work was premiered at the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas in June 2010, and the quartet's album of Christopher Rouse works, entitled Transfiguration, was released in 2009. About the album, Gramophone says, "Rouse's disquieting quartets are given powerful performances by the Calder."

    Ku-Ka-Ilimoku was completed in 1978 and is based on Hawaiian mythology. According to the composer, “Ku is perhaps the most fundamental and important of gods, occupying a place similar to that of Zeus in Greek mythology or Odin in Norse legend. Ku is manifested in several forms: as Ku-Ka-Ilimoku he represents the god of war. Thus this work for percussion ensemble is best viewed as a savage, propulsive war dance."

    Rotae Passionis ("Passion Wheels") had its premiere in 1983 and divides itself into three large sections. The first is scored for clarinet and percussion and details the final moments of freedom of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is followed by the titular ‘passion wheels’—in an almost cinematic interpretation built around the fourteen Stations of the Cross. The composer elaborates, “The effect for which I was striving was of the listener being strapped to a pew in a church and being forced to watch a slide presentation of each station flashing by, with each change of slide symbolized by an immense wooden hammer blow.” The final part of the work has almost the character of a lullaby, ending in a contemplative, quiet tone.

    Compline was composed in 1996 for a septet consisting of flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet, scored for the same instrumental combination as Ravel's Introduction and Allegro. The title refers to the seventh (and final) canonical hour in the Catholic Church. For the composer, “Compline is first and foremost a souvenir of my 1989 trip to Rome, a city I fell in love with instantly, and that is, of course, dominated by the twin cultures of the ancient Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church. In Compline, as in Rome itself, the sound of bells is never far away… Unlike the majority of other works I composed in the half dozen years before it, Compline does not concern itself with death but rather with light. In this it perhaps augurs a change in my musical outlook.”

    Now in its 14th season, Carnegie Hall’s Making Music series focuses on contemporary composers, many in conversation about their musical points of view, and includes performances of their own works, often featuring premieres and moderated by Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Programming Jeremy Geffen.

    About the Artists
    Christopher Rouse
    is one of America's most prominent composers of orchestral music. Winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Trombone Concerto, Rouse has created a body of work perhaps unequalled in its emotional intensity. Born in Baltimore in 1949, Rouse developed an early interest in both classical and popular music. He graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and Cornell University, numbering among his principal teachers George Crumb and Karel Husa. He taught composition at the Eastman School of Music for two decades and now teaches composition at The Juilliard School. Rouse’s music has been played by nearly every major orchestra in the US, and numerous ensembles overseas, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney and Melbourne Symphonies, and the Austrian Radio Orchestra. Rapture (2000), was commissioned and premiered by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. May 2001 brought the premiere of Rouse's Clarinet Concerto, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Friandes, Rouse's first piece written specifically for dance, was commissioned for the New York City Ballet and the Juilliard School in 2006. Mr. Rouse has recently completed Odna Zhizn for the New York Philharmonic, which was premiered in February of 2010. David Robertson leads the St. Louis Symphony in the world premiere of Rouse’s Symphony No. 3 on May 5, 2011.

      Deemed “superb” by The New York Times, the Calder Quartet continues to expand its unique array of projects by performing traditional quartet repertoire as well as partnering with innovative modern composers, emerging musicians, and performers across genres. Inspired by innovative American artist Alexander Calder, the group was awarded the 2009 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award in recognition of its exciting programming and collaborations. Recent highlights for the Calder Quartet include performances at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville; New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas; Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the Green Umbrella Series, and in concert with Grammy Award-winning pianist Gloria Cheng at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Performance highlights of the 2010-2011 season include the group's Carnegie Hall debut, the Washington Performing Arts Society, the 2010 Melbourne Festival with Thomas Adès as pianist, and the world premiere of a new work by composer Andrew Norman for the University of Southern California Presidential Inauguration. The Calder Quartet toured across North America with rocker Andrew W.K. and The Airborne Toxic Event this past year and has been featured on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

    Program Information
    Friday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    Commentary by Christopher Rouse
    Calder Quartet
       Ben Jacobson, Violin
       Andrew Bulbrook, Violin
       Jonathan Moerschel, Viola
       Eric Byers, Cello
    Tara Helen O'Connor, Flute
    Todd Palmer, Clarinet
    Bridget Kibbey, Harp
    Molly Morkoski, Piano
    James Michael Deitz, Percussion
    John Ostrowski, Percussion
    David Skidmore, Percussion
    Jared Soldiviero, Percussion
    Jeffrey Milarsky, Conductor
    Jeremy Geffen, Series Moderator

    Rotae Passionis

    String Quartet No. 3 (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

    Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP

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


    Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced at $32, 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, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.

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