• Thursday, Sep 19, 2013

    American Composers Orchestra Kicks Off 2013–2014 Season with

    Conductor Robert Spano on Friday, October 25 in Zankel Hall,
    Celebrating Ten Years of Orchestra Underground
    Orchestra Underground: Adding Fuel to the Fire Includes Premieres by
    Peter Fahey and Fred Lerdahl Plus Works by Christopher Theofanidis and Julia Wolfe
    Music Director George Manahan Leads ACO in
    February and April Performances at Zankel Hall

    Photo at top of release by Angela Norris

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    Program Information
    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    American Composers Orchestra
    Robert Spano, Conductor
    Martin Kuuskmann, Bassoon
    Bill Morrison, Filmmaker


    PETER FAHEY A Mirror to Kathleen's Face (World Premiere, ACO/Underwood Commission)
    FRED LERDAHL Spirals (NY Premiere)
    JULIA WOLFE Fuel (film by Bill Morrison)


    Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    George Manahan, Music Director and Conductor
    The Crossing
    Donald Nally, Director and Conductor
    Stephen Gosling, Piano
    Margaret Kampmeier, Piano
    Mark DeChiazza, Video


    DAVID LANG statement to the court (NY Premiere)
    TED HEARNE Ripple (NY Premiere)
    STEVE REICH Eight Lines
    LISA COONS Shadow Studies (World Premiere, ACO Commission)
    AMY BETH KIRSTEN strange pilgrims (video by Mark DeChiazza) (World Premiere, ACO Commission)

    David Lang is the holder of the 2013–2014 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall.

    Friday, April 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    George Manahan, Music Director and Conductor
    Luciana Souza, Vocalist


    GABRIELA LENA FRANK Manchay Tiempo (NY Premiere)
    MARCOS BALTER Favela (World Premiere, ACO Commission)
    DEREK BERMEL Mar de Setembro (NY Premiere)


    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
    On Friday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, American Composers Orchestra (ACO), led by conductor Robert Spano, kicks off its three-concert series at Carnegie Hall this season with a program entitled Orchestra Underground: Adding Fuel to the Fire. The concert includes the world premiere of Irish composer Peter Fahey’s A Mirror to Kathleen’s Face, the New York premiere of Fred Lerdahl's Spirals as well as Christopher Theofanidis’s Bassoon Concerto with soloist Martin Kuuskmann and Julia Wolfe’s Fuel, with film by Bill Morrison. (Ian Williams's Clear Image, previously announced as part of this concert, has been postponed.)

    This season celebrates the tenth anniversary of Orchestra Underground, ACO’s exploration of the orchestra as an elastic ensemble that can respond to composers’ unhindered creativity. For a decade, Orchestra Underground has challenged notions about what an orchestra is, embracing new technology, eclectic instruments and influences, altered spatial orientation, new experiments in concert format, and multimedia and multi-disciplinary collaborations.

    Opened in September 2003, Zankel Hall—Carnegie Hall’s modern, underground performance space—celebrates its tenth anniversary this season with concerts that reflect the wide variety of music for which the venue has become known, including appearances by up-and-coming and established artists in the classical, jazz, world music, and pop genres.

    About the Program
    Peter Fahey is the winner of ACO’s 2012 annual Underwood Commission. In his piece A Mirror to Kathleen’s Face, he derives musical material from a recording of an account by a former resident of the Industrial School system in Ireland. Fahey explains, “Structurally, I have created a large ‘mirror image’ to reflect the musical and the extra-musical material of the piece.” This is Fahey’s first commission from a professional orchestra.

    Fred Lerdahl has had works commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation, Koussevitzky Foundation, Spoleto Festival, National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Library of Congress, Chamber Music America, and others. Of his piece Spirals he explains, “The title refers to a formal technique of my invention, in which a short, simple idea elaborates into progressively complex and diverse patterns. Each cycle of elaboration enlarges the spiral. Shortly after the midpoint of each movement, the spiral reverses and contracts back to its point of origin while the musical ideas themselves continue to develop.”

    Christopher Theofanidis has had performances by many leading orchestras from around the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Moscow Soloists, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and many others. His Bassoon Concerto was written for his friend Martin Kuuskmann and commissioned for Absolute Ensemble. The virtuosic piece incorporates a style of melodic ornamentation heard in the Greek Orthodox Church, which is also found throughout the Balkan region and requires the soloist to make use of circular breathing techniques.

    Julia Wolfe’s music is distinguished by an intense physicality and a relentless power that pushes performers to extremes and demands attention from the audience. Her piece Fuel, a collaboration with filmmaker Bill Morrison, was premiered in 2007. Fuel weaves a tapestry of images and music with fierce and propelling energy and incorporates film shot in the US and in Hamburg. Like all ports, Hamburg relies on the standardized shipping container as its medium of commerce. Fuel presents these containers as a metaphor for world commerce, communication, and globalization of world markets.

    Additional ACO concerts at Carnegie Hall during the 2013–2014 season include:

    Thursday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m.: ACO explores minimalist and post-minimalist territory in Orchestra Underground: Lines on a Point led by Music Director George Manahan. The program includes Steve Reich’s Eight Lines with pianists Margaret Kampmeier and Stephen Gosling, as well as the New York premieres of David Lang’s statement to the court and Ted Hearne’s Ripple, both with celebrated Philadelphia chamber choir The Crossing conducted by Donald Nally. The concert also includes two world premieres commissioned by ACO—Amy Beth Kirsten’s strange pilgrims with video by Mark DeChiazza, and Lisa Coons’s Shadow Studies.

    Friday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.: ACO shifts its focus to Latin and jazz-influences in Orchestra Underground: Border Vanguards, conducted by Music Director George Manahan. The program features Gunther Schuller’s Contours, the composer’s groundbreaking first use of jazz in a classical setting, as well as Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas’s Alcancias. Gabriela Lena Frank’s Manchay Tiempo, inspired by the composer’s recurring nightmare, and Derek Bermel’s Mar de Setembro, featuring Brazilian singer Luciana Souza have their New York premieres. The world premiere of Marcos Balter’s Favela, inspired by life in his native Brazil, completes the concert.

    About the Artists
    Estonian bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann has premiered eight bassoon concertos written especially for him and has collaborated with composers Daniel Schnyder, Helena Tulve, and jazz icon John Patitucci, among others. He has appeared with orchestras such as Orchestre de la Suiss Romande, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Järvi Festival Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, 1B1 Ensemble New York Philharmonic series, as well as with the Macao Orchestra, Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Absolute Ensemble, Riga Sinfonietta, Grazioso Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestra of the NorrlandsOperan. Kuuskmann has recorded reconstructed bassoon concertos by J.S. Bach with co-soloist, renowned violist Lars Anders Tomter and the 1B1 Ensemble, and has recorded Theofanidis’s Bassoon Concerto with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project under Gil Rose. His solo album Nonstop and other albums are available on the ERP, Erdenklang, CCn'C, and Chesky record labels. A graduate of the Yale and the Manhattan schools of music, Kuuskmann teaches at the Manhattan School and Cornish College of Arts in Seattle, serves as the woodwind coach of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic, and teaches regularly at the Arosa Music Academy in Switzerland.

    Conductor, pianist, composer, and pedagogue Robert Spano is Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), as well as the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students, including Aspen’s American Academy of Conducting. One of Spano’s contributions has been the formation of the Atlanta School of Composers, a project which creates a catalyst for generating new ASO commissions while forging a comprehensive approach to incubating young composers. These long term relationships are defining a new generation of American composers. With a discography of acclaimed recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon, and ASO Presents recorded over nine years, Spano has won six Grammy Awards with the Atlanta Symphony. Musical America’s 2008 Conductor of the Year, Spano is on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory, and has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin. Maestro Spano performs as pianist several times each season, including an upcoming concert in Zankel Hall with soprano Jessica Rivera and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor on Tuesday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m.

    Founded in 1977, American Composers Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation of music by American composers. In pursuit of its singular mission, ACO maintains an unparalleled range of activities including concerts, commissions, recordings, radio broadcasts, educational programs, and new music reading sessions. ACO identifies today's brightest emerging composers, champions prominent established artists, and increases international awareness of the variety of American orchestral music. ACO incubates new ideas, develops talent, and serves as a catalyst and advocate for American composers and their music. To date, ACO has performed music by over 600 composers, including more than 200 world premieres and commissioned works. Many ACO-commissioned composers have gone on to win important prizes such as the Pulitzer, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Prix de Rome.
    Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced $43 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 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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