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Posts tagged 'Aspen Music Festival and School'

Timo Andres' "Trade Winds" at the Aspen Festival

In a chamber music program at the Aspen Music Festival that ranges from Schumann to Schoenberg to Boulez, Timo Andres might seem the odd one out: American, under 40, and worlds away from the anxieties of influence that plagued (and drove) so many European Modernists to create stunningly powerful statements about what music could be. And yet, Andres' music does just that; just with a little less anxiety.

His Trade Winds, commissioned by Ensemble ACJW for an ensemble of string quartet, piano, percussion, and clarinet, has at its heart a chaconne—a 17th-century instrumental genre that imagined the New World (from the confines of Europe) in the form of a consistent, repeating, descending harmonic pattern. Andres' piece begins with a chaotic entry into this repetetive, hypnotic harmonic world, and ends with what the composer describes as a "short, hesitant coda." 

Head over to Andres' website to check out an audio sample.  

PSNY Works at Summer Festivals

Ah, summer: when classical musicians and fans retreat to the country to enjoy music in the great outdoors. This year, across the country, festival orchestras are mixing time-honored performances of the classical repertoire with exciting new compositions from America's living composers, keeping their tradition vibrant and accessible to a new generation. 

Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival brings music to all parts of the city, and on July 21st and 23rd they're presenting Douglas J. Cuomo's Kyrie both at the South Shore Cultural Center and the Columbus Park Refectory. Two arias from Cuomo's Doubt—The Boy's Nature and The Doubt Sermon will aslo be premiered at the Jay Pritzker Pavilian at Millenium Park on July 22nd. 

Back on the East Coast, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music book-ends its 2015 season with two works by George PerleCritical Moments and Critical Moments II. Commissioned for the New York New Music Ensemble and Eighth Blackbird, respectively, these two short chamber works epitomize Perle's distinctively American take on Modernism. 

In the rocky mountains of Colorado, the Aspen Music Festival presents Anthony Cheung's SynchroniCities on August 15th. A wide-ranging meditation on the commonalities between sound and setting, this "sonic travelogue" beautifully illustrates the power of music to unite aesthetic experiences between vastly different locations. With that in mind, those lucky enough to have already visited Aspen this year will have seen George Perle's Critical Moments II, along with Pierre Jalbert's Secret Alchemy, performed on a July 6th cocnert

 Finally, on the West Coast, Santa Cruz audiences will hear the world premiere of a new orchestral work by Hannah Lash, entitled Eating Flowers at this year's Cabrillo Festival, under the baton of Marin Alsop. This new orchestral work expresses Lash's "digestion" of the beautiful flowers of Late Romantic orchestral masterworks, metabolizing them into something unique and fitting for the 21st century. 

Hannah Lash's "Total Internal Reflection" Now Available

New from PSNY: Hannah Lash's string quartet, Total Internal Reflection. Co-commissioned by the Great Lakes Chamber Festival and the Aspen Music Festival for the Jupiter Quartet, this work highlights Lash's unique musical language, using a metaphor borrowed from physics to describe the composer's intertextual encounter with the past. In physics, "total internal reflection" occurs when light is reflected back onto itself, failing to penetrate the border into another medium's boundary. Like this phenomenon, Lash views her composition as a kind of light source, reflecting back upon itself through the dense medium of the string quartet repertoire. Though Lash avoids direct quotation, her work approaches the history of the musical form with her own language.

Listen to the work here:

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