(Click the red play button to listen)
Anthracite Fields (New York Premiere)
JULIA WOLFE (b. 1958)
Anthracite Fields (2013)
Julia Wolfe composed Anthracite Fields, commissioned through New Music USA (previously Meet the Composer) and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, as an homage on life in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, her home state. The work follows the life of a Pennsylvania coal miner, and Ms. Wolfe draws from letters and personal biographies in creating what she calls “a unique art-folk ballad” that provides an intimate look at a particular slice of American life. Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform the work on folk guitar, banjo, and accordion in addition to their usual instruments (cello, bass, piano, percussion, guitars, and clarinets). This program follows a month after the work’s World Premiere in Philadelphia with the All-Stars and the Mendelssohn Club Choir.
Dreamhouse (New York Premiere)
Stephen Mackey (b. 1956)
When Mr. Mackey received the commission for Dreamhouse (2003) from NPS (Dutch Radio) in 2001, his immediate desire, he later wrote, was “simply to hear a band of diverse elements playing and singing together with abandon — a traditional symphony orchestra, twanging electric guitars, [a] pure-toned vocal quartet, and a somewhat theatrical ‘front man’ inhabiting a place between operatic tenor and Jim Morrison.” Mr. Mackey identifies this work’s influences as “allegorical texts in ‘60s psychadelic rock, the symphonic vocalize of 16th-century masses and motets, and the unstaged theatricality of baroque oratorio.” Mr. Mackey co-wrote the libretto with longtime collaborator Rinde Eckert during a time of post-9/11 introspection as a meditation on the American Dream, not as political commentary, per se, but rather a journal of self-reflection.
This season Jayce Ogren conducts a concert of works by Rufus Wainwright with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; a month-long run of Robert Carsen’s new production of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady at Paris’s Théâtre du Chatelet; a program of music by Gershwin, John Adams, and Sibelius with the RTE Symphony in Ireland; and these two concerts in the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL, conducting the New York Premiere of Steven Mackey’s Dreamhouse. In the 2012–13 season Mr. Ogren led new productions of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto for New York City Opera; conducted the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in programs at Lincoln Center, Columbia University's Miller Theatre, and at the Wien Modern Festival; and led all-Stravinsky programs with the New York City Ballet. He made his New York Philharmonic debut CONTACT!, the Orchestra’s new-music series, and led performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Verbier Festival Academy. In London he premiered the orchestral film version of Bernstein’s West Side Story at Royal Albert Hall, an event he repeated with the Detroit Symphony and with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Returning to London he conducted the BBC Symphony at the Barbican in premieres of works by Nico Muhly, David Lang, and Paola Prestini. Jayce Ogren graduated from St. Olaf’s College and the New England Conservatory and, with a Fulbright grant, completed a postgraduate diploma in orchestral conducting with Jorma Panula at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He attended the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and, for three years, was Assistant Conductor to Franz Welser-Möst at the Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. Ogren has conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony. With the New York City Opera he led the American premiere of Wainwright’s Prima Donna, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, for which he won extensive critical acclaim.
Julian Wachner's recent and upcoming engagements include the Lincoln Center Festival (The Blind), BAM Next Wave Festival (21C Liederabend 2013), Juilliard Opera Theatre (2013 mainstage), The Rolling Stones (50th anniversary tour), Hong Kong Philharmonic, TENET (TENEbrae), Portland Baroque (Handel’s Messiah), and with TENET at Carnegie Hall (Arvo Pärt’s Passio). As director of music and the arts at New York’s historic Trinity Wall Street, Mr. Wachner oversees an annual season of more than 900 events, serves as principal conductor of NOVUS NY (Trinity’s resident contemporary music orchestra) and Trinity Baroque Orchestra & Choir of Trinity Wall Street (nominated for a 2012 Grammy for Handel’s Israel in Egypt), and is director of Bach at One (Trinity’s weekly J.S. Bach cantata series). He also conceived and directed Trinity’s Twelve in 12 festival, celebrating the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Mr. Wachner is also music director of the Grammy Award–winning Washington Chorus, with whom he won ASCAP’s Alice Parker award for adventurous programming in 2011. A Baroque specialist, he was the founding music director of the Boston Bach Ensemble and the Bach Académie de Montréal, and served as artistic director of International Bach Festivals in Boston and Montreal. In 2011 he founded The Twelfth Night Festival of Early Music, most recently presented in collaboration with Gotham Early Music Society (GEMS) and featuring many of New York’s leading Baroque and Renaissance ensembles. Also a composer and keyboardist, in 2010 Mr. Wachner was the first musician to serve as both conductor and composer at New York City Opera’s annual VOX festival of contemporary opera; he was its sole conductor in 2012. E.C. Schirmer publishes his complete catalog, comprising more than 80 titles. He has made guest appearances with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Montreal and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, Spoleto Festival USA, Handel and Haydn Society, Glimmerglass Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, and Boston Pops. Julian Wachner’s recordings appear on the Chandos, Naxos, Atma Classique, Arsis, Dorian, Musica Omnia, and Titanic labels.
Formed in 1992 by New York’s renowned new-music collective Bang on a Can, the Bang on a Can All-Starsare recognized worldwide for their ultra-dynamic live performances and recordings of today’s most innovative music. Freely crossing the boundaries between classical, jazz, rock, world, and experimental music, this six-member amplified ensemble has consistently forged a distinct category-defying identity, taking music into uncharted territories. Performing each year throughout the U.S. and internationally, the All-Stars have shattered the definition of what concert music is today. Together, the All-Stars have worked in unprecedented close collaboration with some of the most important and inspiring musicians of our time, including Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Burmese circle drum master Kyaw Kyaw Naing, Tan Dun, DJ Spooky, and many more. The group’s celebrated projects include their landmark recordings of Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airportsand Terry Riley’s In C, as well as live performances with Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Don Byron, Iva Bittova, Thurston Moore, Owen Pallett, and others. The All-Stars were awarded Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2005. Recent project highlights include the world premiere, performances, and recording of Steve Reich’s 2x5including a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall; the group’s recent tours to the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Beijing Music Festival in China; the U.S. tour and Carnegie Hall performance of Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer, an evening-length staged concert with Trio Mediaeval; commissioned works by Louis Andriessen, Bill Frisell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and others. With a massive repertoire of works written specifically for the group's distinctive instrumentation and style of performance, the All-Stars have become a genre in their own right. The All-Stars record on Cantaloupe Music and have released past recordings on Sony, Universal, and Nonesuch. These performances mark the ensemble’s New York Philharmonic debut.
The Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street is the premier vocal ensemble at Trinity Wall Street. Under the direction of Julian Wachner, the Choir leads the liturgical music at Trinity Church during Sunday services, performs in concerts throughout the year, and has made world-class recordings for Naxos, Musica Omnia, and Arie Records. In addition to their liturgical and concert presentations, the Choir has appeared at Mostly Mozart (performing Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Mark Morris Dance Group), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, and in the Rolling Stones’ 50th-anniversary tour. Trinity Choir was also chosen to perform Arvo Pärt’s Passio as part of a mixed-media collaboration with Paolo Cherchi Usai in his film Passio at the Tribeca Film Festival. The Choir is increasingly in demand around the world, and this season sees the ensemble performing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, BAM, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and London’s Barbican Hall. The ensemble is making its New York Philharmonic debut in these concerts.
Rinde Eckert (The Architect) is a writer, composer, librettist, musician, performer, and director. His opera/new music theater productions have toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. With a virtuosic command of gesture, language, and song, he moves beyond the boundaries traditional music theater, grappling with complex issues. He began his career in the 1980s, writing librettos for the Paul Dresher Ensemble and dance scores for choreographers Sarah Shelton Mann and the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. In 1992 he began composing and performing solo music/theater pieces. His works have been produced by the Foundry Theatre, Culture Project, Theatre for a New Audience, the New York Theatre Workshop, American Repertory Theatre in Boston, Center Stage in Baltimore, Dobama Theatre Company, REDCAT in Los Angeles, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre under directors Tony Taccone, Robert Woodruff, David Schweizer, Richard ET White and Ellen McLaughlin. He has directed his own and others’ work for The Asia Society, Juggernaut Theater, Opera Piccola, and the Paul Dresher Ensemble. Recent productions include The Schick Machine for Steven Schick; Gurs Zyklus, a collaboration with sculptor/sound artist Trimpin; Steven Mackey’s Dreamhouse, which received three Grammy nominations; and Slide, with composer/guitarist Mackey and eighth blackbird, which was renamed Lonely Motel and won a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance. The recipient of numerous awards and distinctions: Rinde Eckert was named one of the inaugural Doris Duke Artists in 2012. He was recipient of the Marc Blitzstein Award (Highway Ulysses); an OBIE Award (And God Created Great Whales); and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (Orpheus X). Mr. Eckert teaches at Princeton University and has led extensive writing/directing residencies at the University of Nebraska; the University of California, Davis; the University of Iowa; Wesleyan University; and Barnard College. Mr. Eckert appeared in a 1986 New York Philharmonic Horizons concert, performing Paul Dresher’s Slow Fire, Act I. the NY PHIL BIENNIAL marks his New York Philharmonic debut.
The members of the Amsterdam-based Catch Electric Guitar Quartet (Aart Strootman, Seth Josel, and Patricio Wang on electric guitar and Mark Haanstra on electric bass) spent nearly 20 years crisscrossing paths and collaborating within the context of rock bands, free improvisation groups, and contemporary ensembles, but it was the 2003 premiere of Steve Mackey’s Dreamhouse (a Holland Festival commission) with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (Hilversum) that finally brought the talents of all four musicians together. The long-awaited North American premiere of Dreamhouse was presented with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in May 2007. Catch has also appeared as a concertino group with the BBC Philharmonic Manchester. Since its founding, the quartet has been involved in further premieres of works by Peter Adriaansz, Huib Emmer, Christopher Fox, Patricio Wang; ensemble collaborations with Cappela Amsterdam, Nederlands Vocal Laboratorium; and has become the ensemble in residence at the OUTPUT Festival in Amsterdam. The group has also collaborated with the Slagwerk Den Haag, featuring a multi-city tour of Holland in the Autumn of 2007 and an appearance at the Huddersfield Festival. In April 2007 the group was in residence at Princeton University, culminating in the premieres of seven works by such composers as Judd Greenstein, David Little, Seth Cluett (whose quartet a murmur which redoubles appears on a L-NE records), Alan Tormey, and Scott Smallwood. Catch has also performed concerts on college campuses in Grinnell, Los Angeles and Berkeley. These performances mark the quartet’s New York Philharmonic debut.
Synergy Vocals (soprano/director Micaela Haslam, alto Heather Cairncross, tenor Andrew Busher, and baritone Michael Dore) provides bespoke teams of vocalists for a wide variety of projects, and specialises in close-microphone singing. The group is often associated with the music of Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Steven Mackey, and the late Luciano Berio, and performs regularly with Ensemble Modern, Ictus, Ensemble InterContemporain, Asko|Schönberg, London Sinfonietta, and the Colin Currie Group. Synergy Vocals has given with international orchestras and ensembles including the Boston, Chicago, London, St. Louis, and New World symphony orchestras; Los Angeles and Brooklyn Philharmonic orchestras; as well as Nexus, Percussion Claviers de Lyon, Tempo Reale Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, and all five of the U.K.’s BBC orchestras. They have also collaborated with several dance companies, including the Royal Ballet (London), Rosas (Brussels), and Opéra de Paris. The works the group has premiered include Reich’s Three Tales and Daniel Variations, Mackey’sDreamhouse, Andriessen’s video opera La Commedia, David Lang’s Writing on Water, and (most recently) James MacMillan’s Since it was the Day of Preparation…, as well as the U.K. première of Nono’s Prometeo on London’s South Bank. The group has undertaken educational and outreach projects in the U.K., The Netherlands, the U.S., and South America, and Micaela Haslam regularly coaches instrumental ensembles for Reich in the preparation of his Music for 18 Musicians, most recently The Colin Currie Group (London), and Ensemble InterContemporain (Paris). Synergy Vocals is featured on a variety of film sound tracks, television advertisements, and pop-backing tracks, as well as CDs including the 2011 Grammy-winning Dreamhouse by Mackey, De Staat by Andriessen (with London Sinfonietta), Three Tales by Reich (with Steve Reich & Musicians), Kompendium’s Beneath the Waves, and Steven Wilson’s Grace for Drowning. Synergy Vocals previously appeared with the New York Philharmonic as part of Berio’s Sinfonia in 2008, conducted by Lorin Maazel.
Major support for the NY PHIL BIENNIAL is provided by The Francis Goelet Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation
, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation