FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Composer & Vocalist Lisa Bielawa
Residency at The Stone August 12-17, 2014
Featuring Music & Performances by Lisa Bielawa:
8/12, 8pm: With pianist Paul Vasile
8/13, 8 & 10pm: With violinist/vocalist Carla Kihlstedt
8/14 at 8pm: With violinist Colin Jacobsen, cellist Eric Jacobsen, pianist Bruce Levingston
8/15 at 8pm: With soprano Melanie Russell, mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, baritone Jesse Blumberg, & ACME
8/16, 8 & 10pm: With cellist Joshua Roman, pianist Evelyne Luest
8/17 at 8pm: With sopranos Melanie Russell & Kristin Slipp, contralto Kirsten Sollek, tenor Tomás Cruz, & ACME
The Stone | Corner of Avenue C & 2nd Street | NYC
Tickets: $15 at the door | Information: www.thestonenyc.com
“the formal sophistication and lyrical richness of Bielawa’s music go deep” – The New Yorker
Lisa Bielawa: www.lisabielawa.net
New York, NY — At the invitation of John Zorn, composer and vocalist Lisa Bielawa will curate and perform in a series of eight concerts over six nights at The Stone (corner of Avenue C and 2nd Street), from Tuesday, August 12 through Sunday, August 17, 2014. The series, which Zorn conceived as a retrospective, features different performers and music each night and showcases the rich set of friends and fellow musicians with whom Bielawa, known for taking inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic relationships, has collaborated over the years.
The residency highlights Lisa Bielawa’s varied work as a composer, a vocalist, and – for the first time in New York – as a conductor. In addition to music she has written over the past three decades, the concerts on August 15 and 17 will feature the first performances of selections from her new opera-in-progress, Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, with a libretto by Erik Ehn and with Bielawa conducting. Originally conceived 20 years ago as a traditional opera, Vireo is coming to fruition over the next two seasons as a serial opera released in episodes, which will be filmed in front of a live audience and webcast online. This project will be launched in February 2015 under the auspices of the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana with funds from the Warhol Foundation.
Lisa Bielawa says, “I am honored and excited that John Zorn invited me to do a residency at The Stone. I took the retrospective aspect of his invitation very seriously, and this concert series includes pieces ranging from Summer Music for two sopranos, written when I was 14, through music written expressly to premiere on these concerts, including a new solo work for cellist Joshua Roman. In between are so many pieces that were the first collaborations with my most historied muses – Carla Kihlstedt, Colin and Eric Jacobsen, Bruce Levingston, Evelyne Luest, Jesse Blumberg, and Roman. These are musical relationships that have sparked multiple pieces and projects, lasted years, some over a decade. At The Stone we will return to the more intimate works that were the breeding-ground for so many of my recent large-scale, ambitious projects such as Chance Encounter and Airfield Broadcasts.
Artists performing during the series, in addition to Bielawa, include baritone Jesse Blumberg, mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, tenor Tomás Cruz, violinist Colin Jacobsen, cellist Eric Jacobsen, violinist-vocalist Carla Kihlstedt, pianist Bruce Levingston, pianist Evelyne Luest, cellist Joshua Roman; soprano Melanie Russell; soprano Kristin Slipp; contralto Kirsten Sollek, pianist Paul Vasile, and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) featuring Caleb Burhans, violin; Ben Russell, violin; Caitlin Lynch, viola; and Clarice Jensen, cello. Artist bios are included at the end of this press release.
Bielawa as Bard: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 8pm – one show only
Lisa Bielawa, voice; Paul Vasile, piano
Lisa Bielawa and Paul Vasile open Bielawa’s residency at The Stone with a concert featuring her works for voice including A Collective Cleansing (2000), a piece built entirely of Bielawa’s own voice, sometimes 11 layers of it at once, performed live with digital audio. The rest of the evening will be an excavation of Bielawa’s early cabaret songs (most written while she was still in college) and selections from her smaller music theater works, such as Phrenic Crush, written in 1997 with Vireo librettist Erik Ehn.
Siren Songs: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 8pm & 10pm – two shows
Carla Kihlstedt, violin & voice; Lisa Bielawa, voice
Carla Kihlstedt and Lisa Bielawa began working together in 1997, when Pamela Z recommended Kihlstedt to Bielawa for a San Francisco production of Phrenic Crush. Since then Bielawa has written multiple works for her, including the Kafka Songs (2001-2003), some of which she will perform on voice and violin simultaneously, and Genesis Again (1998), designed to create space for Kihlstedt and Bielawa to improvise together. The concert will also include Summer Music (1983) and selections from Electric Ordo Virtutum, a reimagining of Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum created in 1998 for the Lincoln Center Festival for the 900th birthday of Hildegard, as well as other works, arrangements, and improvisations.
Solo Virtuosi: Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8pm – one show only
Colin Jacobsen, violin; Eric Jacobsen, cello; Bruce Levingston, piano; Lisa Bielawa, narrator
Colin and/or Eric Jacobsen have been at the core of perhaps the longest list of collaborations in Lisa Bielawa’s creative life, including her works Chance Encounter, the Airfield Broadcasts, the Double Violin Concerto (with Carla Kihlstedt) and Graffiti dell’amante, with Brooklyn Rider. Bruce Levingston has partnered with Bielawa as pianist, commissioner, chamber musician, impresario and presenter on an equally long list of important works.
This program will honor these deep relationships with one virtuoso work for each of these inspired players. “Solo Meditations” from The Lay of the Love and Death will be played by Colin Jacobsen, and was originally premiered by Levingston’s Premiere Commissions organization at Alice Tully Hall in 2006. Here it will be performed in a version with Bielawa as narrator of the deeply affecting Rilke poem. Eric Jacobsen will perform Synopsis #6: Why Did you Lie to Me? (2007) for solo cello, a study for the opening of Bielawa’s Chance Encounter for soprano and chamber orchestra, which has been performed all over the world and recorded by the Jacobsens’ chamber orchestra The Knights on the Orange Mountain Music label. Levingston will perform Elegy-Portrait for solo piano (2008), commissioned by him in memory of mezzo-soprano Alexandra Montano, Bielawa’s and Levingston’s beloved friend and colleague.
Selections from Vireo, Part 1: Friday, August 15, 2014 at 8pm – one show only
Excerpts from Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser; Libretto by Erik Ehn (1994, 2014)
Melanie Russell as Vireo, Hai-Ting Chinn as The Voice, Jesse Blumberg as The Doctor with American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), & Lisa Bielawa, conductor
New York audiences will have the opportunity to see selections from Bielawa’s opera-in-progress, Vireo, featuring Bielawa’s longtime collaborator Jesse Blumberg and Einstein on the Beach colleagues Melanie Russell and Hai-Ting Chinn, with fellow new music travelers ACME. Vireo explores the nature and uses of female hysteria through time, as witch-hunters, early psychiatrists, and modern artists variously define the condition. The focus of the play is Vireo, a girl who hears voices who is thought to be able to name witches. Sketched as a three act opera over twenty years ago by Lisa Bielawa and Erik Ehn, the artists have returned to the material and rewritten it as a twelve-part broadcast series produced with the direction of Charlie Otte, which will be filmed in front of a live audience and webcast during Bielawa’s residency at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana in 2015.
Occasional Music: Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 8pm & 10pm – two shows
Joshua Roman, cello; Evelyne Luest, piano; Lisa Bielawa, soprano
Lisa Bielawa’s first commission from Evelyne Luest was for Wait, a solo piano work with a drone part that can be performed by any instruments or singers, in 2001. In the years since, she and her husband, composer Aaron Jay Kernis, have been at the source of many of Bielawa’s musical adventures, including the creation of short pieces to celebrate her 50th birthday (Birthday Greeting in the Style of Prokofiev) and his 50th birthday (50 Measures for Aaron). Through Luest and Kernis, Bielawa met cellist Joshua Roman who also began to commission and perform her work. Roman will give the world premiere of a new short work for solo cello on this concert. The evening will also include two passacaglias for solo piano – Passacaglia for Dmitri and Midtown Passacaglia – written for the 50th anniversary of Merkin Concert Hall in 2002. Together, Bielawa, Luest, and Roman will perform Bielawa’s trio The Houri and the Poet (2011), with text from Goethe’s epic poem West-Eastern Divan.
Selections from Vireo: Part 2: Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 8pm – one show only
Excerpts from Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser; Libretto by Erik Ehn (1994, 2014)
Melanie Russell as Vireo, Kristin Slipp as Caroline, Kirsten Sollek as The Mother and The Cow, and Tomás Cruz as Raphael, The Student with American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), & Lisa Bielawa, conductor
In this installment of selections (different from those to be performed on August 15) from Bielawa’s opera-in-progress, Vireo, Melanie Russell again performs as Vireo and is joined by Kristin Slipp, Kirsten Solleck, and Tomás Cruz, with ACME.
About the Artists
Lisa Bielawa, composer, soprano, conductor
Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition. Gramophone reports, “Bielawa is gaining gale force as a composer, churning out impeccably groomed works that at once evoke the layered precision of Vermeer and the conscious recklessness of Jackson Pollock,” and The New York Times describes her music as, “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart.”
Born in San Francisco into a musical family, Lisa Bielawa played the violin and piano, sang, and wrote music from early childhood. She moved to New York two weeks after receiving her B.A. in Literature in 1990 from Yale University, and became an active participant in New York musical life. She began touring with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992, and has also premiered works by composers such as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, and Michael Gordon. In 1997 she co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers. Bielawa was appointed Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco Girls Chorus in 2013 and is an artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California.
Lisa Bielawa’s music is frequently performed throughout the US, and in France, Italy, the UK, and Finland. Recent highlights include a Radio France commission for Ensemble Variances – the new 15-minute work was performed in Paris, Rouen, and Metz as part of a program called Cri Selon Cri or “Cry by Cry” which explores the idea that the cry is a primary sound shared by animals and humans from all cultures of the world. In addition, Bielawa composed a piece for the 50-member Finnish male choir Akademiska Sångföreningen on a text from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Both works featured Bielawa as the vocal soloist.
Other recent highlights include the world premieres of Rondolette by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and pianist Bruce Levingston, Double Duet by the Washington Saxophone Quartet (with subsequent performances by the Prism Saxophone Quartet), Graffiti dell’amante by Bielawa with the Chicago Chamber Musicians in Chicago and with Brooklyn Rider in New York, Harrisburg, and Rome. The Project of Collecting Clouds at Town Hall in Seattle by cellist Joshua Roman and chamber ensemble, Double Violin Concerto and In medias res by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, The Right Weather by American Composers Orchestra and pianist Andrew Armstrong at Carnegie Hall, and The Lay of the Love and Death at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Bielawa’s work Chance Encounter is a piece comprising songs and arias constructed of speech overheard in transient public spaces, which was premiered by soprano Susan Narucki and The Knights in Lower Manhattan’s Seward Park. A project of Creative Capital, the 35-minute work for roving soprano and chamber ensemble has since been performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, in Vancouver, Venice, and in Rome on the banks of the Tiber River in partnership with urban placemaker Robert Hammond, a founder of The High Line in New York.
Bielawa’s latest work for performance in public places is Airfield Broadcasts, a massive 60-minute work for hundreds of musicians that premiered on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin (May 2013) and at Crissy Field in San Francisco (October 2013). Bielawa turns these former airfields into vast musical canvases, as professional, amateur and student musicians execute a spatial symphony.
Bielawa’s discography includes A Handful of World (Tzadik); The Trojan Women on a disc entitled First Takes (TROY); Hildegurls: Electric Ordo Virtutum, (Innova); The Trojan Women in a version for string quartet performed by the Miami on The NYFA Collection (Innova); In medias res (BMOP/sound), a double-disc set of Bielawa’s solo and orchestral works; the world premiere recording of Chance Encounter (Orange Mountain Music), and Elegy-Portrait on pianist Bruce Levingston’s 2011 album, Heart Shadow (Sono Luminus).
Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Baritone Jesse Blumberg is equally at home on opera, concert, and recital stages. His performances have included the world premiere of The Grapes of Wrath at Minnesota Opera, Niobe, Regina di Tebe at the Boston Early Music Festival, Bernstein’s MASS at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Recital highlights include appearances with the New York Festival of Song and performances of Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise with pianist Martin Katz. He has performed major works with American Bach Soloists, Oratorio Society of New York, Apollo’s Fire, and on Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series. Blumberg has given the world premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Green Sneakers, Lisa Bielawa’s The Lay of the Love and Death, Conrad Cummings’ Positions 1956, and Tom Cipullo’s Excelsior, and he works closely with several other renowned composers as a member of the Mirror Visions Ensemble. Blumberg is also the founder and artistic director of Five Boroughs Music Festival, which brings chamber music of many genres to every corner of New York City.
Hai-Ting Chinn, mezzo-soprano
American Mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn performs in a wide range of styles and venues, from Purcell to Pierrot Lunaire, Cherubino to The King & I, J.S. Bach to P.D.Q. Bach. She was featured in the revival and tour of Phillip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach, performed at venues around the world from 2011–2014, and she is currently singing the role of Belle in Glass’s La Belle et la Bête, also on tour. She has performed with New York City Opera, The Wooster Group, OperaOmnia, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Waverly Consort; and on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Mann Center in Philadelphia, the Edinburgh Festival, the Verbier Festival, and London’s West End. She has premiered new works by Du Yun, Conrad Cummings, Stefan Weisman, Yoav Gal, and Matt Schickele. Hai-Ting is also an Artist in Residence at HERE arts center, where she is developing Science Fair, a staged solo show of science set to music.
Tomás Cruz, tenor
Tomás Cruz is a jazz singer who works in a variety of genres including R&B, jazz, pop, choral, new music, and chamber. Most recently, he has worked with Anthony Braxton in his latest opera, Trillium J, and finished the world tour of Philip Glass’ Einstein On the Beach. Other credits include performances with contemporary artists Missy Mazzoli, Helga Davis, American Idol contestant Pia Toscano, and a spot on SNL. He has recorded with New Amsterdam Records, New Braxton House Records, See-A-Dot Music, and Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra. He regularly performs and records with a cappella group Duwende, chamber ensemble Little King, and the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Choir. Tomás earned his MM at New England Conservatory.
Colin Jacobsen, violin
A recent recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship, Colin Jacobsen’s multifaceted life in music as a violinist and composer is focused in three groups: the Silk Road Ensemble; the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, which performs at venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall and SXSW; and The Knights, an innovative orchestra of which he is founder and co-Artistic Director along with his brother, Eric Jacobsen. He has also been awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant for his work as a soloist and performed with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony.
Eric Jacobsen, cello
Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects. As Music Director of The Knights, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) from Carnegie Hall to Dresden’s Musikfestspiele. Frequent collaborators include Dawn Upshaw, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and pipa-virtuoso Wu Man. Recordings available on Sony-Classical. As guest conductor, Jacobsen led Camerata-Bern in the first European performance of Mark O’Connor’s American Seasons, with the composer as soloist. He has directed the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony, Silk Road Ensemble at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, ProMusica Orchestra and Dresden’s Moritzburg Festival Academy with soloist Midori. As part of Yo-Yo Ma’s venerated Silk Road Project, and founding member of string quartet Brooklyn Rider, “one of the wonders of contemporary music” (Los Angeles Times), Jacobsen has toured extensively in North America, Europe and Asia.
Carla Kihlstedt, violin-vocals
Composer, violinist and vocalist Carla Kihlstedt is a veteran of folk/pop, contemporary classical, improvised and experimental music. She’s a founding member of several pioneering and iconic bands, including Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, The Book of Knots, Tin Hat,2 Foot Yard, Causing a Tiger, Minamo and The New Jazz Standards Quintet, which just had their premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center. In addition to touring and playing in all manner of festivals, she has written music for the International Contemporary Ensemble, Brooklyn Rider, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, inkBoat, the Joe Goode Performance Group, and the Folger Theater. Rabbit Rabbit is her song-writing duo with her husband Matthias Bossi. They just won top honors in the 2014 Independent Music Awards for their song, “After the Storm.”
Bruce Levingston, piano
Bruce Levingston is a leading figure in the world of contemporary music. Many of the today’s most important composers have written works for him and his Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center premieres have won notable critical acclaim. The New York Times calls him “one of today’s most adventurous musicians” and The New Yorker declares him “ a force for new music.” After recent performances, The Boston Globe praised his “commanding live performance” and The Washington Post commended his “wonderfully even touch, transparency, and timeless reverie.” Levingston’s recordings have also garnered acclaim. The American Record Guide wrote, “Levingston is a pianist’s pianist” extolling his “stunning and highly illuminating performances.” His album Still Sound was named “Record of the Month” by MusicWeb International which called his playing “sublime.” Levingston is founder and artistic director of Premiere Commission, Inc., a non-profit foundation that has commissioned and premiered more than 50 new works.
Evelyne Luest, piano
Pianist Evelyne Luest is an accomplished soloist and chamber musician and has performed and toured in Europe, South America, Asia and the USA. She has won several competitions including the Artists International Competition in New York as soloist as well as many awards with her ensemble, Contrasts Quartet. Luest has performed as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Italy and on the St. Paul Sunday National Radio Show. Her many collaborations include such noted musicians as cellist Truls Mørk and flutist Emmanuel Pahud. Recent performances include festivals and concert venues in Norway, France, Japan, Spain, Albuquerque, and Detroit. Her long list of premieres includes compositions by Ned Rorem, Joan Tower and Aaron Jay Kernis. Luest studied with Gilbert Kalish at SUNY/Stony Brook, where she received an M.M. and D.M.A. in piano performance. She lives in New York City with her husband, Aaron Jay Kernis, and their two children.
Joshua Roman, cello
Cellist Joshua Roman, a 2011 TED Fellow, has earned a national reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with absolute commitment to communicating the essence of the music at its most organic level. He is also recognized as an accomplished curator, composer and conductor, particularly in his work as Artistic Director of Seattle Town Hall’s TownMusic series, with a vision to engage and expand the classical music audience. Recent highlights include concerto performances with the symphonies of San Francisco and Seattle and the LA Philharmonic, the world premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ new cello concerto Dreamsong, recitals and chamber music concerts with top US presenters and festivals, and collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma and Anna Deavere Smith.
Melanie Russell, soprano
New Orleans area native Melanie Russell made her New York debut in August 2008 with Opera Omnia’s premiere production, The Coronation of Poppea, about which ClassicsToday.com stated: “[Her] creamy soprano and engaging stage presence impressed in the roles of Virtue and Damigella.” The Wall Street Journal also took note of her “steely sparkle” and “almost impossibly fast, clean runs” in Handel’s Messiah at Trinity Wall Street. She made her solo debut at Carnegie Hall in April 2010 (Fauré’s Requiem) and covered the roles of 2nd Lady & 2nd Witch in the Mark Morris Dance Group’s production of Dido and Aeneas in Moscow and New York. Other notable solo appearances include Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (BWV 51) at St. Paul’s Chapel in NYC, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Israel in Egypt (Musica Omnia), Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate and Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn’s Hör mein Bitten, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and Magnificat settings by Bach and Mendelssohn (Naxos). In addition to her solo work, Russell’s fifteen years of choral and chamber music experience have culminated in performances with the Oregon Bach Festival Choir, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Yale Schola Cantorum, Yale Voxtet, Etherea, Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, and the Trinity Wall Street Choir. Opera roles include Phoebe (The Cunning Man), Adele (Die Fledermaus), The Queen of the Night/ Pamina (The Magic Flute), Mme. Goldentrill (The Impresario), and Aline (The Sorcerer). Theater credits include Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Belle), The Music Man (Marian Paroo), The King and I (Tuptim), and Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story (Maria Elena Holly). Melanie Russell holds the Artist Diploma in Voice from Yale University/ Institute of Sacred Music, as well as performance degrees from Loyola University New Orleans and Centenary College of Louisiana with a minor in French. She is currently engaged with the professional choir at Trinity Episcopal Church Wall Street and continues to tour with Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach. She resides in Astoria, New York.
Kristin Slipp, soprano
Brooklyn-based vocalist, improviser, and composer Kristin Slipp has a deep understanding and appreciation for the human voice and its limitless capacity to convey, emote, and transport. A Maine native, Slipp has performed all around North America and Europe, often with the avant-pop band for which she sings, composes, and plays glockenspiel and keyboards, Cuddle Magic. Slipp’s appreciation of word and sound extends fittingly into Twins of El Dorado, an ensemble where she and trumpeter Joe Moffett compose first poems, and then compositions, for one another while incorporating improvisational ideas and textures. As a lover of song, Slipp interprets the jazz standard repertoire with pianist Dov Manski, the two of whom are pleased to announce the release of their debut album, A Thousand Julys, on Sunnyside Records. As a sought-after collaborator, Kristin has been privileged to share stages and studios with a diverse mix of musicians including Fred Frith, Ran Blake, Dagmar Krause, Zeena Parkins, Carla Kihlstedt, Anthony Coleman, Chris Cutler, Allan Chase, Anais Mitchell, and Phyllis Chen.
Kirsten Sollek, contralto
Called “…an appealingly rich alto” by The New York Times and a singer with “elemental tone quality” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, contralto Kirsten Sollek is gaining recognition for her unique voice and career. She has appeared with Tafelmusik, Minnesota Orchestra, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Bach Collegium Japan, and the Grand Rapids Symphony. She has worked extensively with Composer John Zorn, and has premiered his music in Jerusalem, Paris, London, New York, Milan, Gent, Rotterdam and Warsaw. She has performed and recorded works by Steve Reich with Alarm Will Sound and Signal. In 2011, Sollek covered the title role in Handel’s Rinaldo for the Glyndebourne Festival. Other opera credits include the role of Rosmira in Boston Boroque’s production of Handel’s Partenope, Juno in Handel’s Semele, Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina, and Beauty in Blood Rose by Hannah Lash. Sollek is represented by Robert Gilder & Co.
Paul Vasile, piano
Paul Vasile is the Minister of Music at Park Avenue Christian Church (Disciples of Christ/United Church of Christ) where he shares his passion for and knowledge of music from a wide range of traditions and styles. Committed to innovative concert programming, Vasile also serves as the Artistic Director of Arts at The Park, a concert series that presents some of the region’s finest performers and ensembles. His wide-ranging talents and musical interests provide frequent opportunities to perform as a pianist, conductor and concert organist. Additionally, his compositions of sacred music have gained considerable attention in performances by choirs and congregations throughout the United States. Vasile has cultivated unique partnerships and co-produced notable projects throughout New York City, including a celebrated production of Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera Noye’s Fludde with Lighthouse International; an Interfaith Psalm Festival with Cantor Azi Schwartz and the choirs of The Park Avenue Synagogue; and a Gospel Music Festival with Grammy Award-winning artist Richard Smallwood and the Marble Collegiate Church Gospel Choir. Other notable projects include Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with Con Vivo Music in Jersey City, song recitals with bass-baritone Joe Chappel and soprano Michelle Trovato, and performances as a pianist, organist and conductor of new works by Lembit Beecher, Lisa Bielawa, Nathan Davis, Yotam Haber, Alice Parker, Elliott Schwartz, Carl Schimmel, Aaron Spiegel and Pēteris Vasks. Vasile earned his Master of Music degree and a Performer’s Certificate in piano from the Eastman School of Music as a student of Thomas Schumacher. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Gordon College in Wenham, MA where he studied with Mia Chung and Raymond Hanson. He can be heard on the Innova and Nonesuch labels in recordings of works by Steve Reich and Eliot Schwartz.
American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME)
ACME is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, primarily the work of American composers. The ensemble presents cutting-edge music by living composers alongside the classics of the contemporary. ACME’s dedication to new music extends across genres, and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. NPR calls them “contemporary new music dynamos,” and The New York Times describes ACME’s performances as “vital,” “brilliant,” and “electrifying.” Time Out New York reports, “[Artistic Director Clarice] Jensen has earned a sterling reputation for her fresh, inclusive mix of minimalists, maximalists, eclectics and newcomers.” Since its founding in 2004, ACME has performed at leading venues across the country including (Le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, BAM, Joyce Theater, Noguchi Museum, Whitney Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Stanford Live, Flynn Center, Montclair’s Peak Performances, UCLA, and All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK, among others. ACME can be heard on the New World Records and New Amsterdam Records labels. ACME’s instrumentation is flexible, and includes some of New York’s most sought-after, engaging musicians. Core ACME members include violinists Caleb Burhans, Ben Russell, Caroline Shaw (winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music), and Laura Lutzke; violists Nadia Sirota and Caitlin Lynch; cellist and artistic director Clarice Jensen; flutists Alex Sopp and Andrew Rehrig; pianist Timo Andres; and percussionist Chris Thompson.
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