Reflections Series International 2014-2015
Gil Morgenstern, violinist and artistic director
“The Voice of the Violin”
with pianist J.Y. Song
Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 7:30pm
Avenues: The World School
259 Tenth Avenue | NYC
Tickets: $40 General Admission, $20 Students at
“brilliant artist”—New York Times
“illuminating annual series”—New York Magazine
NEW YORK, NY — On Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 7:30pm, violinist and artistic director Gil Morgenstern’s acclaimed Reflections Series International will present its second concert of the 2014-2015 season, “The Voice of the Violin,” at Avenues: The World School (259 Tenth Ave.). The program, featuring Morgenstern with pianist J.Y. Song, will highlight the singularly expressive range of the violin and the diverse manner in which composers of different times and cultures have exploited it. The selected works will take us around the globe, from east to west and from the Classical to the contemporary era. Highlights will include Beethoven’s Violin Sonata in G Major, filled with great humor though written during a time of deep despair, and a suite of discrete works for solo violin including music by Georges Enescu, Chen Yi, John Harbison, Elliott Carter and Eugene Ysaye. Also on the program will be works by Arvo Pärt and Fritz Kreisler.
This is Reflections’ second season at Avenues, presenting four engaging concerts throughout the school year. The relationship between Reflections and Avenues is particularly appropriate as both seek to integrate learning across subject areas in a globally aware setting. The Avenues New York campus, adjacent to New York’s High Line Park, is the perfect venue for Reflections’ sophisticated but relaxed performances.
After Reflections Series International’s tremendously successful inaugural season at Avenues: The World School, Gil Morgenstern has been named Artist-in-Residence for Interdisciplinary Studies beginning with the 2014-2015 season. This unique yearlong residency, during which Morgenstern will work with students and faculty of all academic subjects, is a key part of the school’s mission to “graduate students who are artists no matter their field.” The position is a natural outgrowth of Morgenstern’s previous collaborations with faculty and students at Avenues, including the interdisciplinary Rashomon Project. Of his appointment, Morgenstern says: “I’m extremely excited about deepening my relationship with the visionary leadership and faculty at Avenues. Together, I hope to establish programs of interdisciplinary synthesis between academic subjects, fostering creativity and a passion for exploration.”
Reflections Series International presents solo and chamber music along with works of different artistic disciplines, engaging its audiences in combinations of music, text and images. Through its unique contextualization of historical artistic styles and events of their time period, its innovative programming entertains and enlightens the 21st century audience. Using both existing and original works, and with the collaboration of a superb ensemble of creative and performing artists representing all art forms, Reflections programs present works that both reflect upon one another and invite the audience to reflect anew on universal themes.
The 2014-2015 season includes four engaging concerts. The remaining two concerts will include:
Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 7:30pm
Gil Morgenstern, violin and artistic director
Mary Cochran, special guest choreographer and dancer
J.Y. Song, piano
with Michael Novak, Anna Schön, and James “Floats” Fable
How does adding another artistic discipline to music alter our experience as audience members? Do we hear or listen to the work differently? Can the whole be greater than the sum of its parts? Are we able to absorb all the information bombarding our brains? In this concert, Gil Morgenstern is joined by dancer/choreographer Mary Cochran and pianist J.Y. Song in an exploration of these questions through music and dance. The musical works will first be performed as they were originally written, giving the audience the opportunity to become familiar with them. These works will then reappear over the course of the program, reinterpreted with original choreography, giving the audience the chance to experience them as completely different works. Joining Morgenstern will be Mary Cochran (formerly with Paul Taylor Dance Company), Michael Novak (currently with Paul Taylor), Anna Schön, and street dance “popper” James “Floats” Fable.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:30pm
Gil Morgenstern, violin and artistic director
Harumi Rhodes, violin
Kathryn Lockwood, viola
Inbal Segev, cello
Yousif Sheronick, percussion
The final program in the 2014-2015 Reflections Series International season will present music and text inspired by personal encounters with both natural and man-made landscapes, immortalizing them through works of unparalleled beauty and drama. This artistic journey, from flowing crystalline streams in China to the haunting terrain of the Middle East to the wide open prairies of the American Great Plains, includes music by Aaron Copland, Antonin Dvořák, Zhou Long, and Riad El-Soumbati, along with text from the works of Mary Shelly, Naguib Mahfouz, and Gaetano Cipolla.
About Gil Morgenstern: Acclaimed for his artistry and technical brilliance, violinist Gil Morgenstern is devoted to exploring and expanding the possibilities for inventive classical music programming. His vision is to present the audience with a more complete concert experience, meticulously curated from start to finish, by organically integrating music with other artistic disciplines in innovative and unexpected ways. The New York Times describes Mr. Morgenstern as a, “brilliant and musically curious artist.”
A violinist with a long history of performing in the world’s great concert halls, Mr. Morgenstern’s career has taken him to international venues including Wigmore Hall, London; Cultural Center Concert Hall, Hong Kong; the American Academy, Rome; Salone dei Cinquecento, Florence; El Teatro Sucre, Quito; Arts Centre and State Theatre, Melbourne, Australia. He has also toured the U.S. extensively, performing in recital and as guest soloist with many leading orchestras including the symphonies of St. Louis, Baltimore, Louisville, Indianapolis, Denver, Milwaukee, New Jersey and North Carolina. The New York Times has hailed his playing as “a perfect demonstration of supreme ability;” “a rare poet of the violin” reported The South China Morning Post; “Morgenstern played a program that tested every part of a violinist’s equipment and he did it all beautifully,” wrote The Washington Post.
Mr. Morgenstern has also shared the stage with such eminent musicians as Philippe Entremont, Lynn Harrell, André-Michel Schub, Jeffrey Kahane, Sharon Isbin, and Heinz Holliger, and has collaborated with United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, and performance artist Laurie Anderson.
Mr. Morgenstern’s discography includes works by Beethoven, Fauré, Copland, Ravel, Kodaly, Sessions and the award-winning American composer George Tsontakis. His latest recording, 20th Century Duos for Violin and Cello, was the No. 1 classical CD for over a month on eMusic, the largest online store for independent music in the world, and was one of the top ten best selling classical music albums on Amazon.com. Of the CD The New York Times raved, “the music is terrific and the performances compelling on this surprisingly exciting and excellently engineered recording.” Mr. Morgenstern records for the MMC, Engine Company and Koch International Classics labels, and can regularly be heard on National Public Radio and classical music radio stations across the country.
Highlights of Mr. Morgenstern’s recent seasons include interdisciplinary performances with the Juilliard Dance Company at Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Ballet; the premieres of staged versions of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Venus and Adonis with Claire Bloom and John Neville, and Samuel Beckett at 100 at New York City’s 92nd Street Y and at Harvard University. Mr. Morgenstern’s performance in the Nine Circles Chamber Theatre production of When Samson Met Delilah toured Holland to rave reviews and his recent appearance in Toronto was broadcast throughout Canada on CBC. He also appeared as violin soloist in U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s translation of Dante’s Inferno, which toured the country and was broadcast on PBS and NPR, for which it received a Peabody nomination. Mr. Morgenstern continues to tour the United States and Europe, and his highly acclaimed Reflections Series has recently been presented in London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice. Mr. Morgenstern lives in New York City. For more information, visit www.gilmorgenstern.com.
About J.Y. Song: Since her Lincoln Center recital debut and her nomination as Pro Musicis International Award winner, pianist J.Y. Song has been noted for her varied programming and idiosyncratic musical tastes. Her recordings on the Pro Piano label have received rave reviews in international publications. “Debussy Etudes” received a Diapason d’Or, and was designated a ‘Desert Island Selection’ by Gramophone’s International Piano Quarterly. Her recording of works by Jiang Wen Ye was the inspiration for Café Lumière, a film by Hou Hsiao-Hsien nominated for a Lion d’Or at the Venice Film Festival. The recipient of Juilliard’s Petscheck Award and the American Pianists Association’s Fellowship Award, J.Y. Song is currently on the piano faculty of Mannes College of Music. She holds a B.A. and B.S. from Stanford University, and a D.M.A. from The Juilliard School.
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