MIRROR VISIONS ENSEMBLE: 2015-2016 SEASON Winners of Young Composers Competition Announced in October Debut of Two New Programs, Including a World Premiere

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2015-2016 SEASON

Winners of Young Composers Competition Announced in October

 Debut of Two New Programs, Including a World Premiere

September 28, 2015

Music provides a new dimension to poetry and prose with the Mirror Visions Ensemble’s 2015-2016 season performances and projects, led by Artistic Director Tobé Malawista.  This season’s schedule is an ideal example of the mission of Mirror Visions Ensemble: the commissioning, performing and recording of vocal chamber music.  What began as programs built around individual poets and a fascination with multiple settings of the same text — a “mirror vision” — has expanded to include the commissioning of over 80 works from 24 composers.  Ms. Malawista, along with the musicians, curates each concert; composers, poets and historical figures are illustrated through music and explored not only through their published works, but also through correspondence and other anecdotes.

The ensemble showcases two new programs this season: Flights of Fantasy and Holidays Around the Globe with Mirror Visions.

FLIGHTS OF FANTASY (January 23, 24 & 30, 2016)

Flights of Fantasy features deities, beasts, charms and lullabies in works by Beethoven, Debussy, Ives, Mendelssohn, Medtner, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, Stenhammar and Vaughan Williams. The program’s major highlight is the World Premiere of a Mirror Visions commission: Scales and Tales by Gilda Lyons. This historical account of mythological beasts delves into the fantastic world of dragons, unicorns, winged serpents and sea snakes.

Two additional MVE commissions round out the program: Christopher Berg’s setting of excerpts from Canto #2 of Dante’s Inferno entitled “Incominciam,” and Russell Platt’s “Sketch” from Noon to Starry Night, a cantata based on the poetry of Walt Whitman.

The ensemble brings Flights of Fantasy to New York City’s Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in January, as well as to Hillsdale, NY and Newton, MA.

JOURNEYS (October 9 & 11, 2015; March 18, 2016)

Mirror Visions’ program Journeys explores land, sea and air travel in numerous ways; the ensemble sings its way to far-flung destinations, both real and imaginary.  Five MVE commissions share the ride with travel songs by Barber, Berlioz, Duparc and Haydn, among others. Journeys will be performed in San Francisco, Sacramento and Ann Arbor, MI. The ensemble garnered critical acclaim for this program last season, with I Care If You Listen noting: “MVE is most certainly a group to follow for anyone who truly appreciates beautiful singing, new works, art song, and thought-provoking programming.”


This December, the ensemble premieres Holidays Around the Globe with Mirror Visions. This program celebrates the holidays in many cultures worldwide, spanning from the U.S. to Italy, Sweden and Ukraine. Featuring works by Berlioz, Blangini, Copland, Ives, Roe and Yon, this festive affair also includes traditional carols, folk songs and MVE commissions.  With myriads of traditional holiday concerts each season, Holidays Around the Globe highlights the spirited dynamic of the ensemble and the rich nuances within a distinguished variety of compositions.


In October, Mirror Visions Ensemble will announce the winners of its inaugural competition for composers of vocal chamber music.  The competition is open to composers under the age of 35 living, working or studying in the United States.  Up to five winners will be chosen, with the top compositions programmed in future seasons. This competition encourages the next generation of composers to continue developing the catalogue of vocal chamber music as well as continuing Mirror Visions’ legacy of commissioning, performing and recording.

Their diverse programs range from musical portraits of prominent figures including Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and contemporary poets Linda Pastan and Jeffrey Greene, French Romantic composer/pianist Emmanuel Chabrier, art collector and philanthropist Isabella Stewart Gardner and French aristocrat Madame de Sévigné, who was known for her witty letter writing. The ensemble’s crowd-pleasing Concert à la carte, a program celebrating the delights of dining, features the MVE commission Clean Plates Don’t Lie based on the menus and philosophy of renowned chef Dan Barber, pioneer of the farm-to-table movement. Regarding Concert à la carte, New York Concert Review observed, “The audience came out in droves for this terrific concert by The Mirror Visions Ensemble, and everyone seemed to leave the hall happy… and hungry.”

In past seasons, Mirror Visions Ensemble has presented its distinctive programs and residencies both in the U.S. and abroad, including New York City’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, New York University, Le Poisson Rouge, SubCulture and Bargemusic, California State University at Fullerton, University of Southern California, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Yale University, Northwestern University, Mt. Kisco’s Copland House, South County Concerts Chamber Music Series and on tour in Montana. Museums in France have become a home for Mirror Visions, with many performances at the Musée Carnavalet, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Musée Nissim de Camondo, as well as at the American University of Paris.

The Mirror Visions Ensemble was founded by Tobé Malawista, Richard Lalli and Scott Murphree. The generous support of the Florence Gould Foundation has been vital to Mirror Visions’ success in France. In recognition of her work with Mirror Visions Ensemble, artistic director Tobé Malawista was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for her contributions to the culture of France.


Vira Slywotzky, soprano
Scott Murphree, tenor
Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Mischa Bouvier, baritone
Tobé Malawista, artistic director


October 9, 2015 – San Francisco, CA – 405 Shrader
October 11, 2015 – Sacramento, CA – Classical Concerts at the Crocker
March 18, 2016 – Ann Arbor, MI – Kerrytown Concert House

HENRI DUPARC: L’invitation au voyage
HUGO WOLF: Auf einer Wanderung
HECTOR BERLIOZ: L’Ile inconnue
*GILDA LYONS: Great Barrier Reef
JOSEPH HAYDN: The Mermaid’s Song
COLE PORTER: Tale of the Oyster
*SCOTT WHEELER: Letters to Isabella
FELICE BLANGINI: Per valli, per boschi 
*DEBORAH FISCHER TEASON: The Bells at Saint-Aignan
*TOM CIPULLO: The Parlor Car
SAMUEL BARBER: Solitary Hotel
*TOM CIPULLO: At the Windermere Hotel from Chicago Nightmares
*WILLIAM RYDEN: The Owl and the Pussycat


December 19, 2015 – Milford, PA – Kindred Spirits Arts

FELICE BLANGINI: Per valli, per boschi
PIETRO YON: Gesu bambino
HECTOR BERLIOZ: L’ile inconnue
*GILDA LYONS: Great Barrier Reef from A List of Wonders
SAMUEL BARBER: Solitary Hotel
*TOM CIPULLO: Nightmare at the Windermere Hotel
STEPHEN SCHWARTZ: Chanson from The Baker’s Wife
SHELDON HARNICK & JERRY BOCK: Twelve Days to Christmas from She Loves Me
MYKOLA LEONTOVYCH: Shchedryk (Carol of the Bells)
BETTY ROE: Delight is as the flight/ Answer July/ I Taste a Liquor
*TOM CIPULLO: Catch from A Visit with Emily
AARON COPLAND: I’ve heard an organ talk sometimes
CHARLES IVES: A Christmas Carol
HUGO ALFVEN: Som sjarnorna
*HANS GEFORS: Vallarelat
WILHELM STENHAMMER: Gammal Nederlandare
JEAN SIBELIUS: Hennes budskap
TURE RANGSTROM: Hennes budskap
ALICE TEGNER: Betlehems stjarna
*RICHARD PEARSON THOMAS: Invocation: know thy farmer/ Greenhouse from Clean Plates Don’t Lie
15th-century English carol: The Boar’s Head


January 23, 2016 – Hillsdale, NY – Roeliff Jansen Community Library
January 24, 2016 – Newton, MA – Druker Auditorium, Newton Free Library
January 30, 2016 – New York, NY – Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center


MVE commissions include “Scales and Tales” by GILDA LYONS, “Incominciam” by CHRISTOPHER BERG and “Sketch,” from Noon to Starry Night by RUSSELL PLATT.

*Mirror Visions Ensemble Commission
 “Charm is a quality that this ensemble of three engaging singers has in spades.” — The New Yorker

“Warm tone, witty interpretive style…vital theatrical performances with histrionic touches that suited the score perfectly.” — The New York Times

Mirror Visions Ensemble – click here for biography

ARTISTS – click here for individual biographies


Mirror Visions Ensemble Website
Mirror Visions Ensemble List of Commissions


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